Look Backwards Through The Fir Tree
Desperation colors her face pale gray, sickly blue around the edges. Love potions spill, powerless. Hexes scatter in the wind. Magic is wasting and she cannot bear to ask why.
Look backwards through the fir tree … disembodied whispers haunt every dream.
“Be gone!” She covers her ears in a feeble attempt to ward off temptation. A promise thrice ye shall make, walk south, turn ‘round, look backward through the fir tree. Regain what has been lost. The circle remains open.
One fortnight ages her a decade. Another, a decade more. She relents: “A seeker I shall always be. A seeker I shall always be. A seeker I shall always be until the death of me.” And so, she walks south as dawn creeps down, with feet and hands bare, turns ‘round, and looks backward.
The circle is open – ageless in the face of an ancient tree. “Show me.”
The Radley Tree
Every afternoon Rosemary Hughes walks precisely one hundred paces from her back door with a small bag of treasure.
Unlike Boo, lurking in the shadows of her favorite fiction, Rosemary isn’t leaving treats for children. This is all part of a painstaking plan – a means of self-preservation. She must get away, and not empty handed.
Her one true love started the terror a month after the wedding. Six months in, she agreed not to leave him. A year later, she vowed to never leave the neighborhood, the backyard. The doors are locked at precisely 7 p.m.
His fists were the easiest to bear, but that stopped months ago.
Dollar bills, a ten, a five, loose change, her driver’s license, all wrapped in sandwich bags and weighted down enough to keep the squirrels from stealing. Twenty days, thirty … she prays at the base of her Radley Tree.
“Tonight, I’ll be free.”