The Eastvale Witch, v.2
The potion boiled over because of Margaret’s hearing. Or, more specifically, her lack of hearing. At least she couldn’t hear her knees creak as she knelt down to clean it up.
Third time this month, she thought mournfully, yellowed hair dropping in her face. And it would be another two months until she had saved up enough for those hearing aids the doc recommended. With the sparkling liquid wiped off the floor, she settled back down to wait with social media, flipping through poor political opinions and pictures showing fellow witches practicing, mostly in big cities.
Nothing to see from us small towners, she mused as she saw a picture of her sister witch in a tasteful evening gown. Then she thought of the young man she was making the face clearing potion for, who was excited to be Eastvale’s first openly gay Prom King, and the young woman who was coming in for a tea leaf reading later that day to determine if her baby carried his father’s congenital disease, and…
My little town needs me, she concluded. And then the bell rang.
“Hello!” rung a voice with the bell.
“One moment,” replied the old witch, standing slowly. That didn’t sound like Kathlyn; it must be a walk-in.
As Margaret reached the front of her store, she saw her visitor, a dark-skinned woman in her twenties wearing yoga pants and a tank top.
“Hello!” repeated the new-comer, offering her hand to Margaret, which the old witch took. “I’m Diana Rodriguez. My family just moved here from Nashville where I did preliminary training with the Music City Coven, and I was hoping to apprentice with you. I have my resume here.” Diana offered a piece of paper tucked under her left arm, which Margaret took, a bit in shock. Everyone in Eastvale either didn’t believe in her magic or were more interested in carrying on their family businesses than making a penance as a hedge witch. She’d lost hope of ever having an apprentice.
Margaret glanced at the resume, more because it was the expected thing than because she felt she needed to, then turned back to her visitor.
“Did your coven send you with a scholarship?”
“Well, you came dressed to work,” continued Margaret, “so let’s give it a try.”