Friday, December 4, 2015

The Women in the Moon

Oct. 23, 2015

Cora stepped inside the room and looked around. She was surprised by the warm and homey smell of baking bread.

"Hello?" she called out. "Am I in the right place?"

A woman holding a wicker basket, covered with a blue and white checked towel, turned around from the oven. She was pleasantly plump, and looked to be in her 30s, her midnight black hair braided back from her face rosy face.

"Oh my, is it that time already?" she said. "Come in, my dear. Take a seat by the window - I always loved that seat."

The younger girl slipped her feet out of her shoes, and padded over to the overstuffed chair near the window. The carpet on the floor was thick and lush, and shone silver.

"It's warmer than I thought it would be," said Cora, easing into the big chair. "You must be Per--"

"Not anymore, sweetheart. I'm changing jobs, just like you. Soon you won't be able to keep track of who you are either. That's just the way of things."

Cora smirked, but didn't say anything. It was ridiculous to think that she would be anyone but herself being the moon didn't matter so much. The older woman - Persephone, Cora thought with rebellious flair - plopped the basket down in Cora's lap. It was warm and the smell of fresh bread wafted from it. She peeked under the cloth and admired the round, golden loaves nestled inside.

"Try one," said Persephone.

Cora picked one up, it was about the size of a softball, had it been made of dough pressed into a half globe. Heat gently radiated out from it, and the young girl broke it in half. Crumbs sparkled as they fell to the carpeted floor.

"I use stardust in my recipes," said Persephone. She leaned against a pale wall, and pushed a grey streaked lock of hair away from her face. "It is later than I thought, isn't it? How silly to think I could stay so long."

The young girl looked at the other woman, whose shoulders bent under the weight of years, and the bones of her skull seemed visible in her face. Her skin was translucent, like spider silk.

The crone sighed, setting the basket down and dusting the shimmering crumbs from her hands. "Take care of it, will you? It all happens so fast."

The girl watched as the old woman hobbled to a door on the far side of the room that hadn't existed before. The hag looked over her shoulder, and despite her eyes being milky with age, looked at the younger version of the moon and smiled kindly.

"Goodbye, Persephone."

The first loaf was already eaten - and the woman could hardly remember the taste. But there were more loaves in the basket - and she had to make more before her next guest arrived.

"Farewell, Hecate," she said absently, looking out the window as the far door closed with hardly a sound.

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