It was hot, too hot to be making soap but it would be fall in a couple of weeks and based on the signs that Elizabeth had been noticing, winter would come early and it would be a very cold harsh winter. She had just added the scent to the soap and stirred it around so now all she had to do was let it cool off a little before she poured it into the molds. Once she had the soaps ready she would go into Cold Springs, the closest town, and sell her soaps to the ladies of the town so she could have enough money to buy some necessary items for the hard winter coming. She had just put down her paddle when she heard 'her' calling.
"Elizabeth, I am glad that I caught you out here. I am in need of your services witch."
"Chaya, I am not a witch..." Elizabeth got out before she was interrupted.
"You do not fool me Elizabeth Weir, you are a witch and a rather talented witch and I am in need of your services. You will make me a love potion, a strong love potion."
"Chaya, I do not do things like that and I..."
"I know the truth Elizabeth; do not deny that you are a witch. You will make me that potion and you will make it right for if you do not I will expose you as a witch. Come to think of it I think the witch hunter may still be around this area because they just hung a witch in a village not more than a day's ride from here."
Elizabeth was barely able to contain her anger, one for slipping up and letting someone hear her while she practiced her craft and secondly for Chaya categorizing her as a witch. She was not a witch, she was a sorceress, much more powerful than witches yet she could not risk her secret getting out so she focused on the potion.
Two days later Elizabeth was walking into Cold Springs when a rather handsome young man walked up next to her and offered to carry her sack but Elizabeth said she could carry it but thanked the man for his kind offer. He introduced himself as Michael Kenmore, stating that he had moved here only a month ago and he had yet to meet her acquaintance. Elizabeth said she was here to sell her soap and thanked him for his conversation then cut him off as she found one of her customers and walked over to Miss Baker to sell some of her soap.
She had finished selling the last cakes of soap when she heard her name being called, it was Chaya Sar, but she preferred to be called the widow Meyers. Elizabeth had lived in this area for several years and remembered when Chaya Sar first came here and she only seemed interested in men with money and power but those men were married. Then on one visit she heard that Mrs. Meyers had become gravely ill and weeks later she had died leaving a grieving Mr. Meyers whom Chaya comforted him. Weeks later Chaya Sar became the new Mrs. Meyers and this quick marriage surprised many in the town.
Chaya asked if she brought the potion and Elizabeth handed it to her and gave her instructions on how to administer this potion as well as reminding Chaya that if the heart was not true then she would have to continue to use the potion to keep the heart true. Yet as she spoke, Chaya's eyes were not focused on Elizabeth but instead seemed to be focused on young Mr. Kenmore who had been following Elizabeth around and he had been speaking with every woman who was single. As Elizabeth was walking away Chaya again reminded Elizabeth not to mention to anyone of their dealings or else she would expose her as a witch. Elizabeth merely smiled at Chaya and left the town anxious to get away from Chaya.
Three weeks later winter hit, not even leaving time for a fall season, dropping over a foot of snow on the community. Elizabeth decided to take advantage of the situation to practice her craft; a sorceress is only good if she keeps up her craft so this was why Elizabeth practiced so diligently during the winter.
Winter turned out to be longer than most people expected so when spring time came Elizabeth quickly made up some cakes of soap with the scent of some of the local flowers and took them into Cold Springs to sell. As she entered the town she noticed Michael Kenmore slipping out the back window of young Miss Pratcher just as her parents were walking in the front door. She knew this wasn't right because Miss Pratcher was engaged to be married this summer to young master Lawrence and she also knew that just prior to first snowfall Chaya and Michael were married. Michael's actions probably did not please Chaya, she felt sorry for Michael when Chaya learned of his actions.
As Elizabeth was selling her soaps she learned the latest gossip which revolved around Chaya and young Mister Kenmore. It turns out that shortly after Michael and Chaya were married, Michael started making the rounds of visiting other women in the town, some were single but others were not, he did not discriminate against them because of their marital status. Elizabeth was almost done selling her soaps and was walking to Mrs. Baker's home when she was grabbed and pulled to the side of a house.
