A Witch's Hallowe'en

Elena signed with exasperation. 
            The kids had arrived, as they did every year since they had discovered that she was a witch.  Every year on this day.  Samhain.  The second biggest day of importance for her work.  How she was supposed to get everything done that needed to be finished within the next several hours and deal with that ragged lot was beyond her.
            The list of things she had to do unrolled before her mind.  There were herbs that had been drying since summer to prep into poultices for the McCready’s arthritis, and the small bones of Mansy to grind in the mortar and pestle to be sprinkled out in the graveyard that the small mouse had loved best.  There were the black cats to feed and house when they were evicted from their homes, as they were on this night every year.  The midnight lotus would not water itself at eleven fifty-five that evening.  And on top of all of this, there were the tonics to have prepared by midnight so that they could soak up the perfect quantity of less light and more dark that fell on the following day.
            She glanced out the window at the wheelbarrow full of pumpkins pushed by one of the larger kids.  Then she looked again, her eyes narrowing.  It seemed the kids were larger this year—as were the pumpkins.  She was not prepared to contend with that.
            She sighed again, knowing the damage her cottage was about to take.
            Well, she was a witch—these kinds of things were bound to happen.  Especially on All Hallow’s Eve.
            There was nothing she could do about it.
            The doorbell rang.
            Elena opened the door, smiled, and waved the kids through to the back room, their pumpkins bouncing as they rolled over the floor.  She did, after all, carve the best Jack-o’- lanterns.

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