Brad leaped to his feet. He had to think fast, should he stay where he was, or try to escape? The latter option seemed to be the best. He ran to the steps, saw the young woman almost to the bottom, and he made one almighty lurch forwards, forcing the woman down onto the steps, and pushed his way passed her.
He ran as fast as he could to the top and through the door. To Brad’s delight the key was in the door and he wasted no time in locking it behind him.
Brad found himself in a kitchen, with a cauldron bubbling away on the stove. He went to take a look, as the smell coming from it was most peculiar. On looking inside he found a thick red liquid. He hoped it wasn’t what he thought it was.
Next to it was a big, old, dusty book. It was open at a page called, ‘How to make yourself younger’. He gasped! The ingredients for the potion were, amongst other things, the blood of a child!!!
Brad turned away in horror! Could it be possible that the woman he had just locked in the cellar was the same old woman he had met that rainy night. She had been old, yet the woman in the cellar was young, but they did resemble each other.
"Brad!" came a shout from the cellar door, "Let me out of here, you will not escape"
Brad did not answer her, but went to a door which, he thought, must lead to the outside. Horrors! It was locked, and he could not find a key, he was beginning to panic as Glennis was now thumping hard on the cellar door, and it seemed as though any minute the door would give way and he would be trapped again. He knew how strong she was.
The sitting room door. Brad grabbed the handle and he found himself in that familiar room of the first night. It was dark now, there was no fire in the grate, and no candles were lit.
He stumbled through to get back into the bookshop again. He could hear Glennis still screaming and thumping, but he did not dare turn back, he knew his only chance was to get out the same way he had got in.
The shop door was locked and bolted. Brad struggled with the old, heavy bolts and searched for a key. That wasn’t too difficult, the key was hanging on a chain above the door. It was quite high up, and Brad knew he would have to stand on something if he were to reach it.
In the meantime, there came a deafening crash from the kitchen and a loud cackle could be heard. There was no need to guess, it was obvious, the cellar door had given way at last, and that meant Brad had to hurry before the horrid old woman, now, unfortunately a horrid young woman, with incredible strength, caught up with him. He grabbed a small table which was covered with books, knocked them onto the floor and climbed up to reach the key. Glennis was getting closer, Brad was sure of it, and it would be no time at all before she found him.
He tugged at the key and it came off the chain. He pushed the table aside as he fumbled with the lock.
But it was too late! Glennis was in the bookshop, approaching fast. The key turned and Brad pulled hard on the door, but at that very moment he felt a hand grip his arm and he was pulled back into the shop.
"So" screeched the voice, "you thought you could get away, did you?"
"Glennis" retorted Brad, "it is you, isn’t it?"
"Yes, of course it is" came the reply with a cackle again.
Brad twisted and turned but the hand held him fast.
The door to the shop was still open and Brad screamed as loudly as he could, just in case there may have been a passer-by. "Help, Help!!" he yelled "I am a prisoner of a witch".
Glennis pulled him back into her sitting room and slammed the door shut.
She pinned Brad down onto the sofa, and, reaching for the syringe, which was still in her pocket, jabbed it roughly into his arm. He struggled and jerked his arm as much as he could, but as Glennis was so much stronger than he was, she was able to extract a whole syringe full. She reached over and put the syringe down on the table, all the while careful not to let go of the boy’s arm, and from her other pocket took out a small round object which she then forced into Brads mouth. He tried to spit it out, but she held his nose and he had no option but to swallow.
The strange tiredness returned and soon he was asleep.
Glennis sighed with relief and ambled into her shop to secure the front door.
A man was standing in the doorway, looking into the bookshop. Glennis shouted at him to go away and she bolted her door again, before going back for more blood.
When Brad woke up he was not in the sitting room any more, but in the cellar again.
This time, however, he was not on the mattress, but on a long, dark table, and there were other tables around him, all full of candles.
There was a strong smell of incense, and the smoke from the incense sticks filled the room, making Brad cough a little.
He turned his head and there was Glennis, younger still, and she was dressed in black from head to foot, something glowed in her hand. Brad squinted to take a better look - it was a dagger! An ornamental dagger, encrusted with jewels which glowed in the candlelight, along with the blade, which looked freshly sharpened.
In her other hand, she held a book, which she seemed engrossed in reading.
As she heard Brad cough, she looked at him and smiled. It was a sinister smile, and her eyes were so cold and steely, it made the boy shiver, not from cold, for the room was really quite warm with all those candles, but from sheer terror.
He had never seen a look so malevolent in all his life!
Brad tried to sit up, but he felt so weak that all he wanted to do was to go back to sleep again.
Glennis stared at Brad, he thought her eyes were going to burn into him. The effects of the drinks, and the weakness from the loss of blood were taking their toll. He could not think straight. He looked at the girl standing next to the table, but he felt as though he was looking at the old woman. He knew they were the same, yet he felt confused. He closed his eyes and wished hard that it may be a dream.
He must have dozed again, because he woke with a start. Glennis was reciting, in a loud, sing-song voice, some very strange words from her book.
It was difficult for Brad to understand them, his arm was very sore, and he felt so weak and dizzy, but what few words he did catch made him feel very faint indeed.
"I have partaken the blood" went one verse "now I shall posess the child totally" went another line, "with this dagger, may I forever stay young, the child’s body to be a sacrifice for my life, and my life to stay as one of a child. On this Halloween night I shall be rescued from my aged state".
The words were very strange, and Brad could not concentrate for long enough to hear them all, but it was clear what the dagger was intended for.
Glennis raised her hand, and as she did so she raised her voice too. "This dagger, in my hand" she cried "be my deliverance from the curse of old age".
Suddenly there was a crash. Glennis cried out. Thumps and bangs could be heard from above.
Brad looked up at Glennis, she was staring at the door, unable to move. Footsteps were approaching fast down the cellar steps.
Brad cried out in his still feeble voice "Help, help, I’m trapped"
Three men came barging into the cellar. Two were policemen and the other was the man Glennis had caught staring into the bookshop the night before.
The policemen grabbed the evil girl while the man helped Brad to his feet. One of the policemen was already on his walkie-talkie asking for an ambulance.
Glennis was marched up the steps and Brad did not see her again. The kindly man sat with him until the ambulance arrived, and Brad was taken to hospital.
As Glennis was being ushered out of the cellar into her kitchen, she grabbed her broomstick which was propped up in a corner. She thumped one of the policeman with it and broke free.
She ran out of the bookshop screaming "I will be back next Halloween, I shall come back for the boy!! Nobody will ever catch me!" Both policemen gave chase, but it was no good, she had got away.
Eventually Brad regained his strength and was able to go home to the great relief of his family, but is it true? Will Glennis really come back next Halloween??