Another Turn Of The Wheel

“Aren’t you just darling?” Cooed the queen as she held the newborn. Her heart swelled as she looked down into the pure and innocent eyes that were taking in the world for the very first time.

Suddenly a soft tapping drew her attention away from the child. The odd noise seemed to echo unnaturally around the walls of the bedroom. The queen looked around, trying to work out where the sound was coming from.

The tapping grew louder and louder with each passing second. The queen realized that the noise was moving towards her. She quickly sat up and tried to put the baby in a crib. However, before she could, the door swung open and a woman stepped inside the room.

Her face was twisted into an angry scowl and her thick wooden staff was tapping against the stone floor as she moved, making her footsteps sound ominous.

“I see she has arrived home,” smiled the woman as she looked at the baby.

“Esmerelda,” sighed the queen as she rolled her eyes. “Yes, she came home yesterday.”

“And I am told there is to be a christening.” Replied Esmerelda, her voice dripping with sarcasm.

“There is, yes,” nodded the queen as she gently lowered the baby into a crib.

“And yet, I don’t recall receiving an invite.”

“Because I didn’t send one.” Sighed the queen. “Esmerelda, you know you are not welcome at such things. Your magic and witchcraft mean that your attendance will force everyone else to avoid it.”

“Are you suggesting?”

“Yes,” nodded the queen as she cut Esmerelda off. “I want the day to be a happy, joyous one. I don’t want Mimi to be christened in an atmosphere of fear and unease.”

“How dare you!” Shouted Esmerelda as she threw her arms into the air. “How dare you treat me in such a manner! You will pay for this!” She continued as thunder rumbled.

Esmerelda’s staff glowed a sinister and ethereal green as the thunder became more intense. Her face twisted into a grimace as she started to grumble under her breath.

“Esmerelda, don’t do this,” said the queen, only to be drowned out but another rumble of thunder.

“I curse this child! On the dawn of her eighteenth birthday, she will prick her finger upon a spinning wheel and fall into a deep unwakable sleep! She will not wake until she receives true love’s kiss!” Cackled Esmerelda as a bolt of light shot from her staff and into the crib, surrounding the young baby in smog.

“Undo it! Undo it now!” Screamed the queen as she jumped out of her chair, her hands balling into fists as she did.

“What is done can’t be undone,” smirked Esmerelda as she spun theatrically and walked out of the room. “Her eighteenth birthday! Remember!” She shouted as she left, her voice unnaturally echoing throughout the building.

Despite her Mother’s fears, Mimi grew up oblivious to her curse. As she matured she became a wonderful and kind woman who didn’t know that a bitter eye watched her every move.

Mimi’s eighteenth birthday was full of joy and excitement. Mimi’s mother was too focused on the birthday party to even think about the curse. Her mind was fixated on making sure that Mimi had the best day possible before she left for college.

But Esmerelda didn’t forget the curse. It was in her mind for every second of those eighteen years. She constantly watched Mimi from afar, waiting for the moment she fell under the sway of her curse.

“Soon, soon you will prick your finger and your Mother will pay for her insolence!” She laughed as she spied on Mimi with her crystal ball.

Alas, Mimi did not prick her finger on a spinning wheel. In fact, she never even came into contact with one.

And thus, she made her way through college, graduated, and moved into an apartment in the center of the city, much to the frustration of Esmerelda.

Even on her twenty-fifth birthday, Mimi hadn’t pricked her finger. In fact, she hadn’t even seen a real spinning wheel. However, Esmerelda still watched through her ball, growing increasingly frustrated.

One Autumn evening Esmerelda watched Mimi return to her apartment and her heart filled with renewed hope. Maybe this was the night that Mimi would set off her dark curse.

As Esmerelda watched, Mimi hung up her coat and walked over to the couch before sitting down and switching on the TV.

“No! No!’ Shouted Esmerelda. “Don’t do that! Don’t you want to spin some thread? Why do you never spin thread?!”

However, Mimi didn’t spin thread, in fact, she spent the whole evening watching TV, much to Esmerelda’s annoyance. The witch could hardly contain her anger. All of her work was amounting to nothing because this infernal girl refused to spin thread.

“I need a new hoodie,” mumbled Mimi as she looked at the large hole that had formed on the cuff of her college-branded hoody.

“Yes!” Laughed Esmerelda as she dived towards her crystal ball. “Yes, you do! Spin some thread! Make a charming cloak to cover your rags!”

“I’ll have to go to the mall,” sighed Mimi as she slumped back into the couch.

