“She’s a witch, Mom. I’m sure of it. Please don’t make me go over there,” I said.
“We don’t call people names, Wesley. Mrs. Lestat is just a lonely old woman. You kids have been horrid to her and you’re going to apologize.” Mom stood facing me square on with both hands on her hips and her I-mean-business expression. I was screwed.
It’s true we’d pelted her house with tomatoes. Tommy’s idea, but I didn’t want to seem like a wuss. And I guess we’d rung the doorbell a few times before running away, but she was always yelling at us for riding our skateboards past her place. One time she chased Roger with a broom. Who does that but a witch?
“How come I’m the only one who has to apologize?”
“How other parents raise their kids is their business. I am not raising a heathen. Now take this coffee cake and go.”
The biggest toad I’d ever seen sat on her porch and croaked loudly at my arrival. I’m pretty sure I peed myself a little when she opened the door before I could even ring the bell. She smiled when she saw me, her teeth as yellow as a school bus.
“Wesley! I’ve been expecting you.”
“Come in. I’ve made us some lemonade.”
“UhnothankyouIjustbroughtyouthiscakeandI’msorryforallthebadstuffIdid,” I blurted.
The last thing I remember before the police found me in a cage in her basement was the tug of her bony hand on my arm, and the door closing firmly behind me.
The doctors told my parents that my newly-grown tail was unusual, but not unheard of and could be corrected with surgery.
Jayne Martin is a Pushcart, Best Small Fictions and Best Microfiction nominee, and the 2016 Vestal Review’s VERA award recipient. She lives in California where she drinks copious amounts of fine wine and rides horses, though not at the same time. Find her on Twitter @Jayne_Martin.
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