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"The Haunted Glen": Having arrested Rob Morelli under suspicion of the murder of a corpse found on his property, Eve Coffin visits him in prison, hoping to make him give up the location of his missing step-daughter [[Bianca Morelli (Coff


Quote1 Galanthine potion isn't toxic in small doses. Even this much won't kill me right away. And I have it on good authority this is the only card I've got left to play. If I don't come back, tell Nate I'm sorry. Quote2
-- Eve Coffin



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Synopsis for "The Haunted Glen"

Having arrested Rob Morelli under suspicion of the murder of a corpse found on his property, Eve Coffin visits him in prison, hoping to make him give up the location of his missing step-daughter Bianca. Now that he's caught, he is unrepentant and open about having sexually abused her, prompting Eve to grab him by the scrotum, warning that she will pop his testicles if he doesn't tell her where Bianca is. Mockingly, he merely responds that Eve has turned her back on the legacy of the Coffin family. Even as she grips him tighter, he gleefully recites the old poem about the Coffin Hill witch. She responds that this won't free him as he grabs her by the wrist, plucking the pen from her hand. He suggests that if that's the case, he will see her in hell, repeatedly thrusting the pen into his own neck, spraying blood everywhere.

That night, Eve returns to Coffin Manor, making her way quietly to her old room, and plucking up the old Halloween mask she used to wear, along with a photo of her friends Mel and Dani, as they were before the incident. Then, from within the middle of a protective circle of salt, she calls on the spirits of those who came before. Having woken what evil lies in the Coffin Hill, she must put it to rest. It's already taken over Mel's body, and it's aiming to take Nate Finn as well.

The face who materializes from the ether in Eve's mirror is not her grandmother, but Dani - yet another victim of the evil within the woods. Eve tries to explain what she wants but Dani warns that she already knows. Eve cannot hide the goodness within her from her best friend - even if she is dead. All Dani wants to know is what Eve needs to make the evil within the woods pay for murdering her.

At his home, Nate receives a call from Officer Wilcox, warning him of Rob Morelli's suicide. Exasperated, but not altogether moved, he suggests she go to bed, and they'll deal with the paperwork in the morning. Looking out his window, he has to hang up, as he witnesses his girlfriend Mel slowly wading into the river behind his house, covered in blood. He rushes out to help her, but she turns on him, begging him to come with her, and dragging him under the water.

As Wilcox hangs up the phone, she is annoyed to receive another visit from Eve, who grabs an evidence bag from the Morelli case away from her, removing the bottle from within it, and drinking from it. Wilcox, horrified for a number of reasons, tries to call Nate back, worrying that whatever's in that bottle could kill Eve. Eve explains that the Galanthine Potion isn't toxic in small doses - and though she took a large dose, it won't kill her immediately. In any case, the potion might be the only card she has left to play in finding Bianca and stopping the evil forces about.

Galanthine potion is made from snow drops - a flower Eve's grandmother had loved to cultivate in her greenhouse. She'd used the potion to dream, using only a drop or two. More than that could make the spell turn on the user, so that they lose track of what is real and imagined. Eve surmises that Rob Morelli had used it to safely travel through the woods; to see past the evil twisting the way. Wandering into the woods herself, Eve assures herself that if she finds the missing teens, the potential loss of sanity is a fair price.

It is only moments before she comes upon the cabin, where she finds the missing kids naked and locked in cages, under guard by Mel, and the evil spirit possessing her. The spirit warns that she had told Eve about this. This is the Harvest. Sweating from her body's efforts to process the toxic potion, Eve challenges that the real Mel must have been dead ever since that night they unleashed the evil in the woods, nearly a decade ago. The spirit responds that she has been there, waiting, with no sacrifices to sustain her ever since Eve summoned her; too weak to do anything but crawl into Mel's body. Stumbling, Eve responds that that is the thing about bodies. They're fragile. With that, she collapses.

Meanwhile, Wilcox arrives at Nate's house just in time to pull him from the water, and save him from drowning.

Soon, Eve is among the other missing girls, naked as they, but the only one to retain control of her own mind. She beseeches the evil spirit to just keep whatever bone she has to pick between the two of them, and let the innocents go. The spirit responds that she doesn't even want Eve. Nobody does. Despite that, Eve deserves to be there if only because she managed to do what no Coffin witch had ever managed to do: set her free. Eve resigns herself to whatever's to come, and the spirit reveals that it has been in service to the Coffin family for generations - ever since the first Coffin came to this continent. So, naturally, it came as a shock when she was summoned for nothing, and left without any sustenance.

Eve stands, suggesting that it's time for this evil to leave, without seeing anybody else die. As she says this, she thrusts a knife through the demon's gut. It responds that Eve's predecessors had offered up the Harvest of souls, and Eve had failed to. She's not too keen on serving the Coffins anymore anyway. As the creature takes on Mel's form again, Eve points out that Mel has been dead for some time, and it's high time this evil joined her.

Unfortunately, Nate and the police arrive just in time to see Mel's body fall to the ground. He warns Eve away from her, and Eve tries to apologize. From Mel's mouth, the voice of the demon screeches to Eve that worse things than she reside in the Coffin Hill woods. The worst is not over. Seeing the truth of things, Nate puts a bullet through Mel's head. Again, Eve tries to apologize, but Nate explains that she has nothing to apologize for. She had told him the truth, and he'd failed to listen. He hugs her to him, but she warns that these kidnapped kids need him more than she does.

At her grandmother's grave, Eve and her mother Ellie discuss the truth of the Coffin Hill woods. Ellie had known about the evil there. She'd gone into them and she had succumbed to the evil's demands. She'd never warned Eve, though, hoping that Eve would have the strength she hadn't to fight. As a Coffin witch, losing isn't in her blood. Their conversation is interrupted by Nate, who is accompanied by Eve's old partner Greg Frost, who apologizes for what he has to do. He places her under arrest for the murder of officer Doyle Donovan.

In response, Eve faints.



Notes

  • This book was first published on March 12, 2014.
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