Upon looking up Elizabeth spotted Michael Kenmore who had a look of lust in his eyes and his arms were to the sides of Elizabeth pinning her to the wall of the home.
"You are certainly looking quite lovely today Miss Weir," Michael said in an alluring tone.
"Mr. Kenmore would you care to buy your lovely wife some soap, I have a few cakes left," she stated.
"I am not interested in buying soap at the moment but perhaps I could come by your house some time soon and learn how you make soap. I understand it is very hot work and could help remove some of your clothes to keep you cool," he said with a sneer.
Elizabeth was barely speaking above a whisper as she chanted and moments later Michael stepped away from Elizabeth and his hands fell to his sides. She continued chanting until she had left area and had gotten two houses away then released Michael from her spell, hearing him fall upon the crates by the building.
Later during the summer Elizabeth decided to make soap again so she got out her kettle and began making more soap for the ladies of the nearby towns. As Elizabeth made her soap she kept a watchful eye out for Mr. Kenmore; she did not want him around especially since she would only wear the thinnest of slips to keep from overheating when making the soap.
Chaya came out to Elizabeth's house telling her that she needed more of the love potion. Elizabeth informed Chaya the amount of potion she had given her should have lasted for a year but Chaya said that it didn't and that she had to use it more frequently than expected and demanded Elizabeth brew up more. When Chaya came to pick up the potion she informed Chaya that this was even stronger than the last batch then reminded Chaya of the warning of not using too much because it could harm the person.
It was late summer and she was selling the last of her summer cakes of soap in Cold Springs and although the fall season was only a few weeks away it was quite hot so on the way back to her house, Elizabeth stopped by one of the springs that fed into Cold Springs so she could dip her toes in the water to cool down.
After dipping her toes, Elizabeth felt the urge to walk through the water so she looked around and did not see anyone so she pulled the back of her skirt through her separated legs, fastening it to the front of her belt allowing her to walk ankle deep in the spring water without wetting the bottom of her dress. It was quite chilly but it reminded Elizabeth of the simple pleasure she used to get as a child by walking through the water and she smiled.
"I always knew that you could smile. Is that smile on your face because you are baring your legs for me to see? Well I approve of those legs but I would like to see much more of you. Come Elizabeth, let us stop playing games, you want me and I most definitely want you, let us not wait," Michael said as he rushed towards Elizabeth.
Michael slipped off the bank of the spring and fell face first into the water making Elizabeth struggle not to laugh out loud. He got up and smiled telling Elizabeth not to worry because in a few minutes she would be wet too as he would cover her with his wet body. Michael rushed towards Elizabeth he almost had his hands around her but she stepped to the side and shoved him away from her, sending him falling into the water.
"Stay away Mr. Kenmore, I have no interest in you and do not want your advances. Behave yourself sir, you are a married man."
"No so married that I do not have time to give pleasure to you Elizabeth."
Michael then rushed at Elizabeth only this time Elizabeth knew that she would not be able to side step him so she chanted then pushed her hands in front of her as it to block Michael. Suddenly Michael was thrown up on the side of the spring and he turned to see Elizabeth standing there looking upset. He didn't know why she was so upset, she was the one that pushed him aside but he was going to make her pay for spurning his affection. Rising up from the bank he called out for her to just stand there because if she moved then he would hurt her and it would be sad to hurt such a beautiful body. As he rushed her again, Elizabeth again threw him to the side of the bank using her craft several times until finally she used so much force that it temporarily knocked the wind out of Michael. After throwing Michael up on the bank for the fifth time Elizabeth called out.
"Chaya, come get your husband, I do not wish to harm him any more." She waited a moment but she did not see Chaya. "Chaya come out right now and get your husband, take him home before I do more harm to him. I do not want his advances; I do not want him around me at all."
