The house had been around longer than living memory. According to tradition, it had been built by the first settlers on the coast, the ancestors of the town’s founders. Supposedly, the patriarch of the clan, banished for some offense and accompanied only by his wife and baby son, had scavenged loose stones from the base of the cliffs and stacked them one by one, room by room, until he had created the mansion.

I wasn’t too sure about tradition myself, people tended to make stories bigger than the truth, but I wasn’t too sure about the house itself either. Something had always thrown me about it, something that made my vision want to skip over it. I had spent more hours than was good for me staring at that thing, but I thought I had finally figured out what was off. I just didn’t know why.

The windows didn’t fit. The stone frames were long, as if once the openings had been much larger, but the stonework was seamless inside the frames. The same hand had obviously stoned all of it. It didn’t make sense, but when I asked anyone about it they just peered at the house with a confused expression and said they didn’t see what I meant.

I couldn’t stand it; I had to know about those windows frames. I waited for the owners to leave on their annual month-long jaunt and snuck up to the house during siesta. I expected the stones to be hot when I ran my hands over them, but my skin sizzled on contact with the frames and I jerked my hand back with a cry. The windows and front door vanished, leaving three dark apertures gaping in the wall. Whispers called to me, insistent. I chose an opening and stepped inside.

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