First Time Cure


She measured the exotic spices carefully and placed them into the jar. Next came the goat’s milk. Once they were combined and fused with her practiced words, the mixture would have healing power. That was, IF she got all the steps right. And how was she supposed to get everything exact with that old woman watching her every move, but offering no wisdom?

A lot of help she was, thought Sheri.

She glanced over at the haggard woman and looked away quickly. This is crazy. What am I doing here? Why am I believing this nonsense about having some gift? The only gift I have is curiosity.

The hag shifted in her chair.

Sheri paused and reviewed all her steps up to this point.

“Trust your instincts child,” muttered the woman.

Sheri closed her eyes, thinking of the chant she read in the book she had found in the abandoned house when the old woman confronted her. Slowly she reviewed the words, the spices, the goal-to heal. Then, she began to speak as she stirred in the milk.

“From earth and animal, and the spirits of old.
Give this mixture power to do as is told.
Let it heal the wounds of the good from the bad.
Let it draw out the evil, hiding inside young lads.
For the pure of heart will find this to heal.
But those from the dark, it will be their seal.
For the malevolent cannot fight the spirits of light.
For love and kindness win, over the darkness of night.”

As she said her last word, she immediately stopped stirring and paused. Nothing looked any different, but the birthmark on her shoulder burned slightly. No, not burned. It was more of a throb, decided Sheri.

“Very well my child. You’ve made your first healing poultice. Now, it’s time to test it,” the old woman stated. “You did exceptionally well for your first time.”

“You think? I seemed to go into a zone there for a minute,” Sheri eagerly stated with a smile.

“As you should. Healing poultices are simple, but powerful. They can save lives or kill,” muttered the woman. “Evil may be able to hide from our eyes, but it cannot deny its core. Just as you cannot deny your gift any longer.”

Sheri nodded. Though it all sounded so crazy, her gut believed every word. There was something different about this old hag, besides the obvious witch-like appearance that was. There was a sense of kindness and power, which is why Sheri had let down her guard and trusted her.

“So what do I do now?”

“We test it. You need to see for yourself to believe.”

“But on who?”

“You can start on me.”

“You? No offense, but your old. I don’t want to hurt you accidentally.”

The old woman smiled. “Yes, my age is true, but so is my heart.”

“Um. Ok. So where do you hurt?” Sheri asked reluctantly.

“Just so you trust your gift, let’s start here,” the old woman said as she sliced a blade across her forearm.

“What the hell are you doing old woman!” screamed Sheri, watching blood instantly pour down the witch’s arm.

“Like you stated so plainly, my child. I am old. Let’s not take all day to apply the poultice. And remember, a little goes a long way. Just a teaspoon will do.”

Sheri nodded and mumbled. “This crazy. I am crazy.” With shaking fingers she smeared the concoction across the old woman’s gash. The blood mixed with the herbs. Why did she cut it so deep? thought Sheri.

“What if it doesn’t work?” Sheri questioned the witch.

“It will. You will see.” Then, the old woman sat down.

Sheri stood there staring at her bloody arm. Slowly, the bleeding stopped. She stared harder. The old woman sat back in the rocker. Was she going to pass out? Sheri wondered, looking up at her face. No, she was smiling. Who smiles before they pass out? No one, stupid. Look at her arm! The gash seemed smaller than before. Little by little, it sealed itself.

“Oh…my…gosh. It DOES work,” Sheri muttered in disbelief.

The old woman rose from the rocker and looked her young pupil in the face. “Of course it does my child. I told you that you have a gift. Now you see for yourself, and this is just a tiny bit of the good you can do.”

“Holy shit. I really am a witch?”

The old woman laughed. “Well, we like to call ourselves earth angels. Witch just sounds so…negative.”

“Earth angel,” Sheri repeated. “Huh. THAT does sound better. So now what?”

“Well, you saw how your potion can heal the injuries of those with a pure heart. Now, you need to see how it can magnify the wounds of those who are bad.”

“But isn’t it wrong to hurt them?”

“If what they are doing is evil, you are only bringing that pain back upon them and protecting others in the process. If their intentions were good and their actions just in error, the potion will do nothing. If there is some darkness hiding in them, the potion will draw it out.”

“So harm only comes to those who cause harm intentionally?”

“Yes, as the magic allows.”

“What if you use it on those who hurt you? Isn’t that revenge?”

The witch paused. “If they are truly bad, they are bad. A victim is a victim regardless of who they are.”

“OK. So where do I test this?”

“I think a good place to start would be that man you call your father. Don’t you?”

Sheri paused. She hated her father. Did the old woman know that?

“He hasn’t been feeling well, right?”

Sheri nodded, but said nothing.

“Well then. We can either help him or stop him,” stated the woman coldly.

“But he only has a cough. How would I apply that?”

“Merely mix it in his coffee.”

“And it has the same effect?”

“Yes. Good or bad, the potion will decide.”

“Could it kill someone?” whispered Sheri.

“It is possible my child. If their soul is so dark and lost to the light, and they do nothing but evil, it very well could,” said the woman bluntly.

Sheri stared at the floor. “And if it did kill them. Wouldn’t people wonder what happened and find out eventually?”

“If they DID wonder and care to check, they could only find goat’s milk and herbs.”

Sheri nodded, still looking at the floor.

“It is time for light to win over dark. Don’t you think? Are you ready to bloom my child?”

Sheri nodded and old woman turned toward the door without another word. Sheri grabbed the jar and followed her mentor out of the shack. It was time to go murder her step father with a little goat’s milk and herbs.

