A small man met Peter at the fence; he could not tell the man’s age, but saw experience in the washed out grey eyes. His hands were as gnarled as the petrified fence wood, but he nimbly unlatched the gate to let Peter in. Without a word the man stepped out of the way to let Peter through, and quickly re-latched the gate, glancing behind Peter deep into the night. The little man turned and led the way up the path in silence. Peter had to hurry to keep up.
They neared a small farm house where the little man motioned for Peter to wait. He disappeared around the side of the house and appeared a moment later carrying a spade. Peter felt his guts knot, but stood his ground. The man walked past him and nodded for Peter to follow, which he did.
They trudged briskly through a field in unspoken agreement for a good quarter mile, then Peter saw her. He knew it was her, even though he could only see a silhouette. She looked like an out of place time traveller in this new millennium. She wore a full length A-line skirt, and Peter was sure a petticoat. Her fitted jacket with poofy shoulders and a high collar buttoned down the front making her waist look inhumanly tiny. Her long brown hair was swept into a loose bun at the nape of her neck.
‘Thank you for coming,’ she whispered as he approached. The little man nodded and continued walking, turning to the right and continuing with his spade into a wooded area. She knew he’d come, Peter thought. When it came to Dahlia he had no choice, he could never deny her.
She leaned in grabbing his hand tightly and planted a subtle yet lingering kiss on the corner of his mouth. Then she quickly turned leading him through the tall grass. He felt warmth ooze up his cheek and licked his lips where hers had touched. ‘It’s in the barn,’ was all she said and dragged him quickly towards an old yet sturdy building hiding in the dark near the wood the little man had disappeared into.
When they reached the barn Dahlia dropped his hand and gave Peter a long knowing look. He nodded at her. She reached out and grasped the metal door handle, pressing down on the lever and yanked the door open.
The pupils of Peter’s eyes grew to adjust to the dimness inside the barn and then his eyes widened as he realized what he was seeing. His jaw dropped a little and he felt a scream rising in his throat; he swallowed it back and took a step inside. Dahlia stepped in with him and closed the door behind them.