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Getting Rid of a Meddlesome Sister When One is Able (13 May)


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The tavern was like so many in London's east side, filled with noise, smoke, and watered ale. In a corner sat a woman with a hood kept over her head. It seemed she did not wish to be recognized so easily. With her sat two men -- one an older man dressed in black and a large mute man beside him.


"This ... witch. She is not an old crone?" asked the older man, trying to clarify his understanding. Most witches were old and ugly women. Everyone knew that, including this witchfinder.


"No, she has an unearthy beauty and an unearthly voice. It is said that she can sing in such a wy as to make men wish to kill themselves," came the feminine voice under the hood. "Yet, the Devil has left his mark upon her, for she walks with a limp."


"How do I know that she is just not a rival of yours that you wish to get into trouble?" came the blunt question from Reverend Able. There was a long pause before the women answered. She folded back part of her hood, revealing the face of a woman that could not be said to possess unearthly beauty. "Do you think I could ever rival such a woman? No, I have just seen signs that she can bewitch men and thought to find an expert on the subject of witchcraft."


"Do you think I have time to chase this nonsense?" the witchunter muttered as he finished his ale, ready to rise and depart. "There is a vampire loose in the city. It has killed half a dozen people. My duty is to find it again and kill it," he tried to explain.


"And what reward shall you have Reverend when you capture this beast? A man could go hungry doing the Lord's work. You need better weapons surely, and plenty to eat so that you might be strong. Surely giving me a fortnight of your time for say ... 50 pounds would prove to be helpful in continuing your good works to rid this world of witches and devil-spawn."


"Fifty pounds?" The number stopped the old hunter. It was more than he might earn in a year. "Just what do you have in mind?" he asked with obvious interest.


"Why, just do what it is you do Reverend. Search for witches and, if you should find one, ... burn her," came the voice with no hint of remorse.

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