“Jeremy! There you are my hard working young man. Did the smell of fresh baked pie bring you in? Shall I cut you a piece? It’s peach pie. Nice fresh peach pie.” She waved the knife in front of his face with a gleam in her eye. He felt his knees tremble.
“Um, yeah, that would be great.” He stepped aside to let her through to the kitchen. He wasn’t inclined to turn his back to her.
She cut him a piece of pie and then poured him a glass of milk. She sat down and put the knife on the table in front of her. He couldn’t take his eyes off of it.
“You like this knife? It belonged to my grandmother. It’s such good quality. From the old country you know.”
He nodded with a mouthful of pie and looked out the window at the driving rain. Would it never stop?
She followed his eyes. “Yeah, it’s still coming down. The weatherman says there’s a trough that’s parked itself over this entire area. No end is sight he said.”
Jeremy said nothing. The pie was incredibly good. She sat there staring at him. He finally had to speak.
“Well, I’m done with the wood. I’ll bring some in for tonight and stack it by the fireplace.”
“Such a good boy. You’re so wonderful. I could just eat you up!”
His fork stopped halfway to his mouth and he had to will himself to keep it moving.
She yawned. “My lord. I’m feeling rather tired. I believe I’ll take a nap if you don’t mind. Would you like fried chicken for dinner? You look like a boy who loves fried chicken.”
“Sure, that would be great.”
He sat at the table finishing his milk as she headed off to her room for a nap. His mind was a jumble of thoughts. He wanted to leave but he knew he’d never get anywhere with the weather the way it was. At the same time he realized he was enjoying where he was. She was strange, that was for sure, but she was nice too.
He decided that if he was going to be stuck in the house for a few more days he should try to find out more about his host. There was the matter of the phone conversations after all. He got up and walked to her door quietly and put his ear against it. She was snoring. Time to have a look around.
He went to the living room and studied the photos on the walls. Relatives he guessed. He thumbed through a few magazines lying on the coffee table. Gardening, gossip rags, knitting stuff. Nothing there that would tell him anything. His eye fell on a cabinet against the far wall and he walked over and tired the doors. It was locked. Strange, he thought, there was no indication anywhere that anyone else had lived in the house recently. If she lived alone why would she need to lock the cabinet?
On a whim he felt around on the surface underneath. His hand found an object taped to the underside that felt very much like a key. He pulled it loose and brought it out. Sure enough, it fit the lock. He opened the doors and looked inside. What he found made his jaw drop.
There were some strange ritual objects, candleholders, an incense burner, some black candles and several ancient looking books. He took one of them out and looked at the cover. It was embossed with a faded black pentagram. He opened to a random page and began reading. He couldn’t believe his eyes. It was a how-to book on black magic. His host was a witch.
He put the book back and took out another one, a small slim volume with no title. It was blood red and the pages were gilt edged. He opened it to the title page. It read: Concerning the Matter of Ritual Human Sacrifice.
It slipped from his hands and fell to the floor. He stood staring at it for many long moments.
Part 5 Tomorrow