‘Wake up!’ Agnes hit him again. ‘Wake the fuck up and tell me where my heart is!’
The violence was making Joe uncomfortable.
‘Agnes,’ said Joe quietly.
‘Tell me,’ she screamed.
‘Stop it,’ he said.
‘What?’ she screeched, rounding on Joe.
‘Let him go.’
‘Why the fuck should I?’
‘Because he didn’t steal your heart.’
Agnes’ eyes narrowed as she studied Joe. ‘What the fuck do you mean? If you’re having me on…’
‘I’m not having you on.’
‘He didn’t steal your heart because Death did.’
Agnes stared at Joe. This made Joe very uncomfortable and very nervous.
‘What?’ she finally managed, after what seemed like an eternity of uncomfortable silence.
‘The woodcutter doesn’t know where your heart is because he didn’t steal it,’ he repeated, ‘Death did.’
‘And,’ she said, walking slowly but purposefully over to Joe, you’re only telling me this now?’
‘I’ve only just found out myself,’ he replied.
Agnes stopped right in front of Joe. So close to him in fact, that he could feel her warm breath on his face.
‘And you expect me to believe you, because…?’
‘Look,’ he said, ‘I can prove it to you!’ He flipped open the book and looked at the page. It read:
You fucking idiot. I am going to fucking kill you when I get my hands on you. What part of don’t tell Agnes did you not fucking get?
Absolutely fabulous, thought Joe, how do I end up pissing off every single person that comes into my life? And why do they always want to kill me? The day was getting worse. And it hadn’t even started off on a good note anyway.
He offered the open book to the witch.
She snatched it from his hands and began to read. Her face turned from anger to confusion, to murderous rage in a matter of seconds. Agnes snapped the book shut and threw it back to Joe.
‘And what,’ she said, spitting out each word with poisonous venom, ‘the fuck am I supposed to do with that information? Why the fuck did she do that to me? And why the fuck is she talking to us through a book?’
Joe had no words to comfort her. He hadn’t got a clue what was going on himself.
Agnes turned to look at the woodcutter. She gave an agonised sob and collapsed onto the floor.