249 words by @West1Jess
Exhausted after outrunning Sheriff Winslow, Jorge stumbled into the barren front yard of a thatch-roofed hut. Thick smoke unfurled from a wood stove pipe run up the back, a welcome sign of warmth against the evening sky. A porcelain-skinned woman with long, black hair held the door open. He knelt in the dirt a few paces away, lost in a crystal blue gaze. Full red lips parted in a smile.
“Poor dear, you look miserable. Need a place to bed down for the night?”
“Yes Ma’am, but I don’t have any way to repay you.”
“We’ll see about that,” she said.
“I won’t harm you, I promise.”
Her smile grew and warmed her eyes. “Oh, I’m not worried about that.” She stepped aside, beckoning him in.
He sat near the stove, watching her stir the pot.
She met his eyes, “Potato stew, no meat. Not much game wanders through these parts.”
“I’d give an arm for a bowl of it.”
She laughed. “I don’t need any body parts, but for your soul you can have as much as you’d like.”
As Jorge ate, the woman told him a fantastic story, of how she’d turned a man into a toad once. They laughed together.
“I don’t believe a woman as pretty as yourself is a witch.” With drooping eyelids, Jorge set his bowl on the floor. His chin met his chest.
“That’s alright, I don’t need your faith. Just your soul.”