The Everglade Enchantress
Violet, “Vi,” first heard of the Everglade Enchantress when Gran fell ill. Fearing it was her last opportunity, Gran pulled the girl close and whispered the secret of the swamp woman:
“Born on the River of Grass, a young girl learned the secrets of the plants and animals and in turn was taught how to shape shift with the landscape. She made powerful medicines, kept death at bay, spoke with the departed, and helped her village until she lost her sister and protector among the mangroves. She was cast out but escaped deep into the glades, where she continues to make medicine and search for her sister. Those pure of heart may be able to find her, but only if they are able to pay a soulful price of silver or sight.”
Gran died, but Vi never forgot the story.
A cold sweat makes her shiver despite the swampy night air on the edge of the river.
A snake slithers along the water’s surface searching for supper.
Cloaked in darkness, she paddles her canoe into the deep to wait for the healer.
The conjure woman.
Sounds of her lover’s gasping lungs echo in her ears.
She is here for him.
Amidst the floating lettuce hiding the ancient lizards below, she waits.
To make a deal to preserve his life.
A silver coin glimmers in the light of the full moon at the bottom of Vi’s hollowed boat.
Will it be enough?
Or, will there be something else to sacrifice?