“No!” Screamed Esmerelda as she knocked the crystal ball off of its stand. Her rage boiled over as years of frustration bubbled up to the surface. “What is wrong with this girl?! Did someone else curse her? A curse that removed her ability to sew?”

The crow on the windowsill cawed with confusion, unable to fully understand Esmerelda. But it knew that it had to keep Esmerelda happy if it wanted free breadcrumbs.

“No, no one would place such a cruel curse upon a woman,” pondered Esmerelda. “I just need to make sure she finds a spinning wheel. Her mother must have taught her to avoid them.” She said, growing more confident by the word.

Esmerelda wrapped her cloak around her shoulders and ran out into the night. She quickly made her way to the nearest village and charmed a seamstress, quickly stealing her spinning wheel before rushing to Mimi’s new kingdom.

To Esmerelda’s surprise, the kingdom of New York was further away than she first thought. Especially because she had made the journey with a spinning wheel strapped to her broom.

As Esmerelda landed behind Mimi’s apartment building, she spotted Mimi walked out of the door. Esmerelda smiled, presuming that this was a sign from on high.

She quickly grabbed the spinning wheel and started to follow Mimi, waiting for the perfect moment to present the young girl with the spinning wheel.

After a few blocks, Mimi turned and wandered into a building. Esmerelda presumed this was her chance and started to walk faster. However, as she entered the building a man extended his arm in front of her.

“You can’t bring that in here, sorry.” Said the man firmly.

“Why?”

“That needle is uncovered, it could be used as a weapon,” replied the man with practiced ease.

“How dare you judge me like that!” Shouted Esmerelda.

“I’m not judging you. Starbucks policy.” Replied the man with a hint of unease in his voice.

“Who is this Starbucks?! They are not King!” Shouted Esmerelda. “Now let me go!”

“Look, madam. Please leave or I’ll need to call the police,” sighed the man, obviously realizing he wasn’t being paid enough to deal with this odd woman.

“Your summoned horde will not stop me!” Grimaced Esmerelda as she raised her hands. “On the day of your eighteenth birthday, you will cut yourself on a lathe and turn into a frog!” She cackled as thunder rumbled in the distance.

Once the thunder subsided she spun on her heel and marched out of the building as the man looked on in confusion. “What’s a lathe?” He mumbled. “I’m thirty.’

Esmerelda quickly decided on a new plan and made her way back to the apartment building she had seen Mimi exit from. She placed the spinning wheel outside of the door and attached a note to it.

The note said that the wheel was a solstice gift from one of Mimi’s neighbors. Esmerelda wasn’t sure if this strange kingdom even celebrated the solstice, but it seemed likey that it did.

As she heard Mimi returning home from her errands, Esmerelda quickly ran out of the building and headed back to her castle. Keen to watch Mimi succumb to her curse.

“Huh,” blinked Mimi as she spotted the wheel. “What in the world?” She added as she inspected the wheel and the note. “I’ve never heard of Adleremse, but a gift is a gift,” she shrugged as she moved the wheel into her apartment.

The second Esmerelda got back to her castle she ran straight to her crystal ball and gazed into it. She expected to see Mimi trapped in a deep slumber. However, all she saw was Mimi sat on the couch watching TV.

“Did she not prick her finger?” Gasped Esmerelda as she glared into the ball. Her eyes darting around as she tried to spot the spinning wheel. After several minutes of frantic searching, Esmerelda spotted the wheel in the corner of the room. The oak frame was covered in various magazines and knick-knacks.

“How has she not used it!” Shouted Esmerelda. “There is plenty of yarn that needs to be spun! She doesn’t even have a woven jacket or hat for the winter! How can she resist that need? How can she avoid the wheel?!”

“Spinning wheel,” mumbled Mimi as she sat up.

“Yes! Yes! Spin!” Shouted Esmerelda as she gripped the ball tight.

“Can go into the list of stuff to donate, I don’t need that.” Nodded Mimi to herself. “So, Sandwich toaster, juicer, and the spinning wheel can all go to the thrift store,” she said as she pulled out her phone and started typing herself a note.

“No! No!” Shouted Esmerelda as she slammed her fists onto the ball. She was beside herself with rage. All she could do was watch as the wheel was put next to various other nick-nacks and loaded into the back of a van and driven off to some unknown warehouse.

After a few days of seething, Esmerelda looked at the crow once more. “I give up! Some greater and darker fate has befallen her.” Sighed the witch as she waved her hand and let the image fade from the ball before going to weave herself a new cloak.

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