司氏姐妹 第21章:巫婆

作者:Wuwuyu  于 2012-12-3 00:36 发表于 最热闹的华人社交网络--贝壳村

作者分类:翻译小说|通用分类:原创文学

关键词:童话小说, 学英语, 中国女孩, 移民生活, 哈利波特

21 - 女巫

 

塔玛尼弄的那间房子的楼上亮着灯光。法妈在身后抓着菜刀手柄​​影子延伸到天花板上,站在那儿显得高高的。戴连衣帽的影子慢慢地把经书卷起把它放在子上。其欣长而苍白的手指揭开连衣帽部,让它垂落在肩膀上从而露出一。它抬起

 

上好亨特夫人法妈说。非常......意外......的光

 

亨特夫人站了起来长长的黑色袍披落下来盖住了木椅子。烛上的火焰曳着看起来好像要熄灭。

 

哇,亨特太太说道楼上慢悠悠的走动着不时拿起这样那样的物件,一会儿。法妈一动不动地站在的眼睛随着亨特夫人在房里转动。我一直想来拜访知道您和您的家人我很感兴趣...“

 

亨特夫人拿起用来珍藏四个玉石手镯的木雕盒子的一声把它打。里面一个绿色的手躺在一端而在一端是一个深绿色,几乎与森林相同颜色的手。中位置是空的。亨特夫人略微露齿一笑,的一声把它放回原来放置的橱子您也拥有很有意思的玩意儿独特的物件,都隐藏在楼上还有这经书精美的......“

 

这只是我们多年来收集的一些家庭物品。法妈说。我不知道您还懂中文夫人对着经书的声音,就象市夫人的声音一样温柔又有一种奇怪的愉悦感但它是如此的细腻精致听着它似乎只要一点轻微的冲撞,它就会被粉碎成千百碎片。

 

是的......”亨特夫人外表往往会欺骗人我敢肯定们都对这已太熟悉了。身面对法妈使了一个眼色,眼角闪闪发光。

 

是什法妈说道

 

这样说是因我想我在某些方面懂得。事我越想越觉得我是多相似——我们是同类例如一刻都在某程度上失去了我们的——的孩子......“

 

法妈握紧刀子的手柄。一阵薄风在房子周围知道我的孩子们怎样了亨特夫人

 

是这样知道...拉和格雷厄姆那个惨所有人来是多大的悲在葬礼或其他场合时不同她的声音里没有了那种悲的气氛,仿佛只是在做礼貌的对话

 

但是,象我刚才说的...真的比任何人可以想象的更相似。是的通过看到你的这些东西,我已越来越清楚。很多这些东西我想起了我曾的生活...

 

知道就像的女儿们我也不是在安玫瑰出身的。事安玫瑰对我来说一样象是国外......许你并不相信!但我是在新英格兰长大的在一个寒​​冷的叫塞勒姆的小它与安玫瑰在某些方面有些相似我来一个年的姑娘从来没有在其他地方生活过...能想象是多么大的震。哦对,们也都没有被上接受在一个从来没有见过任何陌生人的小然我承认我们比你溶合的更好......没有人信任我

 

知道我母就像你自己一样。。。是一个单亲妈妈。。。来到这里很清楚是因什么事情而逃亡出来的。在塞勒姆什么事情出了差错。。。我不想去追忆那太久的丑陋回......但让我们暂且说,事情非常乱七八糟,对的声誉非常不好。。。那个一直是我家的城市......“亨通夫人的脸变黑了一会儿转过身去与我们作对。知道们也是被迫离开。而且就像们家们在这里,安玫瑰,这个想不到的地方找到了我们的新家...

