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“Halvsies” -- FWG Flash Fiction for 5/15/2024

Compromises learned in our youth can serve us well throughout our lives.


The prompt is:




 

HALVSIES

 


The sisters had not spoken in fifty years. In fact, neither had spoken to anyone in all that time. Spitting distance from each other, poised on the bank of a forest stream, their hovels glowed with a warm, golden light. A pathway through the woods separated their domains and their lives.


Josie knew nothing of this as she stumbled down the path in the fog. Her day had started pleasantly enough—a sun-drenched stroll beneath the towering trees and a nap in the soft ferns. But night was falling as she awoke and, disoriented, her wandering steps had taken her deeper into the gloom. The glow from the sisters’ windows drew her like a moth to a flame.


She looked left and right at the two tiny houses that seemed to grow right up out of the forest loam. A crone’s face appeared at the window to her right.


“Waddaya want?” The scratchy voice cracked from disuse.


“I’m lost, I’m afraid. May I come in?”


The old woman slammed shut the window and yanked its ragged curtain closed. A little light leaked from the corner, though, where she peaked out. Josie turned to the other hovel, where the second sister was already opening the door.


“Come in, My Pretty. You must be—” the second sister said.


The first sister’s door flew open. “Wait, Deary.” She waved her fingers at the open door. “My table is already set.”


The other sister snapped her fingers. “Mine is set with gilded china.”


“And mine with the finest silver.”


“And candles.”


“And—”


“Don’t fight over me,” Josie said, bemused.


“Okay,” the witches said together.


A rope of red light from the first witch’s fingers pinned Josie’s arms and her sister’s green one wrapped Josie’s legs.


“Halvsies,” they each yelled as they pulled.


 

THE END

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