People think they know what a witch is…

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The Witches’ Cellar

“People think they know what a witch is.” She’d clutched some gnarled wood and was poking at the embers. Angry sparks scattered. Her shoulders shook with mirth (was she humming?); or, coughing. She wiped something from her lip. The old rattan chair wheezed beneath the weight of her. “People don’t know what a witch is,” she said. “I know,” she tapped her chest repeatedly. “I know what a witch is,” she leaned forward suddenly with a twitch that reminded me of the ‘evil eye’ you read about in old horror stories. I started a bit. “I saw one, once—in 1901.” She waved an arthritic finger at the table nearest me: “Start the tape,” she said.

I fidgeted with the machine. More for delay than any real need to check the batteries; they were there; the little plastic door that held them in place snapped shut.

Her one eye—the not-so-lazy one—focused…

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