As Ella approached with the bowls of clean lentils, Irmgard eased into a chair. She stared at the bowls and rubbed her forehead. “No, Cinderella, you may not go to the ball.”
“But you promised!”
With a look of disgust, Irmgard said, “You are just like your mother, you little—” Irmgard stared at Ella as if seeing her for the first time.
Ella felt a chill run down her spine, and she glared at Irmgard.
Irmgard winced and doubled over.
Alarmed, Ella stopped her focus on Irmgard, wondering if the woman was ill.
Irmgard rubbed her forehead, staring at Ella with obvious anger.
But Ella could see something else in the woman’s expression. Gently, Ella focused on Irmgard and sensed her thoughts. This girl is just like her mother! Probably a witch. Even worse, she might be a temptress. If the mother hadn’t died in the plague, I would have exposed her to the authorities, and she most certainly would have been burned alive!
Ella staggered and felt her mind spin.
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