Wicked Witch!

For more Adventures of Linus and Margaret

“Margaret!” Her brother’s voice bellowed up the stairs, “Auntie Nell is here.”

Deep in the corner of her closet, hidden behind hanging clothes, Margaret was safe. Only Linus knew this spot and her brother wouldn’t come here unless – the doorknob to her room turned – mom asked him too.

Linus slid open the closet door. Margaret could make out his silhouette, hands on his hips. “Come on, she’s not that bad.”

Margaret curled into her knees. “She pinches my cheeks. Hard. And she smells bad.”

Linus snorted. “She’s Grandpa’s sister, you have to come and say hi.”

“She’s like the Wicked Witch! She yelled at me last time for tearing wrapping paper!”

Linus’ hand appeared between the clothes. “So, she likes to recycle. You like to recycle.”

Margaret bit her lip, eyes blurring. “What’s recycle?”

“Never mind, just grab my hand.”

Margaret did because the one thing she hated more than anything else in the world was angering her brother.

As they padded down the stairs Margaret could hear her Great-Aunt’s voice mixing in with her mother’s. Her Aunt laughed, an evil laugh that stopped Margaret’s steps.

“She’s only here for the afternoon.” Linus reminded.

“My cheeks hurt just from thinking about it.”

Linus hugged his sister, right there on the steps, her forehead pressing against his shoulder. He was a big boy now, nearly seven, and it was his job to protect his sister.

“I have a plan.”

Margaret looked up, tears in her eyes. “The Wicked Witch melts if we pour water on her.”

“We’re not going to pour water on her – mom would have to punish us, then.”

“Then what?” Margaret asked.

“Just follow me.”

Linus pulled his sister down the steps and towards the front door. They dashed past the living room but their mother spotted them.

“What are you two up too?” She asked from the sofa. “Come here and say hi to your Aunt.”

“We will,” Linus assured. “We just have to go out and get –” He let the sentence trail off, pulling his sister out the front door and into the snowy driveway.

“Come back here!”

“We’re going to make a snowman for Auntie Nell!” Linus yelled back towards their house, thinking quickly. He whispered towards Margret, “She won’t come out here it’s too cold.”

“She’d freeze.” Margaret smiled.

Linus nodded. “Then melt.”

Margret laughed. “And they all lived happily ever after.”

Inspirartion drawn from: Tale Weaver # 25 – When the Wicked Witch Visits.

Daddy Starring as Hero

“Please, please, please!” My daughter begged through her sobs. “We need to save him!”

A bubble of snot formed under her tiny nose. It wasn’t long ago that the bubble would have distracted her from her sobs and thwarted the panic that filled her brown eyes.  But now, at seven, she is not as easily distracted. And why should she be? Her best friend is missing. Froggie is gone forever, according to my baby girl.

I picked her up into my arms, even though her mother and I had already weaned her off being carried. Her red face twisted with the sorrow of a child whose whole world revolved around a single toy and then lost that toy. Her face still fit into the crook of my neck, it was warm and wet and I rubbed my hand along her back. It didn’t stop the sobs.

“Calm down for a moment sweetie so you can tell me where you left Froggie.”

“I don’t know!” She sobbed. Her fists moved to her eyes and I had to readjust her weight as she flailed. “One moment it was in my bicycle basket and the next – “

Another sob ripped from her throat.

“It will be okay, honey. We’ll retrace your steps.”

She inhaled a breath and the air wedged in her throat, forcing her to cough out more sobs.

The area my daughter is allowed to ride her bike is limited, only around the block. So while carrying her, I walked down the driveway and onto the street.

“Froggie must be scared.” My sweet girl whispered into my neck. “It’s so dark and what if a fox comes?”

The sun was only starting to set. There were no predators in the area but still I reassured her. “We’ll find him before anything happens.”

It took another ten minutes to turn the corner of our block and see, sitting in the middle of the street, as if waiting for my baby girl to come and claim him: Froggie, still smiling.

“Daddy! You’ve saved him.”

She hugged me hard then, as hard as a seven year old could hug and for a moment I didn’t want to let her go. “You helped, Sweetie.”

“Let me down, let me down!” She wiggled her way out of my arms and ran towards her plastic smiling friend. For a moment I wondered if that would be the last time I would carry my not-so-little-girl. Inexplicably, tears sprung to my eyes as I watched her run.

“Froggie! Froggie” She hugged the toy close to her chest. “We saved you!”

Written for Tale Weaver #13 – Heroes


Photo Credit: Mandy Smith