Neighborhood Witch, a tale of urban magic, is now up at matthewkeville.com.
The witch came out of the corner store with her carton of smokes and her two-liter bottle of Pepsi in a plain black plastic bag.
“Hola, Mami,” one of the old men playing dominos in front of the store greeted her.
“Hola, hola,” she replied. At seventy-one, he had a good six years on her, but “mami” was a title that honored more than just age. In fact, she’d earned it through sheer pushiness by the time she was three.
She turned the corner onto 180th street and waved at the local drug dealers before mounting the front steps to her apartment building. They waved back and shouted their greetings – “Hola, Señora Rivera!” “ ‘Ey, Doña Celia!” – before turning back to the people they were speaking with.
Such nice boys. Why, she remembered when her elder daughter and her husband had needed to move in with her for a few weeks as part of their move to New York (move back to New York in Aracelli’s case). Brian – also a nice boy, but ay, such a country mouse! More than once she’d had to rescue him from con artists or chatty street people – had been a bit intimidated by all of the people sitting on the stoop while he tried to parallel park, but the dealers had coached him through it and then watched the luggage so it didn’t walk away while Brian and Aracelli were moving it from the curb to the apartment.
They weren’t the kind of boys who went shooting at everyone who wore the wrong colors. They didn’t want trouble. They just wanted to sell their pot and ecstasy to Columbia students and at all the new clubs opening up in Inwood. Living in New York meant making such accommodations.
Besides, anyone who was more trouble than that didn’t get to stay in Celia Rivera’s neighborhood very long.
Check out the rest here!