Witch Question Was That?

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

The shelter director took in the kitchen situation. “Will lunch be ready on time?”

The problem was Elspath. She stood beside a metal bowel swimming with chicken livers. With a spatula, Elspath turned onions in butter for a pâtè. Next to the skillet, a saucepan boiled.

The woman at the front of the line, her wrinkled face rivaling Elspath’s for age not wisdom, always had the same question. “When will my daughter visit?” She offered up a liver.

Slimey, it roiled in broth. Elspath said, “Remember, she called.”

The woman’s face brightened. “Yes.”

Elspath said. “She’ll be here for lunch.”

Werewolves of the Prairie

Photo by patrice schoefolt on Pexels.com

They were headed for the south pasture. Turning hairy faces to each other, they rode horses alongside the herd.

Eyes searching, one pointed a claw. “He’s over there, my boy. I can smell him. See that movement. At the edge of the trees.”

“He’s left?” A concerned look.

“Didn’t come back from the last prowl.”

 “Like so many of ‘em.”

They both looked down. They remembered staying home from school when the moon turned full. They tasted fear at the thought of werewolf hunters.

“Wolf packs, they’re more accepting.”

“Probably. But who’s going to take over when we’re gone?”

“Dunno.”

The Sleepy Shoemaker

Photo by Dmitry Demidov on Pexels.com

The shoemaker claimed that elves made his wares. It might have been true. Even his wife never saw him working. He gabbed and napped the day away, but all night he cut and stitched. After a television personality interviewed him, business soared.

Success cured him of insomnia. He worked afternoons and into the night, falling asleep before finishing his orders. Still, every shoe was ready in the morning. Puzzled, he kept himself awake drinking coffee and pinching himself when his eyes drooped. Just when he couldn’t keep from nodding, his wife sneaked in.

“It was you,” he said.

“Who else?”

Lorelei and the Big Bad Ex

Photo by Ozge Karabal on Pexels.com

I had the worst week.

My boyfriend dumped me. So Goldie, my cousin, got me a house sitting gig. For a hot minute, I had some breathing space.

It got worse.

Spent the better part of my time in toxic negotiations. Absurd things like who owns the Ikea bookshelf. Not that I have a place for it now. He got the rent-controlled apartment. But even Big-Bad-Ex admitted the books are mine. Anyway, he doesn’t need a bookshelf. He’s barely literate. Not even housebroken.

Then, major disaster; the Bears came home early.

What else could I do? I swam for safety.

The Intersection of Three Tales

Photo by Dmitry Demidov on Pexels.com

The bears were shocked when they arrived home. Their cottage was a mess; broken furniture, dirty dishes, spilled porridge. Clearing the table, Mama found the house sitter’s note.

My Dearest Bears,
	
         A most frightful situation has befallen my grandmother. She was nearly eaten by a wolf and I must stay with her as my cousin, Red, has used all compassionate leave. 
	Another cousin, Lorelei, will house sit. She runs with a careless  crowd. I will cover all damages.

Regretfully yours,
G. Locks

Surprising Mama, a spiky haired stranger streaked out the door, into the river and was never seen again.

He’ll Never Be a Real Boy

Photo by Min Thein on Pexels.com

Dick Dern opened the nozzle, turning a spray of water on his classic Cadillac. With a vague feeling of déjà vu, he rubbed the hood with a chamois cloth and talked the car smoothly into the garage. The man was persuasive.

He walked inside to his office, where his wife was shredding papers.

“Honey, can’t we throw this old thing out?” Jane Dern pointed to a manly wooden puppet with a pouting mouth and an extraordinarily long nose.

Dick closed the closet. “No way. That dummy is the most successful campaign prop in political history. I’ll need it again soon. ”

Charming Cindy

Photo by Kristina Polianskaia on Pexels.com

The tag on the salesman’s lapel read Bill Charming. The only customer in the shop, Cindy, had a shoe in mind. A sturdy one, suitable for running.

“How can I help you? Don’t tell me.” Bill opened a gold box. “You’re a dancer. I just know it. And I have the perfect slippers for you.”

Before Cindy could say a word, Bill strapped a dazzling heel on her foot. 

“That’s not what I had in mind.”

But as the second slipper caressed her foot, the world changed around her. She and Bill danced. Around a ballroom. Until midnight’s toll chimed.

Werewolf

Photo by Charlotte May on Pexels.com

“Hey, Granny,” Red Riding Hood pushed open the rough-hewn door. “Sorry, I’m late.”

She stopped in mid-explanation when she saw something half-resembling her grandmother standing in the kitchen. It clawed to open it’s blouse.

“Oh my,” said the old were-lady, whose cracking voice resembled a teenager.

Without thinking, Red said, “What hairy arms…”

“Not that again,” it said, “The last time, I barely escaped with the hair on my chinny… oh, never mind.”

Red stood with her mouth wide open, cradling a basket of jam and scones.

“Darling, put all that in the icebox. And help me with these buttons.”

California Winter

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

It rained. And then froze. The rain a teaser. Maybe no drought this year. Maybe there’s snow piled into the mountains. Not that we’ll know. Since the electricity stopped working, we haven’t heard from anyone more than a buggy’s ride away.

Try explaining electricity to a five-year old. It always ends up with magic. The same way that putting seeds in the ground and getting peas seems like a miracle. We used to show our daughter how peas grow. How they need water. Used a plastic cup and a paper towel. None of those left. Good thing there’s still miracles.