The Legend of Archibal

“Grandfather would tell me that witches used to live in towns,” Alden said. “They were part of the village as anybody else. If you got sick you went to them for a cure. If someone you crossed you, you got a charm to put on them. Some were friendly and some weren’t. My grandfather was just our age when his grandfather told him the story of a witch that use to live in the town. She lived alone with twenty five cats. She was very old and kind. One day when his grandfather was a boy these other kids chased him down an alley. They were hectoring him when a cat ran out of nowhere. In minutes the witch arrived and hexed the kids into mice.”

Alden had been born and raised in the town. His family were known as nabob and old money that is until his grandfather died and there was no more money left. They still lived in the manor that belonged to them from many generations but with time it slowly dilapidated. His hypochondriac mother had been careless about money and did not seem to worry much about it. No matter how hungry they were his mother would never dare let the thought of working cross her mind. She would rather beg for food and clothes which she did from neighbors, friends and family. His father was the town’s drunk. He, like his wife, disliked work. He would bet and gamble to make any money he could only to spend it at the Swan Inn.

Alden, was on his own, unlike his parents he worked whatever job he could to feed his family. Though, he was neglected by his parents he still did anything to help them. Especially, his father whom he picked up from the Swan Inn every night and took him back home. Before his father dozed off from the liquor in a brief sign of awareness he would gently pat Alden’s cheek and say, “you are good boy, Alden. A good boy indeed.”