Moments later there was the rustling of weeds from the bank of the spring and Chaya came forth out of the weeds and helped her husband up.
"You will pay for the spell you cast on him witch," Chaya said with distain.
"It is not I who have cast the spell but know that if he attempts to come after me then I will hurt him. Take him away now and threaten me no more," Elizabeth said as she walked to the other side of the creek, flicking her wrists so that her shoes and socks sailed through the air and were now in Elizabeth's hands.
He remained in the shadows, watching everything and was quite surprised by the open display of magic by the witch Elizabeth. He knew that Mrs. Kenmore was right to call him to check out witch Weir; soon there would be one less witch in this land.
He was struggling for his very life and could feel that she had a hold of his life and was taking it away as she kissed him. It was as if she was sucking the life out of him through her kiss; then he heard the voice of his teacher. 'Beware the evil witch, she will destroy you," the phrase was repeated twice and suddenly John sat upright in bed with sweat dripping down his face. It had been a dream yet it seemed more intense than usual and perhaps it was due to the fact that he would be facing an evil witch soon. He always had the dream the night before he went on another hunt for a witch. It was this warning given by his teacher who had said he had been given a vision to help John, so armed with the knowledge of how his demise might come; John became a witch hunter. The name John Sheppard was known throughout the land for being one of the best witch hunters ever.
The next day John Sheppard came into town asking for Mrs. Kenmore; he had noticed the looks he had received from some of the women, it was as if they lusted after him with their eyes. Just once he would like to meet a woman who did not have lust in her eyes for him but one who would want to know him for something other than the great witch hunter. He found Mrs. Kenmore's house and knocked on the door and was surprised to see such lust in her eyes as she opened the door.
"Mrs. Kenmore, you sent for a witch hunter and I am here. What can you tell me about the woman you say is a witch?"
Chaya began telling John all about the woman named Elizabeth Weir, she mentioned hearing her chanting when she went to visit Miss Weir during a good neighbor visit. She had also heard the men talking saying that they had seen Elizabeth dancing naked under a full moon and that she has frequently been seen brewing witch's potions in the middle of the summer.
John looked around noticing that Mr. Kenmore was missing so he asked where Mr. Kenmore was only to be told he had fallen ill. Chaya said that the witch Weir had cast a spell on her loving faithful husband Michael, making him seek out comfort in other women's arms, especially in the witch's arms and that she cast a hex on him only yesterday and now he is very ill. Chaya sobbed stating that she believes that he may be dying and asked John to please break the spell by destroying witch Weir.
John apologized for troubling her in her time of sorrow and asked if he could look in on Mr. Kenmore and perhaps say a few prayers over him. Chaya dabbed her eyes with a cloth and thanked John for his concern and showed him to her bedroom where her husband, Michael lay.
Chaya was beginning to become concerned because John was in the room for two hours with her husband and her husband could not speak. Finally John came out and said that maybe his prayers helped because Michael seemed to be able to understand him and was blinking at him as he prayed. Chaya gasped and then flung her arms around John saying that it is a miracle, his prayers have saved her husband. She then urged John to help their town by getting rid of witch Weir.
John Sheppard left Cold Springs after the noon hour, walking down the road that would lead to the trail up to witch Weir's house carrying only his bag filled with items to protect him against witchcraft. He told Chaya to watch the sky stating that if he deemed that Elizabeth Weir then he would take care of her at her house rather than risk harming the good people of Cold Springs. Chaya asked what would he do to witch Weir and he said that there was only one cure for witches; burn them and burn where they lived to keep other witches from coming into the area.
