They arrived once a season on a schedule of their own making, that’s what the locals said, anyway.
The townspeople weren’t sure where the women came from, but they trickled in over the course of the appointed day. The shrieks of laughter and the growling of grievances stored in other places but unpacked here reached a fever pitch by the time the sixth one arrived.
They brought food for their feasts and for their offerings. They brought tea, and coffee and wine to sustain them.
They devoted themselves to the rituals, to the rhythm of work and play, giving each its due.
And when their labours were done, and the moon was high, they built a fire. Sitting around it, their faces studies of light and shadow, the strands of their connections were visible to those who chose to see.
Some swore they had heard the women howling at the moon one clear cold night.
There were those who swore the visitors were witches.
And perhaps they were.