South of Buffalo, just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, there was a lone cottage tucked away in the woods at the end of a long driveway. The cottage was quaint looking with red painted shutters, a tumbled stone facade, and a collection of cute little windmills that stood spinning lazily outside the front door. Well shaded by trees, the cottage could not be seen by passing vehicles.
While the house was pleasant looking on the outside, the couple who lived inside was anything but. With a long standing mutual hatred of one another, they bickered and fought, but had never seen fit to get a divorce. Rarely seen together when they ventured out in public, they preferred to stay secluded in their cottage hidden away from the world.
Alone in their home with no real friends or family nearby, it came as a surprise to both of them, when one morning there came the sound of a vehicle approaching. Looking out through a crack in the drapes, the husband cast a wary eye on a man as he stepped out of his car at the end of their driveway. He gazed sullenly at the man as he shut the car door and then paused briefly at the mailbox. The husband watched as the man ran his fingers over the name etched into the side of it - Yoder.
He was dressed in a business suit with a hat tilted down to cover his eyes. Straightening suddenly, the man resumed his slow walk up the driveway, his head high as though he were smelling the brisk fall air. A small grin appeared on his face as he looked around. It seemed to the husband that the man was reminiscing, but what exactly about was anyone’s guess - he closed the drapes tightly and waited for the mysterious man to reach his front door. Finally there was a knock.
“Randy get the door, I hear someone knocking.” A woman yelled from the kitchen.
Shuffling to the door, Randy grumbled under his breath, “Yeah I already knew that, you hag.”
He opened the door, expecting to see the man who had been walking up the driveway. Instead he was greeted by an empty front stoop. He glanced around quickly for who had knocked. He saw no one. Walking back inside he scratched his head and mumbled to himself as he shut the door behind him.
“You’re hearing things woman, there’s no one out there!” Randy said tersely as he picked up the remote and turned on the TV. He held his finger over the volume button already mentally tuning out the nonsense his wife would undoubtedly start spewing any second now.
The kitchen remained silent however, and Randy began to feel the hair on the back of his neck stand up. His wife was never quiet. Certainly not after he’d baited her like he’d just done. He got up and walked into the kitchen, his curiosity piqued.
“Betty, are you in here?” he asked, his voice wavering slightly with uncertainty. Randy saw no one. Last night’s dishes were piled up in the sink, soapy water filling half of it. Glancing over at the kitchen table he saw a note sitting on it. Picking it up he read the single line scrawled on it. His hand began to shake as he processed what he’d just read. The words echoed in his head.
“I knew an old lady who swallowed a fly… perhaps she’ll die.” Chills went down his spine.