July 14, 2010

Scrounger Ez

Prompt: In the big city…there was a pensive…witch…who liked to go through trash bins…and collected folk art. Ez woke and dressed in her favorite long black dress. She carefully parted her black and grey hair and pulled it back into a bun, ignoring those stragglers that were too short to stay put where she wanted them. She put on her long, black and white striped stockings, fastening them securely to her garters, and slid her long, thin feet into the black, high-heeled shoes with the long pointed toes that were slightly curled upward, though not so curled that she couldn’t get her feet into them. She looked at the calendar and noted that it was three days until Halloween, which she deemed close enough to wear her tall, pointed, broad-brimmed hat with the antique silver buckle on the hat band. Normally, she didn’t wear the hat, but at this time of the year, she could get away with it. Ez walked over to the full length mirror that was nailed to her closet door and surveyed herself in the mirror. Yes, she truly looked like a witch today, which was a good thing in her mind, since she was a witch. She took her wand from its beautiful blue box, where it nestled in a bed of satin ribbon and black velvet, and gave it a test wave. A few green sparks flicked from the tip, and Ez was satisfied. She slid the wand into the concealed pocket in the wide opening of her left sleeve, and went into the kitchen to make breakfast. Ez sat down at the table and drew out her wand, and with a few flicks and several muttered incantations, her kitchen was alive with what looked like invisible servants. The eggs floated from the refrigerator and broke in mid-air, throwing their contents into the frying pan which materialized beneath them just in the nick of time. A few slices of bacon made their stately way to the pan, and began sizzling on contact. The pan hovered merrily above the stove as it cooked the food, even though Ez had forgotten to turn the gas on. The bamboo spatula stirred the eggs, scrambling them beautifully, while the tongs darted in and out of the pan, turning the bacon as needed. Meanwhile, two slices of bread nestled themselves in the toaster, and the elements glowed a brilliant orange as the machine perfectly toasted the bread. The butter knife stood patiently beside the toaster, waiting to slather creamy home churned butter onto the toast as soon as it was finished cooking. A dish emerged from the cupboard, and caught the toast as it popped up, paused long enough for the butter knife to do its work, passed beneath the frying pan just in time to catch the finished bacon and eggs the pan dumped out upon completion, and brought the meal to the table. Another few flicks brought Ez her silverware, and squoze some orange juice directly from the fruit into her drinking glass. Ez ate her perfectly prepared breakfast, and with one last flick of her wand, the dishes rinsed themselves off and leapt into the dishwasher, which politely closed its door after them. With her wand tucked securely in her sleeve pocket, Ez draped a long black shawl around her shoulders to ward off the chill of October, and left her plush apartment on the forty-fifth floor of the sky-rise apartment building. She descended the stairs, rather than taking the elevator, because that was part of the exercise routine which kept her looking thin and as beautiful as a witch could get. The doorman touched his cap in a small salute to her as she left, and she strolled along the street and around the corner, ducking into the alley behind her building. She emerged from the alley shortly, pushing a shopping cart, and looking like any other mad old bag lady wearing a witch costume for Halloween. Ez made her way uptown, to where there was a great concentration of art studios. She poked through the dumpsters behind them, looking for half-finished folk-art pieces which had been thrown out as failures. She often found good stuff behind Santos Dominguez’s studio, because he was a noted perfectionist. Several stops and much rummaging through household trash and spoiled foodstuff filled her shopping cart with the refuse of the great artists of the city. Ez trundled her shopping cart halfway across town to a gallery that regularly bought from her, and disposed of her ill-gotten gains, exchanging them for a tidy sum of folding green stuff. The next stop was at her bank, where Ez deposited her earnings and left quickly. She was seriously considering changing banks, or at least, bank branches, because she didn’t like the way the manager looked at her. She thought he might be suspicious of where she had obtained the money she was depositing on a daily basis. Ez stopped on the way home at the market, and bought fresh fruit and bread for her dinner, then took the tired shopping basket home, parked it behind the building, and entered the stairwell. Looking up the stairs as they spiraled forever upwards, Ez felt too tired to climb forty-five flights today. Looking around to be certain she was unobserved, Ez pulled out her wand and flicked it. She floated a few inches into the air, and, hovering above the steps, flicked the wand again, and zoomed up the risers at great speed, slowing only enough at each turn to avoid slamming into the wall. Back in her snug apartment, Ez changed into her favorite comfy nightgown, a long, flowing, white satin nightie, trimmed with large quantities of hand-made medieval lace. Ez made liberal use of her wand, and was soon fed, and comfortably sitting in front of the television while she pursued her two favorite hobbies, making brand new medieval lace with ancient hand crafted techniques, and allowing her brain to drift slightly as she contemplated the wonders of the universe being displayed on the NASA channel.