He’d never be able to hurt her again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For

friday-fiction-200

 and

a continuation from two short stories:

Part One.

Part Two.

 

Blooming out of Decay


Should haves, could haves and meant to dos

Leave you with regrets and feeling blue.

If you look too long at the past gone by,

You will sit and wonder, and perhaps even cry.

 

Your past is just that. It has passed you and gone.

You can spend your present wondering, what went wrong?

But you can’t change what you cannot undo.

And if you could… would you still be you?

 

For you are built from your bad, as well as your good.

The lessons you learned were well understood.

You formed yourself through the dark and the gloom.

And through all that, you’ve become, a beautiful bloom.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Macro.

I decided to go with the macro mushroom shot a couple of days ago. However, I stared at the pictures, not knowing what to write. Today, within 5 minutes, this poem came out so I went with it.

For me, it speaks on how so many of us feel trapped in our past, our pain and our history. It’s hard to move out of that, but you can. That’s the great thing. We can rediscover and reshape ourselves a little each day. And like the mushrooms growing on the rotting tree in the forest, we can have purpose and beauty. I hope that whoever needs to hear this today does. I feel like it poured out of me for a reason…perhaps I needed to hear it myself.

and, since it fits…

For the theme of the Daily Post’s Challenge ~ Survival.

 

 

Bad Connection & Vague Wishes


I sat on the cold table, hugging the worthless paper gown to my body. I was shivering, but it wasn’t entirely from the chill. I had to admit, some of the shaking was a result of my fear. Was this it? Was I about to find out I was dying while I sat in a frigid room wearing a stupid paper bag for a dress?

I took a deep breath and looked at the TV. Some talk show was on and the group of women were joking around. I wasn’t paying attention so I missed what was said, but it must have been funny. They were all laughing hysterically.

I wanted to laugh. God, how I wanted to laugh. But I couldn’t. I was scared. I stared blankly at the TV as I thought about how my life had slammed on the brakes. Everything was on hold ever since my annual check up came back with “abnormalities.”

Maybe there was nothing wrong, I told myself wishfully. THAT made me chuckle a bit. When you are sent on two follow-up appointments because of “abnormalities,” and then referred to a “specialist,” the chances of nothing were pretty damn low.

I took a deep breath when I heard voices in the hallway. This was it….but they sure were taking a long time to come in. Good Lord people, don’t wait all day to give me bad news. Just come on! But they didn’t come. I waited and sat shivering on the stupid table staring at the television like a deer in the headlights. I looked at it harder to distract myself. Christina Applegate was walking onto the talk-show set. Cool. I always liked her.

“What a treat! Christina Applegate is here to see us today!” announced one of the hosts. There was a bit of the bustle with all the hellos and hugs for her guest appearance. For a moment, I forgot I was cold.

The hosts seemed to continue to fuss all over her. One of them even appeared to wipe their eyes, like they were crying. “Good Lord, let the woman sit down,” I muttered.

Christina was finally able to take her place among the hosts. Like usual, she seemed so normal to me. Well, not normal looking. Hell, she looked like pin up girl out of a magazine and that was not normal. However, I had always found something real about her, like I could relate to her on some level. Genuine. Yeah, that was it. She seemed genuine. OK, genuinely perfect, but genuine nonetheless.

“Christina, it is a pleasure to see you!” said the lead host.

“Thank you Whoopie.”

“Sorry we all just attacked you. I think I can speak for all of us. We are just thrilled to see you. And I must say, you look stunning my dear.”

“Why thank you. You are a sweetheart.”

“Yes, of course I am. But, we are here to talk about you, and it’s something you have been hesitant to talk about. Right?” probed Whoopie.

“Yes. I am. I am ready to talk about it now though…”

What? What was so serious for this woman? Did she break nails? Did she not find the right gown in the right color? Was she too pretty? Did she have too much money? “Oh, I wish I had the problems of the rich and famous,” I muttered.

“…I was diagnosed with cancer this past year…”

Just then the door opened and in walked the doctor and nurse. I turned to them as they entered. Their look was serious. I forced a smile, a cold fake smile.

“Sorry for the wait Mrs. O’Clair. We needed to check some things before we spoke to you. Before I have you get dressed, I need to draw more blood real quick and take one more look, if that is ok.”

My response was curt, maybe too curt, but I just couldn’t wait anymore. “No. Just tell me what you have to tell me. Then you can take the blood and I can just leave after that. I am tired.”

I heard Christina’s voice while they paused…”I was just so tired all the time…” I looked at the TV behind the pale-faced doctor and nurse.

“If that is what you wish Mrs. O’Clair. I will just get to the point then. You have cancer and we need to discuss options…”

I couldn’t hear his voice anymore. I was listening to Christina.

“…I thought if I finally went public with it, I just might be able to help someone else….”

She had cancer too, but she looked so perfect still.

“…I will give you some time to digest this all Mrs. O’Clair, but we should decide on something this week. We will need to schedule whatever option ….” droned the doctor.

I felt a tear run down my clammy cheek and I wiped it away. Suddenly, a thought came to mind that made me start laughing. I laughed until more tears fell and the nurse came over to console me. I couldn’t stop laughing. Just a few minutes ago, I had wished for the problems of the rich and famous.

And here I was, I had the same problem as Christina Applegate, and all I really wanted was to have the problem of too much money. I laughed harder and mumbled. “I guess I should have been more specific.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

friday-fiction-200