The farmer, his wife, the plough boy, and both maids set off towards the barn, with the old woman hobbling after. She muttered incantations as they walked through the village, then whispered to herself:

"All shall be well. All manner of things shall be well."

When they were within, Will took Pog's hand. "Will ye dance as we did at our wedding?"

"Happen I will, Master." she replied with a courtesy. Meg saw, if none other (saving maybe Will himself) the years fall from her face.

Mary didn't wait to ask, or be asked, but simply grabbed and pulled Tom's arm, and soon he was stepping clumsily along to the music and her merry laughter.

Big you see, Meg thought to herself. Strong like an Oak. The girl more like Ivy, eager to grow up round him. They would have many children.

Then her gaze turned sadly to Bess. Young Bess. Powerful, dangerous Bess. She sighed. Choices had been made. For the most part, the right ones. However, it meant the girl still hadn't taken whatever path she was meant for.

The maid caught her eye. Reading her thoughts? "I have you."she whispered. "I'm older than I look. You're younger than you seem. And I've a lot to learn being your apprenticeā€¦"

Could it get more interesting? The witch thought not.

"But we can start tomorrow can't we?"

The older woman smiled as Bess took her hand and they joined the dancers. The girl had made her choice. And it had been a good one.


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DoctorMikeReddy almost 9 years ago

Old Meg says she'll let me out of the bath now. She muttered something about curing crushes and broken hearts, but I'm not really sure what she's on about. Sorry.

Oh and she told me to say "Goodbye."

JessWest almost 9 years ago

A satisfying end to a great story. Well done, Mike!

DoctorMikeReddy (joined almost 12 years ago)
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I do all sorts of things. Mostly badly. Mostly better than others. I tell stories. Occasionally, I lie.

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