 

我的母从塞勒姆的失败中学到了一些西。我们重新...次我一切都没做错...我们融入社会就像试图做的但我必须说们要更成功一点点...知道里的人...或者说这次做得更微妙然后我遇知道能做大的事情看看他做到了什么......然如果没有我的当然......“

 

这时法妈已等得很不耐想让亨特夫人继续说话而分散其注意力,而她在想着最好的靠近也希望尽快去的女儿们。什么办法更好呢把亨特夫人赶出去还是说出女儿们在哪里为对于法妈来说现在已明显,婚礼以来发生的这些事情都与亨特夫人有关。亨特夫人仍然以那种滑稽而慢的方式说着就像有点喝醉就像具有世界上所有的时间就像她的孩子们安全地坐在楼下在进行一个星期六下午的......就像法妈是最好的朋友姐妹在共享女人之密交

 

母亲现在法妈的思路贸然切断。

 

在她抬头看法妈时,亨特夫人眨着眼睛打破了那种友好密的错觉很多很多年以前,她又回到了塞勒姆。是一个高傲的女人带着苦一些......不得不偿还的债务。我警告不要去......本来是可以避免的............她的局很不漂亮...誓要从的失中汲取教......知道......一个像我们一样的家庭——不同的知道——最后背叛了...

 

我回到原来的话题......事情展很翰已是一位深的市议员在镇里得大家的尊重和具有影的儿子出生格雷厄姆如此美如此可爱像任何一位母我只是想保他,免受我所见过的遭遇我真的相信我有能力做到一点作为一个好母一个具有大权力男人的妻子而自己又有不同方式的强大力量......这时来了。

 

我从一始就知道你们家庭的怪异之处超出你们的外表。我为居民们担心我看到过......巫婆......“亨特夫人低声说出了这个字像是说出了最柔的秘密,的巫婆,也有好的巫婆我怎知道项预防措施我让我的儿子离开学校送他远走高飞来到一所没有女性的寄宿学校在那儿他很安全。是的我说服我的丈夫我的竞选......当然在我的助下得了全人民......是的我知道在想什——的答案是否定的翰并不知道他怎可能 但他我的信任是那......

 

有着翰不断增的影力和我自己的特殊影...够让整个城市与你们作对...但是理解...我们的终极目的是生存...我知道不是就是我...我不能担当这个风险,而自然地选择了保护我自己...我在里已经建立起来的生活...“

 

 “我必须说法妈说道一边非常慢地朝楼中心的桌子一寸寸移动。做的相当不。我从来没有怀疑过西有猫腻。但对的丈夫却相反

 

是的......“亨特太太......我已学会去......人们的...是最重要的,翰也非常合作......这对我来重要我看到了我母亲所经受的...因为她的......过分高调 ...我总是把自己表现成一个在某种程度上...空洞愚蠢...不会施诡计......没有深刻的思想... 在某程度上我也牲了自己......我为自己制造了一个愚蠢而快的女人形象...

 

翰,我的我有他是多么的...真的...他如此信任我......”这时,亨特太太的脸颊泛起一片红晕是的......没有他将一事无成......这些年里他成了我的手我的脚,我的嘴...我被迫隐退为一个木偶操纵师一个无形的口技师......“

 

请稍稍我的鲁莽一会儿亨特夫人法妈说。你在镇上''的意思是给他们下了一个咒吗

 

 

 

是的知道,我们可以把它说成咒......我想......我更愿意认为我是作出了明智的决定可怜的乡亲们他们什么也不知道......他们上是瞎子...

 

是的......在我开始讲到我是怎知道的甚至在有关你们家庭的谣言始之前...然我不否认谣言与我有关......知道的咒只会对普通人有效...所以当我无法得对你们家庭的影力时.....我开始确信.....当然我不得不让我的保持最微妙...是的...那确实是一段......艰难

 

我不明白的是法妈说道在她决定对她最有利的是在允许范围内尽可能多的了解亨特夫人的,“突然改了自己的略。据我现在所知所做的一切都是非常微妙和低么要在整个小镇的众人面前上演一宗谋杀把你的家庭放在聚光灯

 

亨特太太的眼睛又眨了几下。你是一个明的女人......”或者至少...明白在我内心的母性......绝对不会了我的孩子......是的......这确实是一个艰难的决定...

