Disclaimer: I do not own any of the
characters in this story and make no
money off them.
Summary: AU. Xander is a young man
living in an Amish community when he
finds himself confronted by the evil of a
STRONG WARNING: although done in a respectful
manner, this story deals with religious issues. If you
find that offensive DO NOT READ.
Xander's brain snapped to attention at 4 am every morning.
A life time of conditioning made any type of clock or alarm
He recalled the few times he had, as a young boy taken it
upon himself to sleep in till after the rise of the sun.
He quickly learned his lesson.
Neither of his parents had admonished him, but he
could see the disappointment in his father's eyes.
That along with the realization that not only were all his
morning chores still there, but now he would do them on
an empty stomach.
"Your Mother has much work to do. Once the table
has been cleared there will be no more food put out
until the midday meal is served."
The point was quickly made.
Xander would rather have taken a beating than see
his parents ashamed of him. The feeling that was left in him
was ten time worse than the hunger.
Besides, Xander was a man now.
He accepted his responsibilities and cheerfully shared in
the work it took to run such a large farm. Most families
had as many as ten sons. All his father had was him.
Xander never asked, but he knew there was a reason his
parents were only blessed with two children so he
unquestioningly did all he could and then just a bit more.
During the heavy times of harvest other men and boys of
the community came to help with the taking in of the crops
so they managed well.
Xander jumped up and dressed. Dashing down the steps
he glanced in the kitchen as he rushed for the outhouse.
Willow and his mother were already there taking bread
from the wood stove.
The potatoes were cut on the sideboard and the ham was
already sliced. Picking up the pace he knew he must be
a little behind this morning and hurried to catch up.
On his way back to the house he ducked into the hen
house and collected the eggs. Usually the cow was milked
first, but this morning he decided to do it after.
He was anxious to sit and speak to his father about the
sections of fence they would begin with.
By the time he returned to the house the table was laid
heavy with food. Xander was enormously grateful
as he stomach felt as though it were touching his backbone.
He knew that on an Amish farm breakfast was always the largest
meal of the day. Lunch was light and sometimes
Supper was for fellowship, relaxing and showing thanks
for bountiful blessings.
"You do not have all your chores done this morning
Xander shoveled more potatoes in his mouth and washed it
down with a full glass of milk.
"No Father. But I only need to tend to Bessie then I will
meet you on the back pasture for the fence work. I will
be quick as a rabbit. In fact I may just hop the whole
Willow burst out laughing and even his parents had to
crack a smile.
Then in keeping to his word, Xander grabbed the last piece
of bread shoved it in his mouth, and headed for the door,
jumping and hopping the whole way.
Grinning, he could hear all three of his family members
roar with laughter.
Xander burst into a sprint and ran for the barn.
"Morning Bessie, my girl." Xander grabbed his bucket
and stool then positioned himself at the side of the cow.
Her udder was huge.
Full and stretched tight waiting to be milked and relieved
of the pressure.
Expertly his hands grabbed hold of the smooth dangly
Before he could stop himself he was reminded of the
pleasure he gave himself last night.
'No no no! Quick, think of something else.'
He tried humming a gospel song, but his mind went
His hands continued their milking, his body it's
Groaning, he could feel himself hardening.
He couldn't imagine what was wrong with him.
He was sure other young men didn't think of pleasures
of the flesh as often as he did.
Finally he mind centered on thoughts of Anya, marriage,
and a life with her. That did it. He softened quickly.
Xander finished and stood stretching his back. Replacing
his stool he picked up the milk pail and gave Bessie an
That's when he saw it.
A small wound on the side of her neck
Two small punctures with a little dried blood surrounding
"What on earth? What happened to you girl?"
Xander looked closer. It wasn't like anything he had ever
Too deep to be an insect bit.
To small and high to be a rat or animal bite.
Immediately Xander's brain conjured up the memory of
two evil yellow eyes looking at him from deep in the woods,
and a shudder of fear hit him like a punch in the stomach.
Suddenly he wished he hadn't eaten so much.
Rushing back to the house Xander gave the milk to his
"I think something bit Bessie on the neck. It was bleeding."
Jess, his mother, patted him absently on the cheek.
"I'm sure it's nothing, son. You best hurry now. Father
will be waiting."
With that she turned her attention back to Willow who
upon finishing the dishes was collecting clothes. It was
wash day and that was a full day's endeavor.
'Mother is right.' Xander stepped back outside and took
a moment to collect himself.
'Besides, fear is a sin. We must always trust God
to protect us. Tho I walk through the valley of....'
For some reason he could not force himself to finish the
Passing by on this way to the pasture, Xander slowed and
stared at the barn.
It was the same barn he had looked at every day of his
life and yet today it seemed different.
As a last minute thought Xander slipped in, grabbed Bessie
by the halter and set her out to pasture.
'Just because she needs some fresh air and grass.
No other reason. None at all'
Xander took off at a full run for the damaged fence.