When Evelyn Ruddy moved into 14 Grimace Street, she was pleased to see the house was in need of maintenance. Evelyn was a handy woman and looked forward to upgrading her kitchen and bathroom, both areas in urgent need of some love and attention.
In her first week, she spent some considerable time getting herself organised and turning the house into a shape she liked to live in.
She had enjoyed her morning tea with Miss Marble at number 46; the old lady had a few stories to tell and was particularly interested in Evelyn’s story.
Evelyn didn’t know that Miss Marble was a witch and was responsible for her securing her house at number 14. As she would learn in time, Miss Marble was responsible for most things on Grimace Street.
Evelyn had lived her life in the Nock. The Nock was a small township where everyone knew everyone else. She had spent her life working in the town hospital attending to the sick and infirm.
She had married a man known as ‘Boof’.
Boof was a violent man, and Evelyn suffered because of it. Beatings were frequent, and when Boof was drunk, Evelyn was assured of some form of physical abuse. She often arrived at work with a black eye or some part of her swathed in bandages. Evelyn maintained she was a clumsy person often falling down stairs or running into walls or doors.
Everyone in the Nock knew her bruises were the work of Boof. Miss Marble had accidentally come across Evelyn when on a visit to the hospital to see a long-term business friend in Dashus Frenish.
Miss Marble was very impressed by the nurse who attended Dashus. The nurse worked silently but with extreme care and compassion and Miss Marble marvelled at her dedication.
Before the nurse left Miss Marble, who had an innate sense of people, asked if she was okay and that triggered the unleashing of the emotional dam the nurse held so tightly within her.
Evelyn was embarrassed by her outburst of emotion but over the following weeks whenever Miss Marble visited they would sit for a moment or two to chat about Evelyn’s situation. Evelyn made it clear she wanted out of her marriage and the abuse that went with it.
Miss Marble suggested to Evelyn that a house was available in her street and as Grimace Street was across the town from the Nock it might be an option she could explore.
A day later Miss Marble’s friend Dashus passed away so her visits came to an end.
Miss Marble being Miss Marble and the purveyor of potions left the hospital after leaving Evelyn with a small vial containing a potion Miss Marble explained to Evelyn would lift her spirits.
Boof to this day doesn’t understand what happened, how his compliant wife of so many years up and left him, sold the house from under him and left him with the shoes on his feet and the coat on his back.
Evelyn found her way to Grimace Street and discovered she loved her new environment but never connected the kindly old lady in the hospital to the Miss Marble who lived a little further along the street.
Miss Marble was always pleased her potions worked in multiple ways, and she saw in Evelyn Ruddy, a woman who deserved a break but who could also add to the community of Grimace Street.