When we left Bad Pyrmont, Heike’s brother had just informed her of the death in the Dunsthölle pavilion. She calculates how long since the last time the pavilion was opened, as she’s preparing “a little snack” for him.
That would be . . . Heike glanced at the calendar on the wall. “Two weeks and a day,” she murmured. More loudly, she said, “Yes, I can understand questions.” She busied herself with the strawberries, spooning them over fresh lemon cakes, then adding a splash of cream to each. Walburga only got the berries and cream. Heike set a bowl in front of her brother, then offered him a spoon.
“Ah, sister mine, you spoil me,” he said, smiling as he mock-scolded her.
She set Walburga’s portion on the floor, then sat at the table. “It is the berries spoiling that concern me, oh my brother.” That he’d eat his fire-truck’s weight in the fruit if he could did not need to be mentioned.
He departed not long after eating and finishing his beer. Heike washed the dishes and stared at the long twilight outside the kitchen window. “I am concerned,” she said after putting Walburga’s bowl in the drainer rack.
Walburga licked one forefoot and tidied her face, then said, “Yes. The darkness we sensed did not come only from the woman’s passing.”
“No. But tonight is not the time to look.”
Walburga sniffed. “Nein, because half of town will find a reason to go by the pavilion, and the medical investigator may still be working there.”
“Ja.” She was not a government mage, and had no place getting in the way. “Tomorrow the market, then perhaps Thursday evening. The moon will be new.”
“Gut.” Good. Walburga tidied a last bit of cream off of her muzzle, then hopped out of the kitchen and curled up in her nest of blankets and pillows beside Heike’s knitting corner. Continue reading