"Where am I?" the figure standing in the triangle asks no one in particular.
"It's you!" Ethan replies
"Ms. Curry!" Brian exclaims
"I was expecting..." Ethan's words trailed off without finishing his sentence.
"We'll who?" Brian asks "You were expecting who?"
"How did I get here?" Ms. Curry asks confusedly.
"Are we really going to have to do this?" Ethan asks Ms. Curry "Just admit it, you're the hag!"
"I...I don't know what you're talking about." Ms. Curry replies "One minute I was at the Inn folding laundry and the next minute I was here."
"Are you sure she's the hag?" Brian asks Ethan "Maybe we did something wrong."
"Ok if you're not the hag" Ethan says drawing back to toss the hex bag "then this should have no effect on you."
"NO!" Ms. Curry screams "Don't!"
Ethan tosses the hex bag at Ms. Curry and Brian follows suit. The hex bags explodes against her body melting her skin to reveal the bloody Boo-Hag underneath. Her feet twist around to their natural position so that her toes point behind her.
"My skin!" sobs the Hag sinking down on her knees "My beautiful skin!"
"Ah, Ethan," Brian begins "I thought your potion was suppose to destroy her?"
"It was supposed to. Why didn't it work?"
The two men regard each other unable to fathom an answer to the dilemma before them as a rumbling laughter begins to climb out of the Hag from a place so deep it seems as if it began in hell eons ago and is just now reaching their ears.
"You can't do it!" the Hag explains "but I can destroy you!"
"Oh yeah, I'd like to see you try," Brian responds "when you're trapped in there and we're safe out here!"
"Brian, please don't taunt the Hag."
"Fool, this puny trap can't hold me forever." The Hag screams as she begins beating the floor with her powerful hands.
"Stop that!" Ethan orders her but the Hag ignores him as she continues to beat the floor in a berserk-like rage. shaking the entire shack.
"Ethan" Brian exclaims "the floor, she's tearing it apart. She's gonna get out!"
Before Ethan can make a move the shack can take no more of the Hag's punishment and all three fall through the floor into a cavern below.
"What happened." Ethan moans peering through the darkness as the debris settles around him. He looks around and surmises that the abandoned shack had been built over one of the old shafts leading into the coal mines. Suddenly he sees Brian unconscious and bleeding from the head.
"Brian!" Ethan cries and he crawls over to him and begins holding his head."Brian, can you hear me?"
"Now, who's got who trapped?" whispers the Hag from out of the darkness.
"Get out of here you bitch!" Ethan orders "Or I'll....."
"You'll what?" the Hag replies "dust me with some more of your powder?"
"Why are you doing this?"
"Haven't you figured it out yet?" the Hag replies her voice seemingly coming from all directions as she moves about the space "Mr. O'brien and I were lovers. I begged him...BEGGED him... to leave his wife so we can have a life together. Instead he chose her over me!"
"That's no reason to kill him." Ethan replies as he looks around the room for some kind of weapon to defend himself and Brian.
"I didn't want to kill him." the Hag explains with a hint of regret in her raspy voice "I tried to kill his wife but he fought me and I....I only meant to get him out of the way so I could get at Mrs. O'brien"
Ethan ponders what he has just heard as he tries to hone in on the Hag's location in the darkness. He could tell from her voice that she seems to be circling him in a spiral coming closer and closer to him. He spots a candle lying nearby whose flame is still burning. He picks it up and tries to cast some light into the shadows.
"And now" the Hag continues I will destroy you both for interfering. And when I'm done with you I'll go back and kill Mrs. O'brien and maybe even the snot nosed kid."
"You'll never get away with it!"
Suddenly the Hag appears before him, a dark bloody shadow, and grabs him by the throat. He is thrown on his back and the Hag hovers over him poised to suck out his life's breath.
"Oh I always get away with it." she explains "Do you know how many dead wives I've left in my trail? I'll finish you off and then move on to another town...another man....."
Finally, Ethan throws the Hag back away from him with a telekinetic push and tosses the lit candle at her. The Hag's body ignites in a blue flame and explodes into a thousand tiny pieces.
"Your story checks out." Sheriff Bostick explains to Ethan and Brian "It seems that Ms. Curry, or whatever her real name is, has been a person-of-interest in several murders all over the country. She always disappeared and changed her identity before she could be thoroughly investigated."
"How do you know she the same person?" Mrs. O'brien asks
"Well, they finger printed her once down in Georgia and those prints matched the ones we lifted from your laundry room."
"I can't believe it" Mrs. O'brien explains "She was always so nice. I mean, I did suspect Brad of having an affair a few months ago I could never prove it. I guess I didn't want to believe that it could be true."
"What will you do now?" Brian asks
"Well, I've decided to sell the Inn to the Bakhtak Corporation and move back to the North East where I have family." she explains "They've made me a generous offer."
"What do they want with the Inn?" Ethan inquires.
"They think the land here would be a great investment. They plan on building a resort."
"Well Sheriff ," Brian begins "if that answers all of your questions, can my husband and I get on with our journey now that our car is repaired?
"Oh yes" the Sheriff replies "and you can stop by the station on your way out of town to pick up your piece."
"Good, we'll be leaving in the morning after breakfast" Brian says as he and Ethan walks away "thanks again, Sheriff."
"Ok" Brian says when the two men are far enough away from the Sheriff and Mrs. O'brien, "They bought our story that we were hiking in the woods and came across Ms. Curry burying her bloody clothes from the night we found her in the O'brien's bedroom. But you never told me how you made her blow up?"
"Simple chemistry" Ethan explains "When we fell into that old mine-shaft I remember a crucial ingredient that we had forgotten at the grocery store."
"I still don't get it?"
"Brian, it's easy" Ethan responds "What do you get when you mix sulphur, saltpeter, and charcoal together?"
Brian stops and stands across from Ethan resting his hands on Ethan's shoulders. Now that you've taught me all about chemistry, how about a lesson in biology?"
Before Ethan can answer Brian leans in and give Ethan a passionate kiss.
"You're crazy." Ethan replies.
The two men take each other by the hand and run up to their room to begin their last night on Moonshine Mountain.
The End of The Fool's Journey
Ethan Knox will return in
THE WELL OF DARKNESS