The village didn't see much of the war. Every few months a bedraggled soldier from Germany or the Americas would wander through, collapse on the steps of the church and beg for mercy in his native tongue. The Babushkas would bring a bucket of water and, depending on the man, would ladle it to his lips or drop it on his head. No one ever came to rescue these men. Some stayed to become potato farmers and marry the less attractive girls. Some had other ideas and shuffled on.
Cyganka, or gypsies, were a common sight as well. Their ornate caravans, adorned with lush curtains and jangling bells were the delight of all little girls. Gypsy sightings were far more satisfying than consuming their dolls for supper. Marysha was the most curious girl and approached an elderly gypsy woman counting out silver coins. She forced herself not to blink as nimble, veiny hands rubbed two coins together. Marysha expected magic could happen at any moment, and would not permit herself to blink.
“You are a very nasty girl,” the old woman sneered. “You steal your grandmother’s apples off her trees in the spring, and hoard her cherries in your fat cheeks. Your poor mother is heavy with another baby and your father ---“
“My father is a lousy drunk!” Marysha spat on the ground. “Good for nothing! Mama gives him all the meat and we only get potatoes and milk. We never have money because he takes it to Warsawa and drinks it all away.” Marysha ground her foot into the spit and turned on her heel to leave the old gypsy.
“Careful” she whispered. “Girls often end up just like their mothers”. Marysha rolled her eyes and returned to her potato dolls. The old woman would be gone soon, like the others, and one day Marysha would be old enough to go to Warsawa herself. She was too pretty to marry a handicapped soldier. She would not be like her mother, uneducated and beholden to the town drunk. She would do better. She would be smart.
Marysha did not think of the old woman again until many years later. As her sister rose to give a toast to the happy bride and groom, Marysha thought of her parents. They were back in the village, likely eating kielbasa and potatoes mashed with milk. As the champagne flutes clinked from one guest to the other, Marysha reached for her husband’s hand. He was not there. The photographer found him at the bar, a menagerie of bottles at his feet, downing the last of the vodka.
Prompt: Write a story about an embarrassing prophecy.
Word limit: 500 (nailed it)
Click that attractive image on the left to learn more about the weekly prompt, or the glitterati shenanigans going down at tipsylit. While you're at it, join EC Readers!