It was close to midnight when Chaya looked up and noticed flames that seem to lick the top of the trees in the distance and she smiled, the raging fire meant witch Weir was dead. She pointed out the fire to the others in the town who had come out of their houses at her shouting and she told them about John burning witch Weir and her house. Most of the people in the town were surprised to see the fire, not all of them believed that Elizabeth Weir was a witch but since the great witch hunter John Sheppard had set Weir's place on fire then she must have been a witch. Chaya was almost jumping with joy at the sight of the fire burning and waltzed into her house and shut the door behind her and screamed in joy.
Chaya heard a noise from her bedroom and went to investigate, there was her husband attempting to move his head. Rushing quickly to his side, she held his head in her hands and looked down at him with a smile.
"Michael, are you feeling better?"
He blinked several times and tears came to his eyes as he blinked. Chaya shushed him and wiped away his tears as she brushed his hair off of his face, then said she would bring him something to drink. When she returned, she told him to drink as she lifted up his head and told him that it was something that would help.
Early the next morning John Sheppard walked into Cold Springs with soot covering his face, hands and clothes and he looked like he was exhausted. He knocked on the Kenmore's door to advise her of what he had done but when Mrs. Kenmore opened the door she was in tears and wrapped her arms around John. He was quite surprised by her actions and was having a hard time understanding what she was saying between her sobs. He got her to sit down and got her a drink of water then asked her what was wrong.
In between sobs she said that last night she was watching the fire in the sky and she came back in to tell her husband the good news only when she came into the bedroom it was too late. John asked her what she meant by it was too late. Chaya said that witch Weir must have cast a powerful spell on her husband because shortly after she noticed the fire in the woods her husband died. She continued crying saying she could not believe that she used to buy soap from her then said she hoped that witch Weir had not cast spells on anyone else in the town.
John held Chaya as she continued to cry onto his soot soaked clothes, he knew he needed to comfort her and was quite surprised as her lips came up and brushed his neck. He stood up and said that it would only be proper for him to pay his respects to Mr. Kenmore and then asked if he could change clothes so he would not drop any more soot all over her clean house. Chaya was almost giddy when she said yes of course to John then showed him into the bedroom and John had a hard time trying to get her to leave the room.
Chaya was doing her best to remain calm as she waited for John to come out of the bedroom; things were going even better than planned. Michael was dead, Elizabeth was dead and the very handsome witch hunter John Sheppard was changing in the other room so he could comfort her. 'Chaya Sheppard' she thought, it had a good sound to it and smiled as she glanced in the mirror.
"How old are you," he almost whispered in her ear.
Chaya turned around and saw John Sheppard standing very close to her so she leaned in towards him, puckering up her lips as she asked him what he asked her.
"I said how old are you," he said as he took several steps back from her.
"Why John Sheppard you know it is impolite to ask a woman how old she is?"
He saw that she started coughing after answering so he told her he did not mean to shock her by approaching her so closely especially after the death of her beloved husband. He bade her to sit down and he would fetch her some water to calm her nerves.
Chaya could not believe that he was so smitten with her already and she had yet to give him the love potion. She wondered if she would even need to give him the potion but then decided that she would do it right away so he would marry her and then she probably would not need to give him any more because he was already enchanted with her. Chaya thought that it was a good thing that John Sheppard already cared about her so she would not have to use very much of the love potion on him because with witch Weir dead she did not know where she would get any more love potion. Then she thought that maybe this time things would be different with John Sheppard.
John held the cup in front of Chaya and put her hand on the cup and told her to drink, it would calm her nerves. She smiled at John as she took her first sip and he smiled back at her, then she finished drinking the rest of the water. John took the cup and asked her if she wanted more and she said no she was fine and asked him to come and sit by her because she felt so chilled since her husband died and smiled when she felt his arm across her shoulders.
John sat with her for a few minutes watching for certain sighs, when he noticed those signs he removed his arm from her shoulders and stood up walking in front of her reaching into the pouch on his belt.
"Again I ask you a question and you will answer me, you can not help but answer me. Chaya, how old are you," John said in a stern tone.
Chaya looked up at John a bit confused by his tone and she just stared at him, she was not going to tell him her age.
