If you haven’t already seen it you can find Part 1 here:

The lady at 54 (Part 1)

Had I got my way I would’ve made my excuses and headed home immediately to lay my eyes on the treasure stuffed beneath my shirt but my friend Joey, who pushed me toward the bin, outed me in front of everyone.

“What did you get?”

I paused and quickly ran through my options in my head. I could lie but the bulge on my stomach was barely hidden. If Joey, or somebody else, decided to challenge me with a little wrestle my secret would be out and questions would be asked. It would reiterate their stupid song, they would say I loved her or was obsessed. They would say I was under the witch’s spell. Maybe I was. I made my choice, or at least it was made for me.

“Take a look at this” I responded with a smug, cat that got the cream tone to my voice.

The prawn cocktail crisp wrapper was a disappointing start but beneath it was a single piece of lined paper with something scribbled on, an unopened letter and the notebook. The piece of lined paper was fortunate to remain intact as it was snatched by one of the girls, causing the letter to fall to the ground too. Upon inspection of the notebook there was a receipt stuck to the back; nothing too interesting, just looked like a standard weekly shop but from a supermarket quite far away.

I opened the front cover of the notebook to put the receipt inside and was upset to see the first page had nothing written upon it. I looked down at the letter on the floor but it was being picked up and opened by Donny, the youngest of us who had come with me and Joey and opened the bin before hiding behind us. The majority of the group had followed Tara, the girl who snatched the piece of paper, and as Donny drew attention to himself reading the letter aloud I slipped the notebook back under my t-shirt.

“Ms Lana Finch” he bellowed.

That must be her name. ‘Ms’ I repeated in my head. Divorced maybe? But she still has her family name, did divorced women go back to their old name but take on Ms to let people know they used to be married? I had no idea.

“Despite our efforts to call on the number you provided” Donny continued “we have been unsuccessful in trying to contact you. Your library card is ready to be collected from the front desk at your discretion. We look forward to seeing you again and welcome you as a member to Maybrook public library”

I expected something more exciting from a so-called witch but before anybody could comment Tara screeched;

“Oh my god you guys listen to this” she raised the scrap of paper she had commandeered slightly above her eye level, lauding it over the others as she strutted around us. She continued to recite:

He took my hand, my heart, me head

I took him home, and up to bed

Together at last but gone too fast

Now he’s with her, now he is dead

How do I bury him, how do I keep my secret so?

I cannot do this, I cannot tell a soul

I killed, I killed, he didn’t have to die

And now he haunts me

Until I break, until I cry

Tara’s volume was inconsistent and her voice broke a couple of times but her pauses at key moments really added to the drama. We were all silent for a moment, looking at one another before seemingly everyone began talking over each other.

“I told you”

“She’s actually a murderer”

“Definitely a witch”

“We have to call the police”

I walked over to Tara and asked to see the paper but she crumpled it and stuffed it in to her pocket

“No way, I’m keeping this safe!” She barked

Before she scrunched it up I could see there was more written on the paper so I was naturally annoyed but I was trying to stick to my plan of looking aloof and disinterested.

Joey looked at me and I knew he was about to ask about the notebook but to my relief Donny’s watch began beeping, telling us it was 8pm.

“Shit, gotta go. Meet back here in the morning?” He announced, more than asked

We all agreed and headed off in our own ways. I left in something between a walk and a jog hoping nobody caught up to me and before I knew I was home breathing heavily eager to open the notebook and find out more about Ms Lana Finch.

The lady at 54 (Part 3)