Come in and Rest
Don’t be shy. Don’t be afraid. Come on in. Granny doesn’t bite. See, Granny has hardly any teeth left. I couldn’t bite if I wanted to.
Are you nervous because it’s All Hallows’ Eve? This is a spooky night. The dead walk, witches convene, a door opens between the world of the seen and the world of the unseen.
And sometimes that door lets all sorts of evil onto the earth.
No, no, don’t leave. I’m just telling stories. Silly old granny that I am. The night is cold and dark, and you’ve walked so far to get here, and I just want to help you.
Eye of newt
Tear of pity from a heartless soul . . .
Granny is good at helping people. No one has ever complained.
Let me guess what you need.
You’re such a pretty young thing, with skin so soft and smooth, and your hair thick and dark, and your eyes clear, and your limbs firm and strong, and you even have all your teeth. Lucky, lucky you.
Granny misses her teeth.
What could a girl like you possibly need? What keeps you from being happy?
Is there sickness in your family? No, no, don’t answer: Granny is guessing. And Granny would have guessed, even before you shook your head, that you don’t have the look of someone dealing with that particular sorrow.
Are you needing money to survive? No, you’re too beautiful to have done without meals or to be having no place to lay your head at night.
Is there someone who has crossed you, someone you want to put a curse on? Maybe . . . but Granny thinks you probably know how to get back at people, so you wouldn’t need magic for that.
Granny guesses she sees a light in your eyes— not fever, or hunger, or the thought of revenge.
Granny guesses it’s love. Granny guesses you’re in love with a boy who doesn’t love you back.
See! Granny’s good at this.
Granny can help.
Wing of bat
Tooth of rat
Water that someone has drowned in . . .
Is he handsome? Is he rich?
Oh, yes, Granny knows the young man you mean. Granny thinks he’s a fine choice. If Granny were younger, she’d want him for herself.
Granny has just the spell to bind him to you.
Granny must mix this, and this, and a little bit of this.
Yes, yes, it smells bad, but it’s just what you need.
Drink it all.
Yes, every last bit.
He will love your face, and your form, and your voice, and the way you move.
To be happy, he will need to see your eyes, to hear your laugh, to smell your scent, to touch your skin, to taste your lips. To be happy, he will need your happiness.
He will find completeness only in you.
Stain of blood
Dying breath of a murdered man . . .
You may feel light-headed.
Oops, Granny warned you. Here, take my hands. Granny will hold you steady while the spell works its way through you.
Yes, you’re perfectly right: He needs to drink down the potion that will tie him to you.
Or should I say: to your beautiful, healthy, young body.
I’ll make sure he drinks that.
The spell I just did? That lets us trade, you and Granny.
Don’t struggle. It’s no use, and you’ll only bruise our beautiful skin.
Do you feel your limbs growing sore and weak? Do you recognize your features forming on me?
It’s no use screaming; Granny is the only one who can hear.
Fine, then. Be that way: Let go of my hands. Too late now, anyway.
Oh, Granny sees. You’re not so much recoiling from me as convulsing from the poison.
Did I forget to mention the poison?
I can’t very well have you complaining about me. Granny has never had any complaints.
You just go ahead and lie there on the floor. It won’t be too much longer, and the pain won’t get much worse.
I’ll go see to your young man.
He and I will be very happy together.
And if we’re not— I have a spell for that, too.
Copyright © 2006 by Vande Velde, Vivian
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