The rest of Esther’s shift went without any sort of scene or notice, just her selling textbooks to the various students getting ready for their workloads in the coming semester. Her shift lasted until four that afternoon, when she could sign off with Giger that she’d worked her shift and had the hours under her belt for the coming paycheck. Stephanie, a Goth girl that only worked part-time and was in a perpetually bad mood, came in and relieved Esther of her workload with a roll of the eyes and a casual wave of the hand.
“Thanks Stephanie,” Esther said as she gathered he purse from behind the register, “I really didn’t feel like more time than necessary here tonight, y’know what I mean?”
“I feel that way every night,” Stephanie drawled as she began to ring up a young Biology student, who gave a smile of false cheer to not interrupt our exchange. “Go, have fun or whatever before Giger keeps you here longer than he has to.”
“Thanks!” Esther said, swooping out from behind the counter and around the line that’d formed towards the front of the store. Esther passed by Giger, who was leaning against the wall that lead to his office, his luminescent eyes upon me in a quizzical frame of study.
“I’m off for the night, Mr. Giger!” Esther chirped, waving at him.
“That you are Esther,” he said distantly. “Do be careful out there, you never know what could be lurking in the shadows …”
Esther raised an eyebrow at this, but was mentally shirking at the warning. Could he know about Sin? Does this place have video cameras or something?
“I’ll be certain to stay in well-lit places sir,” Esther joked, giving him a wane smile.
He didn’t return it, instead choosing to turn around to stalk back towards his office. He opened and closed his door without another word or look over his shoulder, and an audible lock could be heard from the fifteen feet separating Esther from the reinforced wooden door. She shivered at how unfamiliar this man was from the normal Giger was, and how she would have to try and keep her eyes peeled when around him from now on.
Who knows? He might be some religious nut that would try and get me killed for having a demon in my service … Esther thought as she stepped out into the evening air, the humid air choking her on the smell of roasting meat coming from a nearby restaurant, filled to the brim with soon-to-be college students and their parents.
Esther pulled her shawl around her shoulders a little tighter and crossed the street after making sure it was safe. Climbing the fire escape, she unlocked her apartment, she turned on the door and flung her purse to the floor and Sin out from her sleeve in one violent motion.
“How the hell does Giger know about you?” I demanded of the decrepit child.
He turned his weak frame at an inhuman angle, pale red eyes looking up at me with an emotionless mask. “I don’t know. I would hazard a guess that he could sense me, like some psychics can. He may have been merely guessing. You played it off admirably.”
“Thank you,” I said, stripping out of my work clothes and changing into a tank top and sweat pants. “Do you remember the location I told you to memorize?”
“Yes,” Sin replied, reciting it with practiced monotone.
“Okay, I want you to go there and observe. Watch and keep track of when the parents go to sleep, when everyone in the house goes to sleep. I want you to look for ways to get into the toddler’s room, and ways for the toddler to get out. Do you have a way of keeping someone your feeding from silent?”
“Yes,” Sin said, a wide grin splitting his face, “I can keep the little girl silent long enough for the ritual to be finished.”
“Good, because I’ve still got to look up the damn ritual.” Esther grumbled. She pointed out the window. “Go observe for the night, and tomorrow night we’ll go harvest you a child.”
“Yes mistress,” Sin replied, hunger dripping from his voice. He slowly seeped into my shadow, vanishing from sight.
Esther spent the night pouring over her tomes looking for the Rite of Five Daggers, finally finding it ion a musty tome I’d tucked away near the top of my bookshelf in a place where she’d placed a few books she’d never thought I’d have need of.
“Shows what I know,” She’d chuckled as she’d pulled down the slim crimson book, the golden lettering bearing the title Of Rites and Rituals Most Profane that left little to the imagination.
Reading throughout the night, Esther lost herself in the rituals until she felt eyes upon her. Turning, she jumped when she found the burning eyes of Sin mere inches from her face, embers cracking merrily in the darkness.
“Jesus Sin, what have I told you about surprising me?” Esther said.
“Not to,” he replied. “I figured you’d be expecting me, seeing as I sent a pulse across our connection.”
Esther frowned; I hadn’t felt and such pulse, but pushed the thought aside for the moment.
“What do you need?”
“Everyone is asleep, and I’ve crooned them into a deeper slumber using skills acquired from a previous host.” He said, shuffling on his haunches. “I say we go and gather the child tonight, while the fruit is ripe for the plucking.”
“And how would you propose we do that? I don’t have a car! “Esther exclaimed.
He waved a hand dismissively. “You’re a witch, aren’t you? You should be able to entrance a cabbie into giving you a lift before wiping their memory, or having them have a fatal accident a few hours later …”
“I suppose that could be done … I just didn’t think I’d have to involve anyone else other than the family I’d be robbing the child from.” Esther said.
“Well get used to it,” Sin said, “feeding me can get a little dicey at times.”
“And if I do this, you’ll be able to release the pent-up energies you took from the woman in question?”
“This rite will open he pathways between us and allow the energies to flow between us,” Sin replied, bobbing his head up and down,
“Alright, let’s go get this kid then!” Esther said.