After a long time of searching for something in the corner, baba emerged carrying a small cauldron in both hands. She put it on the table next to a bunch of different items, probably some ingredients of potions. She grabbed a vial with an owl’s eye drenched in the cloudy liquid and added one drop to the cauldron. The contents hissed, a dense steam rose.
Unable to control her instinctive reaction, Nushka jumped up from the chair with offensive intentions, only to be pushed back to the chair by some invisible, powerful impulse after a split second. She looked stunned at baba who continued to work on the mixture, now with her back to the girl.
– Sit down – baba said calmly
– You were supposed to help me, not feed me with some …
– If you disturb me, I will poison you! … And will I help? Hmm … Seeing the truth is good for one, but curse for another …
Nushka decided it was better not to ask too many questions. She has heard many frightening stories about baba and has just discovered that she is not an ordinary old woman.
After a long while, during which Nushka was stroking the woman’s little cat, wondering if she was doing the right thing, baba returned with a ladle full of liquid that looked like water from pickled cucumbers.
– Drink it, don’t smell it – the potion was dripping to the floor
She noticed the confused expression on the girl’s face.
– Go ahead, drink it – her voice sounded supportive this time.
With two sips, Nushka emptied the ladle and after a while she was close to vomiting the contents, but baba quickly tilted the girl’s head back and then began to quietly utter words that sounded like random syllables. It was the last thing that Nushka remembered from that day.
The girl would have fallen to the ground, but baba, apparently expecting it, caught and took her in her arms and, without interrupting her quiet, mysterious speech, laid her down on the bed. Despite the fact that the girl appeared to be unconscious, she sometimes was screaming from her throat, or she was just gasping, shaking all over. Hour by hour there were fewer and fewer screams until the only thing that could be heard was the calm breathing of Nushka, sleeping. And baba was sitting next to her in silence for all that time.