Yellow and red leaves spun around my face as I tramped up the cracked sidewalk to the Bottom Dollar Emporium. It was October in Cayboo Creek, South Carolina, and the fall air felt crisp as a pickle fresh out of the brine. The store's candy-striped awning flapped in the breeze as I rummaged in my smock pocket for my key. On my day off, I noticed, Mavis had decorated the display window with cutouts of jack-o'-lanterns and black cats. A grinning cardboard skeleton with accordion-pleated legs swung from the front entrance.
As I pushed open the door, a horrible moan sounded from somewhere above my head. I screamed, but not...