by Bob'n Around
Invisible matters of the mind turned real into the written word.
|“Spiderweb, rats tail, three weary teardrops and a pinch of pus,” cackled the Witch. “Now, hold your nose, look cross-eyed, swallow a spoonful and we will be done.”
“I won’t. You tricked me,” wailed the little Witch costumed figure of a rather plump and ugly girl. She shook her head so violently it spilled the spoon of the evil smelling broth hissing and steaming over Witch Esmerilda’s claw-like twisted and very yellow long bony fingers.
They snapped and popped. They wiggled like worms. To the delight of the child, the wicked Witch danced with them, crooning to them like they were babies. Several curses later, a tightly woven spell of darkness hovered over her fist, flashed a moment of fire into the air and Witch Esmerilda turned to the waif, come with her Halloween bag of goodies ready to give her something else. “You will. Make fun of me and my kind, will you? Come knocking at my door this way. You want to be a Witch? I’ll turn you into one.”
This time, wonder of wonders, the cauldron bubbling and boiling as it turned lazily in the fireplace rose on its spit into the air. Whichever way Little Alice Gardner turned it did also, floating ever closer. The Witch hummed a tune like chant guiding the brew. Old bones, pieces of gristle and an eyeball or two washed over the top, landed on the floor splashing slippery smelly spots of putrid vomited remains among the refuse laying there.
Bats in the rafters woke with a flutter, flying down, disturbed by the scene, added to the macabre air. “Niffstopulus, to me.” The Witch cried, trying to juggle the cauldron in place amid the turmoil. A black cat jumped out of the shadows quivering in a corner, arched, spit, drew its claws.
“Hunt,” shrieked the wild eyed Witch. Her familiar puffed up twice its former size, sharp white needle teeth punctured the space Alice Gardner just resided in. There was no place left to escape her doom.
The little costumed figure used the only weapon she had. Her treat bag popped, spilling licorice skulls, sweet candy Jack-O-Lanterns, chocolate ghouls and hot red juju spicy devils aloft. Each tiny missile swelled instead of melting when it met the cauldron’s bubbling attack. “I’m not afraid of you,” blubbered two-faced, Alice Gardner. For that is what she was as her Witch’s mask twisted one way and her pimple pocked face turned another.
Only a dab of the evil Witch’s menu landed on the girl’s tongue. It was enough to mark a change no human effort could have done. Niffstopulus, hissed to a stop as the potion hissed a ghostly vapor riding Alice Gardner’s open scream. Her tongue split into that of a viper’s. “I hate you.” She spit into the Witch’s approaching yellow eye.
Venom and curse prevailed. Hate as black as death ate a hole into where the seeing all orb had been. All the evil churning within the evil Witch turned in on itself as if on cue. What had been a small black hole churned faster into a whirlwind of black cloudy smoke. Bats and cat fled, all manner of evil things living in the cracked walls, floor and ceiling followed suit until nothing was left but the ashes of the Witch resting on a completely clean washed floor. “I’ll just keep these for a souvenir.” She licked the soot off her fingers after pocketing a handful of the cremated Witch.
The transformation was not on the outside except in one regard, The witch’s costume now fit the spitting image of a much younger version of Witch Esmerilda. Alice Gardner became the real thing.
When she went home even her mother didn’t recognize her and wouldn’t let her in. “Don’t throw a tantrum and spit at me with that forked tongue. Go home.” She slammed the door, locked it, and called for the police to handle the wretched creature at her Halloween festooned home. It took several shivers to calm down. “If ever there was a more wicked looking witch costume I don’t know what was. Talk about real.”
A police siren sounded. Flashing lights swung to a stop on the curb. Two menacing cops spread out on either side to prevent Alice Gardner from making a hasty get-away. The little witch stopped pounding splinters out of her front door and turned to face them.
“Must be a midget. Look what she done. Knocked the hinges loose. We got a situation.” One cop sped rubber bullets into cylinders. The other pried free a can of pepper spray.
“I live here,” Alice Gardner spit at them. Tiny particles of Witches brew sparkled in the air. With nothing else to throw at them, the gob of flakey remains of Witch Esmerilda joined the air.
“Free,” shrieked Witch Esmerilda. A tumble of black swirling shadows snaked together, wove into the familiar face and figure Alice Gardner and learned to fear.
Rubber bullets and pepper pray turned the shriek into sudden pain and despair. Alice Gardner was shielded from harm. “Don’t hurt them. It is not their fault.”
“Pigs,” and the two cops were.
“I didn’t see that,” Alice Gardner’s mom pulled her window curtains shut. She slid against the wall down to the floor, covered her eyes and waited, heart pounding from her chest.
“Truce, girl. You are bad luck as luck can be. One wish I grant you in recompense and then our union will cease.”
“Turn me back to me and leave me alone.”
“I wish I could but what is done is done. Perhaps this will do as well.”
Alice Gardner’s Witch’s costume became loose. Her mask fell off her face. The plump little ugly girl smiled and licked her lips. “I still have a forked tongue.”
“Use it well and not often. We are both bound to it. Now I am gone.”
“Mom. It is O.K. I’m back.”
The sound of her daughter’s voice brought her mother to her feet. “What happened out there?”
“You tell me.”
Not a word was uttered from her mother’s dry mouth. She forced the unhinged door open and led her daughter inside. Relief at seeing Alice Gardner made her gasp, “You wouldn’t believe it. I can’t and I saw.”
Thereafter, whenever Alice Gardner tasted the air with her forked tongue and found someone saying something naughty behind her back, gossiping and spreading lies about her being uglier than she was, she licked her lips and whispered, “Teach them a lesson.”
Witch Esmerilda stopped whatever mischief she was doing and cackled, licking her lips with her forked tongue. “The bond is strong.”
The worst case of puss filled pimples invaded faces overnight. The cases got worse, weeping and bleeding craters until mouths stopped their ugly lies.
Seeing is believing. Alice Gardner never got prettier but the atmosphere around her surely did. It filled with such warmth and praise that anyone breathing near invariably wore a smile upon their face.
"Look that. No don't," mom Gardner changed the Sacha Baron Boron, Netflix comedy of Trump's private lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, adjusting his trouser's. "Right. That is all he's doing. Just like he was given Hunter Biden's lost laptop proving shame and dishonor. No conspiracy theory there. We need a fact checker who can do more than say what's right after the fact."
Her daughter's talent had grown. Smell and taste are close companions. She could smell lies and this was a big one. It tickled her viper shaped tongue. Giuliani would not be able to face himself in public after tonight's restless nightmare filled sleep.
News of his self isolation due to Covid19 contact wasn't a lie worth following up on. There were other veiled half and non-truth's being wildly spread.
Alice Gardner grew to become a professional debunker of conspiracy theories and of the politicians who were their origins. “Such sick things. A Pox on them.”
And thus an evil Halloween trick became a treat for Alice Gardner that would last a lifetime and make the world a better place because of it.