Sofia Ester

Chapter I

It was noon and the sun shone on the 25 de Abril Bridge. Its incandescent light reflected off the cars in the traffic jam on the bridge deck, producing a glow that was like a star hovering softly over the tranquil river. A low thick fog spread from the water level to the base of the Cristo Rei statue, giving the impression that the son of God floated over the poor mortals. The scenery was, without a doubt, celestial, perhaps a bit noisy, but ignoring that fact, truly celestial.

But, the thoughts of the drivers, impeded from fully enjoying their weekend, due to the traffic misfortunes, weren't celestial at all. The poor irritated people baking inside their stationary cars, with radio music blasting, looked as if they were going to a funeral.

Nevertheless, there was a person who had the solution to this sort of problem: Adozinda, or the "little witch", as she was known among her friends. The fifteen year-old sorceress attended high school. During the remote times of her childhood, Adozinda had been acquainted with the magical arts through her grandmother who, in the occult domain, was particularly gifted. She inherited a broom from the old lady. Not a regular broom, but a magical broom, like those who have the pleasant property of flying. During days like these, Adozinda would ride her favourite transport and would sell trips, over the river Tagus, from Lisbon to Costa da Caparica and from Costa da Caparica to Lisbon to the desperate drivers. Costa da Caparica is a fine sunny place with lots of warm beaches, to where people escape during the weekend. Lisbon is good chiefly for working.

After having finished a series of journeys, the young girl was now returning home, coming from the south side of Costa da Caparica. As she was flying over the stationary cars, her golden brown eyes spotted a scene that greatly interested her: a man, driving a powerful BMW motorbike, was skilfully trying to get through the traffic jam.

"Poor fellow!" thought Adozinda. "If he had my broom, then he would know what real speed was".

Without knowing why, suddenly, the little witch felt like making fun of the man. Perhaps it was one of those impulses that young people have to pick on passers-by, or God knows what...

Adozinda started by flying close to him, on his right. The poor victim staggered a little, but he managed to regain his balance. Next, flying in a path parallel to him, she screamed:

"So, how is life? Kind of stationary, isn't it?"
"You almost caused me to have an accident, little girl! If you want to play, you'd better do so with someone else!"
"I am not a child, so don't call me a little girl!" the young girl stuck up her nose so as to emphasize the meaning of the sentence.
"As you wish Madam, but right now I don't have time for your jokes."

The man, anxious to get rid of that disturbing element, increased his speed, trying to lose the young girl behind him. Adozinda, however, was not a person to give up easily. She spurred her broom to fly faster and, thanks to the slow traffic, she was soon side by side with the fugitive. To annoy him, she tried to land on the back seat of his motorcycle, and that totally disoriented him. After a curve in the road, the motorcycle and the driver crashed against the guard rail.

The little witch felt truly sorry. She could sometimes be a bit of a practical joker, but she hadn't wanted to go that far. Landing softy near the site of the accident, she ran to the victim:

"I am sorry! I really hadn't meant to do this! Are you hurt? I'll call an ambulance."

He removed the helmet and, for the first time, Adozinda could see what he looked like: he was a very young man, in his early twenties. Thick black hair framed his face and his intellectual appearance was reinforced by his spectacles, which were now slightly damaged due to the unfortunate episode.

"It is not necessary, I'm OK. But little Miss... Oh, I'm sorry, Madam must be delighted at what happened!"
"That's not true, I'm not that bad. Look, your arm is injured. If you want to, I can apply my healing arts on you. I'm a witch, you know!" she informed him with a smile.
"No, thanks!" and he tried gingerly to get up. Adozinda wanted to help him, but he refused, irritated. "I don't need your care. Unlike you, I can take care of myself!"
"Please, don't be angry at me, that makes me feel really bad. I will pay for the damages to your motorcycle. I just can't pay for it all at once. I have to pay in instalments."
"You'd better pay, and I am glad you are feeling bad, because you deserve it!"

In the meantime, the police siren interrupted the dialogue. The officers got out of their car and questioned the little witch and the young man about the situation. After a brief discussion, one of the policemen asked:

"Do you want to press charges against the little girl?" strangely, this time, Adozinda wasn't angry at the childish treatment.

The young man looked for a while at the sorceress, considering the question. She looked so miserable that he felt sorry for her.

"I don't think it is necessary" he answered. "I trust she will pay me back."
"For sure" interrupted the little witch quickly. "as long as you don't press charges against me! My parents would kill me! Listen, do you need a ride home? After what happened, it is the least I can do."
"Ok, but what about my motorcycle?"
"There's no problem," informed one of the agents "we have already called someone to take it to your home. We just need your address."
"It is all there." he said, handing a card with his address and phone number to the policeman.

Adozinda glanced rapidly at the card.

"How cute!" she commented. "What programme did you use? I have a great word processor with lots of special effects. Unfortunately, my computer is a bit slow."

He was probably feeling very tired, because he didn't answer the question. He looked at the young girl impatiently.

"Shall we go? Or do you need much time to get the broom started?"
"No, not at all! She sometimes faints, but now she has been really well. Let's go!"

As soon as this order was heard, the pair took off.