The Price: A short story

This is from a 3 word prompt. Yes, it may seem familiar. It is based on a scene from the movie ‘Practical Magic’, however, it is very different, and goes quite a bit more into depth on things.

So, the 3 words are:

1. start
2. trick
3. Jump

She looked at the time, and then her eyes moved over to the woman sitting across from her. “The sun is just below the horizon, the moon is ascending. It’s a good time to get to start, if you’re ready…” She said to the elder woman. She wasn’t much older than herself, maybe 10 years at most. She supposed maybe that was a decent age difference. Did the woman feel comfortable coming to someone younger than herself? Wow…that was kind of stupid. This woman probably wasn’t comfortable coming to her at all.
Circumstance brought her here however. A pain. An ache.
She stood, looking to the woman who had set her tea cup down on the coffee table. “Come with me ma’am.” She said softly. The woman stood and followed, out into the greenhouse.
She went to gather materials. The elder woman looked around in wonder. There were several songbirds hanging from dainty little cages and various glass aquariums containing fish, snake, frogs and reptiles.
And the plants! So many varieties. All in good health, and the blooming blossoms so fragrant in the air.
“Ma’am, if you would?” She said softly. In one hand she held a bowl of blossoms, leaves and soil. In the other, one of the bird cages containing a dove.
The trick of this all was to use everything fresh. Dried ingredients just were not as potent. Too many made that mistake.
The woman was sitting on a wicker loveseat, part of a patio set. Before her was a coffee table that had a sheet laid over it. A steaming tea pot and a cup also sat there.
She brought everything to the woman, placing the birdcage down and grabbing hold of the teapot. She placing in the blossoms, dirt and other various items, rubbing them through her hands as she placed them in the boiling water.
The woman watched intently. She didn’t hide her dislike of the younger woman, but the need for her services outweighed everything at the moment.
She couldn’t help but notice this. She could feel it. She gave an internal shrug. The woman was paying her, and paying her good. They all did.
“I need for you to drink this, please. The full cup.” She said to the woman, pouring her the content of the steeping teapot. The woman gave a disgusted looked. That wasn’t ‘tea’. It had dirt in it. And who knows what else.
She needed this though. She did as told, chugging the hot liquid back. As she did this, the younger woman reached into the birdcage and took hold of the dove.
“Now, say out loud what you wish for and then plunge this needle into the dove’s heart.”
The elder woman’s hands were shaking. She took the needle and nodded.
“I don’t want to love him anymore. I don’t want him to love me. I don’t want anyone to ever love him again.”
She forced the needle into the breast of the dove, piercing its heart. Its feathers flapped and it made a bit of noise, giving the woman pause to jump back in her seat. Then the bird seemed to drift off and die.
The woman looked to her questioningly.
“It’s done. Now, take this bird home and bury it in the Southeast corner of your garden.” She instructed.
Near the brink of tears, the woman nodded, wrapping the bird up in a cloth provided as she slipped a wad of money out, tossing it onto the table. She said nothing more. No thanks. No show of gratitude.
What the elder woman didn’t know, or didn’t understand, was that there was a price to be paid that went far beyond mortal currency. She would get what she asked for, however, this man would live a full happy life in his solitude. He would enjoy it, rejoice in it. The woman however, would find no other love at all in her life. She would compare all other men to him, though she would not feel love for him. Or anyone, ever again. She would die alone and miserable and a far younger age had she not brought this upon herself.
She showed the elder woman out, returning to her greenhouse to clean up. She placed the wad of money in her pocket.
Tomorrow night would bring someone else to her door for a spell, hex or curse.

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