"I stopped counting the years after I reached 100 years of age," her eyes opened wide once she said this.
"What are these vials I hold in my hand; look at them closely as they are just small amounts from the bottles I found."
Chaya shook her head; she had absolutely no intentions of telling him what was in those vials, besides she wasn't even sure where he got those vials.
"The dark green vial is a youth serum and the purple one is a love potion," she said then clasp her hands over her mouth.
"And this one," John asked as he waved a third vial in front of Chaya.
"I do not know; it is not familiar to me."
"It is a truth serum, a very powerful truth serum and you drank some of it earlier when I offered you the water."
"What?! Why would you do that to me John?"
"You brought me here to destroy a witch. I was at the creek that day that your husband Michael attacked Elizabeth Weir and I heard the incantations she was saying and they were not a hex on your husband as you had stated. There was no permanent harm that was done by the force Elizabeth used to push your cheating husband away from her. He was not under a hex from her nor was he injured. When I went into his room yesterday, I found a substance in a cup that did not smell right and it was not until this morning upon his death and smelling that cup again did I recognize what happened."
"What are you saying John Sheppard? I louv...looou, I..."
"You can not even say it. You claim to love your husband, yes?" Chaya nodded her agreement to his statement. "So you loved your husband but did he love you back?"
"He once did but only with the potion," she quickly said then clasp her hands over her mouth again.
"Did you make the death draught and give it to your husband?"
"No... I... Yes, yes I did give it to him. Shortly after our contact with witch Weir and then again that night when I saw you burning witch Weir's house."
"Why did you give it to him twice?"
"I could not make it correctly?"
"Why is that?"
"Because I killed him. I killed my teacher before he could teach me the art of brewing potions. I was primarily interested in a youth serum so when I learned the potion I killed my teacher believing that I could learn other potions on my own or from other teachers. But word got around that I had killed my teacher so no one would teach me anything else in the craft; that is why I fled to this country to try and find a teacher or another witch. Then I found Elizabeth Weir and tricked her into making the potion for me."
John told Chaya to tell about when she first took up witchcraft and not leave any of her dark secrets out. It was noon when they started and late in the night when John stopped Chaya stating he has learned enough to determine that she was an evil witch. Instead of crying, Chaya cursed at John telling him that when she gets her wits about her she will bewitch him with the love potion and she will then make him her love slave, laughing at her own remark.
John asked Chaya why she went to Elizabeth for her love potion and she answered saying that Elizabeth is a very skilled witch, more powerful than she ever imagined. John was about to ask Chaya something when she blurted out she wished he would have brought Elizabeth into town, so he asked Chaya was it because she wanted to humiliate Elizabeth. Chaya said she had planned on going to Elizabeth's house after she was burned at the stake to try and find a book of potions or any other items that could help her in her craft.
He looked at the vial of youth serum and asked her where the rest of it was and she stood up and walked over to the wall by the fireplace where she moved a panel and reached in and pulled out a large bottle. John asked Chaya where her book was that told her how to make the potions and she reached back into the same spot and pulled out a worn book and handed it to John. He looked through the book and saw several potions and several marks through on the pages where she made corrections to those potions. He took the bottle of youth serum and broke it into the fireplace causing the flames to burn a bright green then he told her it was time that she started to show her proper age.
John told Chaya to take her book of potions and to throw it into the fire, so she took the book from his hand and she struggled not to walk towards the fireplace but she could not resist his command, then she tossed the book onto the flames burning her only book of potions. John told Chaya to go to her bed and sleep because she would need to be rested when he informed the town people in the morning that she was a witch.
