Vivian fetched up on Morgana’s doorstep one day at lunchtime, all angles and bone. She had clearly not eaten for days, matted hair and wild eyes. Morgana almost shut the door on the blond woman’s face, but her expression begged for a different response. Some small kernel in the witch’s core germinated and she found herself encouraging the girl in, hand on an elbow.
Morgana spooned a broth laced with a healing spell into the girl’s mouth. She was no caretaker and didn’t have the patience to nurse someone. At suppertime, Vivian was circling the cabin, a spring in her step. When Morgana laid out a healthy feast, Vivian focused on the meal in front of her as if it were her first.
By the morning, Vivian’s planes had rounded out. Morgana calculated that if her new visitor stayed with her another week, she’d be completely out of food for the rest of the year. She puffed out an anxious breath and asked the woman, “What on Earth is wrong with you?”
Vivian looked up at her, eyes wide, mouth slightly parted and said, “I’m looking for my one true love. I’ve been looking for him so long, I seem to have forgotten everything else.”
Morgana glared down at her and muttered something. The effect on Vivian was immediate. Where she had looked tense and strung out before, she now looked relaxed and graceful. No one was holding the strings that motivated her. She took in a deep breath and looked around before slumping back into her chair.
“Oh my,” she said dazed. “How did I get here? Where am I? Is this a dream?”
Morgana felt that seed sprout a little more and, as if by its own accord, placed her hand gently on the young woman’s shoulder. She asked, “Do you remember what you were doing before you came here?”
Haltingly, the words came out. “I .. was... looking …. for …. someone.” She licked her lips and continued, incredulous, “I think it was my true love?”
“But, he was imaginary, wasn’t he?” she finally finished.
Nodding, Morgana took the pale slim hand in hers and raised Vivian to her feet.
“Perhaps he was imaginary, but true love is real,” she said, and pulled Vivian into her embrace, running her hands down the full curves of the woman in her arms.