Dance with the Devil
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Published under pseudonym Deanna Dwyer.
Katherine Sellers came to Owisden in the winter, to be the secretary-companion to Lydia Boland, one of the wealthiest women in the country. The job was an exciting challenge for Katherine, and a needed change from the events she'd sooner forget. And her new employer was a charming and gracious lady. If only all of the people of Owisden and the little mountain village that huddled against the estate for protection were so nice, Katherine's happiness would be assured. However, beneath the charm stirred other emotions, other forces. There was evil in that mountain valley, a brooding evil that worshipped at a dark altar... an altar that had been built for unspeakable sacrifice! And Katherine was marked from the moment she arrived - marked to die!
stir the snow Standing, she placed her hand over her eyes to cut down on some of the intense snow-glare, but she could not see any prints leading from the house. Someone, then, had come out of the woods and entered Owlsden last night. She looked back at the mansion. It appeared deceptively calm, smoke curling lazily out of a couple of fireplace chimneys. Pondering the significance of her unsettling discovery and more than a little ill-at-ease, Katherine stepped aside of the second set of
Do you? he asked. Before she could answer, he said, If you'll excuse my saying so, it's evident that you've been deeply upset by all of this and that, maybe, you're beginning to wonder whether there could be any truth in it. You're wrong, she said. I'm not worried about devils and demons. Just about the people who believe in them, what they might do, what extremes they might go to. He shrugged, as if to say that she might not really understand her motives as well as she thought she did.
anything but what she wanted to see? As hard as it was to face, that last must be true, for she had not only misjudged Michael Harrison. She had misjudged his friends. And she had apparently misjudged Alex and his friends also. And, finally, she had misjudged Yuri, poor Yuri. She had been so certain that he had been playing a role that she had easily overlooked the real man. He was a college graduate who still believed in ghosts and demons and vampires. That had seemed like such an odd
that she was not meant to reach Owlsden house. At last, wearier than she had realized, she let the Ford drift to the very bottom of the slope and backed it onto a widening in the berm where a picnic table rested under a huge willow. There was nothing left but to walk the last leg of the journey. Perhaps someone up at the house could bring her back, in a heavier car with chains around its tires, to collect her suitcases. She turned off the lights, shut off the engine, took the key from the
gap between the buttons. She turned toward Owlsden which lay a mile or better up the road from there and had taken only a dozen steps when she knew that she could never walk it. The steep grade would have her on her knees or sprawled full-length as much as she would be permitted to stand upright-while the wind, scouring the valley walls, would lift the hem of her coat like the cloth of an umbrella. She turned around and faced towards the town again, held her hand over her eyes to keep the snow