Chapter Twenty-Four: Appearance of the Witch


Jeanie had an idea, maybe she could call Janus and tell him about the pictures she selected and send them as an attachment for him in his personal email so that he could get a head-start before Monday. She took out her phone and dialed his number and Janus answered second ring.

“Hello, Janus said, casually,”

“Janus this is Jeanie, she replied.”

“Jeanie, Hi, I’m didn’t expect a call from you on Saturday, is everything okay?”

“Oh yes, everything’s fine, I just wanted you know that I was thinking about your office and I started pulling some designs for you last night, she said.”

“Oh, my office, great, I was worried that you were calling to tell me that you weren’t going to be able to make the luncheon tomorrow, Janus sounded relieved.”

“No, me and my husband will be there Janus, I promise, Jeanie said.”

“Good, Janus replied.”

“I just wanted to know if you would like me to send you the pictures that I had selected as an attachment, to your personal email, so you review them first, Jeanie asked.”

“How about my corporate email instead, that way I can actually make a comparison while I’m here.”

“You mean you’re actually at the office, Jeanie said.”

“Well…yes, Janus answered, hesitantly.”

“Janus it’s Saturday, why are you at the office on a Saturday, Jeanie asked?”

“My work is my life, Janus said simply.”

“Did you want me stop in for a minute to show you personally then, she asked.”

“Well I mean, if you’re not busy, that would be great, Janus replied, but you don’t have to.”

“No, it’s no problem, but it will take me at least half an hour before I get there, Jeanie said.”

“I just got here myself, so you take as long as you need, Janus said.”

“Okay bye, Jeanie said.”

“Bye, Janice repeated.”

Jeanie really didn’t have any house work, she scraped the plates and put them in the dishwasher, she had planned on going to the mall near her office, so maybe this was a coincidence, she thought.”

She made sure that she had all her stuff in her leather briefcase, her coat,

Jeanie walked in the building and there was no one there, not even the security guard behind his desk, she unlocked the door with a key she was given and relocked it from the inside and then made her way down the hall to the elevator.

It was the afternoon, but all the blinks were drawn, and with the silence and absence of no people the office seemed rather gloomy. She walked past her desk to her boss’s office behind her and even thou the door was partly open she knocked and waited.

Zach opened the door as wide as it would go, and left it open after he greeted her warmly, “Jeanie, Thank You for coming in.”

“No problem, I was going to go to the mall anyway and that’s another fifteen minutes from here, she said.”

“Maybe I over-emphasized my request, you didn’t have to take this assignment home with you.”

“Deny me the chance to redecorate, oh no, I wouldn’t pass that up in a million years, and they both laughed.”

Jeanie had her laptop with her as well and she had saved all her images, and bookmarked her websites, but she had also printed out some of the more impressive designs from her laser printer.

Jeanie took the Manilla Folder out of her bag, and asked him before placing it on his desk, “May I?”

“Yes, please Janus said.”

“May I keep the door open, it gets so stuffy in here, sometimes I can’t stand it,

Janus said.”

“You have a lot Windows Jeanie noted.”

“Yes, but not one of them open, Janus said, so I never get any fresh air. The office is cold in the winter time, and when I try to adjust the thermostat, I can smell the fumes from the furnace. I have a very sensitive nose and sometimes I get nauseous, I complain to maintenance and they say that it’s impossible for me to detect any fumes. But I can always tell when the blowers kick on because I get these stabbing headaches.

Do you have a carbon monoxide detector???

No, the furnace is suppossed to have one built in thou?

Do you want me to pick one up???

Yes, please, here use my expense account, and he handed her his credit card.

Jeanie was hesitant, are you sure???

That’s why they gave it to me, in fact that’s what I using to redecorate the office. You can pick out anything you want for the office if you find anything else he shrugged his shoulders.

You’re giving me your credit card.

Just keep the recipts huh???

They both laughed.

Regarding the furnace I have maintance checking on it right now, since we have our first cold snap just to make sure we don’t have any problems.

What that Jeanie asked noticed a regtanular device near his closet.

Air purifier he said, Cmon let me show you.

Have you ever breathed pure oxygen, he asked her???

No, she said.

Breath just a little he took a breath and then handed her the second mask, next to it.

She took it nervously.

“Is it connected, Jeanie asked, as she walk toward it, and then Janus pushed a button and a very fine mist of aerosol spray was released from a hidden compartment, and after Jeanie was forced fed air thur the small vents at one time, then she was out.

Janus caught her and then put on a respirator that covered his mouth and nose, one that you could speak and be heard thru, over hers, and he picked up Jeanie and set her on the smooth leather chair. Then Janus grabbed the remote from his pocket and pushed a button door which automatically shut his office door mechanically and locked it as well.

The dry aerosol was colorless, tasteless, and aside from the faint smell of cinnamon, impossible to detect. Jeanie had her eyes closed and her head slumped back as she slept from the potent concoction.

The remaining residue dried instantly on her clothes but left no stains. Jeanie that close had taken the gist of the blast; the mist was sent directly to her cerebral cortex.

“Jeannie, can you hear me, Janus, asked?”

“Yes, I can hear you, Jeanie replied in a sleepy voice.”

“I going to ask you questions, you will answer yes of no, do you understand, Janus asked?”

“Yes, Jeanie said.”

He noted the wall clock next to them, how long this shit was supposed to last, 15, 10, maybe 5 minutes, nobody knew, Janus wanted a demonstration for himself.

He started by asking her questions, he already knew the answer to.

“Are you married, Janus asked?”

