It's time for Character Encounters! Hosted by Kendra at Knitted by God's Plan.
Character Encounters is a monthly linkup where you write a short story where you, as the author, meet one of your characters is the place prescribed by Kendra. I really enjoy this linkup, though I've only participated a handful of times. And most of those times, the story hasn't even been put up onto my blog!
This month, the area for the encounter is the living room. And, the character you have to meet is one that you've thought about a lot, but never written. At first, I didn't think I had any characters like that... Then I realized, yes! I do have a character to fit the criteria! Her name is the Hag. She's part of my new story idea... but won't be introduced until the next chapter. I'm really looking forward to writing her. I think she'll be a very fun character.
So, without further ado, here is the story!
Say Yes To The Dress on youtube… the perfect way to unwind after a stressful day. Even better is that youtube is accessible on the TV. Now if only my mom would hurry up and finish getting ready for bed, we could start the episode…
I sigh and scroll down my blogger dashboard, looking for a post I hadn’t read earlier. I heard the sliding door leading to the other side of the house and cast my eyes upward, expecting to see my mother in her familiar blue robe. Instead, I saw a withered old lady with gray hair tied tightly in a bun on the back of her head. Her brown dress reached all the way down to the floor and she wore an apron overtop. Her features were somewhere between kind grandmother and ugly stepmother. Her kind eyes and smiling lips offset her pointy nose with warts. At least, they would have, if her eyes hadn’t held confusion and fury, and if her lips had been smiling as they usually were.
She spotted me. Slowly, I uncrossed my legs and moved them down to the floor. I set my computer on the coffee table. The old woman stormed towards me with surprisingly quick steps.
“Where am I?” she demanded, pointing a gnarled finger at me. It had seen lots of needlework. “Who are you?” A sudden light of understanding came into her eyes. “Is this a ploy of the Wicked Witch? Are you the Wicked Witch? Where are you keeping the Princess of First Country?! Locked in a tower no doubt… I demand to know! This instant!” She stamped one thin foot on the ground, placed her hands on her hips, and glared at me something fierce.
“I’m not the Wicked Witch,” I said, putting my hands up as a sign of peace. “Do I look like a witch to you?”
“No… I suppose not.” The woman contemplated me for a few more minutes.
“Alright,” she said, “I’ve decided to trust you. I sure am glad that’s over… I was worried there for a moment. So if you’re not the witch, who are you?” Her glare disappeared and a look of curiosity came into her eyes. She peered at me.
“My name is Abbey,” I said. “Won’t you please have a seat?” I asked politely. She was an old woman, after all.
“I don’t have a foot in the grave yet!” the woman said. “I’m still standin’! I can still get around! You young whippersnappers are always tryin’ to get me to take a load off my feet… ‘Sit down, mother. Shall we stop for a rest, mother? Let me do that, mother.’ That tall whippersnapper I’m travellin’ with is just horrid. Always askin’ me if I need to stop… I’m goin’ to be lookin’ after a princess soon! There will be no stoppin’ then… no resting.” Despite her grumbling, the old woman took a seat anyway. “I may look like an old Hag but I’m really not.” Having a seat seemed to calm her down a bit and she took on an amiable tone of voice with me. “That’s why I protest so much when people want to take special care of me… I’m actually a princess under a spell. I was turned old by a horrible witch, once upon a time…”
I seriously doubted that that was the case. But if that was the story the woman was sticking to, I’d let her believe it.
“So,” she peered at me. As soon as she had found out that I was no, in fact, the Wicked Witch imprisoning the princess of First Country, her mouth turned up at the corners and stayed in the amiable smile that I knew she always wore – except in extreme provocation.
“How do I get out of here? I was kind of in the middle of a quest when I found myself here.”
“I’m not sure,” I answered. I had been studying her carefully the whole time and had several important facts to write down once she was gone. I was as eager as the old hag to get her out of here – especially before my mom showed up.
“Well,” she said, getting up, “maybe I’ll just go back the way I came… through that curious sliding panel. I must ask the king if one can be installed in my bedchamber. Perhaps an adjoining door into the room next door.” The crone giggled girlishly. “That would lovely. Sneaking into the next room and scaring people in the middle of the night… I simply shall remember to ask the king about it. Thank you for the chat, Miss Abbey. If you see any Wicked Witches, don’t let them near your infant princesses. Fare ye well!”
She got to her feet and swayed unsteadily for a moment. She stuck her hands out for balance and soon recovered. She hobbled through the kitchen and back through the sliding door to the rest of the house. I watched her go and then reached for a piece of scratch paper. I quickly scribbled some notes.
Expressive eyes… Changes mood rapidly… Speech gets a little disjointed when angry… the ends of words get cut off… She can be quick when she wants to… And I must remember the sliding door to the room next door.
I wrote a general description of her and just as I was haphazardly scrawling the final note down, the sliding door opened again. Not knowing what to expect, I cautiously lifted my head. I breathed a sigh of relief. It was only my mom.
“Ready to start?” she asked, digging in the cupboard for some snack. “Play!”
I reached for the remote, pulled up the quilt, tucked my legs under me, and hit ‘play.’
And now a funny typo: "I may look like an old gah..." (instead of hag)