During the early morning hours John though about all of the harm that Chaya had done and sighed, she was truly an evil witch and had he not been diligent he would have fallen prey to her too. Now he would have to decide what to do with her. A part of him wanted to turn her over to the town people and show them how she had deceived them but he hated the idea of her being burned alive, he could put her on a ship to some other land but she might start up her evil craft again, making him wonder how to handle this witch. All of his previous witch hunts had proved the accused were innocent women who only mix up herbs and spices, none of them were ever witches. John would burn their houses saying he was cleansing the town of her presence and say that the witch was secured inside as the house burned but in reality he would make the woman flee with few belongings thus saving her life. However, that was not the case with Elizabeth Weir, she definitely had powers she was very powerful woman and he did what was necessary.
What John didn't know was that Chaya had gone to her bedroom and slept for a short time waking at sunrise, reached into a hidden box where she kept some of her craft and pulled out a vial of her death draught. She hid it in her skirt pocket planning on slipping it into John Sheppard's food or drink so he would die. Once he was dead she could flee to another place where she could start up her craft again and money would be no object since Mr. Meyers had been rich and his money along with the large amounts of money she received from her previous four husbands who mysteriously also died, Chaya was a very rich woman. But none of this will happen as long as John Sheppard is around so now all she had to do was get him to drink the death draught.
After dressing Chaya exited the bedroom to find John Sheppard sitting at the table drinking some water, he would taste the draught if she put it in there so she made some tea and offered him some tea. John said he would like some tea and asked her to join him so she poured two cups of tea pouring the vial of death draught into John's cup then offered him the tainted cup along with some bread and jerky meat.
"Chaya, have you looked in the mirror this morning?"
"No John I have not. Why would you ask me such a question?"
"When you drank the truth serum, it cancelled out the effects of your youth serum. Perhaps you should look in the mirror," he said with a smirk.
Chaya then fetched a mirror and let out a loud gasp. "What have you done? Why are you are making me look old?"
"The truth serum has made the youth serum fade away and soon you will look exactly your age," he said as he lifted his cup toasted Chaya and drank his tea.
A smile appeared on Chaya's lips because he drank his tea which contained the death draught she had put in it. Soon he would be dead and she would try to make a youth serum and be young again then she would leave Cold Springs and start fresh in another town. Chaya returned to her chair and sat down across from him grinning as she too ate her bread and jerky then washed it down with her tea. It was hard for her to contain her happiness knowing that John would soon be helpless and then she would give him the second dose of the draught and he would be dead.
An hour later Chaya felt a chill running through her body so she wrapped a shawl around her shoulders and he asked her if she was getting cold. Chaya said she was a bit chilled and said the morning air has given her a chill this morning and John replied that actually it was rather warm outside and it was going to be a very warm day. She started to shiver and was confused as to why she was not seeing any of the symptoms of the death draught taking affect on John, she was sure that she have given him a big enough dose. John then walked over and picked up the mirror she had used earlier and brought it back to Chaya and told her to look again in the mirror.
"NO," she cried out. "I look so old," she stated.
"You have yet to show your true age Chaya Sar and soon the town people will see that you are really old. Your youth and beauty are gone and they will know you for what you really are, a witch," John said.
"John Sheppard they will not believe you because soon I will fix more youth serum and when my youth is restored, I will go out and announce to the town that the great witch hunter John Sheppard is dead."
"They will not believe you because I am alive."
"You will not be for long. You see I put the death draught in your tea this morning and very soon you will fall into a deep sleep and then I will give you the second dose and you will be as dead as all of my other husbands."
"Is not one of the symptoms of the death draught a feeling of being tired?"
"Another symptom is feeling cold, a cold that is deep within you and it seems to spread throughout your body," he replied. "Why do you wrap yourself in a shawl and why are you shivering when it is quite warm in this house. Twice I have seen you stoke the fire in the fireplace to try and warm up the house."
"What did you do to me," Chaya asked.
John stated that he did nothing to her but when she served him the tea he recognized the odor of the death draught. Chaya said that she saw him drink his tea then said it would be just a matter of time for it to take affect. John said a good and wise witch would recognize the odor of a death draught but apparently she was not a wise witch. He told her that he switched their cups when she fetched the mirror to see how she had aged. John told Chaya that she drank the draught that she had intended for him and she is the one who has poisoned her own self.
