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Two children hurried through the wood
hands clasped, little girl stumbling
behind her brother, tears dotting the path
as they fled and tripped and ran—
escaped one evil only to find another.

The witch fattened up the boy,
one tantalizing meal at a time, while the girl
swept and mopped and diced and sliced,
and the witch watched with cold, possessive eyes.

“Succulent cheeks,” the witch moaned,
adding oregano to the sauce;
a little more salt, a dash of paprika,
a thighbone for the flavor,
a splash of virgin’s blood to round it out—
“Delicious!” the witch declared, turning
to hold the spoon to the girl’s mouth, whose eyes
still teared, blood still smeared on her palms.
“Taste your brother, dear.”