The Grapes of Wrath

Episode 13

The Grapes of Wrath

According to the Map of the Mall, next door to Ruby’s Slippers was The Grapes of Wrath. The map indicated that it was a shop specializing in wine and cheeses from around the world. This store even had an outside veranda for relaxing and sampling of the products. The shop windows had some wonderful displays for giving Halloween gifts. So, Sonja decided to enter. She was hoping to find a small piece of cheese upon which to nibble for she was again having hunger pangs. On the shop’s second floor was any kind of cheese one could want. While Sonja found nothing in this shop that was on the list Igor had given her, she did find a piece of cheese and she purchased it along with a glass of wine and ventured out onto the veranda to enjoy watching the crowds walking on the street. She had always loved to watch people. The people in Spirit Hill were unusual and fascinating to watch.

As she stepped out onto the veranda, she noticed most of the tables were filled with the townsfolk enjoying themselves. Sonja asked if she could join one of the groups. Invited to join Raven and Samantha, Sonja sat down and related her story to the willing listeners. As she finished she stated her surprise that such a complete shop had no “Wulff Manor” wine. “Oh, that’s not true” exclaimed Raven. “That wine has been available here for years. You must have missed it. For a cheap wine, it is not bad. It is made locally in the basement of that spooky looking mansion on the cliff. Check again with Sam when you leave. I’m sure you will find it.”

Sonja drank her wine and ate her cheese while sharing stories with the two witches, Raven and Samantha. When she got up to leave, she was shocked to see the backs of three skeletons sitting on the fountain outside the store. Was she drunk? What was Spirit Hill? Those thoughts began to return to her mind. She had no fear of the people, but she remained confused and more than a little worried about how and when she would get home!

Sonja went inside again and asked for the Wulff Manor wine. “Of course,” said Sam. “I have it but since the owners of the winery are so difficult to deal with and their product is no more than mediocre, I keep it behind the counter preferring to sell these other really fine wines.”

Sam put two bottles in a bag for Sonja. She thanked him and put the bag inside her Frankie’s Flowers shopping bag with the black roses, the incense stick, the chocolate frog and the Jester’s mask. “Gee, only two items left on the list,” she thought excitedly. “I should be going home in no time”.

When she left the Grapes of Wrath, she took a second look at the skeletons sitting on the fountain. She wished she had a camera for they were posed as “hear no evil, speak no evil, and see no evil”. Standing next to them was a wolf in men’s clothing. Wow, Spirit Hill was an incredible place full of the most interesting people and sites. She had no clue as to what she would see next.

Sonja turned to continue down Batwing Boulevard and passed another entrance portal to the mall. As she peered inside to see what was there, she saw only swirling fog. That brought a moment of fear and panic, but she drew up her courage and continued to the next store.