The Witch in My Neighborhood

Submitted into Contest #48 in response to: Write about someone who always comes to the aid of others.... view prompt

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General


There’s a witch in my neighborhood.


Everyone in the neighborhood doesn’t know where she’s from, or why she even chose to come here in our small town. It just seemed like one day with no warning, a bustling old truck noisily arrived in town and with it came this strange lady with colorful hair and a ton of boxes filled with outlandish items. It just dumped her and her things in this place, where nothing exciting ever happens, and left as noisily as it came.


It was the talk of the town for many weeks.


I hear the old ladies gossip about it during their weekly knitting sessions. They comment and criticize her hair, which changed color almost every week, and the way she dressed, with her bold accessories and strange outfits which seemed to be a different theme every day. They talk as if her unladylike behavior has personally offended them. They constantly warn me to stay away from her. Nothing good comes out of associating people like her, according to them. They didn’t want me to be influenced by her ways.


The older kids have been telling stories to the younger ones, convinced that she’s a witch. They say she wanders around at night just staring at the moon. Other times they see her seemingly looking for something. Looking for what? Maybe she’s gathering ingredients for her potions? They don’t know. They aren’t sure. But it certainly couldn’t be anything good. Someone even swore that they saw her hurrying home carrying a severed head.


The boys had a test of courage one time and dared some of the kids to go to her house. She lives in the slightly shabby but sort of cozy looking cottage near the forest. Reports of organs encased in glass, bones on display, moving furniture, and strange potions were what they brought back. I tried not to imagine any of it so as not to scare myself. I didn’t want nightmares.


My brother just thinks she’s strange and interesting. He also thinks she’s reckless. He has been assigned as the night guard a few times and he says he meets her a lot during his patrols. He always escorts her home whenever that happens. Actually, he escorts her home whenever he isn’t busy every time they meet, always offering to carry whatever it is she is carrying be it groceries or whatever strange item she picked up that day.


I should have known. I should have seen it coming. I’ve seen them together a lot. I’ve even heard some rumors. Yet, I was wholly unprepared when the day came that she was invited to eat at our house for dinner.


She is using magic. I’m sure of it. She has everyone under a spell. I can sense that almost everyone in the house has taking a sort of liking to her. I can see it. She has charmed everyone. Everyone is just laughing and having a merry time. Dad even let out a belly laugh; he was in a good mood and was torturing us with more than the usual amount of jokes. Grammy wasn’t so grumpy. She even let her help her to the dining room. Grammy never even let us help her, though we still try and we still do, but we’ve never seen her accept help from a someone who isn’t family. She was kind of stubborn like that, thinking she can still do the things she used to. Mom has this relaxed look on her face. She wasn’t scurrying around a lot. And my brother just looks really pleased. She even tries to include me in their discussions. Sorcery, I tell you. She has enchanted everyone. They are all in the palm of her hand right now. But I’m not falling for it.


Well I wasn’t, that is until she brought out the pie. I don’t know what kind of pie it was. I didn’t want to eat it at first. Who knows what she put in there? But it looked so delicious and so beautiful and perfect. It smelled delicious too. I just couldn’t resist. My mouth was watering. And oh did it taste so good. She used magic to make this. I’m really sure of it. No one can make pie this delicious. She has enchanted the pie. No, the whole pie was made entirely out of magic. That seems to be the only explanation as to why it’s so good.


I bet this is what she has been giving to my brother for him to like her so much. He keeps looking at her the whole night with this look in his eyes. His eyes seemed to twinkle. I bet that was a sign that he was under a spell.


As my brother escorted her home that evening, I kept thinking that maybe she wasn’t so bad, but then I shook my head. That was the lingering magic from the pie talking, I bet.


I bumped into her buying groceries a few days after that eventful evening. She bought too much and was having a hard time carrying them all. My brother wasn’t there since he was busy with work but I knew that if I didn’t help her right now, he would find out about this in some way and tell me off and give a little lecture on courtesy and helping others, especially since this is her we are talking about.


And so I offer to help her and she smiled at me. I bet one of the ways she charms people is by smiling. She would occasionally ask me questions on the walk to her home. She stopped though when we reached the corner where Old Bill always sat. I don’t know why he always liked to sit at that particular corner right there. The other kids call him Crazy Old Bill. They say he doesn’t have a home because his family left him and that he would bite your toes if you ever took a nap in the park without shoes on.


I wondered what she was up to when she rummaged through the bags of groceries and brought out a bag filled with a few pieces of bread and a juice box. She then gave them to Old Bill, and let me tell you that that was the first time I saw a hint of a smile in Old Bill’s tired and dirty face.


As we near her house, I remember what the other kids have said they’ve seen and I panic. I was both scared and curious of to see the horrors the other kids said are in her home. Maybe I’ll just tell her I have some errands to run. That would work, right? I just hope she doesn’t invite me in.


A little Puli greets us by the door. She invites me in. She said she had cookies. I never knew I was this easily lured.


I learn that she is an artist, I don't know what kind or if there are even differents kinds, but she's not really a witch. And that somehow to me, explains all the weird things in her house. She says she made most of them. Her house was filled with little clay sculptures, paintings, and other knick knacks she bought from who knows where just because they looked interesting. She had a lot of different kinds of puzzles. She was always trying out new stuff as evident by the things in her home. 


The cookies, as I should have suspected, were really delicious. I somehow let out that I really like them. She just smiles and invites me to come anytime. She says that she would gladly make me more cookies whenever I visit.


I’m now under her spell, no doubt about it.


I go there almost every week. She lets me see some of her work. Some of them are weird and strange looking, some are really detailed. She lets me try some of the things she uses when she isn’t busy. My brother comes by sometimes. She now eats dinner with the family every weekend.


The more I interact with her the more I wonder why I ever thought she could be a witch. No witch was this kind. No witch was this helpful. She doesn’t even ask or expect anything in return for her help. She had no magic or superpowers or spells to enchant you. Yet somehow, anyone she interacts with is charmed. She can’t resist helping. I’ve seen her nurse injured animals, help the elderly during strolls, chatting with them like they’re old friends, give out food and warmth freely as if she had an unlimited supply. She draws people in by her caring ways and that I think is as good a superpower as anyone could get.


I think I see it now, what my brother sees.


The whole town sees it too. She has integrated into the Local Knitting Association and is now part of their weekly sessions. A lot of kids like stopping by her house after school. She knows all kinds of fascinating stuff that she teaches to them. She always helps out in the town’s events and holidays. And during potlucks and get-togethers, her pies are always present. They crave it. She is always helping out, giving out things, working her magic and making people smile. She gave each family a little something the first Christmas. Even Crazy Old Bill received a blanket. I think she’s even made friends with him. I sometimes see her sitting down beside him in his corner, just chatting. She always buys him something to munch on during those times.



There’s a witch in my neighborhood and she’s charmed everyone under her spell.

There’s a witch in my neighborhood, but she’s not really a witch. She’s just a kind human being with the power to make people smile.

She’s not a witch. She’s never been a witch. She was just a slightly strange person with a lot of strange interests, but with a whole lot of love to give.

June 30, 2020 09:45

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2 comments

C. Jay Loren
03:54 Jul 05, 2020

Oh wow. This was such a good story and I really liked the character’s inner monologue concerning “the witch.” A wonderfully paced story too and I like how you have portrayed kindness and decency as a super power because it definitely is !

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Clarys Baerre
02:54 Jul 11, 2020

Thank you.

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