“SAY YOUR NAME for me,” the old woman said. “Speak it now.”

Hesitation: “Richard Franklin.”

She repeated his words, pronouncing them slowly—“Richard” came out as Ricard.

“Now say mine.” Her tongue darted over shriveled lips that were barely there. “Say it.”

A small red fox with half its tail gone was circling around his shins, he’d noticed, brushing against them. “Witch Beulah. But I’m not sure . . . ” Richard swallowed. “Beulah the Witch.”

The puckered mouth curved. “Why have you come this night? What would your pleasure be, eh? And why should I help you?”

“His little girl—” Truitt began.

“Let him speak it himself, Thomas.” Her eyes glinted obsidian-black in the firelight. “Well?”

Richard spoke, going over it all again, telling her about Katie and raking fingers through his hair, telling her that he had nowhere else to go. She listened, allowing him to finish before beckoning them both.

They followed her through the dark, followed the swish of her ski
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