The moon is a shining eye on a face of inky blue, looking down on the town huddled below. The houses cluster together as if to brace themselves against the cold; a breeze nips at toes and noses, whistling through as it carries the moonlight with it. Little windows, lit up warm and yellow, are closed tightly against frigid air - and yet, the sound of laughter and glasses clinking still escape from cracks and spill out into the streets. The pitter patter of footsteps rings out over cobbled street as a huddle of late night revellers pick their way home through the winding streets. The sourness of alcohol on their tongues is briefly sweetened by the smell of something freshly baked, escaping from under the door of one particular cottage. The group stop for a moment, and they can taste the bread on their tongues.
The moon watches it all - the wind, the friends, the bread lifted carefully from the oven by its baker, a cat as it slips from shadow to shadow over the patchwork of roofs.
She is baking a loaf of buttery brioche, delightfully puffy and laced with poison.
In the pale warm light of her kitchen, she wraps the bread in a tea towel to keep it warm and sets it on the wooden counter. Around her lies the usual explosion of rolling pins, bowls, bags of flour - she likes to make as much of a mess as possible, because cleaning up is more satisfying that way.
Outside, she hears voices that rise and fall in the wind, hissing and laughing and whispering all at once. With her nose pressed to the window, she can see them - the festival-goers from the fete on the edge of town - as they disappear round the corner of another terracotta-walled house. As if following them, a cat slinks down the street behind them, black like the liquorice bites she made yesterday. When she swallows, she can still taste the bittersweet bite of them.
She feels a prickle on the back of her neck and casts her eyes upward. The moon, with its sly gaze, is watching her.
I know what you've done, it seems to say. I know what you're about to do.