Down a Dusty Lane
October sighed, sending shivers down the spine of silver birches and rust crowned oaks. Lingering sunbeams dissolved into dusk as my footsteps echoed down lamp lit streets.
I trembled when I passed the church. Saint Mary’s stony facade loomed grimly overhead while I clutched the dagger hard in my hand. God knew my evil errand. He saw my blackened heart.
Stately brick houses and gray cobbled sidewalks slowly gave way to a drear dusty lane, snaking its way to the outskirts of town.
I wondered if I would go through with it. I wondered what it would cost me.
The stars seemed to tremble and quiver from their clear sighted heights, hoping for clouds to cover their eyes. But into the darkening eve my footsteps quickened, repelling the pleading, disconsolate heavens.
If he received my summons, he would come. He would meet me right where I stood.
Silence skulked into the gloom. I passed a shadowy apple tree by the side of the road, its shiny crimson fruit vivid in the moonlight. The crickets hushed, the breeze lulled and the sound of my breath seemed a storm in the stillness.
Ahead, an old wooden sign post was tilting and faded. It tipped to the side like a crazy old scarecrow, tired from lurching at critters and crows.
Here, the road split and I stood where it parted. Church bells chimed midnight from their far-off abode. Not a soul was about, except the one in my breast, which now wavered restless and pulled at the moorings.
Glinting with villainous purpose, the dagger emerged from my heavy wool cloak. I held out my hand and slit open my palm. Blood pattered and dripped in the dirt by my feet, corrupting the ground with a damnable stain.
Turning, I stabbed my dripping blade into the rotting road post! My heart hammered hard as I murmured my wish and waited…and waited.
Nothing but an inky emptiness crept through the crossroads.
And then, a cold foul breath kissed the back of my neck and I knew…the devil was here for a deal.