The Witches of Snyder Farms (The Wicked Garden Series)

The Witches of Snyder Farms (The Wicked Garden Series) by Lenora Henson

Book: The Witches of Snyder Farms (The Wicked Garden Series) by Lenora Henson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lenora Henson
her chest. Nervous energy coursed through her body, but her hands were steady.
    He had learned to walk slowly, carefully, purposefully when he was drunk. It wouldn’t do for the neighbors to see him stumble. But he had begun to betray himself lately as his drinking got worse. Of course, she had no business judging him, since she had a deep and abiding relationship with the Scotch bottle herself. She just hid it better than he did. She had to. He was worried about keeping up appearances. She was worried about a beating.
    Giving up the drink wasn’t an option for Bridget. When she stayed dry, the voice in her head came back. Over the years, she had learned to maintain the perfect level of intoxication: drunk enough to drown out the voice, but sober enough to convince her husband that she hadn’t had a drop.
    But she wouldn’t have to worry about that anymore. Soon it would all be over.
    Her bags were packed. The box and the loving cup were carefully wrapped and tucked safely away in her suitcase. She’d prepared her daughter, and they were ready to run.
    She looked to the girl asleep on the sofa. It was the day before Carlin’s fourteenth birthday. The boy who had been caught having his way with her was let go without punishment or reprimand. Her daughter, however, had been beaten beyond anything Bridget had ever witnessed. It was an old, old story, one the women in her family seemed doomed to repeat. Over and over again. 
    History has no mercy.
    Bridget tightened her grip on the gun. She’d gathered what money she could find, which wasn’t much at all. Her husband—that pillar of the community—was not only a drunk but an inveterate gambler, heavily in debt.
    Is this freedom? she wondered. Losing everything? Nah. There has to be something better. This curse cannae go on forever.
    “But it can, lassie. On with it.”
    Bridget turned slowly to see the Woman in Wool. Bridget was shocked by the sight. It had been a long, long time since this demon in a woman’s shape was anything more than a hateful voice in Bridget’s head.
    Bridget lowered the gun and pulled herself up as tall and strong as she could.
    “There’ll come a day when yer demands are nah met. Without a sacrifice yah cannae live, now can yah?” Bridget asked.
    The specter’s nose flared. “Yah cannae be rid of me. It goes on.”
    Bridget grinned. “But I’ve seen my granddaughter. In visions, I’ve seen her. She’s stronger than yah. She’ll resist yah. Cannae see what’s to come, can yah?”
    “Dinnae need to see what’s to come to know that the curse goes on.” The Woman in Wool stepped closer to Bridget, her heavy dress leaving a trail of sea water on the floor.
    “Now on with it, yah nasty tart!” the Woman in Wool screeched, and the sound echoed so loudly in Bridget’s head that she nearly dropped the gun.
    As the banshee wail died, Bridget looked out the window. Her husband was going around to the back of the house. Damn the man! She left her post at the front door and raced through the living room, into the kitchen.
    Her hand was turning the knob when she saw them. Two men, one holding a gun.
    Their voices were quiet as they confronted her husband, but Bridget could hear them in her mind. It was one of her gifts.
    “You’ve had your last chance. Where’s the money?” It was the man without the gun speaking.
    “I’ll have it tomorrow—”
    “We’ve heard that before. You’re out of tomorrows, Fitzgerald.” He grabbed his quarry by the collar. “Do you have the money or not?”
    Bridget saw the terror in her husband’s eyes as he shook his head. She might have pitied him, if she hadn’t seen the same fear in her daughter’s eyes when she thought her father was going to beat her to death. 
    “May yah rot in hell with the rest of ‘em, Bart Fitzgerald. And bless yah ruffians for doin’ mah dirty work for me,” she whispered.
    She didn’t even blink when her husband was shot in the

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