by LJ Frank
The four-season English conservatory was architecturally asymmetrical with the attached mid-1920’s built Tudor house. Built a few years before the Great Depression the house made its own architectural statement. After the Depression struck the owner allegedly lost everything by1934 and leaped off the Ambassador Bridge (opened in November 1929). His body was never found. There was a driver’s testimony who on his way to Windsor, Ontario from Michigan saw a man jump feet first, off a railing into the icy waters of the Detroit River during an early April evening. It could have been anybody. Rumors followed about a witch involved and that the man was living in Canada with his mistress.
His house was sold by his wife within two years. A relative of mine purchased it but a few decades later some strange events began occurring in the conservatory and he decided to sell. Simultaneously, after an uncommon and serendipitous winning hand in Las Vegas I leased the partially furnished house with an option to purchase.
One afternoon a week after moving in I stood in the conservatory as the sun showered the space. I had a strange unidentifiable feeling. I went about some personal busines and returned as the night approached and the shadows of clouds crawled over the house. The environment became hazy until the clouds passed over and a full Autumn moon lit up the sky and conservatory. The atmosphere was muse like.
As I was contemplating the ambience a hand touched my shoulder. Startled I jumped.
“Sorry. Didn’t mean to surprise you” The well-dressed woman in high heel boots said. “I finally arrived. Good to see you again. My leather bag is in the living room.”
“Don’t you remember?”
“The gaming table in Las Vegas.”
“Thank you but…?”
“I’m part of your winnings.” She grinned. “Remember, I came over to you and whispered in your ear and said I come with your winnings. I’ll be your Witch and Muse.”
“You were serious?”
“What if I had lost?”
“Not with me near you. I possess magic.” Leaning over to me our lips met. She then added, “I brought a bottle of fine red wine to celebrate.” Walking to the kitchen she turned her head towards me, “I assume you have some wine glasses?”
“Yeah. You do know my future partner should be arriving…and…”
As she returned to the conservatory, she was now barefoot and holding two glasses of wine. “I took care of it…she’s on the west coast with a friend. At least for a few months or more. Meanwhile…”
“I’m at a loss for words.”
“Smile. Think of me as a your personal witch with the attributes of a gentle but assertive Muse.” She then handed me a glass of wine. “Cheers!”
I nodded and held my glass up and after taking a sip, set the glass down on the table behind me and turned around towards my unexpected guest. She had vanished into thin air.
Looking around the house revealed she as gone. There was no leather bag in the living room. Even the glasses of wine were now missing. My thoughts were interrupted with the pounding of the door knocker on the wormy chestnut oak front door creating an echo in the house.
I peeked out the window and then opened the door. A willowy raven-haired woman stood before me.
“Hello. Do you recognize me?” She asked in a beckoning voice.
I noticed a leather bag hung over her shoulder. “Did we meet in Las Vegas and…?”
“You look puzzled. I understand. Our fantasies at times over lap with reality. It’s part of a witch’s magic. We met in both places. I’m known as Simone, the Eclectic Witch of Detroit. May I come back in – to both your worlds?”