“Coming” says a woman from inside the cottage. The young man lets go of the air that had been building up inside his lungs and takes a step back to allow the door to be opened unhindered. At hearing her voice he felt relief wash over him, but at the same time, he is surprised at receiving such a normal response. Did he imagine the scream? But how can it be so, after all, he had heard it with such clarity.
The door opens slowly and whilst releasing a grinding sound. The woman standing before him seems middle-aged, and she regards him with a smile plastered on her tiny mouth, a smile that looks quaint on her otherwise hard-featured face. He clears his dry throat before speaking up “Hello madam, my name is Jacob. I heard a scream from up here and I thought to go see if everything’s okay”. “Hello Jacob, I am Alice” answers the woman in a monotone voice. “Everything is fine as you can see, but thanks for the concern”. “That’s good to hear” says Jacob, but at the same time perturbed by the woman’s peculiar manner and the terrifying scream still fresh in his mind. Could that really have been the wind?
From inside the cottage wafts a smell of newly baked bread and carrots, and in response Jacob’s stomach releases a hungry growl. The smile on the woman’s face becomes even more pronounced, the ends of her mouth caving up in a way that seems almost inhuman. “Why don’t you come inside and join me for supper” Jacob returns her smile, he really is hungry, and here is a gentle woman offering him food, how could he refuse? The scream must have ben his mind playing tricks on him, no wonder with his current state of exertion. Jacob returns her smile “That would be wonderful”” Alice takes hold of Jacob’s hand “come on in then, dinner’s getting cold” but just as the young man is about the enter the house he freezes in his tracks as he for the first time notices the blood stains on her shirt. “What are you waiting for” says Alice, but somehow her smile seems less inviting and more predatory. “On second thought…” He turns around, but just as he is about to walk outside he feels himself being dragged into the house. The door shuts itself behind him with a loud “Thump”
To be continued…