I had never before met this man, this gnarled old usurper who lounged on furniture emblazoned with my ancestors' crest. I had never seen those flint-sharp eyes floating in a sea of overlapping wrinkles. And yet within that crumpled flesh I read hatred and bitterness and treachery. This man had murdered my grandfather, and his face bore the guilt of it.
“Miss Em?” Florence called softly from the doorway. The woman—perhaps it was a woman—in the bed was fragile and hollow as a teacup. Her white hair wisped and curled around her skull, and her eyes looked like stones dropped in deep snow. She opened her mouth and made a weak, kitten-ish sound. Florence nodded and bent to adjust the pillow.