[Fiction] The Witch

The gray lady glided in a gown of tempered silver, bobbing like a distant traveler’s lantern in the winter hush of a November dusk. Warriors dropped their swords and shed their ineffective amulets to lay down in the battlefield. They found the cold snow as welcoming as soft pillows and slept. From dreams into death they passed, unknowingly and pleased. The great wizards with their spying glasses trembled from high on the ramparts and the king guarded by his castle watched as she strode unhurriedly, cowing his great army as the drawbridge unwound itself and lowered.

A Knight and A Milkmaid

At the spring of Golinsith
a maiden wrung her hair
and the knight who spied on her
did lovingly despair.

For he had no gold:
only a rheumy, knackered steed.
And although he’d tried for years,
not one outstanding deed.

In the town, he sold his armor
for seed and new-forged hoes.
And began a bitter siege
against agricultural foes.

Finally, his fifth harvest
allowed him for a dowry
to that milkmaid, who only asked
for a necklace strung of cowries.