1: ELIZABETH

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Elizabeth

There are whispers in the apple trees. I hear them as we look up at the maid hanging by her neck from the branches.

What a display.

The corpse has only been there for a few hours but the skin already looks putrid. Her eyes are wide and bulging – caught in a permanent stare as though the disgusting thing is looking right at me.

My husband, Bradley, promptly vomits on the dirt – dribbling all over the fallen apples.

"Bradley!" I scorn. "Keep a hold of yourself!"

He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand and looks up at me. It's like he is seeing me for the first time.

"Oh my God...No...Please...?"

I give him a look.

"You don't like it? Well you shouldn't have fucked her then should you, darling?"

I turn back towards the old manor house, stopping at the twisted iron gates leading out of the orchard. I smile sweetly.

"Be a lamb – bury her under the tree. Then go get cleaned up. We're interviewing a new maid this afternoon. Then we'll have apple strudel for dinner! That's your favourite right, darling?"

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