Something Witchy This Way Comes

Afternoon tea was a weekly ritual for the three of them.  They had been friends since primary school and had shared each other’s lives for several decades.  They’d been bridesmaids, counsellors, loan guarantors, and even Surety for each other over the years.  The husbands and “minor legal difficulties”, as the local paper had referred to a couple of incidents, had come and gone but the friendship remained.  Village gossips had speculated on the nature of their relationship over the years but, for the most part, they treated the trio as slightly eccentric and mostly harmless.

Polly and Rose were the more traditional types: their children had grown up and moved away so they lived alone in their neatly maintained cottages with neatly maintained gardens and close clipped hedges.  They enthusiastically raised funds for local charities and happily doorstepped their MP in support of refugees.  Heather, meanwhile, was less traditional than the other two.  Her cottage was a charming, if slightly ramshackle, place. The garden was a delightful riot of colour and fragrance while the unclipped privet hedge provided excellent support for both brambles and wild roses. Inside the cottage, bunches of herbs and flowers hung upside down from the beams, drying in the warm air for use in the kitchen at some future date. There was always a kettle on the range and a pot of tea was only ever moments away.  Heather’s social focus had always been animal welfare. She had single handedly ruined the local hunt one year by spraying aniseed liberally across local farms and woodland.  The hounds had been so confused that the entire event had been called off after twenty minutes.  When Heather used the moniker “MFH” she didn’t mean Master of Fox Hounds and had no problem confessing her sabotage in the local pub that evening. The outrage could be heard in the Police House across the village square, where Sgt Green was enjoying his supper.  Reluctantly he pulled on his boots and, after ascertaining the source and cause of the near riot, calmly escorted Heather home with the sage advice to “let things calm down a bit” before venturing back into the pub.  She did so, and as time passed the incident faded into local lore and legend, with a wink and a glass raised in her direction.

The topic of conversation at this afternoon’s tea was a visiting horse trainer. The president...

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Katherine Horejsi
Sep 13 2021

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