It is spring—a time of magic and rebirth—and a special time in Ruthorford, Georgia, the town where The Shoppe of Spells weaves its magic. To enter Ruthorford, one must cross one of two bridges, across the water that serves the town as well as isolates it. Founded by people from Scotland and inhabited by their offspring, a combination of Scotch and Native American, the good people of Ruthorford have thrived, prospered, and evolved.
Take Teresa and Bill Ruthorford. Teresa, originally an Abbott, from one of the founding families, married Bill Ruthorford, also from a founding family, after a whirlwind romance, as well as a bit of scandal, since everyone expected her to marry the young doctor, Mike Yancy.
Although Bill and Teresa grew up in the same town, the very reclusive young man left to make his way away from what he felt were oppressive restraints while Teresa was still in high school. During this time, Teresa met and fell head over heels for the young Dr. Yancy. However, Bill returned and, avoiding his family, took up residence at the Abbott Bed and Breakfast, run by none other than Teresa Abbott. Known for her beauty and hospitality, she had turned her family home into a thriving Bed and Breakfast, serving her famous baked goods to her guests. Bill, having traveled the world to hone his culinary expertise, took over Teresa’s kitchen, as well as her heart, sweeping her into marriage, Ruthorford style. Together they offer some of the best food around. Some would say magical. Guests and residents alike are gifted with her warm personality and tasty treats. Bill, however, is seldom seen, staying more and more in the kitchen or their attic apartment, letting speculation grow.
What happened to the young doctor, you wonder? Well, he became the official doctor to Ruthorford and its descendants. All except Bill and Teresa, for Bill’s stubbornness and his jealous streak have kept a tenuous peace between the three. They manage to maneuver around the small town, never crossing paths. Not that Dr. Yancy doesn’t get the benefits of the bed and breakfast fine fare. He does, just not on the premises. The other residents of the good town are always availing him of its treats and a bit of gossip, to boot.
And the gossip generally comes from one of the other of the twin sisters, Miss Alice and Miss Grace, who live at the other end of town in their family residence. Outgoing and friendly, the sisters meander all over town, offering advice and samples of their prize winning pies. Neither sister ever married and no one openly asks why. There are hints that a love triangle was involved. However, that’s just speculation. Nobody can remember when the sisters weren’t twittering around Ruthorford. They are as much an institution as Miss Grace’s peach pie.
And, of course, there’s The Shoppe of Spells. The picturesque building is the only building touted to be as old as the Abbott Bed and Breakfast. A bit more Gothic in nature, the shop was built as a home and business for a woman who’d fled the north, having been accused of practicing witchcraft. She named her store The Shoppe of Spells in defiance of the persecution she’d experienced most of her life. In Ruthorford, she soon found that persecution did not exist and her shop flourished, providing lotions, potions, and tinctures of herbal concoctions. Long gone, her story now resides in the annals of Abbott House Foundation, located in Atlanta, which holds all the secrets of Ruthorford.
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