The little cottage sat at the top of the mountain, silhouetted against the setting sun. It had been handsome once, the sides hewn from the trees felled to clear space for the house and small yard, with a green roof and the trim painted a cheery sunshine yellow. Time had taken its toll and done to the house what it was unable to do to the ancient stone. Now, It was old and dilapidated, buffeted by the snow in the wintertime and the sun in the summer, the first to feel the wind and the rain the rest of the year. The paint was faded and flaked, the roof covered in moss, and the front door hung askew. There were few who chose to live that high up the mountain and so the little house stood alone, neighbored only by stone and trees. A dim light shone in the window, and inside an old woman muttered to herself as she rocked in front of her fire, her dinner plate balanced on her lap, the grease adding drips and drabs to her dress, its fabric already darkened with scores of the same. Her hair was white and wiry, and her hooked nose and black eyes bespoke a land far away from where she had made her home.
“Fool kids,” she muttered, “banging on me door like that.” The couple had knocked shortly after lunch. Blonde haired, fair, and blue eyed, unbelievably young, they looked enough alike to be brother and sister rather than husband and wife.
“We finally found you!” the girl had bubbled, clapping her hands like a small child. For a split second she looked like she might even hug the crone. “We had our GPS so I thought we’d be fine but then we lost signal and I don’t know how we can make it home.” The old woman stared out of her beady eyes and the girl trailed off, her grin slowly fading. They were invited inside and accepted readily enough, giggling nervously, but once there they seemed to be at a loss. There were a lot of measured looks, some clearing of throat and shuffling of feet, but in the end the story had to be drug out of them, just like it had had to be with all of the others. They had been trying to catch pregnant for three years and yet no baby. The doctors were at a loss. They’d heard thing, certain things, and thought that maybe she could help.
“Darn fools,” the woman muttered again. An old woman lives by herself in a falling down shack and they figure she must be a witch. They never stopped by to offer to fix the roof, or bring her some presents at Christmas time, or see how she was fixed for bread and eggs, but if someone had a score to settle or there was something wrong inside their britches and they came asking spells. It was like they were kids, still believing in fairy tales. “Of course,” the woman thought, as her teeth splintered through a bone and she sucked out the marrow, “sometimes the fairy tales are right.”