Friday, May 25, 2012

Writing Prompt

It's been awhile since I've done a writing prompt! Here is one from ldspublisher. 

I open the door slowly, letting the rusty hinges creak and moan. I already know what I'll see on the other side: a group of kids, two or three or more, maybe as young as five or as old as seventeen, but most likely somewhere in between, all staring at me with a mixture of horror and fascination on their little upturned faces.

Sure enough, when I peer around the door, four sets of wide eyes stare back at me. This group is young, six or seven, little girls wearing ribbons in their hair, their pink bikes stashed at the far end of my front walk.

"Whaddya want?" I grumble.

At the sound of my voice, they flinch like they want to run away. But the girl closest to the door, the tallest girl with gleaming blond hair, steps forward and asks, "Is it true? Are you a witch?"

I sneer the way I've practiced in the mirror, lean in closer and ask, "Do I look like a witch?"

I know what her answer will be. A face deeply wrinkled from eighty-four years of life, purple bags under my eyes, stringy gray hair, and two warts (though not at the end of my nose, mind you), I can see why the rumor started among the young kids in this town when I moved into this old house with nothing more than my cats and my loneliness. But after a while I started getting tired of trying to prove the rumors false.

When she doesn't reply, I continue, "If I am a witch, my house will be full of black cats and goblins and poisoned apples. I'll have a pot of frog's legs and crow's eyes boiling on the stove. And with one word I will turn you girls into stone and add you to my collection of stone children in my garden."

She sticks her chin out. "I don't believe you."

"You don't, do you?" I cackle. I've been practicing my cackle for months. I don't think a real witch could cackle better than I do. The girls huddle together. And then, as if on cue, my fat black cat Cuddles waddles out onto the porch.

That does it. Three girls run screaming down the sidewalk, tripping over themselves to get onto their bikes. But the fourth girl doesn't leave my porch. As her friends disappear, not even bothering to call out for her, she looks at me with eyes the color of clover and says, "I don't think you're a witch."

I straighten as best as my eighty-four year-old body can and meet her eyes with my own defiant stare. "Oh? And why is that?"

Cuddles is twining himself around her legs, purring loudly. "Because my mom said so. She said you're just a lonely old woman. She said it's cruel for the kids to pick on you like they do. Just because someone isn't pretty, doesn't mean they're a bad person."

Her honesty is refreshing. Instead of being offended, I laugh. It feels good. I can't remember the last time I did it. "What's your name?" I ask her.

"Abigail," she replies, patting Cuddles' head.

"Well, Abigail, you're absolutely right. I'm not a witch. But don't tell your friends, all right? It might ruin my reputation. And the last thing I want is little kids to keep coming over here asking me to bake cookies for them."

Her face brightens. "You bake cookies?"

"Absolutely. The best in the world. Frog leg and crow's eye free. Maybe tomorrow I'll bake a fresh batch."

She smiles, and a secret something passes between us, the invisible ties of friendship. "I won't tell a soul," she promises. "Is it all right if I come back tomorrow?"

I haven't practiced smiling the way I practiced cackling, so I just say, "Absolutely."


Anonymous said...

That's a great take on that photo. Good job!

LDS_Publisher said...

Don't know why that comment came in as Unknown. It was me, LDS Publisher. :)