LITERATI!!! WE ARE COMING DOWN TO IT!!!
Julie Mark Cohen has brought us magic and just a hint of danger…and LOTS of stomach rumbling (or maybe that’s because it’s been several hours since I’ve eaten. Hmm.)!
BEFORE you begin this story: PLEASE click this link and read this article to help aid you along with the story: Romanian Witches
Reddit yet? Gettit? HAH! Ok, if you HAVEN’T just go up there and read it…if you don’t then you’ll turn into a frog! Muwahahaha! Without further ado, we present:
The First Romanian Witch
You’re beautiful if I have to say so myself, Mumă Pădurii, the young woman thought, sashaying back-and-forth in front of a full-length mirror, alternately lifting one side of her vividly-embroidered long skirt and then the other. She released her skirt, spread out her arms reaching upward, and looked out the window. Mother of the Forest. Guardian of trees.
She flitted across the room, clinking her gold bangles, stepping on rugs of gold yarn, brushing against gold tinsel-trimmed grand-armed chairs, rushing by gold-framed paintings, passing underneath gold-foiled crown molding. She paused for a beat to straighten her gold coin-dangling gold crown and resettle her flowing silver-touched brunette hair.
I’m getting hungry. She peered into the kitchen. I’m tasting meat, young meat. As she walked into the kitchen, her thoughts returned to the previous night’s dinner. Ha ha! They say that I eat children alive and particularly enjoy illegitimate children. That boiled meat was tasty, but I need to work on that cast iron kettle to remove the cooked in fat and gristle. Tonight, it’s broiled meat.
She entered the kitchen. I just don’t want to cook tonight. She carefully rolled her sleeves above her elbows, removed a full-length apron from a hook and ever so slowly placed it over her clothes. Oh my! Are those children I hear passing by? No. I couldn’t possibly… She pitter-pattered toward the oven, but passed it to take the telephone receiver out of its cradle.
“Yes. That’s correct. Two grilled veal platters with two servings of Tocana Decartofi. Yes, two meals. Your food makes excellent leftovers, especially for someone who doesn’t like to cook.” She paced. “Yes. Please use my credit card on file.” She twirled the phone cord around her gold-ring-clad fingers, winding, unwinding. “Ninety minutes tonight? That’s unusual, but just fine.”
Hmmm… While I’m waiting, I should get ready for tomorrow afternoon’s class. I will always be the first and the best witch… well, the only witch. These women have no clue. She tossed her apron onto the kitchen’s large wooden island, then trotted into her study and printed two dozen copies of the next day’s lesson. I can’t deny these women the means to earn a living.
Minutes later, she stood at her back door. She grabbed what others called her “magic twig,” but she knew its real function. As she squeezed her fingers, she felt the pangs of old age setting in. Her knuckles became riddled with arthritis. Her hair turned white and dry. Her facial and other skin turned into tree bark. With effort, she hobbled into her backyard, using the twig as a cane.
She appreciated the camouflage. She loved basking in the moonlight, picking herbs, breathing unfettered. This is much better, than being… She turned toward the sound of a lone wolf howling toward the full moon. Here, I can finally take care of myself. Am I duping Terran women? I think not. They, too, now have an avocation, albeit a fake one. Great to be on Earth as a shape-shifter.
ONE MORE ENTRY!!! Finalists will be announced Friday afternoon! Don’t forget to show Julie some love by leaving her a lovely comment and sharing her story!!!