A part of her is in essence, mentioned in the most cruelest of labels. 'Evil.' Nevermind the part in which woman was added as another adjective to her description, because it's quite apparent she is no man. No, but evil describes her well, almost perfectly.
If I had not been a cocky man, I might have lived a quieter life.
Unfortunately, I was no such lad.
I had seen her house in the distance, crept around it at the bottom of it's large raptor-like feet, then tickled the end of my quill onto it to see if the house would quiver. And oh, did it quiver before lifting up onto one large leg and scratching at itself. I only know because I nearly got stamped into the deadening leaves and mushy Earth underfoot when it tried to twist away from my feather as I tried to inspect the bottom of its feet.
Bumblefoot, I would have expected like those of the chicken farmer, but far from it.
Hardly dusty, just a little dirty, but shapely to the point they looked deliciously tasty if chicken feet were served in my village.
I only wondered if there was meat on the-
I would have marveled over my near-death experience a little more if the witch hadn't descended from the house in a rage, screaming over her tipped brew. I thought I could hide away, but she had a keen nose for anything living and sussed me out easier than I thought. That was more terrifying than the house when I shriveled up under her gnarled hands that had the strength of three full grown men.
In the craze of it all, I hadn't just stood there gaping at her like an idiot. No, I attempted to tear away, hoping my clothes would give, but she snatched me up from the floor at our feet to heft me over the height of her crippled form to stare up at me before saying 'I'd do well enough' and then dragged me back inside.
Into her dark lair, a place where men and children never come from.
But what of women? Well, women rarely come here. They are home with their babes... and so only fools dense enough like myself are privy to their eyes to be caught wandering their woods.
There, I had laid there, closer than probably any other writer ought to have got... Well, before their untimely demise, as I watched her reassemble her house's tidiness with a flick of her finger and twist of her wrist.
Chanting. More chanting. I could nearly hear the house light up to life inside.
Things skittering, glass scraping.
Bottles unshattered, climbed back up onto shelves, and liquid spilt steamed up off the floor. Some of it arched like lightning in the air, crackling and popping while the brew in the center of the house howled and screamed when she scraped that away. I shudder to imagine what those things were to make them do as they had, but I knew I should have been noting my escape rather than taking notes on her house interior.
"Ruin. Ruin... Ruin to run," she whispered, mumbling some other weird incantations to herself as she busily cleaned up the mess I had caused. A part of me wondered if I had foiled her latest brew to steal the life of the local children, but then I wondered if children were the only things these yagas stole the life from.
"A man of great youth, mine to find."
My eyes flicked up to meet her, surprised by her sudden appearance to my left. I hung upside down nearly, my back across the cradled bird's house.
I wanted to gasp, to ask what she'd do to me, but she only smiled.
"Nicholas, Nicholas. All the blame. Curious man, born with shame."
The evil hag knew my name. Knew of me. Knew I was not one in the same. I didn't know they turned young men to witches rather than dine.