“Little Witches” by Bill Cook

The two girls giggle on the sofa as Mamma brings home another black man. They excuse themselves to her bedroom, stealing pink lemonade and milk, mixing it in her room in shot glasses. They get Dad’s old clothes out of the closet, folding themselves inside, twirling fingertips like wands sharing their secret incantations with him.

About the Author

Bill Cook’s work has appeared in Juked, elimae, Right Hand Pointing, SmokeLong Quarterly, in Dzanc’s anthology Best of the Web 2009, New Flash Fiction Review, Monarch Review, and elsewhere. He resides in a small community nestled within the Sierra Pelona Mountain Range.


Mamma brings home another black man in another pressed blue suit.’ My sister and I sit eating dry cereal on the brown sofa, pretending we’re reading our schoolbooks, bright-colored daypacks by our feet. We wink at one another, go upstairs, my sister standing on a stool in the kitchen first to retrieve something from Mamma’s liquor cupboard. She gets two tall plastic cups and two shot glasses, I get the pink lemonade and a jug of milk.

Sitting on Mamma’s bedroom floor, we pour white drinks and pink shots, we hear roaring laughter from downstairs, Mamma’s stomping sandals, shouting “Hallelujah!” Our long blonde hairs are flung along the floor. My sister goes to the closet, gets out Dad’s old sports coat and tweed fedora, I wear the hat and she wears the coat. There are still dark and curled frizzes of his hair, just as I remember. We laugh at ourselves now, sitting down, groggy, pouring out everything on the floor. We twirl out fingertips, incanting ‘kaleidoscope…’ over and over. We tell Dad our secrets, again and again, underneath the coat and hat, where we belong.

Download the Great Jones Street mobile app and read “Little Witches”for free. Or click to our Medium pub now (membership required).