Here’s the story of the fourth witch, a woman who was brought before the Inquisition.
“Doña,” they said, “you stand accused of reading cards for broken hearted women and making love potions that are guaranteed to rouse a man’s passions.”
“Yes,” she said. “I do those things, and more, and why should I not, when they work?”
“Excuse me?” they said. “How do you plead?”
“Guilty,” she said. “I do the things you accuse me of.”
A thick silence spread across the room. The torturer looked at the Inquisitors in confusion. The rack, the wheel, the hot irons all were useless. You need not extract a confession from the willing.
Had no one ever pled guilty before?
This is perhaps the most baffling part of the story. How were these men so unprepared to find what they were looking for?
Maybe later they were ready for women like her. Maybe later those women were sent to their deaths anyway.
But it worked once. Admitting what you were worked. And the woman went free.
They were wonderful. The other two authors were amazing. I think they liked my story fine.
But they were super-impressed to learn that I’d published A City of Ghosts myself.
“Then how did you get edited?”
“My friend, Kristin, did it.”
“Who took the picture?”
“My friend, Chris.”
“But who made the cover?”
“My friend, Beth.”
“Yeah, but look inside. You couldn’t do that.”
“No, my friend, Samantha did.”
They were blown away. It was pretty awesome.
Today I’m reading a story from A City of Ghosts to some 4th graders. At the last minute, I think I’ve decided to switch to “Dodge City” while leaving out the part where the kid wishes he could have a gun. My reasoning is this: it’s genuinely spooky and it’s about kids their age.
In unrelated news, my dad read “Beyond, Behind, Below” and was like “So, what happened at the end? The guy just took the kid because he could see him, right?” And I said something about him being the seventh kid from the neighborhood and my dad actually whatevered me. “I figured it out.” He said. This may be a big difference between me and my dad. I view the ending as somewhat ambiguous. I don’t really know what happened. My dad views it as mysterious, and like any mystery, there is a solution.
In other, unrelated news, my beautiful orange bag, which so easily holds the fixings of any baby blanket I’m working on, is already stuffed to the gills with the black, gray, and white afghan and I have at least fifty squares to go. I’m either going to have to get a bigger container or just start piling squares around the house so that it looks like a coaster convention broke out in here.
Anyway, I’m nervous about reading to the kids. I hope they like it.