On Friday last, I received the Strega's Hand by your courier (poor lad, I fear he'll be of no further use to you) and look forward with certain anticipation to ultimately harnessing its undoubted powers. You think to test me with this gift, to goad me to failure-- you see, I know the machinations of your twisted mind -- but this time, dearest sister, my superior knowledge of The Craft will prevail.
Yes, of course I set the wards at once. The Hand is safely contained within the Pentangle. I am not the fool you think me, dear Noni -- I remember the story of poor Grisel's untimely fate. You were jealous of her as well -- oh, all the Sisterhood knows the truth of that debacle, though they have been strangely reluctant to act.
Yet I confess, the tapping of the wooden fingers against the table where the Hand lies confined grates on my nerves. And in the flicker of the candles it seems -- no, surely I mistake -- surely it has not moved.
I laugh at your pathetic attempts to -- hark! what's that? A tapping . . . a sliding of wood over wood, the scuttling of ragged claws-
Sisters of the Circle, our late lamented Froniga's letter breaks off at this point. The investigation into the whereabouts of our former colleague Nonissa of Nairn continues. The Hand Of the Strega has also vanished. A word to the wise . . .
And this, of course, is another Magpie Tale, a response to the weekly prompt. Go HERE to know more about the tales, to join in, or to see what others have written.