This is an excerpt of a short story I’ve been working on lately, and I’d really like to know what you guys think of it!
Written by Audrey Francis-Plante
I didn’t want to believe it was true, but my brothers insisted it had worked on them so I had to see for myself.
Following their directions, I crossed the forest, made a left at the scarecrow, and spotted the cabin made of bones. They said to knock four times, once at each corner of the blue wooden door, so I did.
A girl of about ten years old was smiling at me. Her hair was pink and her dress black.
“She’s right on time,” she said.
“Are your parents here?” I asked.
Her smile was distorted as though she’d put on her mom’s red lipstick for the first time.
“They always look so scared,” she said.
“Um, I’m here for the cup of tea.”
“They all come for it eventually.”
She let me in and rushed to the kettle hung in the hearth. In the ashes, roses were burning, their dark petals crippling. She pulled the kettle out. “It’s ready, ladies,” she said.
“Is there anyone else here?” I asked.
She sat on the floor in front of an ivory cup. “Just us. I need a drop of blood for it to work.”
At once, something stung the back of my hand. I gasped and looked around but nothing sharp was near me. Nothing could have pricked me, yet a fat, red drop was running down my hand.
“They’re always so scared,” the girl said, pouring hot water in the cup. “It’s just a drop.”
I held my hand over the cup and two warm drops fell in it. They swayed in the water. The girl blew on the liquid and it turned to a pink as bright as her hair.
“Hurry before it freezes,” she said, giving me the cup.
I was astonished to see crystals of ice tracing the edges of the water. I took the cup; it was icy in my left hand and scalding in the right one, the one that had freed the blood.
I drank it all. It didn’t taste anything, but it smelled like smoke. “What now?” I asked.
She giggled, and I really wished my brothers had been lying about this when the girl’s figure started to blur.
To be continued