Those You Couldn’t Burn

By Alexia Tzortzis, TIWP Student

They lived on the outskirts of town,
their house a cottage of old wood and large glass windows,
snuggled between two towering oaks,
ancient trees protectively surrounding the clearing.

The towns people called them the witches,
an accurate name for the pair of lovebirds who owned a small shop
in an old brick building on Main Street.

The shop had no name, just a sprig of angelica hanging above the door.
The towns people just refer to it as ‘Angelica’—
fitting, for the girls who run it are very much angelic in nature,
and the miracles their herbs and home remedies perform
can only be done by angels.

In the shop, old shelves are lined with all manner of medicines packed in old jars
found on beaches or in old barns.
The girl mashing rosemary behind the counter seems to know exactly what you need when you walk in, though no one can ever explain how.

She wipes her hands on an old stained apron around her waist and walks toward you, pulling a bottle off the shelf before moving back behind the counter to mark it down in an old leather bound book.
You ask for the price and she just smiles.

You’ve already paid, is all she says before returning to her herbs.

You walk out the door mystified,
yet the herbs in the bottle work like a charm,
and the girl behind the desk smiled too pleasantly not to love her.
Her voice is soft.

So you return.
For anything you need, they can help.
You go in once for a migraine
and a raven flies in after you.
It lands on the girl, croaking softly to her after dropping rolled up paper into the palm of her hand. The girl pets it once and gives it a quick treat of something you don’t see before the bird flies out and she smiles at you.

Migraine?

You nod. She grabs a tin with a salve inside smelling of eucalyptus. You make no question of the bird and she gives no answer.

You walk out.

Written in vines and their signature ‘Angelina,’ four new words are now hanging above the door:

Those you couldn’t burn.

You wonder what that means.

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