"Can I get you something to go with that? Milk, maybe?"

Clara shook her head. She couldn't answer because her mouth was practically overflowing with pie. The dessert may have seemed like bait to get her to Greg and Darlene's house, but as far as bait goes, it was delicious.

Clara swallowed once, then again. "No, thank you," she managed to get out.

"Don't push the poor girl," Greg said from across the cavernous living room. Their house was filled with artifacts – old photos, classic movie posters, antique toys, collectibles, and a gallery's worth of original art.

"I'm not pushing!" Darlene said playfully. "I'm just being a good host – something you could learn from!"

Clara looked outside. Greg and Darlene's house was a corner property, so the foot traffic she saw through the window gave her comfort. She'd agreed to come more out of fear of saying no than from actually wanting to see their house. But now that she was inside, she realized that the couple's collection of stuff might be helpful in figuring out whatever had been going on with Aunt Maureen and the recent weirdness.

"I resemble that remark," Greg said with a wink. He crossed the room carrying a rusty gothic lantern. Its handle was an expertly sculpted bat with thick fangs seemingly sunk into the metal housing. He handed it to Clara and said, "Check this out."

Clara held the piece, rotating it around as she examined its surface. The weight and age of the object was impressive.

"This is really cool," she said. "How old is it?"

Greg gave her a proud grin. "I made it last week."

Clara looked at the lantern again. "No," was all she could say as she took a closer look at the lantern. Its degradation still seemed completely believable.

Darlene walked over and took a seat on the couch next to Clara. "He's not kidding," she said. "Greg's been making those since the Castle days."

"Yep," Greg said. "And I'm still using the same molds from back then. Two just like this hung in the Castle's dining hall."

"That is amazing," Clara said. "What a creative place that must have been to work."

Greg nodded. "Especially for a teenager who dreamed of being a Hollywood prop maker."

"Did you ever get to do that?" Clara asked. "Work in movies?"

Darlene nodded. "For a bit. We spent the nineties in L.A. working in film and TV," she said.

"Oh wow," Clara said. "That must have been fun."

"Sure was," said Greg. "But truthfully, I never had as much freedom as I did working at Breach Point Castle. That place was a teenager's fantasy! All us guys were into horror movies, acting, special effects. And Carlo, the owner, gave us a huge say in the way things were done."

"We created our own characters," Darlene said. "Designed our own props and sets, too. It really was our creation. It might sound corny, Clara, but we loved every inch of that castle. It was a very special place."

"I'm sure it was," Clara said. She felt more comfortable now, and thought about how people were at their best when discussing their passions. "Were you able to get anything out before the fire?" she asked.

Greg looked away. "A few things."

Clara could tell she'd touched a sensitive area and decided to change the subject. "So... is this what you do for your job now?" she asked.

Darlene looked to Greg. When he didn't answer immediately, she said, "After we moved back to the East Coast, Greg took a job as a warehouse manager for a shipping company. He made his art on the side until six years ago. Online sales started to pick up--"

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