A Witch lives underneath the stairwell in my parent’s home, and she doesn’t live alone. Frankenstein is her companion and lackey. They have lived underneath the stairs my entire life. I don’t know why she chose us, but she’s a member of our family, even if she’s never appeared in a family photo. Perhaps because I’m the only one who knows about her.
Day after day, she patiently stirs her cauldron while Frankenstein silently observes. They are waiting for the perfect moment to catch me.
Thankfully I am sneaky. Plus, they can only come out at night. During my childhood, they stared longingly at me from under the stairs while I played with my toys.
I’d skip past the stairwell and blow raspberries at them. The Witch ignored me and continued writing her recipe for soup du jour a la Tanya. But I noticed the slight twitching of her right eye; I knew how to irritate her.
I was also excellent at keeping an eye on the clock. I could hear her stirring her thick soup with her wooden spoon scraping the cauldron, a constant reminder that I was on her dinner menu. As the afternoon slipped into dusk, her cackle grew louder as her power returned, and I scampered back upstairs and out of her reach.
The most dangerous time for me was after dinner when it was my job to go downstairs and retrieve ice cream from the cavernous deep freeze. Yes, my own parents sent me to the basement where a hungry Witch waited in anticipation with Frankenstein by her side.
But here was where the Witch made her mistake: she never came after me herself. She always sent Frankenstein instead. Frankenstein might be strong, but the dude was slow. I’d race down the stairs as fast my little legs could go, grab the ice cream nestled among the Oscar Mayer weiners and slightly smooshed hotdog buns, then zoom up the stairs to my parents yelling at me for slamming the freezer.
Eventually the Witch and Frankenstein gave up and lived in peace with my parents. Apparently soup du jour a la parents lacked flavor.
During my last visit, my parents proudly showed me how they were remodeling the basement, including the stairwell. The Witch and Frankenstein decided to seek darker surroundings since the new pure white walls messed with their mojo. I smiled sweetly at them and blew them one last raspberry.
Last I heard, they were trying to move in with one of the Real Housewives of New Jersey.