The funeral for the pastor’s wife was held early in the day leaving the pastor alone in the evening to meet for bible class, a class the pastor scheduled at the request of Bohdan. The pastor’s wife was killed without Bohdan feeding off of her, something he regretted in hindsight so now he needed new blood. He needed to feed at least once a week and tonight the pastor was bringing fresh meat to the table.
Bohdan hid in the back storage room of the church while the class was held for a small select group of people. A group the pastor thought would make good targets for the vampire. Seething with anger over the murder of his wife, the pastor had no choice but to carry out the wishes of the vampire who slaughtered her and left her out to hang in the public square.
The class was scheduled for an hour and the hour was up when Bohdan heard the pastor offer up a last prayer for the night. Now the plan was for the pastor to keep one person behind so Bohdan could end his/her life and drink of their blood. Bohdan put his eye up to a crack in the doorway watching to see who the pastor would ask to stay. The group was a mix of two families, four adults and four children, three girls and a boy. Bohdan wanted a girl, he always preferred them over males.
The crowd dispersed and all the members of the bible study left the main room of the church heading out the main door. Bohdan was confused and as time went on became angry that the pastor didn’t keep one of the girls behind. When the room was empty, Bohdan opened the door and stepped into the church behind the altar. From there he scanned the room looking for the pastor, he was not to be found.
“Don’t worry, I have one coming back,” the pastor said as he walked back into the room.
“Which one?” Bohdan asked.
“Angela,” the pastor replied. “The oldest daughter, she’s going home to get a book and bring it back. I asked her to show it to me.”
“Good, how long will it take?”
“She lives three miles from here, it will take an hour for her to get back, you can wait.”
“It’s dark outside, do you think her parents will allow her to be out at night alone? What if her father returns with her?” Bohdan asked.
“I can’t help that. I told you I’d find you parishioners to kill and I did. How you do it is your business, not mine.”
“I can’t kill a grown man as easy, and he will have help, his daughter will be here as well.”
“You don’t know that, she will probably come alone. We don’t have much crime around here, at least before you showed up,” the pastor said.
It was two hours before Angela returned to the church alone. She opened the main door and stepped inside holding a book looking for the pastor. She turned and found him sitting in his office reading. “Pastor,” she said trying not to startle the man.
The pastor jumped and laughed hearing him called out by the girl. “Sorry Angela, I didn’t hear you come in. “I see you brought the book I asked for.”
“Yes,” Angela replied setting the book on the pastor’s desk. “Sorry I was late getting back, I had to help my mother with some chores.”
“No problem, that’s what a good child does.”
Angela turned to walk back out the door when she saw a tall stranger standing in the doorway. She gasped and put a hand to her chest swallowing hard. “Excuse me, I didn’t hear you behind me,” she said.
Bohdan put a hand on each side of the doorway blocking Angela’s escape from the room He didn’t reply at first keeping an eye on the girl, sizing her up for a meal.
“I don’t believe we’ve met before,” Angela said, trying to prompt the stranger to speak.
“My name is Bohdan,” the strange man said.
“Do you have relations around here?” Angela asked trying to make conversation.
“No,” Bohdan replied cold.
Angela waited for the stranger to step away from the doorway, but didn’t; he continued to block her way out with a hand on each side of the door. Soon it became uncomfortable so the girl looked to the pastor for direction. “I need to get going,” Angela said to the pastor, then she looked to the stranger expecting him to step aside. He didn’t. “Excuse me sir, may I get past you?” she asked.
Bohdan hesitated, then moved so the girl could walk by. As she passed Bohdan, he placed a hand on her breast and squeezed hard enough for the girl to lurch away in fear.
“What are you doing?” Angela asked.
“I haven’t been with a woman in months,” Bohdan replied.
“How dare you touch me like that! And in God’s house!” Angela snapped back. She looked to the pastor to back her up, but he sat silent, deferring to Bohdan. The pastor seemed timid and scared.
Bohdan stepped in closer to Angela and reached out to grab her by the collar of her dress. She backed away before he could get a grip. “Don’t try to get away from me,” Bohdan said. “If you put up a fight, I will be very angry, and you don’t want me to be angry. Do you understand?”
Angela looked to the pastor who was in the other room sitting at his desk. “Help me pastor!” Angela said. The pastor sat quiet and didn’t reply.
“He won’t help you,” Bohdan said. “Nobody will help you now, so you might as well do as I say.”
“Do you expect me to let you rape me?” Angela asked.
“Take off your clothes,” Bohdan said. He was direct, to the point and didn’t raise his voice.
“I won’t,” Angela replied. “Pastor, please do something,” she pleaded.
“He set this up,” Bohdan said with a smile. “Take off your clothes and it won’t be as painful.”
Angela could tell by the pastor’s demeanor that the stranger was right. The person she relied on for guidance and comfort put her in the path of this stranger who was now planning to rape her in the church. The thought of bolting out the front door crossed her mind, but she knew the chances of her escaping from the stranger’s grasp were slim. So she tugged at her dress, and pulled it up over her head and dropped it on the floor. She then removed her undergarments and stood naked before the stranger and the pastor. The pastor who was now turned away so he couldn’t see what was about to happen. “I hope you’re happy pastor,” Angela said.
