A pinch of this, a pinch of that

rain on black berries

The story so far… Old Wives’ Tale

Amelia and Fadri were sitting together knitting when Charles came in from working in the coal plant. He didn’t trust the old woman, and thought she was a bad influence on his wife. Still he was scared of her, and her witchy ways.

While the two women’s needles clicked and spat out ribbons of stitches, Charles paced the tiny cabin, looking for some task Amelia failed to complete, giving him a reason to complain or punish.

A rich stew bubbled over the fire, and fresh bread sat on the table along with roasted potatoes and onions. A stack of split wood was laid neatly in the corner near the hearth. His spare work clothes were laid out clean and mended, and the floors were swept.

Looking back towards the door, he noticed the trail of dirt that he tracked in on the cuffs of his dungarees. As he opened his mouth to yell at Amelia, Fadri lifted an eyebrow, staring at him with an enigmatic expression. Charles thought better of taking out his frustrations on Amelia while the old woman was there to witness his outrage.

“Can I at least get a cup of coffee?” Charles kicked off his boots, scattering black dust and charcoal chips across the clean floor.

Before the second boot fell, Amelia was already up and carrying a steaming mug to her husband. As he took the hot drink from her, Amelia glanced over her shoulder at Fadri, hoping he didn’t taste the licorice root she mixed in the coffee.

The valerian Fadri added to the tincture would also assure Charles would fall asleep quickly giving Amelia a night of peace. She left a pouch of the sleeping powder with Amelia, along with instructions on its use.

Tucked away in her knitting sack were other pouches of herbs, roots and dried seeds. Once Charles returned her daughters’ bodies, Amelia could begin her plans for revenge. His alcohol addiction would only hasten his quickening madness.

The river ice had begun to crack, so they would be leaving soon, heading south to warmer weather. She would soon be reunited with her girls.

She was looking forward to the migration this year. It would be the last time she would make the winter trek south. She would be with her daughters, and she’d never have to move with Charles again.

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