Rasping throats, flushed cheeks, burning tongues and weepy eyes share their secrets in putrid air and on slimy, smooth countertops. This kitchen buries its wretched hearts in wilted lettuce and stale cheeses hoping these juvenile tactics will bring a more mundane existence but this is a realm where ties are forged then severed with the ease of handing over a knife. Here I sit, mistress of flavors, running my eyes over each man’s shoulders like a hand over the flank of a trusty quarter horse.
“Such grotesque, calloused hands!” The dame cries every time she visits. Her words often fall like dust on ancient stone and bear no consequence on the day’s happenings but today is different. This morning’s portent borne me at the bottom of my teacup spelt out danger, fear, death and left me with a persistent chill in spite of the season’s warmth. My rattled nerves lack their usual resilience and buckle under her horrid voice.
Her nagging reaches my perch. Her berating, demeaning condescension grows in pitch and volume until I can no longer ignore it.
“Your opinion is a pulsing infestation upon my delight!” I lash out at her but she continues undeterred. The problem here is her misguided head creates opinions she regards as facts. I feel her torrent of critiques will never end when I am blessed by a cough crashing through her words. She stops her speech to make room for a hacking, shuddering fit of coughs, all blessed relief from her pointed tongue. Her coughing continues and the men stop to regard her, leaving the sopping, stringy strands of life limp in their fingers.
The small world hiccups. The earth shivers during this temporary lapse and all its small denizens pause in their lives to look at each other in fear, each wondering if this is the end.
As the foul bitch’s coughing continues I click my tongue and the men guide their eyes back to their hands and the work therein. The world’s spinning starts again, conversations resume and life carries on.
Still she coughs, each weaker than its predecessor. She is on her knees and growing faint, like a fog dissipating in the morning’s eager sun. I see her growing weak and realize now the message sent through my waking tea leaves spoke of her demise. I knit my fingers and wait while sending gratitude to the wilted mush at the bottom of my teacup. Each soul in this kitchen is an ancient force pushing life forward, pulling tulips up through the earth to greet the sun they set loose each morning only to corral each night. The bitter witch’s doom on the kitchen floor today has happened countless times before as she often forgets her feet are her undoing: she treads heavy and blunt over burning stars and cracked rock alike, the latter being her undoing. She created herself from nothing, and so, each footfall on broken ground brings her undoing and subsequent creation. A true goddess, her dance is immortal, her memory eternal.
This was written in response to the prompt: supernatural. It was a bit rushed and I’m sure is full of typos, but I managed to write a short bit before the deadline and that feels like a small success to me.