Fantasy Horror Strange friendship Monsters hidden in plain sight yarn

The One Thing I Can Never Tell Julie

By Laura Blackwell
3,972 words · 15-minute reading time

From the author: Nicole and Julie have been friends for years, and they seem inseparable...but when a strange presence invades their knitting group, everything starts to change.

One cool Tuesday evening in June, Julie and I walked into Three Little Knittens to find Marie-Grace arranging Filipino bakery cookies, ever so carefully, with a napkin-wrapped hand. Across the room, nerdy Bill hunched awkwardly over four knitting needles and a swath of red-orange wool. He gave us an unaccustomed grin. On the edge of the chair next to him, dividing wide-eyed attention between Bill’s handiwork and Marie-Grace’s cookie mosaic, perched a thin woman.

The new person looked so unassuming, so innocuous, my eyes slid away from her. She had a blank, unwrinkled face, and I think her hair was a dull brown. I remember that she wore an ill-fitting gray dress, with no coat or even a scarf to take the edge off the ocean breeze that chilled San Francisco’s Outer Richmond District. Her hands lay slack in her lap.

Another knitting-circle regular, Svitlana, sailed in and shut the door with enough force to make its glass pane shudder. “It’s cold,” she said sternly. “Why you call this...

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