 

知道当格雷厄姆决定拉后,一切都改了。亨特太太的声音得僵硬就像里面的空气被出。从回忆的状态回到了中,面对着更迫切的问题说得更快的眼睛也在黑暗中闪闪发光。

 

些年来得到控制。你们的家庭,虽然有潜在的威胁​​不会变成真的威胁为我在乡亲们中播散的对于你们的臭名和恐惧。但是如果拉嫁到我......瓜也可以看到里面的问题

 

“但相信我即使是那样我也没有想到我自己。我主要是为格雷厄姆着想。我的时间也就这样了如果只是把我的命挂在天平上我可能就会它过去。但是嫁给看到一个...娶了...巫婆的人的一生我知道我不能让格雷厄姆走相同的路。不要会我——爱约我也从来没有想让他有这样的生活我没想到会可以肯定。我只知道我必把他作一个载体一种以保全家的傀儡当然命运对他也很好——他是市只是一个例子但是对于具体情况的贴切了解并作一个母——我无法忍受看到我的儿子入这样一种——这样一种婚姻——他将永是下属甚至还不知不——相信我翰在他的心底里相信他是那个具有影力和思想的那个人。

 

我不能忍受看到我的儿子娶一个巫婆而他自己没有魔力。我知道不管玛拉看上去如何善良——而是天性不相信外表的——仍然最终会比他更有力。我不能冒。即使在最好的情况下我也不希望他有这样的生活。他对此一无所知——而我又怎能告而不用担心失去他作一个儿子的信任呢

 

我承为我吸引了很多不必要的注。但我相信经过这多年我已经对此获得了很好的掌控能力。我的是精心设计我也想让它万无一失。是的它吸引了注意力但需要低调的日子已经过去。我奋斗了一生建立起来的一切正处于危险中比这更重要的是相信我女士我会愿意让我的生活像我妈妈只要看到格雷厄姆安全,幸福和独立——但是在只要一场小戏就可以拯救我和格雷厄姆俩人的生活。”

 

那么你的煌计划是什么呢法妈问试图让的声音尽可能沉亨特太太的冷酷相匹配甚至去欺她,让她认为法妈不太女儿的命运,就象亨特太太对待格雷厄姆一样。

 

是这样已看到大部分的计划付于行的家人然必被驱除。但请理解——我真的不是想你们。我希望家人都不受伤害,如果事情可以让个人都很高兴的得到解决......但恐怕我不能冒个风的女儿们——的小女儿们——我必须说我会饶恕她们。但是我害怕拉必为之而亡......

 

格雷厄姆就像所正地猜测到的在我的保下安然无恙。当然他的死只是一种舞台效果使拉成为不可否的罪魁首。上的居民将审判不幸的是的罪名被发现成立她被死刑。的小女儿们也会被发现助犯罪嫌疑人逃跑而判有罪配到离安玫瑰很的管教中心。事我已经在斯找到了一个不的寄女巫的家庭我会安排送她们到那儿去。你自己因为整个事件的耻辱而引起重的健康问题......不幸的是去到那个好地方。

 

我明白了”法妈说道,抓紧刀的手柄。作了几个慢的深呼吸定自己。当然就像你所计划的,这都是必要的。

 

是的......”亨特夫人沉浸在记忆和思想的迷雾中。我是要道歉她继续快速转动着的一捻头发如果可能的话我可一命......我承......我有一颗善心我不喜不必要的流血......但在我的一生中我看到了太多不必要的流血......要知道一定要知道... 就像我的母亲为牲了自己,你也的女儿们牲自己。不我会你有死得尊的好处......知道我的母亲是死在火刑柱上的......因为她是女巫......那是很多年以前的事了......“

 

突然变得很黑。上的火焰熄灭了房子里的其它所有的灯也熄灭了。在黑暗中唯一光的是一片银色刀刃。

 

刀刃也照亮了被它紧压着的一白肉和紧握住它的手。法妈拿着刀子架在亨特夫人的子上。了。在一秒钟内灭掉灯光迅速移动到手站的地方。

 

我的女儿们在法妈说道把刀刃压紧了亨特夫人的子。

 