Chaya paled a bit more stating that she was tired. John told Chaya to rest and he would fix something that would counter act the death draught. He said it would not give her back her youthful look but it would keep her alive, then he stated that the youth serum will no longer work for her even if she was to prepare a new batch. Chaya asked him why not and he said because the truth serum and death draught together will cancel any attempt to make her young again, stating that a good witch would know about potions canceling out one another but since she killed her teacher she never did learn this information.
Chaya stood up and wrapped the shawl a bit tighter around her asking John why he would try to help her by giving her something to keep her alive. He said he was not really helping her because he would still expose her to the people of Cold Springs and it would be up to the people to decide her fate. Chaya said she was tired and she was going to lie down and rest until he finished with his brew, walking into the bedroom closing the door after her.
Chaya looked again in the mirror and was horrified at how old she looked and how weak she felt. Despite wrapping a blanket around her she could still feel the cold chill spreading throughout her body. She knew that once John gave her his brew she would be exposed to the people of Cold springs and they would be against her. She believed that they would burn her at the stake and she didn't want that to happen so there was only one thing left to do; escape her fate.
Two hours had passed and John was spooning the brew he made into a bowl so he could spoon feed Chaya. He knew by now she would be too weak to drink this brew on her own. This would not give her back her youth but at least it would keep her from dying, so he walked to the bedroom, knocked then entered the bedroom.
Lying on the bed was barely a woman he recognized as Chaya Kenmore. Her skin had shriveled up and was clinging to her bones and her dark hair was all gray. In her hand she held a bottle, the last of her death draught John recognized by the odor. Apparently Chaya drank all of her death draught. John realized that Chaya chose death rather than be exposed as a witch, but even in death he would not let her cheat the people of Cold Springs from knowing the truth.
That night John Sheppard had the people gather in the square and he revealed to them the truth; Chaya Kenmore was a witch and she had killed her husband because he was not true to her. This drew a gasp from the crowd but he continued by saying that she was an evil witch and she attempted to poison him when he learned that she had poisoned her husband. There were angry murmurings going throughout the people gathered but John quieted them. He said that they need not worry about her any longer because she chose to take her own life fearing what would happen to her once she was exposed as a witch. "Chaya Kenmore is dead."
John Sheppard spent a week going through the homes that Chaya had lived in looking for relics of her craft and destroying them so no one else could be harmed. Once he finished he bought a wagon and a horse with the money the people of Cold Springs paid him for ridding them of two witches. John said it was too much John and returned half of the money. He said his goodbyes to the people then turned his wagon on the road leading out of Cold Springs.
He was tired and it was reflected in slow pace in which he left the town, this task had nearly cost him his life making him thankful he had heeded his master's warning, 'Beware an evil witch for she will destroy you." Had John not been diligent in his work then Chaya surely would have destroyed him, now there was only one thing left to do which was to leave this place and make a fresh start.
** Epilogue **
As John got further away from Cold Springs the horse seemed to sense John's lighter mood and the horse picked up the pace. John steered the horse off the main road onto a smaller path and the horse increased his speed. They were headed to the spot in the forest where weeks ago a fire raged so high that the people in Cold Springs could see it burning at the top of the trees.
The grass was green and as he traveled further down the trail the trees seemed to have a perfumed scent about them as they waved in the slight breeze instead of smelling of burnt wood, it was very uplifting. John rounded a bend in the road where the grass should have been charred but it wasn't, it was still green and the trees showed no signs of burns or scorch marks. They had passed the bend in the road and John could see the house with blooming flowers by the house as well as in the middle of the yard.
It was as if the sun took that very moment to shine a brilliant beam down upon the woman standing in the yard, she had never looked more beautiful to him. John leaped out of the wagon before it came to a complete stop and rushed over to the woman who welcomed him with open arms.
