Kingdom of Tofu (Chapter 6)

Ronald was in a hurry. He had been in the market for hours. The Witch would be mad at him for being out too long. He walked— ran— walked to the Witch’s house. He passed by two villages, a forest and crossed two rivers. Her house was in an isolated forest. No one have ever been there– except Ronald who had been with her all his life.

Finally, he could see the house. It was a small house— made of stone from floor to roof. It looked clean since he cleaned it everyday. He could see the Witch at the door, looking at him with a bored face.

“She must be hungry,” he thought.

He took his time walking to the house. The Witch frowned when he was in front of her.

“What took you so long?”she asked.

He wanted to lie, but he cannot. He knew she would find out.

“Nicole needed some help in the market,” he explained.

“Nicole?” she asked.

“Again?” he thought. He would always mention Nicole’s name whenever he comes back from the market. Nicole, the daughter of Kharl and Ricka. Nicole, the daughter of the owner of the shop that sells things for witchcraft. Nicole who taught him how to read and write. Nicole his friend. Nicole. Nicole.

“Nicole…,” he started to explain. “She needed some help—“.

“Never mind,” the Witch interrupted.”You should cook now, I’m hungry.”

He hurriedly went inside the house. He sighed. It was a mess inside. The Witch must have had tantrums while waiting for him and threw things everywhere. He made sure that the house was clean before he left. Now, he will have to clean again. He decided to cook first before cleaning. He prepared the Witch’s food and brought it to her room.

He knocked on her door twice but there was no answer. He knocked again, twice, a little harder. But still, there was no answer.

“I wonder if she’s asleep,” he thought.He decided to leave the food in front of her room. He placed the food on the floor and stood up. He looked at the door again, then picked the food from the floor. He decided to take the food and to wait for the Witch.

“Oh no. She would be mad if she skipped a meal.”

He knocked on the door again.

“Joella,” he called.

No answer. He knocked again.

“Come inside,” he heard her.

“Strange,” he hesitated to follow her, but it was the Witch’s words. “She never allowed me in her room.” Still unsure, he went inside.

He opened the door. He looked around to look for the Witch but got distracted by the room. He knew that her room would be big for a single person, but not this big. There was a huge bed in the middle of the room, with a black bed sheet. It was filled with eight red pillows. Just by its sight, Ronald could feel how comfortable it would be to lie there. He was tempted for a moment but then remembered whose room it was. There was a big mirror on the right side of the bed. It was glued on the wall and he can see his full reflection on it. On the left side of the bed, there was a black wardrobe. Basically, the room was filled with big furniture, colored either red or black.

A door opened on his left. Ronald trembled when the Witch came out from the door. He did not notice the door at first because it had the same color and texture as the wall.

The Witch looked at him and walked to the bed and sat.

“Is that my food?”

“Yes.”

“I hope you prepared soup.”

“I did.”

“Good. I need it. I think I’m ill.”

Ronald looked at her face. She was pale. “Strange. She never gets ill. A lot of strange things are happening today.” He was about to ask how she felt when she spoke.

“Someone will come. Send her to my room.”

“Okay.” He looked at the Witch who was eating. He was unsure whether to stay or to come out. She said nothing so he decided to leave.

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