亨特太太大笑了起来狂的笑声充了整个房。那个温柔甜蜜的女人的故事的踪迹在黑暗中消失得无影无踪。法妈加重了刀刃她脖子上的力度。说道我不是在玩笑亨特夫人按下刀刃恰好能划出一点点血滴然她屏住了呼吸向后倒退几步,双手捂住自己的子。

 

刀子哐铛一声掉在地上。鲜血从子上试图切割亨特夫人的相同位置,透过的手指的而滴下

 

房间被烫而发出可见光的黑色火焰照亮即使它仍然罩在黑暗里。亨特太太的金黄色头发上像子的毛一​​扬起来的眼睛光。

 

一点从我母亲那儿学来的有用的雕虫小技说着向法妈鞭打出一圈黑色火焰。法妈挥舞着一个花瓶里的水随之倾倒在火焰上。火焰被压低了一会儿然后又汹涌而来,比原来更猛。

 

司法妈亨特夫人说道可怜的被误导的女人。真的认为的家常魔可以与我的匹配 我用我的一生来控制整个镇的人们没有让任何人发现 。而一直在做什一家餐管教的女儿

 

亨特太太放下黑色火焰随之慢慢退下。蜡烛的灯光重新闪亮起来楼里有一会儿又感到了家里温暖的气息。动着手臂,法妈子上的口随之愈合起来。请记 亨特夫人我要......自然的......死亡。

 

法妈试图移动的身体发现身体僵硬。然后的腿始移不受的控制走到子旁的椅子上坐了下来。在默默地着亨特夫人。

 

因为是个巫婆我无法控制头脑亨特夫人说但这并不意味着我无法控制你的身体。魔力女士!魔力是一切。魔力使人们去希望他们去做的事情。而......会去死,根据自己的......“

 

向法妈慢地走去色的嘴唇弯起一个良性的笑容。

 

 

 

Chapter 21– Witches

 

In the house on Tamany Lane, a light was on in the attic. Fa Switch gripped the handle of the kitchen knife behind her back and stood tall, her shadow stretching towards the ceiling. The hooded figure rolled up the scroll slowly and set it on the table. Long pale fingers lifted the top of the hood so that it dropped at the figure’s shoulders, revealing a tress of blond hair. The figure lifted its head.

 

“Good evening, Mrs. Hunter,” Fa Switch said. “How…unexpected…for you to visit.”

 

Mrs. Hunter stood up, letting her long black robe fall behind her, draping over the wooden chair. The flame on the candle flickered, and for a moment looked as if it was going to go out.

 

“Why thank you,” Mrs. Hunter said, strolling around the attic, picking up objects here and there and examining them. Fa Switch stood unmoving by the door, her eyes following Mrs. Hunter around the room. “I’ve been meaning to visit for a while. You see, your family so interests me…”

 

Mrs. Hunter picked up the wooden engraved box that held the four jade bracelets and snapped it open. Inside, a pale green bracelet lay on one end, while on the other there was a dark, almost forest green bracelet. The middle two rings were empty. Mrs. Hunter grinned just slightly and snapped the box closed, placing it back on the armoire she had snatched it from. “What interesting things you own, too,” she said, “Such unique items. And all hiding up here in the attic! Now, that scroll, too. Such exquisite calligraphy…”

 

“Just some family items we’ve collected over the years,” said Fa. “I didn’t know you read Chinese, Madam,” she added, nodding towards the scroll. Her voice, like the mayor’s wife’s voice, was soft and oddly pleasant, yet it was so delicate that listening to it, one wondered if it would shatter into a thousand pieces with the slightest provocation.

 

“Ah, yes…” said Mrs. Hunter. “Well appearances can be deceiving. Now I’m sure you are all too familiar with that.” She turned to face Fa, the corner of her eye glittering in a wink.

 

“And what makes you say that?” said Fa.

 

“I say that because I think I understand you in a way. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I realize how similar we are—another one of those things! For instance, at this moment, we have both, in a way, lost those dearest to us. Our children…”

 

Fa gripped the handle of her knife. A thin wind whistled around the house. “What do you know about my children, Mrs. Hunter?”

