Magic comes at a cost, but sleight-of-hand is free.
So it was that the witch, Revotchka, spooned the air with such conviction that every one of her rich and powerful enemies around the sumptuously appointed dinner table saw her eating her borscht. Her own bowl now sat discretely beneath the table, its contents being wolfishly devoured by the Duke’s favorite borzoi.
She smiled warmly at her corpulent host. Hers was a power greater and older than any of the royalty at the Duke’s formal soirée.
At the next morning’s discovery of his dog’s poisoned corpse, the thwarted Duke cursed, “Damned witch!”