The Crone and the Child

A tale of storms, poisons, and misdirection.


The crone, bent and haggard with the weight of age, cast a rheumy eye over the selection before her. A flash tore through the darkened sky as thunder roared, boding ill for all those who ventured out, but she ignored it as she searched for the perfect candidate for her nefarious designs. At last, she found it. With a cackle she reached out and plucked the engorged, crimson berry from the nightshade plant, snapping it free with a well-practiced hand. Her treasure obtained, she rushed back into her cabin and straight to her black-handled knife. With a few deft movements the berry was dissected, the juice from within spilling down her hand like blood, yet there was still something missing. With a quick movement that belied her advanced age she reached for a glass canister on a nearby shelf, the milky crystals within subtly deadly in their own right. With only a small hint of this new ingredient her deceptive concoction was ready. She cackled again as she thought of the oblivious young prince in the other room, unaware of the fate that awaited him.


The thunder rattled the windows again, causing Jimmy to jump. He wouldn't cry, though; he'd promised his dad he'd be brave. The squeaking of the hinges behind him drew his attention away from the blocks he'd brought to play with, and all his worries disappeared as his great grandma approached, shaking the rain off her shoulders. In her hands was a plate of fresh sliced tomatoes, with just the right amount of salt, and the two of them ate their prize together as they watched the rain fall through the window, content in the cozy confines of her den.


Not the best-written thing in the world, but still. Fun the difference a few little twists can make isn't it?

Melanie E.

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