When Olivia returns to Horseshoe Hills to sell her childhood home, she discovers someone or something living in her house. Family photographs are gone and in their stead are photos of a man dressed in black trousers and a laced up white shirt. He appears young, with a pompous smile on his face. Olivia is unaware that she is being watched, and in the eyes of the watcher she is the epitome of the evils of secular society, wearing too much makeup and clothes so form fitting they leave little to the imagination.
“Hello,” she called many times as she went from room to room. It was too quiet, so she ran up the stairs to her old bedroom. The door was shut and she heard muffled voices coming from inside the room. She listened with her ear to the door to the unmistakable sounds of sex. She stood with her arms crossed, fuming as each minute passed. When the door opened, she grabbed the man by the arm. “Hey loverboy, that’s disgusting. Who are you anyway?”
The man was unaccustomed to women questioning him. He gave the orders in his world. He placed his hands firmly on Olivia’s arms. “I am Adal.”
“Get out of my house, Adal!”
Adal raised his hand as if to slap her across the face, but she stopped him in mid swing. “I would think twice about that if I were you.”
“Woman, let go of me!” Adal forced Olivia’s hand from his arm and walked off, but Olivia was right behind him.
“You’re not fooling anyone. I know your kind. I grew up here, and every cult leader in the country tried to put down roots in this part of the country. I suppose you think that since no one was living here, the house belongs to you. Well, it doesn’t.”
Adal spun around. “This is not a cult.” He walked away and looked out into the back yard. A smile formed on his lips as he watched the women toil in the dirt. One by one they would be chosen to share his bed. They knew what was expected of them. His fleshly desires were theirs to satisfy and for this honor they would be rewarded in the hereafter. He glanced back at Olivia. She was the epitome of the evils of secular society. She wore too much makeup and with the clothes she wore, anyone could easily visualize her naked form. Adal realized he was staring and quickly averted his gaze to the floor.
Adal stood in the doorway of Olivia’s bedroom and listened to the sound of her tears. Curled into a fetal position, she looked younger than her years, and he felt sorry for her. He stepped inside the room and sat down on the bed. He wiped the tears that streamed down her face and waited for her to open her eyes. “I am so very sorry for the loss of your parents. Perhaps keeping the house would help fill the void in your young life. We can be your family, Olivia, if you will allow us. I will bring you some tea.”
“Okay,” Olivia mumbled.
Clara was folding laundry when Adal asked her for some hot tea. “Shall I add the special herbs?”
“Yes,” he said.
“Drink this, Olivia. You will feel better soon.” Olivia drank about half and then handed the cup to Adal, but he insisted that she drink it all. Then he watched as she slowly drifted off to sleep. When her eyelids began to flutter, he knew that the visions were coming to her. She began to thrash about and Adal lay down beside her and held her, whispering, “We are here for you, Olivia. The dreams will subside if you succumb to their will.”