"John," she called softly to him.
"Elizabeth," he said then kissed her.
"So did you miss me," John asked her.
"Yes I did. I was becoming worried about you."
"There was no need, Chaya may have been a crafty person but I was prepared for her. It takes more than a bad witch to fool this sorcerer."
"Despite your skills, I was still worried about you," Elizabeth stated. "So did she ever figure out that you were more than a mere witch hunter?"
"You mean did she figure out that I was a sorcerer? No I do not believe she ever figured it out. One would think after I questioned her about her age and showed her the youth potion that I had found, but not Chaya. I think I threw her off because I appeared to act compassionate towards her," he said then saw the look on Elizabeth's face and decided to explain even further. "I had to act like I was taken in by her charms but do not worry Elizabeth, no one can ever replace you in my heart. Did you know that she was over one hundred years old?"
"I knew she was old but I didn't know she was that old. How did you find out about her youth serum?"
John said he had asked to see Michael's body and during that time alone in the bedroom he searched the bedroom and found the youth serum, a love potion and the remains of the death draught in a cup by Michael's bed. He said that Chaya was not a very talented witch because it took two dosages of the draught to kill her husband. John shrugged his shoulders and said the only potion she could make correctly was the youth serum.
He then told Elizabeth some of the information he learned about Chaya such as her killing her teacher before she learned the art of properly brewing potions. John stated that he thinks that is why her death draught required two dosages and since she wasn't very skilled in the craft that was why she did not smell the draught in her tea when she drank it. Elizabeth looked puzzled at him and asked him what he was talking about.
John smiled stating that Chaya had tried to kill him by putting the draught in his cup but he could smell the potion so he only lifted the cup to his mouth but did not drink. When Chaya looked away he switched cups and she ended up drinking the draught and did not know it. When Chaya realized she had taken the draught he offered to make her a brew that would keep her alive and she asked to lie down while she waited. However, when he finished the brew and took it to Chaya she was already dead, having taken the remaining amount of death draught.
John said he spent the next week clearing out all of the houses Chaya had lived in using a reveal spell to find all of her hidden secrets then burned the items outside of town scattering the ashes. Elizabeth asked if any of the people of Cold Springs suspected anything and he said no, because they were too shocked to learn about Chaya being a witch.
Elizabeth asked John when he realized that she was a sorceress and he said that day when she thwarted Michael's advances on her by the spring. John smiled stating that he usually comes to a town to observe things on his own before starting his witch hunt. He stated he had observed everything that had happened by the spring that day and knew that only a powerful woman of the craft could protect herself in that fashion. When he first contacted Chaya he found Michael was ill and he could smell the death draught in the cup by Michael's bed so he suspected Chaya was trying to deceive him.
John told Elizabeth that when he first came out to her house he wanted to just speak with her but that was not what happened. Elizabeth was puzzled stating that they did talk and talked for quite some time and he learned she was a sorceress. John said that was true but he said as he spoke with her he remembered all his master's warning. 'Beware the evil witch because she would destroy me but I would also find a good powerful sorceress and she would complete me.'
"You complete me Elizabeth."
The next day the wagon was loaded and John climbed up into the seat hugged Elizabeth and kissed her tenderly on the lips.
"So are you ready to leave this place behind," John asked.
Elizabeth looked at the house that both of them had destroyed using spells to make it appear that it was burned then smiled back at him.
"Yes, I am ready to leave this place," Elizabeth said as John took her hand in his and kissed her hand.
"Then let us leave this place and began our new life together in a new place."
The wagon started down the trail until it came to the new road which they followed for a short distance until they came to a fork in the road. The sun was beaming down brightly on the couple as they stopped at the fork in the road and they kissed engulfing in such a bright light that the sunlight seemed to glitter all around them. When the light had faded all traces of the wagon along with the sorcerer and sorceress were gone.