3. I volunteer to be a witch’s servant. She sends me on errands in Hometown and every time her enemies chase me with a storm cloud that I have to escape jumping over the fences and hiding in shadowy gateways.
Then I have to wash her black-and-red skirt which is immense – the hem is at least 50 yards long and there are dozens if not hundreds of tiny pockets along the hem that I have to check and empty before washing. They contain among other things a brown painted Easter egg, a lapis lazuli pendant and a white baby octopus in a tiny glass vial with water.
I also have to feed her three previous failed servant girls that are paralysed after the storm cloud caught them and struck them with lightning. The witch says that the girls don’t eat, but that is only because she tried to feed them from exceptionally dirty bowls. I wash these and feed the girls grated carrots which they accept gratefully.
Then I change my mind and want to leave the witch’s service as I strive to do something more than just dishes and laundry, but am not allowed as the contract is for life. However, I find a loophole and go to serve another witch whom I help to rebuild lightning-destroyed churches. This gives me a greater sense of accomplishment.
I go to visit the first witch, carrying a bag of chocolates and pass the Cathedral Hill where I can admire my latest work – all four churches have the number of towers they’re supposed to have, but they’re mismatched. The white catholic church has two red brick towers and the Russian Orthodox instead of the golden onions has a few sandstone towers that look like they’re borrowed from the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.