Strange Tales from the Town - Revenge (3)
Penelope (Penny) Montague, never missed her weekly Tarot reading with Anne. She was without a doubt Anne's most gullible customer, and perfect for Anne's plans. When Thomas came into the shop the following day, he asked Anne whether she would come out for dinner that night. Anne said she would love to but had a reading first, and would prefer if they had dinner in her apartment again. Thomas readily agreed, and went to the sofa in the reading area. Anne went to the samovar and made him a cup of tea. He looked at her with such longing as she placed the cup on the table in front of him. Smiling, she moved behind the sofa and stood behind him. Putting her hands on his shoulders she bent and kissed him on the back of the neck causing him to quiver throughout his body. It didn't go unnoticed by Anne that he placed the book in his hand over his lap as he turned around and kissed her on the lips.
That morning Anne had phoned Michael to ask him to come to the shop sometime to collect his things which were still in her apartment. His voice still gripped her heart for a few seconds, whilst her hatred burned incessantly. She then rummaged through a drawer in her mahogany tall boy, filled with things she had found in the cartons of books bought from probate estates. Bits and pieces, medication, syringes, paste jewelry old letters, postcards, glasses, all carelessly thrown into the carton with the books of the deceased. Anne had meticulously saved everything, even medical instruments found in three cartons full of medical books from a departed doctor's practice. She had often come across valuable, old books, and once amongst the cheap paste jewelry she had found an emerald ring which she now wore. Every carton was a treasure trove for Anne, and her favourite purchases of second hand books came from the dead. She now lined up all the vials, tablets and bottles of medication she had kept from this source, to see if there was anything amongst the lot that could be useful. She found valium, morphine and a plethora of other drugs used to make the last days of the dying more comfortable. Several she would have to check out on the internet, but there was definitely plenty to have a practice run with Penelope this evening.
Penny was always a little excited when she came to Anne. She would always pour out her heart to her giving Anne plenty of material to work with. The problem with Penny was her naivety in all matters. Although she was financially independent due to a huge inheritance, she worked several days in the week in The Arsenal, the big library, and held reading hour for children twice a week. Her kind nature saw only the good in people, although so many had let her down. The children all loved her as her innocent, child-like radiation was very attractive. Men also found this attractive, not to mention her capital worth. Penny was often in love; in love with love itself. Always waiting for her knight in shining armour, always being let down by the rust in the joints. Anne was very fond of Penny and considered her a friend, but this did not deter her from using Penny for her own schemes, her vulnerability being the significant factor.
Penny entered the shop at six p.m., right on time. They chatted for a few minutes, catching up on each other's news, with Penny overflowing with adulation for the new man she was dating. Anne made her a cup of tea as usual, only this time with a little addition. She then let Penny shuffle the cards and laid the Celtic cross formation. Penny sat opposite in happy expectation of love and romance to turn up in the cards. Anne gave a quick look at the clock behind her which had just gently chimed the quarter past six. Then she began the reading; her voice languid, soft, yet disassociated from the reading. She spoke of the present situation, the influences in Penny's life for good and for bad, and began to speak of the love surrounding Penny, always watching her as Penny slowly relaxed and leaned back in the plush, high backed armchair finally closing her eyes. Anne, still talking in her monotone softness, got up from her chair and moved the hands of the clock backwards to a quarter to six. Then she sat down again to watch Penny in silence, waiting for her to wake up again. Waiting to see how her experiment would work; testing the creative machinations for her future alibi.
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killea: thank you so much, Bert