The woman at the window was dead. I knew because it was my sister. She appeared whenever we left the house. We no longer looked around up at the top floor to see the dark shape behind the thin lace curtain. We had seen her too many times before, her wretched, contorted face imprinted on our minds.
Martha died in a house fire seven years ago. Accident after she left a burning candle on her bedside cabinet overnight. It tipped over as her blankets were thrown back during a nightmare. Dad couldn't reach her in time as the room had been engulfed in flames. Standing outside the family could see her at the window crying out. The sash had jammed. The fire crew too late by the time the glass had been broken.
No matter what kind of curtains we put up in that room, we could still see her.
We knew that Martha would never leave us, even if we moved house