The Witch of Coal Hollow

While looking for her mother in the neighborhood, Johndra is scared stiff by the appearance of a witch on a broom

When I was about seven or eight years old, my family and I lived in an old hollow named Coal Hollow. It was a very poor part of town and we lived in a three-room shack that sat slightly on a hillside. I didn't have many toys and I guess my older brother by 15 years felt sorry for me and bought me an old, worn out, but still rideable Big Wheel that he found at a yard sale.

I rode it until there were holes in the wheels.

I woke up one morning -- a school morning -- and nobody was in the house but me. For some reason, unlike other mornings, I was so scared that I looked around the house for my mother, wondering why she didn't wake me up for school, like she must have for my other brothers and sisters. I got so scared that I could only think of one place my mother could be: her best friend Lucy's house.

I ran through the house looking for my shoes and threw them on, so scared of being there alone. I took off on my Big Wheel and started down the hollow to where Miss Lucy lived... but I felt like I couldn't get my Big Wheel moving right and kept trying to peddle it fast as I could to get down the road. It was down hill and finally my Big Wheel came to a complete stop and would not go anywhere, so I just jumped off it and started running to where my mom was.

When I was about three houses away from Lucy's house, something told me to look up in the air.

At first I thought it was a black crow going really fast at me, but as it got closer I could see what it really was. God strike me dead if I'm not telling the truth, this thing looked like a witch on a broom in a black dress, yellow hair, yucky face, and pointed boot shoes on a straw broom! She was sitting in the air at a dead stop about 30 feet high.

I froze in my tracks and kept looking at her thinking, What is she going to do to me? At first she just looked down at me and then looked away, like she was looking the neighborhood over, and then she just turned around and went back the way she came.

I was so scared I wouldn't go outside for days, scared of seeing her again. I told my mother that morning what I saw and, of course, she did not believe me. She thought I was just scared because she wasn't home when I woke up... but I swear on a stack of Bibles it really did happen.

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