The wise woman quietly opened the door, like a portal to the Other World, where a young woman's fist was held up as if to knock. Whether it was caught by her speed or its own hesitation, Meg wasn't sure.
"Expected was I?" a sweet voice entered the room.
The crone shrugged. "Bess is it?" At least it was mortal kin.
"We both know you would be here one way or another. One day or another."
"Do I have thy leave to enter, Elder One?" the spoken song continued. Sweet insolence lost on the witnesses.
"Do YOU not THOU me!" the witch barked. "You must do as you will. Who can tell one such as you whither you may go? Not I."
The other occupants of the cot, stared confused at the old woman's lack of hospitality. Framed in the doorway was a beauty that cried Sister, Daughter, Lover, Friend to each and all. Even the witch herself felt the tug at her shrivelled heart.
"May I enter, I pray you?" the younger asked more contritely. Her fey blue eyes the past inheritance of forbidden but powerful liaisons between those that should know better.
"If it would please you to do so."
And so the duel began.