Someone has been murdering neighborhood animals—stabbing squirrels, rabbits, cats, dogs, and leaving them to die, or sometimes even arranging them into various poses. An unnamed eight-year-old boy in the neighborhood grieves the death of his twin brother, Colm, from cancer. He reveals that he has known the murderer's identity for months. It's his neighbor Molly Pitcher—a young, well-liked white girl who was recently orphaned— who, one day in July, had shown him her long, bejeweled dagger while he was reading on his roof. Later that night, Molly had snuck to his bedroom window to lead him to a golf course, where he watched her stab a rabbit. Over the next few months, the pair continue sneaking out at night, and their victims grow in size and number: from rabbits to cats, dogs, and then eventually a horse. Each night reminds the boy of Colm in different ways; the rumble of a train, the reflection in the dying's horse's eyes. His memories grow stronger and more visceral until he becomes convinced that the deaths bring him closer to reuniting with Colm. He also believes that each death brings Molly closer to reviving her dead parents. Eventually, he watches Molly stab the local sheriff. Good Samaritans find the sheriff's body and prevent him from dying; Molly is furious that her murder was foiled. Finally, Molly lures him into the middle of an iced-over lake, and takes photos of him before attempting to stab him. Once the blade enters his skin, he hears Colm command him to begin screaming. He screams and runs home, knowing that behind him, Molly has turned the knife on herself. At home, he cries, because in his mind's eye he has seen Colm finally shake his head and disappear, and he knows that he will no longer have his brother to keep him company.