Continuing on my goal to catch up with the Deal Me In Short Story Challenge, for the Five of Hearts I read "The People Across the Canyon" by Margaret Millar.
The story starts with Marion Borton worrying about neighbors moving across the canyon. She is not happy about giving up her privacy in the secluded area where she and her husband had been the first to build a home. Her husband, Paul, thinks that this is a good thing; maybe the new neighbors will have some children that their eight-year-old daughter Cathy can play with. In the following days, Cathy reports on meeting the new couple at the house and seems to be obsessed with them. They represent all the things that her parents are not, in her eyes.
The end of the story is very haunting and a bit creepier than I usually like. Yet I enjoyed the way that the story is presented and I didn't expect the twists that it takes.
This story was originally published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, October 1962. It has since been published in several anthologies: A Century of Great Suspense Stories, ed. Jeffery Deaver; Los Angeles Noir 2: The Classics, ed. Denise Hamilton; and most recently published in Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives, ed. Sarah Weinman.
The story is available here, read by Douglas Greene, publisher of Crippen & Landru.
My list of short stories is here. Jay at Bibliophilopolis hosts the challenge.