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"A Fitting Grave": Police Chief Nate Finn is having trouble maintaining his denial that there is something evil in the Coffin Hill woods. For years, he has suppressed the memory of what he saw ten years ago to his friends [[Melanie
- I know there's something in the woods. I saw it. I've told myself different every day since.. but I saw what it did to Dani and Mel. I saw what it did to you.
- -- Nathan Finn
Appearing in "A Fitting Grave"
- Eve Coffin (Flashback and main story)
- Police Chief Nate Finn (Flashback and main story)
- Melanie LeFevre (Flashback and main story)
- Ellie Coffin
- Dr. Sheehan (Dies)
- Coffin Manor
- Barclay Hospital for the Insane
Synopsis for "A Fitting Grave"
Police Chief Nate Finn is having trouble maintaining his denial that there is something evil in the Coffin Hill woods. For years, he has suppressed the memory of what he saw ten years ago to his friends Mel, Dani, and Eve. Now that Eve Coffin has returned to the town that is her family's namesake, the truth is coming back to him. A former cop herself, Eve has insinuated herself upon his missing persons case, determined to find a girl named Lacey before the evil in the forest takes her. Upon finding a cache of human remains, Nate calls back to his backup, requiring crime scene investigators. Eve, shaken by a vision of her past, is taken back to his car, with the promise that he will take her home - but not to her home.
Not long after arriving at Nate's place, the tension between them reaches its peak, and he kisses her. They spend a night of passion together, falling asleep in his bed. Come sunrise, though, Eve slips out of bed, leaving a note that reads "I'm not sorry. - E" As she passes through his kitchen on her way out of his house, she notices car parts on his table. She does not, however, notice a family portrait in which every face but Nathan's has been blacked out.
Aware that sneaking out on him won't help their friendship, Eve determines that she still must return to Coffin Manor and complete her business there. The first of that business is speaking with her mother Ellie, who bitterly greets her from her wheelchair. Coldly, she warns that Eve can't simply come back after ten years of absence, and treat their home like a motel. She is particularly upset to have been forced to learn of Eve's being shot from the television. Eve's retort aggravates her mother into verbally abusing her, and Eve silences her by causing the stained glass window behind them to shatter. Disappointed, Eve decides it would be best to leave.
Eve decides instead to go to the Barclay Hospital for the Insane, where her friend Mel is a patient. While waiting for her visit to be approved by a doctor, an unstable patient approaches her and begins reciting the same rhyme about the Witch of Coffin Hill that she and her friends had said on the night they accidentally unleashed evil on the forest; the night that Mel went mad. Fortunately, Dr. Sheehan appears, and calms the patient, recognizing Eve from her visits in the past. On their way to Mel's room, a corpse wheels by on a gurney, and Sheehan warns that suicide is all too common at mental institutions. Mental sickness wears down the physical body.
The doctor warns that Melanie has not made much progress, even in ten years. While Eve saw horrors and survived, Mel saw those same horrors, and seems to have shorted out her mental circuits. Cautiously, Eve approaches her friend and reminds Mel of her, warning that there are kids missing in the woods, and what happened to them is happening again. She needs Mel's help. Looking down into Mel's lap, Eve notices bruises on her wrists, and the doctor explains that she had been restrained after a violent episode. Eve becomes angry, taking her friend's hands in her own, but Mel takes them back, instead, violently gripping Eve's wrists. She places her lips next to Eve's ear and whispers, "The Harvest. It's coming." She releases Eve, and begins seizing violently, prompting the doctor to call in nurses to sedate her. Backing out of the room, Eve bumps into the patient she's encountered before, who offers her a drawing she did, warning that she knows who Eve really is.
Nate is annoyed to learn that Eve went to visit Mel without telling him. He reminds that Mel is not a healthy individual, and that it is he who visited her for the last decade. And in all that time, he never saw her behave as anything but an occasionally violent zombie. Officer Wilcox interrupts him, reporting that a woman outside claims her daughter went missing in the woods the previous night. That woman is Gina Morelli - Dani's mother.
Gina's remaining daughter Bianca has disappeared in the woods, and she is not happy to learn that Eve is back in town. Preemptively, Eve explains that she shouldn't be there, and apologizes. Angrily, Gina slaps her face, reminding that Danielle is dead because of her. After speaking to Nate, Eve agrees it would be best if she left, making him promise to ask whether Bianca is into the same things that Dani was.
Ten years ago, Nate had warned Eve that she shouldn't keep dabbling in witchcraft, as it puts her and their friends in harm's way, whether real or not. Eve, though, was determined to go to the next level. She mocked him, jeering at him as he left. Suddenly, screams caught his attention, and he turned back around to see horrors befalling the girls. Rather than intervene, he ran for his life.
That night, Eve breaks into Barclay, and sneaks into Mel's room. Unfortunately, Mel is missing. Sighing, Eve pulls out her pistol and heads down to the morgue. In the hall, she hears someone calling weakly for help, and quietly opens the door to see Dr. Sheehan operating. He is aware of her presence, and comments that his expertise lies in thoracic surgery. He went to Haiti with Doctors Without Borders, and learned the power of voodoo. Attempting to recreate their magic at the hospital, he realized how to reanimate the dead nearly a decade ago. He warns that she shouldn't have returned. Grabbing her by the hair, he places a scalpel to her throat, and explains that he's got plenty of live bodies to experiment with. Before he can kill her, though, a clang signals the sound of a surgical tray knocking him over the head, and Eve scrambles out of his grip in time to watch Mel thrust the scalpel into Dr. Sheehan's neck. She reaches for Eve's hand, and suggests they get out of there, finally.
- This book was first published on December 11, 2013.
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