“Yes, Jeanie answered.”

“You have been married for almost six years, Janus asked looking at her resume on file?”

“Yes, Jeanie answered.”

“Do you have any children, he asked?”

“No, Jeanie answered.”

“Is there something wrong with your husband, Janis asked?”

“No, Jeanie replied upset.”

“You want children, Janus asked?”

“No, Jeanie answered troubled and confused.”

“Do you love your husband, Janus asked?”

“With all my heart, Jeanie said.”

“Yes or no bitch, Janus commanded.”

“Yes, Jeanie answered.”

“Did you have sex with him before marriage?

“Yes, Jeanie answered.”

“Anyone else.”

Long pause, and then she answered, “Yes.”

“More than one, Janus asked?”

“Yes, Jeanie replied, but she hesitated like she was struggling to avoid answering the question.”

“So, Mark wasn’t you’re first fuck, Janus repeated?”

“No, Jeanie started crying.”

Janus asked his next question based on a hunch.

“Were you raped?”

“Yes, Jeanie answered.”

“Did you like it, Janus asked?”

“No, Jeanie said horrified.”

“Did your husband know you were damaged goods before he married you, Janus asked?”

“Yes, Jeanie answered?”

“You can still have kids, Janus asked.”

After another longer pause, Jeanie replied, “Yes.”

The drug seemed to be wearing off and Jeanie’s answers were less forthcoming, as Janus drilled her, Jeanie would pause until Janus would have to repeat the question.

“You ever cheat on your husband, Janus asked?” There was another long pause.

“Did you ever cheat on your husband, Janus asked patiently?”

Jeanie’s head remained down as it had when they started, and her eyes remained, closed, Janus moved in and slapped her across the face,

“Answer me you fucking cunt, he yelled!!!”

“A strange voice answered, one that did not sound like Jeanie’s, it sounded like an old woman’s, “No more questions will be answered, not this day or any other, you wretched man.

The voice that came out was so alien that Janis instantly reached for his pistol inside his trouser holster, hidden by his pants. It was slightly oversized and thicker material used just for the occasion. Then he stopped his “trained-reflex.”

“Who am I speaking too, Janus asked.

“You’ll know my name soon enough.”

Janus had interrogated a lot of prisoners, but none had never gone psychotic on him, not at this stage anyway. This would be a first, “Tell me your name right now, Janice asked, in a calm voice.”

“I will tell you who you are, Janus Montgomery Zachariah III, an evil man with a horrible fate, Janus flinched, instinctively, Montgomery?

How the fuck did she know his middle name was “Montgomery” he never told anybody that, he had been raised in the south, and that was an embarrassment to him, so he changed his name legally, and Montgomery was erased. That was over twenty-five years ago nobody could have known that. That voice chilled Janus to the bone. It wasn’t Jeanie’s voice, it was old and raspy, and sounded like it came a million miles from her.

Janus didn’t know if this was a side-effect of the drug, or if she was a border-line psycho, who had finally cracked under the drugs influence?

“What’s your name witch, Janus asked.”

“Death, she promised.”

“Where’s Jeanie, he asked unnerved.”

“Away from you and your ills, the voice replied.”

“Bring her back or I’ll show you death, and he raised his gun, he demanded.”

Jeanie started coughing in her own voice, and secretly Janus was relieved.

“Jeanie are you okay, he asked, realizing the effects of the drug had stopped.”

“Yes, I think so, what happened, she asked touching her head like she had a headache.”

“You almost fainted, from the oxygen, so I grabbed a chair for you to sit do in.”

“Oh, thank you, she replied unaware.”

“I want you to sit here until you are okay to walk, then I want you to go outside, while I bring up maintaince and get this looked at.”

“How long was I out???”

Three seconds Janus said, just long enough for me to carry you to the couch.

Jeanie had heard of pregnant women having fainting spells.

“It’s those damn fumes, he said trying to sound convincing.

Just then the furnace went off again, Jeanie this chair has wheels, so I’m going to slowly wheel you out of this room and to your desk, can you hold on?

“No, it’s okay, I can walk, she said.”

“No, let me walk you to the chair first so I can be sure, he said.”

Then he ran back to shut his office door.

I don’t want to leave you, but I want to know what those clown donwstairs are doing?

Go, I’ll be fine.

Are you sure???


Look I’m really sorry about all this, but this might take a while, can we finish this up on Monday instead?”

“Are you sure, Jeanie sounded disappointed?”

Yea, I think its best

Okay, oh here and Jeanie handed him back his credit card.

Thank you, he said.

“Leave the pictures and I will look at them tomorrow, and we can talk about this Monday instead, how about that???”

“Okay, she replied.”

“There on my desk, I will look at them, as soon as I’m done downstairs, I need to make sure this exhaust problem is fixed by Monday, otherwise, none of us are going to be able to work.”

“Maybe your right, she agreed.”

“Are you okay to walk, or do you want me to stay with you, he asked concerned.”

“I’ll be fine Janus, she said?”

“Are you sure.”

“Yes, Go on, she assured him.”

When Jeannie got home all she wanted to do was take a long hot bath and soak. She didn’t want to cook, she was exhausted, and she could feel her migraine starting up again from earlier. Jeannie dressed, and threw her clothes in the washer, she wanted to start dinner before Mark got home. But first she had to do something about this headache before it got worse. She looked in the kitchen cabinet for some Tylenol. Then on the second shelf she saw something that stood out, it captured her attention, she expected it to be the medicine, but it was a spice instead: Cinnamon.