 

“Oh, well, you know…that whole fiasco with Mara and Graham. What a tragedy for all of us!” Unlike during the funeral or her other appearances, the air of grief seemed to have lifted from her voice. She sounded almost as if she were just making polite conversation.

 

“But as I was saying…we are really much more similar than anyone could imagine. Yes, it’s becoming clearer to me as I look through your things. So many things that remind me of a life that I once had…

 

“You know, just like you and your daughters, I was not born in Ambrose. In fact, Ambrose is just as foreign to me…well, you may not think so, but I grew up in New England, in a cold small town called Salem, which is similar to Ambrose in some ways, but for me, a young girl, who’d spent all her life in one place…well you can imagine…it was quite a shock. Oh and we were not accepted right away either, to a small town that had never seen any new residents, though I do give you that we blended in better than you…no, no one trusted us.

 

“You see, my mother arrived a single mom—just like yourself—and it was clear she was running from something. Something had gone wrong in Salem…well I don’t want to go too far back into ugly memories…but let’s just say it was very messy, very bad for our reputation indeed…and the city that had been our home…” Mrs. Hunter’s face darkened, and for a moment she turned away, “…turned on us. You see, we too were forced to leave. And, just like your family, we found our unlikely new home right here, in Ambrose…

 

“My mother learned some things from our Salem debacle. We started again…this time we did everything right…blended in, just like you tried to do, but we were a little more successful I must say…you see, we do look like the people here…well let’s just say we were much more subtle this time…and then I met John, who we knew were capable of great things, and look where he did end up…though not my without help, of course…”

 

By this time Fa was getting impatient. She wanted to keep Mrs. Hunter talking and distracted while she thought about the best way to get around her, but she also wanted to get to finding her daughters. Which was more likely to help her? Getting Mrs. Hunter out of the way, or persuading her to tell her where she had put her daughters? Because it was clear to Fa by now that everything that had happened since the wedding had something to do with Mrs. Hunter. Mrs. Hunter was still talking in that droll, slow way, as if she were slightly intoxicated, as if they had all the time in the world, as if their children were sitting safely in the room below, chatting on a Saturday afternoon…as if she and Fa Switch were best friends, or sisters, sharing an intimate conversation between women.

 

“Where is your mother, now?” asked Fa, cutting abruptly from her thoughts.

 

Mrs. Hunter’s eyes flashed as she looked up at Fa, breaking the illusion of friendly intimacy. “She went back to Salem, many many years ago. She was a proud woman, with bitter regrets and certain…debts…she had to repay. I warned her against it…it could have been avoided…no…the ending was not pretty for her…and I swore to learn from her mistakes…you see…it was another family likeours—different, you know—that betrayed her in the end…

 

“Which gets me to where I left off…things were going well, John was already a senior councilman, gaining respect and influence in the town, and our son was born, Graham, so beautiful, so sweet, like any mother I just wanted to protect him from all I had seen in the world, and truly I did believe that I had the power to do it, being a good mother, the wife of a powerful man, and powerful in a different way myself…Then, you arrived.

 

“I knew from the beginning that the oddities of your family extended beyond your looks. I feared for the townspeople, because I had seen…witches…”—Mrs. Hunter whispered the word, like the softest secret—“who were evil as well as witches who were good, and how was I to know…as a precaution I took my son out of school and sent him away, to a boarding school with no women, where he would be safe. Yes, and I convinced my husband, my John to run for mayor…and of course…with my help, he won over the people of the town…yes, I know what you are thinking now—the answer is no, John doesn’t know, how could he? …But his confidence in me was always so…touching…

 

“With John’s growing influence and my own special type of influence…we were able to turn the town against you…forgive me, you must understand however…it was in the end, survival…I knew that either you or I…I couldn’t risk it…and naturally, I chose to save myself…the life I had built here…”

 

“I must say,” said Fa, inching ever so slowly toward the table at the center of the attic. “You did quite a good job. I’d have never suspected that something was fishy with you. Your husband, on the other hand—”

 

