The news of her arrival spread like wildfire in the quiet town of Tafoughalt. Apparently, she sold luck for an affordable price. Some believed her magic worked, others didn’t and cast aspersions on her, but she didn’t let it get to her.
She liked to go for a stroll in the afternoon sun along the beautiful farmlands abutting our village. She could only be seen wearing a dark torn robe and an amulet around her wrist. Sometimes, she stopped to enjoy the spring breeze and listen to the birds warble. She then turned her head left to right, as if looking for something. She had chiseled features, partly thanks to the deep grooves time had carved into her face. She used a cane to walk and a sly grin to feed the town’s sneaky tattlers and get them to speculate about what she had to hide, as well as a small drum to advertise her services.
People came to her to ask for luck for a variety of reasons. Some wanted to be loved back; some, to pass their exams; some, to win literary awards; some wanted family members to recover from a fatal illness, and some, only to get the chance to bid farewell to their loved ones. However, they all had one thing in common: they turned to her only as a last resort, after they had lost almost all hope of fortune ever smiling back on them. She cared to keep it professional in lending them her sympathetic ear and thus forbore to show her distress at hearing their pain and suffering. She helped them weave their stories from sniffs and snivels, while whispering to them words of comfort, and she was so good at what she did that, at some point, she was able to afford an office to expand her business. After that, it wasn’t only the dimwits paying her a visit. In fact, she had the village’s most respectable elders on retainer.
One day, people stopped requesting her services. Not long after that, she packed up and left. It seemed she had to move on to another town for she had managed to cure the sorrows of everyone in our village and her work here was complete. For the disbelievers out there, let it be known that I witnessed this woman’s special powers with my own two eyes.
Written by Abderrahim Cherrak.