Spell Sweeper – Lee Edward Fodi
It’s one of my earliest memories, vivid as a full moon. I’m only four or five, and Su is walking me to school like any good big sister. We stop at the crosswalk and I see an old woman sweeping the pavement, just a few feet away. She wears a frayed sweater, grimy jeans, and maybe a secondhand pair of sneakers. Her broom is wisps of straw, the handle fashioned from a twisted stick of wood. Everything about her is ordinary. Mundane. But as I watch her, the morning sun catches her just right, and for an instant she ignites with a golden luster, frozen in a perfect moment of magic—a fairy sweeping away the shadows of the night. Then she vanishes. Maybe it’s a trick of the light, maybe my childish frame of mind, but I’m convinced she’s a witch, that she has leapt upon her broomstick and taken to the clouds. When I tell Su this, she doesn’t laugh or chide me for having an overactive imagination. Instead, her eyes dance with wonder.