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“The Witch in the Woods”

p.  6 of 6

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          She meant to lull me into peaceful sleep,  by sending me in memory back to my old neighborhood,  but my spirit fought to tell me I was caught in a hallucination.

          Because we had moved to the house in the new development after I had run into the house I thought was mine;  so either I had really run into the double of my house and then I had hallucinated the home we were going to move to later, or I had imagined being back in my old neighborhood after I’d wandered into the witch’s house in the forest at the edge of the development, and in the middle of my hallucination of being back there, I had thought that being in the witch’s house was only a dream.

          I remember the events together,  as a pair,  and so in one of the two I imagined the other. But had I been in the double of our old house,  remembering a nightmare in which I’d seen my future house and the field and the forest near it,  and then blinked out of my reverie,  and stopped seeing the witch’s cabin in the forest by the development we moved to later,  and turned and walked out of the empty house that wasn’t my house? 

          Or had it been that I had been sent in my mind back to my old home to lull me to sleep,  but something in the hallucination had told me it was unreal,  so I had blinked awake and stopped seeing the empty house that wasn’t my house,  and had found myself back in the cabin in the forest,  still in the witch’s clasp, with her fingers sticking into my skin as she dragged my body toward her oven,  and then had grasped her arms in my skinny hands and told her she was only made of water and had seen her pour out and had been back in the forestrunning like crazy from the cabin where the evil crone lived back through the woods tripping on the roots stumbling against the trunks expecting I would never get out of the woods except that I did,  except that I was at the edge of the forest looking at the field with the development at its far end,  and no one reached to grab and pull me back?  But it was twilight and the sky was drained of color.

          So I went back to the crawl space under the stairs and I decided that was where my old baseball cards should live and then I put the top on its shoebox and returned.

          Dad asked if I had found my cards and I said yes but I was deciding to leave them here.  Mom was smiling,  and dad put his arm around my shoulder.  He asked,  did I want another cup of tea?

          I did,  and we all had a cup of tea together.  And then I had to go,  so I got back into the car and pulled out of the driveway as they waved me goodbye And I drove out of town and into the woods and back again over the mountain.

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The Witch in the Woods
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