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The Woman – The Black Book

The Woman in the Black Room by Bethalynne Bajema We would go to her home late in the evening. Our mother slept and didn’t hear us depart. We took to the shadows along the edges of the streets so our faces could not be seen. At all costs we didn’t want to be found seeking the woman out.

A young man would let us into the black house when we came knocking. We knew the path through the large structure that would lead us to the backroom where she could be found. Dark and intimidating, knowledgeable and strong, this was the woman and the dark wisdom she possessed.

The only sound in the room came from a small music box that was time worn and played only distorted notes. It was not soothing but seemed appropriate for the room and what took place there. The woman sat in silence staring into an unseen distance my sister and I always wondered about. What was she seeing? Where was her mind in those moments before she came back to us? The woman’s eyes would close and when she opened them she would become trapped in the present once again. When she opened her eyes she turned to us and said in a voice so soft and beautiful it belied everything about her appearance.

“What is your question?” she would ask and the evening reading would begin in earnest.

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