She resented the hype: how she was always the bad one, deceptive, vengeful, scheming. And old. In the stories, she was bent, her nose and fingers crooked with time and resentment, her dresses black and frumpy, her house cluttered.
Never mind that she’d been a vegetarian since her sophomore year of college, that she drove sensibly and ate from biodegradable paper plates.
People saw what they wanted to see. It was part of the deal.
She only wished she could show them the thank-you cards from the parents whose children she’d collected in the dead of night. “Hard to believe Julian is sleeping on his own.” “We are happy to report thatTheo stopped biting his brother.” “Susanna got all A’s and a B.” “Finally, our dog is safe.”
The cards, filed in chronological order, filled three steel cabinets on the back wall of her small office, which was neat and tidy and smelled of pot-pourri.
Whenever a new book came about about the witch who cooks little children, she would spend the evening going through her cards. They were the proof of her invisible goodness, the reason she kept at her art.
“The witch” is the fifth story of Project 105 — illustrated flash fiction. All 105 hand-embroidered original illustrations of Project 105 are being gifted to individuals who express an interest in art and fiction. Preference is given to first time art owners and to those who might not otherwise have access to art, fiction or both. Each art recipient is also given a free original copy of the story. To learn more about Project 105 or to sign up and become eligible to receive a Project 105 illustration visit www.pmneist.com