The Way of Wishes
Midnight in the Witch's Kitchen
Alban Lake Publishing LLC 01/01/2020
Midnight in the Witch’s Kitchen is a harrowing time of magic and mayhem. Some can’t cook, while others obtain unexpected results from traditional spells. There’s always something brewing in the cauldrons. Grab the ladle and have a taste. Mind the finger food.
She showed no sign of acknowledging my entrance. She was stirring something on the cooktop. The aroma of a stew filled my nostrils, reminding me that it had been a long time since I’d eaten.
It might not be too late to flee. I had not asked her for my favor and she might let me go. It was impossible to know the outcome if I attempted it. Then I had nothing to look forward to but a desperate existence eking out what living I could on my too-small patch of ground. My life would for sure be a misery. This was my only chance. I could not falter now.
I cleared my throat and stepped all the way into the room, holding my breath to see what would happen.
Winter had not yet taken hold of the landscape but it was far enough in that I wondered how the witch Sofya got the vegetables and tomatoes I saw in the pot. She bustled about, saying nothing else for several minutes. I shifted from side to side, wanting to break the silence but fearing the consequences if I did so.
The cat launched itself off its perch and onto the floor. Startled, I backed away, then heard a yelp. A small dog growled from where it had been laying. The cat gave the dog a swat and then pranced off, its tail held high.
Several more minutes passed while I exhausted all observation of the cabin. Besides the stove there was a storage cabinet, a tiny bed with a threadbare cover and a walled off place. Anything could be there, but I could make nothing out.
Still she said nothing. She put the spoon to her cracked lips and tasted the broth. She smacked them and then, appearing satisfied, moved the giant pot to a cooler burner. She showed no strain when she lifted it.
“Well, maladoi chilavek, I admit you have been very patient.” She pointed toward me. “I do not get visitors without an objective. State your reason for visiting Sofya.”
She turned her gaze on me and her eyes were so cold I flinched. She seemed to grow three sizes. Her presence took over the space and her eyes glittered with an inner light. I drew back, thinking of the door and freedom.