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|Living Next Door To Alice (standard:mystery, 2178 words)|
|Author: Hulsey||Added: Jul 03 2002||Views/Reads: 1869/806||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Is the mysterious woman next door really a witch?|
Who is Alice? I ask myself that same question everyday and still cannot come to accept her far-fetched explanation. Alice, I have known since I was a child. Our introduction was not by choice, as this strange reclusive woman seldom was seen in the company of others. Alice was a short woman with long, waist-length hair as white as snow, her childlike features belying her age. She was one of those women you could not put an age to, but she had lived in Millbrook Street since the houses were built, some thirty years ago. Taking that into account, she must have unsurprisingly been at least fifty years of age. My parents recalled the day that she bought the house, and say, she has not changed a bit in those thirty years. Alice was a figure of ridicule in Stokesley, and some even claim she is a witch. As a child, we used to go out of our way to avoid her, and she seemed happy with this arrangement. That all changed on that day sixty years ago, when I was a ten-year old child with not a care in the world. My parents warned me not to talk to this enigma of a woman, but they might as well have handed me an invitation, as I was a curious rebellious child. I recall that day as if it was yesterday. It was the hottest day of the summer and my older sister, Kate and my mother were sunbathing in the back garden. While mother was on her knees tending to her beloved roses, Kate and I frolicked in the paddling pool. I remember the laughter, when a large bee swarmed around Kate, which alarmed her, as she made her way indoors, screaming at the top of her voice. Mother swiftly hurried after her. My amusement was enhanced, when I saw the colourful insect home in on the arm of my distraught sister, like a Kamikaze pilot swooping on a battleship. The panic indoors offered me the opportunity I had been waiting for. I picked up my football and flung it over the high fence, before exiting the garden. I knocked loudly on the paint-starved, red door and saw the curtains move. Again, I knocked, and was soon looking up at this ominous figure of a woman. Close up, I could see even as a child how pretty she must have been, then realised that she looked no older than my mother. It was just that pristine, white hair that added years on her appearance. Her narrow eyes were green, like emeralds, and her so white teeth were perfect and unblemished, but the clay pipe that was clamped between her lips held my attention. I had never seen a woman smoking a pipe before. I still recall to this day, her mustard coloured cardigan and long black skirt, which trailed down to her bare feet. My bravado was deserting me, as I took a step back, wondering why I was here. “Yes little boy. What can I do for you?” “M...My b...ball. It's in your back garden.” Fear-provoking thoughts entered my head, and the stories of Alice the witch would not go away. I envisaged images of the inside of a pie, and Alice licking her lips, as she placed me inside her hot oven. I took another step back. “Well come on then. Let's go and look for your ball,” she insisted. “I have to go. My tea's ready.” “Why not have tea at my house? I have jam tarts, hot cross buns and rice pudding. You like rice pudding don't you?” I nodded enthusiastically, as the lure of the goodies negated my fear. She beckoned me inside with her index finger, and it was at that moment, when I noticed the length of her fingernails. This added to my imagery of her being a witch, but the aroma of the hot cross buns proved too much of a temptation. It was a strange house. All of the rooms I passed had a strange green glow emitting from them, and there was very little furniture. Several portraits adorned the black painted walls, all depicting a woman, which I took to be her. The kitchen was no exception, with the green glow Click here to read the rest of this story (193 more lines)
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