Nonna’s Witches

Nonna gets dropped off at Kappy’s. She wants to get shitty. Not black-out-drunk. Something more like controlledslow-drinking.

Nonna is in the liquor store for a while. She emerges, followed by an employee. Pushing a shopping cart full of wine. Nonna directs him to the car, pointing at the trunk. In he places each jug of wine, gently.

She doesn’t say Thank you. No Grazie.

Nonna crosses the parking lot. Goes into the grocery store. She buys the same things she always buys.

At home, Nonna watches the television. It’s a channel in English. She doesn’t understand all of it. She waves her hand dismissively at the screen. Looks at a framed picture beside the television. Waves her hand at that, also.

Her house is littered with Jesus. Crosses and Leonardo da Vinci knockoffs.

Night falls over the neighborhood. Nonna waits for the witches.

When they arrive, she gulps down a glass of wine. Turns off her lights. Nonna doesn’t know how many are out there. She lights a candle on the stove, and takes a seat at the kitchen table.

Streghe.

Quiet. Nonna remains quiet. The witches step around the house. Their bare feet kick softly through the pebbles and dead weeds. Their fingers touch the brick.

Tap on the windows.

“Hello in there,” a voice sings through the closed back door.

A face appears in the window over the sink. Surely, its eyes can see Nonna at the table. Surely, Nonna knows this. Simply, she sits there, licking the drying wine from her lips.

Knuckles rap on the glass.

“She sees you sitting there,” flutters the voice at the door.

Nonna looks to the dead god on the wall.

Nonna waits through the black night.

Beneath her feet, she hears the witches rummaging through the basement. They bang their fists on the cellar ceiling. They speak between themselves. Their talk is muffled.

Tap on the bedroom window.

“I see you,” says the witch. “Give me the frame.”

Nonna gazes into the living room. The frame gazes back.

Outside of the house, the low-sky glows. Grows and builds in glow. The wisps of the sun.

The witches scatter. Nonna hears them clear from the basement. Tipping over what they can before scurrying off. Their feet run over the small rocks, the old leaves. They chase a darker horizon.

The last holdout bangs on the bedroom window.

“You see us,” she lilts. “We always see you.” The witch drags her nails across the glass. She runs for the others.

The morning shines. Nonna opens the back door. The garden is not what it was in previous years.

She walks down the pathway. To the fence.

A broken chicken egg lay on the ground. A token from the witches.

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