The lights were still on in the village shop as the couple walked past.
'It looks open,' said Kitty suprised. 'Shall I try the door?'
An elderly woman stood behind the counter reading a newspaper, she looked up sensing she was being watched and smiled when she saw Kitty peering in through the window.
Kitty opened the door, making the bell tinkle madly. 'Are you still open?'
'Yes dear,' the woman looked at her wristwatch. 'Oh goodness is that the time? I didn't realise it was so late.' She shook her her head and folded the newspaper.
'We've run out of milk and coffee, are you usually open this late?'
'No I just lost track of time, I don't usually work on Friday night but my nephew had an appointment so I volunteered.' The woman watched as Kitty wandered around the shop picking up the milk and the coffee, she also picked up a crusty loaf of bread.
'Freshly baked this morning, dear.'
'It smells lovely; I'll have one of these as well.' Kitty placed it all on the counter. 'Do you have any eggs?' she asked looking around the shelves.
'Over there by the newspapers. They're free range; they come from Mr Squires's farm.'
Kitty placed a half dozen next to her other purchases on the counter. 'I'm afraid I didn't bring a bag, we weren't expecting the shop to be open.'
The woman pulled a carrier out from under the counter and started packing Kitty's groceries.
'How's the move going?' she asked suddenly. 'William's a good friend, he's been keeping me informed,' she smiled at Kitty's surprised face. 'It's a small village dear, you'll get used to it.'
Kitty smiled back at her. 'It's lovely here, it feels like home already.'
' I'm sure it does,' the woman said quietly. She passed Kitty's shopping over. 'That will be six pounds fifty please.'
Kitty opened Gordon's wallet and handed over a ten pound note. The woman's hand closed over the money and Kitty's hand.
'Sybil,' she said.
'Sybil Leavenham, my name, she explained. 'I know you're going to be happy here Kitty, and if you need any help with anything,' she shook Kitty's as if to emphasis the point. 'Anything at all just ask.'
Kitty smile hesitantly. 'Thank you, that's very kind of you.'
Sybil smiled and released her hand, she nodded towards Gordon standing outside, 'He's getting impatient and he wants his beer.'
Kitty glanced around; her husband was gently tapping on the window and gesturing at her to hurry up.
'I'd better go, she gathered up the bag and her change. 'Thanks, see you again.'
'Oh you will, goodnight.'
Kitty smiled and pulled the shop door closed behind her. Gordon looked at the carrier bag and smiled ruefully.
'I thought it was just milk and coffee you needed?'
'Well I thought I would pick up a few things for breakfast as well.' Kitty handed back his wallet and looked up, Sybil was standing in the window calmly watching the couple outside.
Kitty waved and she smile slightly in response.
'She seemed very nice, she;s a friend of Mr Beamish. She knew all about us.'
'She even knew I was called Kitty.'
Gordon looked puzzled for a minute. Hr started to say something but behind them the shop lights suddenly turned off leaving them standing in the dark.
'Oh, time to go I think,' as he said this he turned and glanced back into the darkened interior of the shop, just on the other side of the window a dim figure stood, arms folded watching them through the glass. Gordon shrugged off the strange feeling of unease and took Kitty's hand.
'Come on; let's get off to the pub Kitty.'
The Lavender Witch
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