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Teodor did not care how cold it had gotten. He went back to his human form as he approached Steopa.
“What the hell was that?” He asked, shaking more with anger than the cold.
“What?” Steopa asked.
“Why couldn't we get in?”
“I was not invited inside,” Steopa said.
“But Amanda and I had been in there before.”
“I do not know.” Steopa said.
Teodor kicked the snow. “Fuck!”
He stood in the cold snow for a moment, breathing in the icy air. He raised his hands behind his head and took a deep breath. This was not the time to get angry. That time had passed.
Steopa took off his overcoat and handed it to Teodor.
“Thanks,” he said. He pointed to Steopa's throat. “How's the neck?”
Teodor wrapped the coat around him. “I have to call the police.”
"What will you say to them?" Steopa asked.
"I heard screaming." Teodor walked toward the road. He sunk in the snow drifts. The snow came up to his upper thighs. It would be easier to travel on the snow like a wolf, but he wanted to feel the icy wetness.
Steopa walked on top of the fresh powder. He caught up with Teodor. “Does she skin all of them?”
Teodor paused in the snow. “I think so."
“What does she do with the bodies?”
“Does it matter?”
"Yes, she left them.”
The cold made his body quake. Teodor changed into his hybrid form. “She hasn't before.”
Steopa glanced back at the workhouse, his brow wrinkled. “And it is only children she attacks?”
“What are you doing?” Teodor asked. “There are kids killed in there and you are asking twenty questions.”
Steopa tilted his head and stared at Teodor. “You are right, call he police, let the humans handle this.”
“I am going to."
“After the police come, then what?”
“They will take the kids from here. They will be safer somewhere else.”
“And the Hag?”
“To hell with her."
Steopa crossed his arms. “You are giving up?”
Teodor's shoulder's fell. “I couldn't protect them, I tried, but she killed them. She doesn't care who sees her kill.”
“Then she is not afraid of being found out,” Steopa said. “I have to hunt carefully. I have to make sure that my kills looked like accidental deaths. But the Hag is not that cautious.”
“What are you implying?”
“She wants an audience.”
Teodor glanced back at the workhouse. “Why?”
“I think to frighten the children. You remember the tales of Baba Yaga and Muma Padurii. I had nightmares when I was little.”
Teodor scoffed, it was hard to imagine Steopa as a little child.
“But those stories had their purpose,” Steopa said.
“I know. They kept me inline. That and my dad would beat the crap out of me.”
Steopa rubbed his chin. “Yes, call the police. If she wants attention, we should give her some.”
“Go back and tell Amanda."
He raced down the snow drifts towards the road. In the distance he could see the lighted sign of a gas station.