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Clough

The missing girl’s name was Emma-Jane. She was five. She hadn’t been seen since three o’clock the previous afternoon. She’d been out on the moor with her parents. They’d lost sight of her when the weather had turned, and chased around in the dark for over an hour before running down to the village to get help. They weren’t local. They were staying in one of the Harvey family’s barn conversions. They’d enjoyed being there so much last summer that they’d immediately booked again for Christmas. They were absolutely beside themselves.

This had all come from Irene, who did the cleaning on changeover days at the Harveys’ and had come round last night claiming to remember the girl from the summer. She was bright as a button, apparently. A dear little thing. The story going round was that when she’d sat down and refused to go any further, they’d walked on ahead and assumed she would follow. They’d waited round the corner for no more than a minute or two, and when they’d gone back to scoop her up, their patience running thin and the weather threatening, she’d vanished.

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