The Widow in the Woods: Part 9

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If you missed the first part of The Widow in the Woods, you can find it here.

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Beth watched Christopher through damp lashes. The love of her life was digging a grave with his brother, Jon.

There was a seething, simmering rage in Christopher, and Beth found it strangely appealing. When he pulled off his shirt in the humid mid-summer evening, she admired his strong, lean upper body. She continued to disguise her feelings, allowing silent tears to trickle in a silvery streak down her alabaster cheeks.

Her goal was so very close.

When the hole was complete, Beth crouched beside the form of her deceased boyfriend. He had been wrapped in one of Grace’s faded floral sheets. She wept prettily at first, then began outright sobbing with faux grief, flinging herself across the corpse that she herself had created. When the two men lowered Luke’s body into the hole, she lay on the ground, prostrating herself and wailing inconsolably.

Christopher gently helped her to her feet, and she secretly cheered. Her plan was working. Jon stayed to fill in the hole as Christopher led the seemingly bereaved beauty away from the awful sight.

Grace and Lexie watched the entire theater from a small window facing the back of the house. They looked at each other in disgust at Beth’s dramatic manipulations.

“I can’t say that they don’t deserve each other,” Grace mused. “But together, they’ll be even more dangerous. The good news is that Christopher will probably leave you alone in favor of Beth for now.”

Lexie shuddered visibly.

Grace patted her arm. “It’s only a temporary solution, dear. We have to take this farm back if we want to survive. Are you with me?”

Lexie nodded solemnly. She didn’t even care if she died. She was not prepared to become Christopher’s plaything and Beth’s slave again.

Grace knew what she would do. She decided to watch for her moment.

She turned to head back to the parlor and administer more medication to make it appear that Rick was recovering…at least for now.

The moment Grace had been waiting for came sooner than expected.

She awakened shortly after dark had completely fallen. It took a moment before she realized what had awakened her.

From the kitchen came two angry, raised voices.

Beth and Christopher were arguing.

Loudly.

“That was my BROTHER!” Christopher shouted.

“I miss him too!” replied Beth, her voice high-pitched and seething with drama. “I was just hoping for comfort from someone who loved him.”

“His body isn’t even cold in the ground yet, and you’re throwing yourself at me. You aren’t even my type,” he sneered. “Why would I want my brother’s leftovers?”

Grace swore she could feel the temperature rising with Beth’s rage. A slap rang out, the screen door slammed open against the wall of the house, and fleeing footsteps hurried away from the little cabin.

She wasn’t quite certain who had left the house until she heard a masculine chuckle coming from the kitchen.

It looked like Beth was going to play right into Grace’s hands.

Her battered body ached as she arose from the sofa where she had slept. Lexie was still curled up asleep on the chair, and Rick was on the daybed, also unaware of the argument.

Grace made her way to the front door and opened it just enough to slip through but not enough to make it squeak on its hinges. She knew the property like the back of her hand and could easily traverse it in the darkness. On this particular night, the moon was nearly full and cast an ethereal silver light on the property.

It only took her a few moments to locate Beth in the back garden, sitting on one of the benches in the conversation area under an arbor of wisteria. She’d expected the younger woman to be weeping. Instead, her face was pale in the moonlight, composed, and cold as ice.

Grace sat down on the opposite bench and probed gently, “Are you okay? Is there anything that I can do?”

Beth glared in reply, still furious with Christopher. She was outraged by how he had spoken to her, stunned he didn’t realize that they were soulmates, and strongly considering whether or not she even wanted him anymore. Good looks or no good looks, nobody spoke to her the way he had and got away with it.

“It was just terrible how he spoke to you. I’m sorry. It must have been very hurtful, and you don’t deserve that,” Grace continued, making her voice deceptively kind and gentle.

Beth had always enjoyed praise and assessed Grace, scanning her face and demeanor for honesty.

“I only wanted him to hold me,” Beth lied in a sad, small voice. “He took it the wrong way, and now I’ve lost Luke and the people I thought were my family.”

Grace leaned over to pat Beth’s knee in sympathy.

“Dear girl, you can’t tolerate such disrespect.”

“I can’t, but I guess I’ll have to wait for now. I can’t get by without their help. I have no money, no weapons, nothing.”

“What if I could help you with that?” Grace inquired. “If you meet me in the morning, I can take you to where I have some things hidden that you may find of value. I’ll split them with you.”

Beth tried to clamp down on her greed before it showed on her face. She wouldn’t be splitting anything with this old hag. Still, she replied in a voice filled with gratitude, “You’d do that for me?”

“Of course, dear. We women must stick together, mustn’t we?” Grace pretended to believe Beth was sincere.

“Thank you so much,” Beth cried again, crocodile tears slipping down her cheeks. Grace had never seen anyone cry and look as pretty as Beth did. “When and where shall I meet you? Can we do this now?”

“No, we’d never be able to get there safely in the darkness,” Grace bought some time. “Come out to the vegetable garden when you get up and act like you’ll be gardening. Wear your most comfortable shoes and bring anything you don’t want to be without. But don’t let Jon and Christopher see you with a backpack,” she warned.

