"The Painted Castle" by Karen Murdarasi (Tie for 3rd Place) (1)
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"Why do they call it 'The Painted Castle'?" Jules asked her husband, leaning over him to look at the computer screen.

            "Your guess is as good as mine," answered Mark. "According to the website, there are a lot of theories, but nobody really knows. Anyway, that's it booked. Weekend in the countryside, here we come!"

            There was plenty of countryside, as it turned out; more than enough for Mark and Jules to get lost several times on the way to Anderswick. Signs to the village almost seemed to have been designed to be deliberately confusing. Tempers were frayed by the time they finally parked in the tiny guesthouse car park, but the sight of the large iron fireplace in...

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