Eoin’s lips moved, but no sound came out. “Fyskar Witch! You were dead. You were dead and buried and damned!” Daleroch hissed, droplets of blood spraying across the metal tip of Eoin’s mask. The clan leader tried to scuttle away from the cloaked figure, but his arms and legs had started to numb under the poison.
Eoin quietly watched the life fade from the man’s eyes. He stuffed the pendant back into his pouch and stood up. Did either of you drink the wine? he demanded of Seonaid and Fearchar with harsh, jerky movements. They both shook their heads. Good. I’m going down to the beach. I’ll see you back at the house? he drew in a deep breath and slowed his movements, but he could not hide the rising tremble in his fingers.
“We’ll have ale and an early porridge,” Seonaid smiled sweetly. She wanted out of the house of death and fast. They all made their way out. Eoin tossed another small pouch and one of the parchments to Fearchar who caught it. Fearchar nodded to the beaked man and made his way out of the building with his wife in tow. They made their way down the hill to the village.
Eoin was left at the door with a lantern. He pulled out another parchment from the container and a crude nail. With the flat of the hatchet he nailed the declaration to the door, warning any who would enter the domicile that they risked Plague and urged that the building be burned down in a fortnight of the last resident’s death.
His fingers trembled and his head pounded. Fear snapped across his shoulders and scrambled down his spine. He turned from the door, looking back at the building once more as he walked around to the back and down the hill to the beach and the private dock that housed the Daleroch’s fishing fleet.
A small tack house sat on the beach near the peer. Its rock wall had turned into a glistening sheet of ice from the spray of the lapping water and the chill wind. He eased himself to the shadowed, snowy ground, resting his back against the structure, thankful for the lack of moon that night. He pulled his mask off and puffed a breath of relief. The wind bit at his cheek, but he could not stand the stifling warmth of the leather for another second.