• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 07
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Aunt Nelly, God rest her soul, wasn’t my real aunt, nor anyone else’s for that matter. It’s how she was called by everyone I knew who apparently knew her. And everyone I knew who knew her could tell you she was a kitchen witch per se, by which they didn’t mean a Hansel and Gretel kind, snatching up children to fatten up and eventually eat.

How do you tell a witch? – I asked my older friend Mark, looking at the photo of her kitchen reflected in the mirror we had taken one day in secret.

There’s no need for a coven, goat’s skull and full moon – he replied confidently. Have you ever wondered why anyone would have a mirror on the kitchen wall? Of course you haven’t – he shook his head in disbelief.

But how do you know? – I insisted. She’s into batwing pullovers. And? She likes the flickering light of candles. Who doesn’t? She enjoys pottery. What does that prove?

H-e-l-l-o? – Mark said, stretching out the question, and a hand that landed on my forehead and made me blink. Use your head, dummy, that’s what it’s for!

We agreed that day she must be 140 years old. What I learned at very young age was that you can look like yourself, have a perfect-looking altar and still be able to cast spells (no spider webs or eating children required). Aunt Nelly’s whole world, drab and grey, fit a mirror which was strong enough to hold the high-ceilinged kitchen with crystal white floor tiles and countless vases, magic potion bottles, tea and coffee sets on the shelves and who knows what else.

Mark and I have whirled down the hallways, attics and basements in the blink of an eye. The whirling winds of Aunt Nelly’s kitchen are fast asleep in the pots and jars behind the mirror.