Several years earlier, just before locking Kelley into the cellar for what seemed to be a lifetime (to Kelley, anyway), Grismelda was bad. Very Bad. Samuel, Kelley’s father, had supposedly set off to a neighboring town to do some business (horse trading and purchasing seeds – so very very exciting) but in reality, he was gone, never to return. Grismelda had decided that he was too kind and loving and much too fond of Kelley so he had to go. Unfortunately for Samuel, Grismelda was very good at plotting and in most cases her evil plans generally succeeded. This one was no exception to the rule.
Enlisting the assistance of the hag next door, the two
witches women brewed up a special batch of dandelion wine and poor unsuspecting Samuel drank it all down over dinner whereupon he immediately fell into a comatose stupor. The town women then took his unconscious body and hauled it out of the house and into a wheelbarrow. What happened from there is unclear as the only source of information is Grismelda and she has been less than cooperative in providing the details. Suffice to say, it’s likely that the unfortunate Samuel’s body can be found buried somewhere on the acreage he used to farm.
Kelley was unaware of this fact as she and Bronson poofed! their way to Grismelda’s new home in Siberia. Upon arriving there, they stood quietly and surveyed the dismal scene around them. The yard around the small hut was filthy and littered with trash, broken wagons, a myriad of bottles and dishes, and Kelley shuddered as she realized that what at first glance appeared to be white rocks were actually the bones of small animals. The house was gray and weathered, but not in the homey cottage sort of way. No, this was a foul place that oozed evil from every square inch. Kelley turned to Bronson to let him know she had changed her mind when the door was flung open and a tattered figure came shuffling out. Kelley rested one hand protectively on her belly and began to inch her way behind Bronson.
Grismelda glared at them for a moment before throwing back her head and laughing in a very unpleasant manner. She raised her cane, shook it at them and then began to screech. Kelley shivered in fear and her skin seemed to be crawling with bugs? Vermin? Something. She yanked at Bronson’s arm and if she had the ability to, she would have whimpered. Bronson immediately stepped forward and raised one hand towards the old woman. Grismelda went silent and stared at them with a baleful glare before turning around and stomping back into the house. The door slammed with enough force to bring down several shingles from the roof and a small cloud of dust hovered in the air above before falling to the ground.
Bronson turned to Kelley and taking her into his arms, he poofed! and they were gone.
Kelley opened her eyes to find that she was not at home but next to the tranquil stream where she learned to make soap so long ago. A large white tent with banners in green and blue fluttered in the breeze on the center mast and a huge number of rose petals were strewn about the ground in front of the entrance. With a gentle tug, Bronson led her into the tent where Theodora stood waiting next to a plush chaise which was draped in several soft and ethereal blankets. The air was heavy with the scent of jasmine and honeysuckle and the gentle babble of the brook outside combined with the sumptuousness of the tent interior to create a harmonious and peaceful environment.
It was here that Kelley would give birth to her first child. Far from the unpleasantness of the world and the evils of people like Grismelda.