“Well, yes…” said Mrs. Hunter, “You see…I had learned that to…deflect…attention was most important…John has been ever so accommodating…it was crucial to me, after I had seen what my mother went through…with her…overenthusiasm…that I present myself as a person that was almost…vacuous…in a way…not capable of cunning, certainly…perhaps even of deep thoughts at all…I sacrificed myself, in a way, too…I created an image of myself as a stupid, happy woman…

 

“And John, my John…how lucky I have been to have him…truly…he trusts in me so…”—here a pink glow rose in Mrs. Hunter’s cheeks—“Yes…it would have been impossible without him…over the years he became my hands and my feet and mouth…and I…forced to recede into the position of the master puppeteer…the invisible ventriloquist…”

 

“Excuse me for being blunt for a moment, Mrs. Hunter,” said Fa. “When you speak of your ‘influence’ over the townspeople, do you mean that you put a spell over them?”

 

 

 

“Yes…you see one could call it a spell…I suppose…I prefer to think that I am…making an informed decision for them…poor folk, who cannot know everything…who are essentially blind…

 

“Yes…and now we get to how I knew, before the rumors even started about your family…though I won’t deny I had no part in the rumors…you see, what you would call a spell, it would only work over ordinary folk…and so when I was unable to gain influence over your family…that was when I was sure…though of course I had to maintain the utmost subtlety in my investigations…yes…it was…a most…trying time indeed…”

 

“What I don’t understand,” said Fa, now deciding that it would be most beneficial to hear as much of Mrs. Hunter’s plan as she would allow, “Is why you suddenly changed your strategy. As far as I can tell, everything you have done has been so subtle and low-profile. Why stage a murder in front of the whole town that would draw every spotlight to your family?”

 

Mrs. Hunter’s eyes flashed again. “A smart woman you are…” she said, “Or at the very least…you do understand the mother inside of me…that I would never actually kill my child…Yes…it was a difficult decision indeed…

 

“You see…everything changed when Graham decided he wanted to marry Mara.” Mrs. Hunter’s voice became harder, like the air had been squeezed out of it. She had drifted out of the zone of reminiscing into the present, more pressing issues. She spoke quicker, and her eyes glowed in the dark.

 

“For all these years, the situation had been controlled. Your family, though a threat, would never rise to be a real one because of the negative reputation and fear that I had spread in the townsfolk. But if Mara married into our family…well even a fool can see the problem there.

 

“But trust me, even then, I wasn’t thinking about myself. I was thinking, primarily of Graham. I had had my time, and if it were only my fate that hung in the balance I might have let it go. But being married to John and seeing the life of a man who is married to a…a witch—I knew that I did not want that for Graham. Do not mistake me—I love John, and I have never wanted this life for him, I did not expect that it would become this way, be sure of that. I knew I had to use him as a vessel, a puppet of sorts to protect our entire family, and certainly the life has served him well too—look, he is the mayor, for one! But knowing the intimate details of that situation, and being a mother—I just could not stand to see my son enter a relationship—a marriage—in which he would always be subordinate, even unknowingly—because, trust me, John believes in his heart of hearts that he is the one with the influence, the one with the ideas.

 

“In short, I could not stand to see my son marry a witch, being incapable of magic himself. I knew that no matter how good-hearted Mara appeared—I, who am naturally so untrusting of appearances—she would still ultimately have power over him. I could not risk it. And even in the best of circumstances I did not want that life for him. He could not know—and how could I tell him, without risking losing his trust as a son?

 

“I do acknowledge that I have drawn so much attention to our family that is truly unnecessary. But I do believe that after so many years I have gained the ability to manage it well. And my plan, well it is elaborate, to be sure, but foolproof. Yes, it draws attention, but the time for subtlety was over. Everything I had spent a lifetime to build was at stake—and more important than all of that, please believe me here Ms. Switch, I would have seen my life crumble to the ground like my mother’s, if only to see Graham safe and happy and independent—but here, with just a little spectacle, I can save both my life and Graham’s.”

 

“And what is this brilliant plan of yours?” asked Fa, trying to keep her voice as steady as she could, to match Mrs. Hunter’s coolness and even to trick her into believing that Fa was just as unconcerned about the fate of her daughters as Mrs. Hunter was about Graham.

