The tidy parlor smelled of decay and burning. Hand over her nose, Eustace scanned the floors, furniture and walls for the smell’s source. But the only disorder in her orderly room was the jumble of toys the twins left on the sofa. The boys were gone, but somehow she still felt their presence with an animal sense. They often hid at bath time. Her nephews inherited their father’s violet eyes, blond hair, and his tendency to flee any responsibility.
“Rene, I want you to leave now,” Eustace said to the old man sitting on her grandmother’s favorite chair. “You filled the twins’ heads with enough voodoo nonsense.”
“There’s the matter of payment,” he said.
“I’m not paying my brother’s debts.”
“I thought you might say that,” he said, still and coiled like a snake ready to strike.
A chill of unease spread through Eustace. Rene rose from the chair to pluck two identical male dolls from the toy pile. He gently sat them side by side, their blond heads back, eyes shut. Eustace watched as their eyelids fluttered open, revealing the twins’ violet eyes.
“RENE!” she screamed in horror. “What have you done to my nephews?”