She was a beautiful child, a perfect child. With her blonde hair and baby doll prettiness, she was the picture of angelic innocence. Phillip Baxter pushed aside his uneasiness about his strangely self-possessed daughter. She was just an ordinary kid. And, to his relief, she did act like an ordinary kid when he brought home a special present just for her . . .
Alone in her room, Nora couldn’t wait to open the antique jack-in-the-box. She couldn't wait to watch the hand-carved clown’s head bob back and forth, its glass eyes staring at her, its lips drawn back into an insane grin. Any other little girl might have cringed in horror. But as Nora’s wide eyes mirrored the grotesque wooden face, her pink lips were curving into the same malicious smile . . .