PodCastle 58: Nine-Fingered Maria

by Hilary Moon Murphy.
Read by Christopher Reynaga.

…this girl appeared from behind a door and caught my ball.  She was probably my age: several inches taller than I am, with long straight black hair pulled back in a ponytail, plain white t-shirt, denim jacket and jeans with a hole worn in the knee.  She stared at me with intense dark eyes and said, “What are you doing here?”

“I was just getting my ball,” I said, stepping out of the way of two movers carrying a large red bureau with multi-colored wax stains all over it.

“No, you weren’t.”  She cocked her head to the side, and raised her eyebrow.  “You were spying.”

“I wasn’t!”

“That’s okay, I like spies.”  She gave me back my ball and showed me her hands.  “I have nine fingers.  I’m a witch.”

Rated PG. Contains boyhood, and witchcraft, and jars full of preserved things.