The next day Angela’s nude eviscerated body was found at the edge of town draped over a fence post. Sheriff Jim Greenwood had little to go on, but now had three murdered mutilated females to deal with and a town angry and in fear for their lives. People had noticed the stranger in town, and people talked enough that word got back to the sheriff with concerns he might be the one he should be looking at. The only common bond between the women otherwise was the pastor’s wife and a parishioner were both church members, the prostitute was a single event upon itself with no clear connection to the others. Unless the stranger could be tied to all three.
The sheriff rode to the pastor’s residence and found him working in the back feeding his animals. He got the pastor’s attention, dismounted from his horse and stepped over to speak to the local man of God. “Morning pastor,” the sheriff said raising his hand.
“What can I do for you sheriff?” the pastor asked. Sweat dripping off his forehead as he set his feed on the ground.
“I have some questions for you if you don’t mind.”
“Is this about the girl they found dead on the fence?” the pastor asked.
“The girl?” The sheriff asked. He was struck by how informal the pastor spoke. “Wasn’t she a member of the church? I’ve seen the family there every Sunday.”
“Yes, I suppose so.”
“And you don’t know her name?”
“I don’t know the name of everyone who attends church,” the pastor replied.
“Her name was Angela Johnson, her father is Thomas Johnson, and he farms south of town by the river.”
“Yes, I know,” the pastor said. He was being defensive. “I just don’t know the names of all his kids, do you know their names?”
The sheriff stood for a moment and thought. “No, actually I don’t, I’m sorry. But why did you assume I came here to talk about her?”
“I don’t know, it just happened, why else would you be out asking questions about anything?”
“How are you holding up with your wife’s murder?” the sheriff asked.
The pastor swallowed hard. “Not very well,” he replied.
“Must be tough losing your wife and now a parishioner. You’re in the comfort business and it seems you’re the one in need of comfort.”
“I keep busy, it takes my mind off it,” the pastor replied.
“I have another question. Some people in town said they saw that stranger in town hanging out near the church, did you happen to see him?”
The pastor had to choose his words carefully. “Yeah, I saw him.”
“Did you happen to speak to him?”
“We had a conversation, yes.”
“Do you know his name?”
“Yes, he said his name is Bohdan,” the pastor replied.
“Bohdan? That’s an odd name.”
“Sounds east European I think,” the pastor replied.
“What did you talk about?”
“Oh, small talk mainly.”
“I see, out of curiosity, what kind of small talk?”
“He asked about the church, if I was the pastor, things like that.”
“And what did you tell him?”
“I told him I was the pastor and that he was welcome to come to church on Sunday,” the pastor replied.
“Anything else?” the sheriff asked.
“No, that’s about it.”
The sheriff could tell the pastor was lying, but didn’t want to piss him off. His wife had just died and he knew the pastor would be sensitive.
“You know I have no leads on your wife’s murder,” the sheriff said. “Do you think this Bohdan could have anything to do with it?”
“Why would I think that?” the pastor replied.
“Nobody knows him, and nobody I can think of had a motive to kill your wife. The timing is suspect. Did he give you any vibes as to his personality?”
The pastor wanted to tell the sheriff everything he knew, but he also feared for his life knowing Bohdan had killed both his wife and Angela Johnson. “He seemed normal to me.”
“I want to talk to him, if you see him again, can you send him down to the jail?” the sheriff asked.
“If I see him I will,” the pastor replied. “I need to get back to feeding my animals.”
“Sorry to bother you, doing my job,” the sheriff said. He climbed back on his horse and took off down the dirt road back into the main part of town. It didn’t take long for Bohdan to step out of the house and approach the pastor who was now sweating profusely under the sun.
“What did he want?” Bohdan asked.
“He wants to talk to you,” the pastor replied.
“Me? Why me?”
“I don’t know, you ask him.”
“You must have told him something about me if he wants to speak to me.”
“Maybe he wants to speak to you because three women died in the last two weeks and you are the only person around here nobody knows anything about. I’d be asking about you too if I were him. Maybe if you didn’t walk around town acting so creepy this wouldn’t be a problem!”
“I won’t talk to him,” Bohdan replied.
“I don’t give a shit what you do, if I were you, I’d get the fuck out of town as soon as possible. There’s a target on your back and now the sheriff is onto you. You’re plan isn’t working any longer and I’m getting sick of you threatening to kill me. If you’re going to do it, fucking do it.”
“I won’t kill you, I will make your life a living hell if you don’t do as I say. You need to go to the sheriff and tell him to leave me alone.”
“Are you kidding me? Why the fuck would I do that? I don’t need a target on my back.”
Then Bohdan got an idea, he needed to pin the deaths on someone, and that someone was standing right in front of him dripping sweat from his brow.