“He had it coming to him.” Even though she spoke forcefully, Agatha’s voice trembled. “After everything he did.”
Candace closed the cottage door and leaned on it. She nodded, but she couldn’t seem to find her voice. Her sister was right. Todd Dewar had been a bad person who had done some very bad things. No one knew that better than Candace, who could still feel his warm liquored-up breath on her neck when she closed her eyes. She remembered the way he had follow her through the forest; how she had caught him spying on her in her most intimate moments. Candace shuddered.
When she’d first met Todd, she thought he was kind of sweet, even though he was a bit too old for her taste. He’d helped out in her classroom from time to time, which was a boon on those rainy days when all the children had to stay inside for recess. He was good with the kids and Candace had been quite partial to his smile.
But then the children had started disappearing. They’d been picked off one by one, vanishing into the night. The whole town had been on edge. Parents terrified to let their children leave the house, even to go to school.
It was around that time that Todd had started acting strangely. One morning, Candace had found him snooping through her desk. Although he claimed to be looking for a pencil, Candace knew better. She’d put a lock on her desk and told the office she didn’t need Todd’s help any more.
Then he had started following her outside of the school, turning up everywhere Candace went. The post office. The gym. The grocery store. That’s when Candace had told Agatha about him. Her sister had insisted she take action.
“You need to call the police and report him for stalking,” Agatha had said. “File a restraining order against him.”
But Candace had been afraid of what he might do.
And then, one night, Todd had ambushed her in the woods. He had waited for her in the dark, hidden behind an old oak tree. As she walked past, he’d leapt out and grabbed her, pressing her against the tree so she couldn’t escape.
“I know what you are Ms. Jaeger,” he’d whispered in her ear as the alcohol on his breath flooded her nose. “I have pictures—”
“Candace!” Agatha’s voice calling for her had interrupted Todd.
“I’ll be back for you,” he’d said, releasing her, “and for your sister.” The he’d turned and disappeared into the woods.
Agatha had been livid when Candace explained what had happened. But she’d stroked her sister’s head and told her she would take care of it. True to her word, Agatha had met Candace at their special place in the woods the following evening, an unconscious Todd in tow.
He was older than their usual victims, which made getting him into the oven a bit tricky. Teenagers and their long gangly limbs. Because of his age, neither Agatha nor Candace wanted to eat him, but his bones could be ground up to use in spells, and his organs would make excellent fertilizer for their garden. After all, they both knew the key to winning the County Fair award for biggest pumpkin was all in the heart.
So the sisters set to work, neatly disposing of Todd’s remains. What wasn’t used for spells and fertilizer went into the pumpkin stew they would feed the remaining children. The full moon would be here soon and no self-respecting witch would ever sacrifice a mangy child.
Agatha put her arm around Candace and kissed her sister’s cheek. “We’d better go,” she said. “Daylight’s coming and you have to get ready for school.”
This is my submission for this week’s Speakeasy #129. Come and read all the other fantastic submissions, then come back and vote for your three favourites on Thursday (that’s tomorrow!).
This week, we had to the following opening line: He had it coming to him. We also had to make some kind of reference to this photograph: