There's not been much fiction here as of late. This one is a trifle, entirely inspired by a single image. My sympathies are usually with the witch (witches get an undeserved bad reputation), but sometimes a young witch isn't very nice, and sometimes those with more traditional faith deserve our respect and love.
Sister Amanda had little against witches. Perhaps it's because - before she came here to the city - she'd grown up in the country, among the empty places between moonlit crossroads. The kind of place where if you had a baby to be born or a sick sheep or a pain in your bowels you'd best be friends with the old, wise woman living by herself. The one who grew the herbs with magickal-sounding names, the one who always kept an open bowl of salt near her windowsill, for reasons unknown. Even before she'd taken her orders, before the hours spent in prayer and meditation, Amanda had the trick of mindfulness. She saw the sprig of mistletoe crushed between gnarled fingers, heard the whispers in a tongue older than the very hills in which she lived. Was the old woman whispering the names of demons, or a secret name of God? Amanda had never asked her but, years later she looked back at the well-birthed babies and easing of little pains she knew that the crone had done God's work.
|Image by Karen Buryiak|