a warm welcome

I stare out into the snow, falling like fat chunks of cloud and covering everything in sight. The snowflakes make it hard for me to see if you are coming.

I am anxious, wondering if our spells worked, if our excited incantations and mysterious recipes have called up the magic that will bring you here to me this night.

Everything is ready; the tea is brewed, the fire roars in grate, the afghan is warmed. The chill of winter’s night cannot steal you away once you are inside.

I see a figure plow through the drifts towards the patch of light cast from my window. My heart rises to my throat. Several minutes later, there is a knock at my door.

I open it. You are here at last, I say, smiling as warmly as your surroundings. You take off your coat, your boots, shake the snow from your hair. You are relieved to have found me.

I offer you the best armchair, the one nearest the fire. The tea steams as you pour it. You settle in, letting the blanket surround you, the chair enfold you. The spells are working. You are comfortable.

I hold my breath a moment; now is the moment.

You turn to me and say, “This is almost perfect. All we need is a good story.”

The web is complete. The trap snaps shut. You are mine.

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