*Disclaimer : I am not trying to claim ownership or make money off of my story. I know that all ownership to the Hannibal Lecter series is Thomas Harris's, and in no way mine. And all the legal mumbo jumbo, etc, etc, so on and so forth.*
Ice clung to the branches of the trees that lined a deserted country road. Faint tire tracks lined the gravel path, showing that at least someone had ventured out into the bleak weather. It had been snowing for three days, a terrible snow that left travel only to those who absolutely had to venture from the comfort of their fireplaces. A young woman smiled as she admired the landscape that slowly passed by her as she rode her horse. She had needed to deliver milk to a neighbor who had a small child, and even though it was cold, the snow had broken and she was enjoying the way back home. As she closed her eyes and inhaled the cool winter air, she heard the faint sound of a car’s motor in the distance behind her. Slowing her horse, she waited to see who was coming. The only people that drove on this road were normally the few neighbors that also owned farms near where she lived, and this did not sound like that of a rickety old truck. Slowly, she saw a sleek black car close in. When it stopped about twenty feet away, she dismounted her horse and walked over. Tapping on the window, she met the smile of a young man, not much older than she.
“Can I help you sir?” She smiled back as he rolled down his window.
“I do believe that I am lost. I’m looking for the trapping farm of Mr. Grentz. Is it near here?”
“Grentz? Well, if you are looking for that oaf, than you are about 10 miles south of where you need to be. And, I do believe, your car is making some strange noises.” The woman had noticed that the car was making a very nasty sputtering sound from the distance, and sure enough, there was a trail of oil, like bread crumbs, behind the vehicle. The man looked puzzled. Stepping out of the car, he appeared both disappointed and angry. She felt bad for him, as she noticed from his accent that he was not from around here, and probably had urgent business with the local trapper.
“If you like, my brother can fix your car. But he won’t be back for about a week. He’s in
“I’m sorry, I didn’t even introduce myself. My name is Evelyn March, but everyone calls me Evey.” The man hesitated before he responded. Would news of his life in
“My name is
“It’s just up the road, not even a mile. You are welcome to ride my horse if you like.”
“Thank you, but I am fine walking.” She smiled again and trotted on. Even though he was a complete stranger, she felt somehow safe near him. And, she reasoned to herself, it would be nice to have company until her father and brother returned.
They arrived at the front of the house, and Evelyn tied her horse to the front mount. She opened the door for
“That was my mother’s piano. She played every day when she was alive.” Evelyn had walked in, her hands slightly covered in ash. She had let her hair down, and the red curls graced the bottom of her shoulders.
“If you like, I can show you the room you can stay in. I’ve started a fire in their as well, to keep it warm for you. I’m sorry to say that it has been colder than normal lately, and that there may be more snow tonight.” He nodded, grabbing his two leather bags, and followed her up the stairs. She opened the door to the spare room that doubled as a small library. Her brother did not think that she should have so many books in the house, but her father allowed it, as he allowed her to have most things that she wanted. She looked so much like her mother that he could not refuse her.
“You have a vast selection of books, Evelyn. Am I right to believe that they are all yours?”
“Yes, actually, they are.
Later that evening, after a well cooked meal and a pot of tea,
For three days he had stayed here with Evelyn, laying plans in his head of how to ensnare and lay rest to the demons that haunted his dreams. He spoke nothing of it to her, as he did not feel she needed to be exposed to the horrors of war. But she had heard stories of the Nazis’ destruction and terror, and somehow felt that he had been afflicted by their reign of terror. She saw the hollow look that sometimes overcame him.
He thought again and again of how he would dispose of Grentz. He was prepared to forgo the car, and perhaps borrow one her horses to get him to his destination. The elements could have his victim, except for a few choice cuts of meat, which would stay unspoiled due to the cold climate. He spent his days chopping wood, skinning rabbits, and playing the piano, while at night, he plotted his revenge. He kept a photo of Mischa in his wallet, which he had now placed on the table next to the bed, propped up against a copy of Hamlet. His only regret was the he was enjoying his stay, and was growing comfortable here with Evelyn. She was kind and gentle, yet seemingly unafraid of anything. He liked her spirit and her wit. He knew, however, his destiny was worlds away from hers.
“I did not mean to startle you. Please, let me look at your cut properly. I am a medical student.” She raised her hand to his, and he inspected her finger.
“It doesn’t hurt. I think I’ll be okay. And don’t worry about scaring me. I tend to get lost in my own thoughts.” She tore a piece of the towel and wrapped her finger, returning to the potatoes in the sink.
“I see that I am not the only one lost in thought. Is everything okay,
“I was just noticing your barn. It is a very large structure, even for cattle and horses.”
“Father usually has a large tractor in there, but it is at the next farm down the road for repair. My brother will not even look at the thing, let alone try to fix it. Not after he witnessed the farm accident last year that killed our mother. And my father, eager to keep him happy as well as me, sent it away to be fixed rather than worry my brother. “
“Your father sounds like a good man, Evelyn. Speaking of your horses, may I borrow one tomorrow, to go and see Mr. Grentz. I’m afraid my business with him is very pressing, and I can’t wait any longer.”
“Of course, what ever you need.” There was disappointment in her voice, as she hoped he would stay longer. But this was simply wishful thinking on her part. After all, she told herself, what would an attractive foreign man want to stay here with her for? That was something that happened in one of her many books, not her real life.
The rest of the day, Evelyn stayed inside reading while
The next morning, Evelyn awoke to find only the pillow next to her in bed. She smiled softly to herself, and rolled over. On the table next to her bed was a note.
I have borrowed your strongest horse and will return later tonight.
All day, her thoughts ran wild with images of last night. She had only been with one man before, and never realized intimacy could feel empowering. The way he had touched her, he made her feel like a goddess. She knew he would be leaving soon, to go back to medical school, or where ever he had come from. She also knew that her father and brother would return as well, and with it, her dream would end. She took it upon herself to cook the rabbits that
It was a little before that she heard
“Get out of here, now. Go!”
“Evelyn, go back to the house, please. You do not need to know what has happened.” His expression had changed from anger to pain. His eyes screamed of desperation as he hunched back over, holding his arm. She knew that he wasn’t a bad person, that what ever happened was something beyond her control. Taking a deep breath, she found the courage to walk over to him, but he held his uninjured arm out to stop her.
“You killed him, didn’t you? Grentz. You killed him.” She knew that Grentz was German, and had not been in the area long. He had kept to himself, sometimes shooting intruders that entered his property unannounced. She also remembered the police asking questions about him once. She put all of these thoughts together in her mind, and it started to make sense to her. Perhaps he was a Nazi, and war criminal. It was all clear to her now. And whatever
“What are you doing, Evelyn?”
“You will need to burn your clothes, and any other evidence from tonight. If the police come asking questions about Grentz, they will surely ask you, being a stranger here. Please, you must burn everything.”
He was standing beside her now, and he reached out his hand to caress her face. She placed her hand on his, closing her eyes.
“Because what ever you have done, he has done worse. I’m not ignorant,