I saw this pic for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto and knew I just needed to write for it, but the story I’ve written isn’t quite the one I wanted to write. I’ve pretty much run out of time so I may revisit sometime in the near future. Isn’t it a great, imaginative picture? Thanks, Sue!
Fool Me Once
“This isn’t a hat you can just remove. You’re not a cowboy,” Grandmother McGee says.
What I didn’t tell her was that I feel like it sometimes, like I’m a cowboy, going out and with a twitch of my fingers saving the day and no one even knows. It’s like being a cowboy without the prestige, the accent, the horse.
“You’re a witch.”
Mentally I roll my eyes because if I actually did it my grandmother might just take it upon herself to make them stay like that for an hour, which she’s threatened to do before.
“Matilda, don’t you roll your eyes at me.”
My mouth drops open. With her I can’t even get away with thinking about doing something.
“I’m not ‘witching’ anymore,” I say firmly.
“Bull-twinkies,” she says. “This is because of that boy. That wimpy Irish boy who’s only after your money.”
“Exactly. He thinks because you have this house and history in this town that you have money.”
“He wants me for me,” I say, certain of that after the last series of kisses and how Michael proclaimed his undying love. Okay, he actually just said that he really wanted to go away for the weekend. But the weekend! Away! Undying love has to start somewhere, am I right?
Grandmother crooks her left finger at me while conjuring her scrying bowl with her right. Terrific. We’re going to watch a short film Granny-style.
“Sit,” she says.
Obediently I sit. My arms fold over my chest and my red Chucks bounce on the floor. She narrows her eyes at me. My feet stop bouncing.
She whispers words and immediately an image forms in her bowl. It’s Michael talking to a friend of his at Clancy’s pub.
“She’s stupid in love with me. I told you it wouldn’t take much, not with my accent.”
“You should have seen her go all sickly sweet when I mentioned a weekend away. Of course, I told her that she’d have to handle the details…for instance, pay for everything.” He laughs and takes a long draught of his Guinness. Damn man!
Blood pounds through my face. Grandmother raises an eyebrow at me and clucks her tongue.
“Another month and everything she has will be mine. I might have to get rid of that bloody interfering grandmother though.”
Grandmother chuckles. “As if that would be easy.”
Blood has seeped into my eyes. This is what it means to see red. Michael Flaherty is so done. He might as well just get on the next flight back to Dublin or wherever.
An hour later the doorbell rings. The summoning spell worked quite well. I hear Aunt Belinda’s crystalline laugh.
“It’s him,” Grandmother says. “Don’t kill him.”
“Oh, I think killing would be too good for him.”
I place my once hated purple hat on my head. I conjure fake gold bars, stacks of counterfeit $100 bills, and a copy of Water Lilies to rest on the pseudo-antique side table. After adorning myself in fake diamonds, I lounge on the sofa, my Chucks replaced by Jimmy Choos or at least shoes that look like they could be. What will a greedy man do to become wealthy?
I’m a little sad. A little hurt. But thanks to Grandmother, my pride is intact. Let the games begin!