 

“Well, you have seen most of it put in action already. Your family, clearly must be demolished. But please—I truly mean no harm to you, and would wish none on you or your family. If things could have been resolved with everyone happy…but I cannot risk it, I am afraid. Your daughters—well, your younger daughters, I must say—I will spare them. But Mara, I’m afraid Mara must be a casualty…

 

“Graham, as you have correctly guessed, is safe and sound, under my protection. His death was, of course, theatrical in nature, set up to make Mara the undeniable culprit. The townspeople will try Mara and unfortunately find her guilty, punishable by death. Your younger daughters will be found guilty of trying to help a suspect escape, and for this will be sent to disciplinary centers far far away from Ambrose. In fact I have found a nice foster home in Russia for young witches that I would arrange for them to be sent to. And as for yourself, the shame of the entire episode will cause severe health problems, and you will…unfortunately, pass on to a better place.”

 

“I see,” said Fa, gripping the handle of her knife. She took slow deep breaths to steady herself. “Of course, this is all necessary, as you put it.”

 

“Yes…” said Mrs. Hunter, sinking back into the haze of memory and thought. “I do apologize,” she said, twirling a strand of her hair. “I would spare your life if I could…I do promise…I am a person with a heart…and I do not like unnecessary bloodshed…but I have seen unnecessary bloodshed in my lifetime…you must know, you must know…you will be sacrificing yourself for your daughters just as my mother sacrificed herself for me. But I will give you the benefit of dying in dignity…you see my mother was burned at the stake…for the witch she was…it was many years ago now…”

 

The room went black. The flame on the candle went out, along with all the other lights in the house. The only thing that shone in the dark was a silver blade.

 

The blade lit up the piece of white flesh it was held against, and then, the hand that was holding it. Fa Switch held the knife up to Mrs. Hunter’s neck. She had heard enough. In a second, she had extinguished the lights and moved swiftly to where her adversary stood.

 

“Tell me where my daughters are,” Fa Switch said, the knife pressing into Mrs. Hunter’s neck.

 

Mrs. Hunter started to laugh, a maniacal laugh that filled the room. Any trace of the soft, sweet, and docile woman who had been recounting her tale vanished into the dark. Fa Switch pressed the blade harder into her neck. “I’m not joking, Mrs. Hunter!” she said. She pressed the blade in just enough to drag a little blood, and then gasped, stepping backwards and holding her own neck.

 

The knife clattered to the ground. Blood dripped through the cracks of her fingers, from the spot in her neck where she had tried to cut Mrs. Hunter.

 

The room lit up with black flames that burned hot and gave visibility even though they still shrouded the room with darkness. Mrs. Hunter’s blonde hair flew up around her face like a lion’s mane, and her eyes glowed red.

 

“A useful trick I learned from my mother,” she said, whipping a circle of black flames around Fa. Fa waved her arm, and a vase with flowers emptied its water around the flame. They died down for a moment and then roared up higher than it had been.

 

“Oh, Fa Switch,” said Mrs. Hunter. “Poor, misguided woman. Did you really think your household magic could match mine? I’ve spent my lifetime controlling a whole township of people, all without anyone seeing my hand. And you, what have you been doing? Opening up a restaurant and disciplining your daughters!”

 

Mrs. Hunter lowered her arms, and the flames died down. The candle flickered back on, and the attic felt homely for a moment. She waved her arm and the cut on Fa Switch’s neck closed up. “Now, remember,” Mrs. Hunter said. “I want you to die a…natural…death.”

 

Fa Switch tried to move her body but found it stiff. Then, her legs started to moving, without her control, and she walked towards the chair next to the table and sat down. She glared silently at Mrs. Hunter.

 

“As you are a witch it is impossible for me to control your mind,” said Mrs. Hunter, “but it doesn’t mean I can’t control your body. Power, Ms. Switch. Power is everything. Power to make people do things for themselves that you would like them to do. And now…you will die of your own accord…”

 

She walked towards Fa Switch in slow steps, her red lips curled in a benign smile.

 

 

 

 


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