“It’s a deal,” Beth agreed. Inwardly she rejoiced. She had always been incredibly lucky and she was not at all surprised when her luck continued. She was stunned by Christopher’s rejection but leaving with this old woman’s treasure would be the best revenge.

Grace smiled beatifically as she watched Beth walking gracefully through the moonlight back to the house, her coppery hair dark in the shadows of the night.

Once Beth was out of sight, her smile disappeared, and a look of grim determination replaced it. She had work to do, and with only one good arm, she’d need Lexie’s help to do it.

She returned to the parlor, but she didn’t slumber. She sat up straight on the sofa, her wheels turning rapidly as she created the rest of her plan and waited for the rest of the household to fall deeply asleep.

When the moon had risen directly overhead, Grace gently shook Lexie awake, placing her fingers over her own mouth in the universal “shhh” symbol. After her time with the Hills and Beth, Lexie awakened fully in an instant, sitting bolt upright.

“Come with me,” Grace whispered close to her ear. “I need your help.”

Lexie nodded. Like Grace, she carried her shoes in her hand as the two women slipped out the front door.  Silently, they made their way to the greenhouse, where they could speak without the risk of being overheard.

Grace outlined her plan to Lexie. “What I need is for you to carry a couple of heavy containers. I can’t do it with just one arm.”

Lexie nodded and put her shoes on in preparation. Grace showed her two large industrial jugs, each holding five gallons of liquid. “They’re heavy. Just take them one at a time,” she instructed. Grace tucked a small oil can into the pocket of her apron.

Grace led the way behind the greenhouse, past the locked and gated garden. Then, pushing aside some brush that hid the entrance, piloted them up a set of steps carved into the earth that took them up the hill to an area that Lexie hadn’t yet seen.

When they got to the top of the steps, a metal building was halfway buried into the side of the mountain. Grace unlocked the door and the hinges screamed in protest. She grabbed the large flashlight that was hung on the wall beside the entrance and shone it into the container.

Lexie looked around to see that they were in a small shipping container. Inside it were wooden shelving units pushed against the walls, buckets, and baskets. A small chest filled with straw was on the left side of the room, open with a few potatoes left. About a dozen filled Mason jars and a couple of squash were the only things on the shelves.

“This is my root cellar, where I store food over the winter,” Grace informed her. “Now, put that jug down by the door and help me move some things.”

At Grace’s direction, two of the shelving units were pulled away from the wall to create a small “room” at the very end of the container. Lexie went back to grab the other jug while Grace continued to create her trap.

She moved the remaining potatoes, squash, and jars onto the shelves that had been moved to obscure what was behind them. She dragged the chest back into the small room she had created and latched it securely. When Lexie went back for the second jug, Grace oiled the hinges and was satisfied when they no longer made noise when the door swung open or closed.

When Lexie had returned, Grace propped up two 5-gallon buckets on small blocks of wood, putting each at an angle. “Be very careful not to spill any,” she cautioned as she instructed Lexie to fill the buckets with the contents of the jugs she had brought up. Grace laid the bucket lids on top of them but didn’t fasten them down.

Finally, Grace removed the oil can from her pocket and lubricated the noisy hinges of the doors, testing them until they were acceptably silent.

Their work done, Grace returned the flashlight to its place, closed the door firmly, and slid home the bolts. The women slipped through the moonlight back to the house to get a little bit of sleep before the rest of the household awoke.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.

Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand Survival.com You can find her on FacebookPinterestGabMeWeParlerInstagram, and Twitter.

Picture of Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • I very much appreciate your Widow in the Woods story, but I confess it is hard to wait for the next supplement!

  • I love the buried conex! Some friends of mine also use one for a root cellar. They live in a canyon with steep sides and elected to bury the box close to the slope to conceal the mound better. They used railroad timbers to shore up the sides and roof of the container as those parts are actually really fragile compared to the 4 corners that are meant to bear weight. Then they brought in tons of earth to insulate it. They live in high desert with nasty cold winters and super hot summers so they added a sort of airlock with another set of heavy insulated doors to keep the temperature inside the box from fluctuating. I think it’s brilliant!

    • That sounds eerily like my of this world. High mountain desert. This year is hotter again than the previous one. This has gone on for several years in a row now. Winters and snow in is still normal. The day to night variation because of altitude averages a 40+ degrees. the winter night to summer day difference can be from -10* or -20* to 110*. Desert life is unusual to day the least. And DRY in the extream. It takes planning to survive it.

  • Senate Tom Cotton would be an excellent choice. We need his military knowledge and leadership qualities for possible conflicts with Iran, China and Russia.

  • While it would cut the story of intrigue short, she’s down to three intruders, one of which is incapacitated by infection. When Beth ran out, Christopher could have had a quick conversation with Mr. Glock and been done with. Beth, with no weapon would have likely run back into the house to see what was happening and could have likewise been dispatched. The third, well he could suffer via infection and fever as punishment before perishing.

  • hmm you oiled the door hinges twice to keep it quiet?
    still hanging on every word. they are too few and too far inbetween.

  • Daisy, you’re keeping me in suspence. Please make your chapters a little longer? Right now I’m reading with suspense in 5 minutes. I need more of your amazing writing!

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