Thais is cursed. Nobody knows how it happened. Rumors swirl about the village - some say she angered a ghost when she broke into a tomb by accident out in the fields. Others say it's forest spirits to blame - she washed her dirty feet in their sacred pools you see. You hear mutters when she passes by, and people fall silent when she looks at them. Whatever cursed her, fact of the matter is: Thais is cursed.
At least she has a mild curse. Everyone in the village remembers Old Lightning Rod: poor man. His curse attracted lightning bolts to him or whatever building he was in. And then there was Midnight Sarah, who could never stay awake in the daytime, condemned to roam the village all alone in the wee hours of the night. But I digress. Thais' curse is nothing so bad.
You see Thais in the village square, her back firmly stuck to a fencepost as she shimmies left and right. Or maybe you see her down at the river, dragging a rough towel along her back as all the other women swim - preferably a decent distance away from Itchy Thais. Almost always she has a backscratcher hanging from her belt.
Or rather: You saw Thais. She doesn't live in the village anymore. Nobody wants to talk to her, touch her, even be near her. Everyone's afraid of catching Thais' undying itch. She is the witch's apprentice now. Nahi the witch. If there's one person in the village who has more rumors about her than Itchy Thais- it's Nahi. Nahi calls demons in her secluded forest hut. Nahi is a demon herself. Nahi brews deadly poisons for you if you wrong her. No - Nahi can kill you just by wishing you ill.
What Nahi actually does, Thais soon found out: She makes remedies from forest herbs, and once in a blue moon she casts some benign spell.
"Perhaps she can get rid of my itch?" - Thais thought when she first went to Nahi's hut.
"Perhaps I can." - Nahi had said. And so - Thaiswas an apprentice to the village witch.
Some duo - Nahi with her thirty-five years and Thais two years younger. Barely the witches you expect to see - Nahi, perfectly plain and thin, inquisitive brown eyes and long auburn hair. Thais- plump, always smiling, dressed always in colorful skirts and sweaters (unless it's hot out - then, a sleeveless shirt just as colorful). No cackling wart-ridden crones, these two.
Thais' itch mostly stays in one place: that spot on your back, the one you can never reach. It wanders too:
Thais walks in the forest, looking for herbs, both hands stuck to her plump belly under her warm sweater, nails chasing after biting itches. Thais brews a cauldron of potions, stirring with a great big staff, occasionally dragging the dry end of it against her neck and shoulders. At dinner: Nahi eats peacefully while Thais drags her bottom across the rough wicker chair, grunting as she finishes her meal.
But Thais loves it best when it's evening. Thais and Nahi share a bed. So Thais sits by Nahi - and Nahi knows what to do.
Nahi's hands reach under Thais' pijama top.
Nails run across Thais' back - left and right, up and down. It brings relief - temporary, yes. But still relief.
So Nahi follows.
Nahi quickly takes care of it.
It tickles when Nahi scratches there - especially over her bellybutton! - and so Thais giggles, but the itch disappears almost immediately.
"Thais... There is something I need to tell you." says Nahi.
Thais turns around to face the other witch. Crickets chirp outside, and a gentle breeze brings in the cool air of the forest at night. Nahi claws at Thais' hips, distant and seemingly reluctant in her movement.
"Nahi?" Thais tilts her head, subconsciously mindlessly pinching at her itching breast.
"The curse... I have known how to lift it for a while now."
Nahi bites her lip, almost expecting a slap. It doesn't come though. Thais shouts: but a shout of joy! And next Nahi knows, the itchy mess that is Thais is hugging her and showering her in kisses.
"Aren't you m-mad at me?"
"How could I be mad! You will cure me!"
Nahi falls silent. She feels Thais' fingers run through her hair, as Thais' other hand is down below her waist, clawing at the eternal itch that has temporarily settled in a place most private.
"I didn't tell you because..."
"Mhm?" A kiss on Nahi's cheek, coupled with scratching noises, produced by Nahi's fingernails running against the small of Thais' back.
"Because without the itch you won't need me anymore. I'll be alone again..." She sighs.
"You will always have Thais, Nahi - itch or no itch."
An embrace follows, and soon both fall asleep.
Thais is unusually still this night, while Nahi won't stop fidgeting. She twists and turns all night. She awakens.
"Thais." Nahi's voice is shaky and accompanied by a storm of scratching sounds. She is the one scratching for once.
"What is it hun." And Thais speaks as if waking from a thousand-year slumber.
"We have fleas! I'm itchy as hell, Thais, scratch my back!"
"Well I'm not--" Thais jumps out of bed. She quickly lights a candle. "Not a flea here in bed."
Thais leaves the candle on the nightstand, her hands in the clawlike position the scratching habit has taught her - and then her hands relax. She blinks.
"I don't itch, Nahi..."
"I do itch!"
Both women's eyes widen - and again an embrace. Only now - Thais is the one incessantly scratching Nahi's back. Chasing a thousand little itches away with her fingers.
"Nahi. Now you need me!" Thais giggles, her fingers running all over Nahi's itching bottom, smashing itches as they went along.
"I could not be happier."
Nahi is cursed. She scratches and scratches - but she doesn't mind. Always with her here: her loyal itchslayer, Thais.