Just another quiet evening, a beautiful woman alone in the library of her mansion, enjoying a glass of wine and reading her favorite book, but looks can be deceiving. Because this is no ordinary home library, this is a witch’s library, an evil place filled with books of dark magic spells, incantations, and instructions on mixing potions and deadly poisons.

Having just returned the volume she’d been reading to its place in the bookcase, Minerva was about to refill her wine glass when she realized she’d almost forgotten about her uninvited guest.

Picking up the wine bottle to fill my glass, I paused, “I know you’ve been standing in the darkness of the hall watching me. Why not come into the library and join me for a glass of wine?”

A woman, dressed all in black and pointing a suppressed handgun at me, stepped out of the darkness and entered the library.

I smiled at my unexpected guest as I refilled my wine glass, “Seriously, a witch hunter carrying a gun, I thought you people relied on holy water and a cross, or was it burning torches and pitchforks? It’s been so long, I’ve forgotten which came first.”

“Guns work pretty well with witches. However, I’ll let you decide how this evening ends. On the one hand, I can bind your wrists and take you to face the inquisitors, but we both already know how that option will end. Or, I can shoot you in the head a few times, then drag your body outside and burn it.”

“Well, while I’d trying to decide would you like that glass of wine? I know I certainly need one.”

Frowning suspiciously, “I’d love a glass. I’ll take yours. You can pour another for yourself.”

Turning back to the cabinet, I picked up the remaining glass and filled it with wine, “So, I’m curious, how did you find me?”

The witch hunter replied, taking another sip from her wine glass, “It’s a new program we recently started. We covertly gained access to the financial transactions for occult bookshops and magical spell ingredient dealers. When you fled England in the 1950s, you successfully eluded our hunters. Then last month, you purchased a few ingredients at a small magic shop and paid with a credit card in your actual name. You should have paid cash.”

Taking another sip of wine, “Interesting, in the future, I’m going to need to create a few fake identities to hide my shopping. That, or as you suggested, pay cash.”

The witch hunter smiled darkly, “Fake Ids, sorry, you don’t have a future. Agree to face the inquisition’s torturers, or I’ll shoot you and dispose of your body myself. Those are your only two options.”

A dark smile of deadly resolve appeared on my face, “I think I’m going with option three, but first, I want you to hand me your gun.”

A horrified look of terror appeared on the witch hunter’s face as she unhesitatingly handed me her gun, “The wine, poisoned?”

Inspecting and clearing the chamber of her pistol, I was starting to wonder just how much training in handgun safety they taught these witch hunters. I smiled at my uninvited guest’s paranoia, “There’s no poison in the wine. And by the way, nice gun. A Glock 43, threaded barrel, suppressor, optic red dot sight, combat light, and an extended capacity magazine. Nice, I’ll keep this one for my collection.”

It was time to be serious, “So, option three, I guess by now you’ve realized that it doesn’t end in my untimely death.”

“If it’s not poison, how is this happening?”

“It’s called a control spell. It encompasses this entire estate and renders any unauthorized guests susceptible to my control. If I’d wanted to, I could have told you to shoot yourself, and you would have done so without hesitation. But, then, I’d have to clean up the mess. Thankfully, for your sake, I’ve mellowed over the centuries.”

Taking another sip of wine, I continued, “So, this is what’s going to happen. You’re going to leave this place, go home, and forget this night ever happened. Next, I will erase this unspeakable financial tracking system from existence, and you and everyone involved will forget it ever existed. Now, finish your wine and leave.”

Watching her drive away, I considered if I should have altered her mind further and kept her as a pet. She was so damn cute...