DEAD RINGER

by James Baxter

(Published in 2017 in Simply Horror: Seeds of Nightmares)

BOSTON, MASSACHUSSETS

1832

Dead Ringer - Kindle CoverI stood nearby, but obscurely away from the crowd, hidden from them by their own absorption into remorse as the priest made his final remarks over the small coffin. It was a beautiful piece of art, made of steel with a beautiful powder blue brush finish, adorned with gold plated ornaments on the corners and every curve of its shape.  Around the edges and equally spaced were small, intricately detailed mermaid ornaments around the entire body of the coffin. It would have appeared that the wee lass was a fan of mermaids.  Interestingly enough, mermaids were not the kind loving creature children’s fairy tale authors would have one believe; in fact, they were just the opposite. Aquatic beasts who would lure seaman towards rocks and sandbars in an effort to shipwreck them.  In fact, they –

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