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“The Octopus Nest” by Sophie Hannah, from her collection of short stories entitled “The Fantastic Book of Everyone’s Secrets,” is one of my all-time favorite shorts. I won’t spoil anything as you should go into this completely cold, save the opening paragraph. Tell me this doesn’t pull you right in:
It was the night I had hoped never to see: the front door wide open, Becky, our sitter, leaning out into the darkness as if straining to break free of the doorway’s bright rectangle, her eyes wide with urgency. When she saw our car, she ran out into the drive, then stopped suddenly, arms at her sides, looking at the pavement. Wondering what she would say to us, how she would say it.
OK, wow. Grab it.