There were lemons outside her door. Little bright yellow ones, clean and freshly washed.
“Please tell me we will now have lemonade in the morning, instead of milk.” her teenage son implored, picking up one of the lemons with interest.
“That would be great indeed Mom.” his sister piped in, “we can even have lemon tarts instead of corn flakes!”
Her husband looked up from the newspaper. “Why did you buy so many of these sweetheart? Seems to me you bought the whole barrow.”
She scowled, shaking the lemon off her son’s hand. “Don’t you touch them! And we are certainly not using these. I will throw them into the rubbish heap right now.”
“Are you insane?” her husband rushed to her as she proceeded to wear hand gloves.
“I was just pulling your leg… I can understand you must have got these very cheap. Or complimentary with some vegetables perhaps?”
“Listen.” she hauled down a large black polybag from the overhead shelf. “I didn’t purchase these. I am as surprised to see them lining up our doorway this morning as you are.”
The siblings glanced at each other. This seemed to one practical joke in the house that they hadn’t any involvement in.
“Do you think someone forgot these here? He may have waited at the porch to tie his shoelaces or something you know…” the daughter began.
“Ha indeed!” the son snorted, “as if someone could forget so many lemons just like that. And was he carrying them one by one?” He shook his head ominously. “No, it seems to me someone dropped them here on purpose.”
Her husband stared anxiously at her growing symptoms of oncoming hysteria. “No, no darling. Don’t even get started on black magic nonsense. We live in Delhi, not village number 345 of the world’s best abandoned town.”
“Very well.” she took a deep breath in, glaring sideways at the immobile lemons. “Let them lie there and do nothing. But if you have the slightest sense in the world, keep your fingers crossed for safety!”
It would have interested a bystander to be in their house the next morning. The milkman didn’t turn up and the reserve packet of corn flakes magically disappeared. A curious pair of child-like eyes grinning at the window went unnoticed.
The spell didn’t spare a soul – the lady, her husband and her two children were found to have yellowed in colouring by people at their respective schools and offices. It wasn’t a wonder, given the lemonade, lemon tarts and lemon-syruped tea they had feasted on for breakfast.
My Granny – the warrior of the house against burglars, insects and the weather apart from the sundry issues of domestic life, does not believe in black magic. Having grown up with her all my childhood, I have an almost cynical stance at the subject. Something set me thinking the other evening. I heard that some mish-mash written behind a photograph has led to breaking walls in a house. Not literally, but you get the idea.
Interesting, don’t you think? Photographs of this age are subtle home breakers. We can actually do without all those vamps (with their sinister music tracks) plotting for entire episodes to arrive at the ideal deriding-the-heroine trick. What a breakthrough.
Anyhow, I believe this is one of those subjects in which we tend to lose our superstitious/not decision. Why take a risk when loved ones are at stake?
Do you believe in black magic?