Cora Meets the One

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They decorated the gym walls, until they'd run out of both decorations and wall space

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They decorated the gym walls, until they'd run out of both decorations and wall space. Eva, tapping her chin, stepped back to admire their work. It was underwhelming, but Cora had already upset Eva once today so she kept her lips zipped tight.

Eva squinted and tilted her head to the side. "It isn't so bad. We could have used the ladder." The janitor still hadn't shown up with the ladder. "What do you think?" She turned to Cora.

"I think it looks great." This was Cora's second lie for the day. It would earn her a pat on the back from Willow.

Eva furrowed her brows. "Let's get out of here then."

They grabbed the empty bags and the tape on their way out. "Oh, drat, my pumpkin." Cora had forgotten she hadn't found a spot for it. She was about to go back, but thought twice. "I'm sure it'll be all right." In truth, she doubted it would last a day, but it wasn't like she hadn't stolen it.

Eva hurried ahead. "Wait for me at the front. I left my stuff in Ms. Brydel's class."

Cora waited for her at the door, picking at a loose string on the sleeve of her coat until Eva arrived.

"Crumbs and Crumble?" Eva buttoned up her coat.

Cora nodded. "Crumbs and Crumble."

Although it was a little after five pm, you couldn't tell. The sun had gone down for the day. Cora pulled up the collar of her coat against the night breeze. A dog jumped and barked at them from behind its gate. An impatient driver slammed down on their horn.

People went back and forth across Whitley Street, those late coming home and those out for a nighttime stroll, arm in arm with lovers and friends or being half-dragged by furry companions. The familiar sounds of Brooklyn met them as they walked down 5th street, as Cora had earlier, past the house where there was one missing pumpkin.

Cora made sure to dip her chin in case someone had in fact seen her. The last thing she needed was for Eva to witness her interrogation by the owners of the stolen pumpkin. She could imagine how it would go. The owner would hurry down the steps in her robe brandishing a cordless phone. She'd demand the pumpkin back, the pumpkin she and her children spent an hour carving, threaten her husband was on the police force and maybe even say, 'You've done it now, missy." It would be both comical and embarrassing.

On the other hand, her family, Willow for the most part, would love it if she came home with news about how she almost got into a fistfight. Cora wasn't much for fighting; neither were the rest of her family. Though their motto was, "The Emersons do not cower," their second motto was, "The Emersons keep out of sight as much as possible."

Imagine if the world knew there were sorcerers. They'd be a scandal, animals in a cage, freak shows. Cora shuddered at the thought.

"Home sweet home." Eva pushed open the door to Crumbs and Crumble Café. The bell dinged overhead.

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