The book still stinks of chemicals.
When she arrived in Cross during the winter of 1718, she proclaimed herself a master of science.
Few people paid her any mind, but still, there were a few foolish enough to listen to the drivel coming from her mouth.
She called herself Wisdom, and I wished mightily that she kept her mouth closed. Instead, the madwoman set up shop on the edge of town and sold her wares to those who believed she had any sort of power.
Wisdom claimed her abilities originated from a large volume on alchemy and that she could read the hidden messages buried in the dull and dry Latin of the text.
I don’t know if she could read it or if it possessed her, but regardless, she did create some curious powders and draughts. The effects of which were never pleasant to behold.
In the first week of January, she mixed a potion for a traveler who needed luck. We found him dead the next morning. An old and rotten tree had fallen and crushed him beneath it.
February, a young woman desperate for a child, took a fertility charm, and less than a week later, a rotten beast exploded from her stomach and slew her husband at the table as the woman died.
In March, a boy wanted his dead dog to return, and return the dog did. It was mad with hunger and obscene to behold. The dog took the boy’s foot and tore it off.
It was the attack upon the boy and the abomination that had once been a dog that finally spurred me into action.
I went to the woman’s house and told her I needed a draught to help with cramps. She told me she had just the thing, and as she gathered her cure-alls and her potions, I slipped the garrote out of my pocket and waited for her to walk by.
A few minutes passed, and she stepped in front of me.
In a heartbeat, the rope was looped ‘round her neck, and despite my small size, I was able to bring her to her knees.
She died on the dirt floor of her shack, and I took the book home for me.
One more volume to add to my growing collection.