Her name was Minnie. That was all. Just Minnie. No surname or nickname like the others had, just a single word. Clean. Perfect. She stood with her back against the wall, a long-handled spoon in her mouth reflecting the blinding rays of the sun. An empty yoghurt carton lay at her feet. She viewed the world through tinted lenses – a mixture of indigo and violet which matched the laces in her Doc Martens. There were rumours about her. Thrilling ones – she was a witch, a sorceress. She had magical powers you read about in fairy tales and comic books where a single touch can re-animate the dead. My very own superhero. In class, all I could think about was what to say, how to get my story straight.
“So you’ve booked a place then?” Kev grinned at me from across the canteen table. “She’ll give you thirty seconds if you’re lucky.”
It had been a disappointing day weather-wise; the sky was a sheet of perpetual grey. Drizzle cried from above, soaking my head and the shoulders of my jacket. Minnie stood in her trademark place at the far end of the field. A candy cigarette perched between her lips. I swallowed, my story scrambling itself into place. Her breath was shallow, barely perceptible as though she practised meditation on a daily basis. Her words were even quieter, the gentlest of sighs kissing the air like a feather duster. I handed over my fee. She closed her fingers around it making the coin disappear in the blink of an eye. Now you see it, now you don’t.
She brought her head close to mine, her auburn weave knitting itself with my muddy bird’s nest and whispered the words I longed to hear.