A continuation of Between the Curtains, again dedicated to Coaster Punchman.
"I said that you don't have to believe me, and I certainly wouldn't...if I were in your shoes." Mrs. Stevens said as she fingered the silken belt of her robe. She tilted her head as she watched Mrs. Kravitz float above her dining room table.
"Well, I don't believe you!" Mrs. Kravitz snivelled. "Now get me down from here!"
"I'm sorry, I can't do that." Mrs. Stevens replied. "You've seen too much. I'm sorry to have to do this to you, but I can't have you starting up a witch hunt against me. Today my sisters and I are going to have a little prayer group and we will be praying to silence you. Now be quiet and try to find some peace. I've got to finish preparing the punch and finger sandwiches. Everyone will be here soon. " Mrs. Stevens turned away from her and entered the kitchen.
Mrs. Kravitz continued to float on her back above the early American dining table. Tears began to slide down the sides of her face and drip onto the polished oak finish. She was frightened but resolute. This must be some cruel joke. She had to be held up like this by some combination of fishing wire and hallucinogenic drugs. She couldn't feel any specific bonds; it felt more like magnetic force keeping her hovering. She shook away that train of thought. It had to be some kind of parlour trick. There is no natural way she could be suspended in midair like this.
Mrs. Kravitz began to pray. She started with a plea to damn Mrs. Stevens to hell for this. She had suspected the woman was either a circus freak or a whore. Strange people had been coming and going from her house at odd hours. Mrs. Kravitz sometimes didn't even see them approaching, which was unusual, since she kept a daily vigil at her window. Then it was the strange creatures that began roaming the back yard: a unicorn, garden gnomes and dragon.
It was the dragon that drew Mrs. Kravitz away from her window and sent her marching next door. She had pounded on the Stevens's front door and demanded entrance. She would no longer tolerate Mrs. Stevens's interest in unusual creatures. It was one thing to have wierdos in your house at all hours. It was quite another to go to great lenghts to alter God's creatures in one way or another to make them resemble the denizens of hell where all that old mythology was born. She said as much to Mrs. Stevens and the woman just laughed at her.
Mrs. Stevens then led her through the house and showed her the backyard, which no longer contained the beasts. She continued to deny Mrs. Kravitz's accusations and had almost convinced her that she was seeing things until a small, evil little creature dashed out from under the couch and bit Mrs. Kravitz on the ankle.
Mrs. Kravitz shivered at the memory. It was a terrible and vile living version of the little fishing gnome statue Mrs. Kravitz had bought and placed in her own garden. She was horrified and then filled with the glory of God. She fought back the pain and pulled herself up tall and let herself be God's instrument in the presence of the evil woman. Oh, if only her ladies prayer group had been there to hear her preach that day...
She had just been winding up to deliver the final piece of her invocation and damn Mrs. Stevens to hell when that woman wiggled her nose at Mrs. Kravitz and all went dark. The next thing she knew she was floating above this table.
"Ok, Mrs. Kravitz," Mrs. Stevens said, re-entering the dining room. "Everything's all set. Ah, there's the doorbell! Now you keep quiet." She wiggled her nose at Mrs. Kravitz and the latter felt a warm yet invisible hand cover her mouth.
Mrs. Kravitz heard a group of ladies bubbling in from the front entrance. She could recognize the snide tones of Mrs. Stevens's mother, Endorra among them. As she listened intently for any clue that this was a hoax, she began to decifer other voices. Several of them were ones she'd heard as she listened over the Stevens's back yard during their summer barbeques. But wait, was that Mrs. Cooper the minister's wife? And Miss Tibbs, the school principal? She peered out of the corner of her eye, trying to get a glimpse of the living room. It was! She struggled against her invisible bonds and shriek for help. It was no use. She must try praying again.
She watched in horror as the ladies removed their sensible trench coats and hats to reveal they were all wearing matching, black silk robes. Her eyes bugged out as she recognized most of her prayer group among the coven. Help me, Father! She sent this wish to heaven in desperation.
The ladies in the other room turned their attention to the floating Mrs. Kravitz. They smirked at her and began to jabber to each other.
"All right, ladies," Mrs. Stevens called and clapped her hands. "We are gathered here today to take care of a little problem, as you know. We've all been very patient with Mrs. Kravitz and have done what we can within the mortal realm to ease her mind and distract her from our important work. But, I'm afraid we couldn't expect to be successful forever. Afterall, she is a very clever and powerful woman. So let's work together to redirect her energy to something more positive and less interfering. Shall we gather in the dining room? Afterwards, we'll have punch and sandwiches and begin our work on the school levy, as we had originally planned."
The ladies moved into the dining room and formed a circle around Mrs. Kravitz. Mrs. Kravitz felt a strong energy warming and confining her. She began to pray but their words knocked her prayers down like so many sweat bees as they began their chant.
"Zolda Pranken Kopeck Lum Ippity Bippity Zippity Zoom Zoom..." and Mrs. Kravitz fainted.
Mrs. Kravitz shook her head and found herself sitting in an armchair opposite her husband. She glanced over to the window and shivered. It was repulsive to her.
"Are you cold, Gladys?" Mr. Kravitz asked her.
"No," she said, returning to her knitting. "I just can't stand those curtains anymore."
Posted for Friday Flash Fiction.