Silent, shape-shifting cats standing by, the haggard old woman peers deeply and scries.  The sealed secret chamber rustles with soft sounds of folded and refolded velvet sleeves, as the woebegone princess hands over coins.

The future makes it better.

The smoky mirror clears and starts its slow reveal.  The witch’s arthritic claws wave in the air, while she mumbles indecipherable chants for ghostly ears.  “Now, child,” she smiles, with a lop-sided leer, “watch closely, listen hard, and I will show what tomorrow yields.”

But the princess already sees more than she wants, resents the cruel manifestation; wants the witch drowned.


This piece of flash fiction was written for Friday Fictioneers: a story in 100 words prompted by a picture that Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posts every Wednesday. Here’s the link to the stories and this week’s picture is below, copyright Janet Webb.