Time for a Cure


The cottage sat quiet, but Sheri knew he was there. Father. The word alone brought fear to her heart.

Not much longer though. According to the witch, the poultice would either stop him from treating her like a wife or would kill him. Frankly, she was fine with the latter. He stopped being a father once her mother died and was forced into filling her shoes. From cooking to bedding, and a few punches, Sheri had endured it all for years.

He was evil to the core.

But just a little poultice in his coffee, and she would be free…

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

friday fictioneers

This is part four of small unplanned series.

To see part three, click here. To start with part one, click here.

(Parts one, two and four are only 100 words snippets for Friday Fictioneers. Part three is a bit longer [about 600 words] and was for Ronovan Writes Friday Fiction.)

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Behind the Fence, Destiny Calls


And now, a sequel to last week’s Friday Fictioneers

She could feel someone standing behind her. She didn’t move but eyed the doorway. Instantly, she recognized the aged voice. Yet, she had no idea who it was.

“Are you here to finally accept your path?”

Sheri slowly turned to see a decrepit old woman. “Um…I’m sorry. I just love old buildings. I thought it was abandoned,” said Sheri turning to leave.

“Like you have abandoned your gift? Denied your mark?”

Sheri stopped, her birthmark burning.

“You have a gift child. Stop ignoring it.”

“What?”

“I knew the fence would only entice you. You cannot fight who you are child.”

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

For Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers.

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Madison Woods

Book of Mystery


Creeping around old houses was an addiction, a mysterious adventure that got Sheri’s mind racing.

Who lived here and why did they leave?

Endless questions poured through her mind, especially when she found things. What reasons made people abandon stuff, like this intricate book? Who would leave such a treasure? And why was it not dusty?

Sheri gently flipped through the pages–pages that seemed like inlaid origami. She traced the delicate designs. It felt like the book was pulsing under her fingertips.

Or was that her heart pounding…

She froze when she felt the cold breath on her neck.

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

For added fun, I add a few abandoned house pictures I took recently.

The book picture though is the PHOTO PROMPT © Kent Bonham

friday-fictioneers-farm-path

UPDATE: Sequel to this: Behind the Fence, Destiny Calls.

Out With the Old, In With the New


I stood looking out over the river, “It’s been a good, long life with no regrets.”

I hated to leave my little piece of heaven. The stairs were too much though. My 115-year-old body and mind were tired. It might be nice to have daily help and company, and my granddaughter adored this place. I was content to leave it in her capable hands just as my grandmother had done for me. Generations of our kind had lived here. We thrived from this river, the source of our powers.

But my granddaughter was ready to lead, and I retire.

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

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