by Little Mouse
Hagadorn Grudd has evil inside her old body and it wants a younger body to live in.
Hagadorn Grudd felt the achiness in her joints and knew her life force was slowly seeping out of her short stumpy body. All the potions and spells she used to keep her miserable self alive was not working like they should. Cheating death was not an easy feat, even for the evilest of witches. It didn't matter that her warty old body would turn to dust, but the evil that consumed it demanded that she find another vessel for it to live in. She was young and spiteful when the evil entered her body, and she soon learned it liked to be called Master.
Master had been demanding that she start looking for a young recipient for him to possess. It didn't matter that she would die when He left her body because Master didn't care. Today was the day He demanded that she start looking. So Hagadorn headed down the path toward Fairy Town where mortals and fairies lived in harmony. The thought of harmony made her stomach feel queasy, so she thought of disharmony and it made her feel better. Limping through the woods Hagadorn wished she had brought Dustbottom with her. At least she could rest her feet while sitting on his knobby old back. A good flying broom was worth a lot in the world of witches, but Dustbottom was older then her and his brush bristles were breaking and falling out. 'What an embarrassment', she thought. 'Maybe I should use some magic on him to renew the bad parts.'
"Hag, shut up and get to looking for what we need." Master said.
After hours of trudging through the forest she stopped and a smile spread across her wrinkled face exposing her one and only front tooth. The evil she felt was young and untrained. The ache in her body seemed to disappear as Master forced her in the direction of this new, untouched evil. She reached the edge of the Black Forest, her forest, and hide behind a thicket of briars. The three sensitive hairs in the wart on her cheek, twitched warning her of danger close by. Kneeling and peeking through a small opening in the thicket, she saw a very pregnant lady with gossamer wings.
"Fairy Town?," Hagadorn whispered to the evil inside her. "How can't this be? These are good fairies. There shouldn't be evil in this area. I would expect evil to reside on the other side of town where the mortals live." Hagadorn watch the fairy turn to welcome someone to her side and realized it was Queen Dorthia's husband, King Daniel, who stepped to her side. "How could the Queen of Fairies be evil? Something's very wrong. This fairy always made me sick because she oozed with so much goodness," she grumbled and the evil coiled and tightened in her stomach. Her black, beady eyes watched as the couple embraced and her ears hummed as she listened to their conversation.
"My beautiful wife, what are you doing so close to the Black Forest? You shouldn't be here in your condition. It's not good for our babies," King Daniel warned as he gently hugged Queen Dorthia.
"I mustn't give up on trying to push the evil, inch by inch, from the Black Forest. I hope that someday it will come back to life. But today when I gain an inch the evil takes it back. That's unusual! Watch!" Queen Dorthia said as she spread some fairy dust on the black, tangled limbs. Black limbs turned green and leaves sprang onto the limbs while red roses bloomed, taking their place among the thorns, and sending a sweet aroma through the air. Then the leaves and blooms died, turning to black ash and drifting to the ground. The limbs of the briar thicket became black and lifeless again.
Hagadorn inhaled deeply and squelched the sigh that almost escaped from her throat. Master whispered harshly, "If you reveal us to them you will suffer!" A sharp pain coiled through her stomach as a warning and she clamped her lips and gums together to keep from groaning.
"Come away from here. Please! You're wearing yourself out trying to revive the forest. You can work on it after the babies are born." He nudged her toward the path that led to Fairy Town. "You'll need all your strength for them. Come with me so you can lay down and rest." King Daniel smiled down at her rounded belly and gave it a gentle pat.
King Daniel gently led his wife away from the Black Forest and Hagadorn watched the couple until they disappeared from sight. 'Two babies?' she thought, trying to process the information. "Two babies!" she said aloud. "The evil we felt, Master, must reside in one or both of the babies."
"You must prepare the vessel for me Hag!" Master exclaimed.
Hagadorn turned and headed back through the forest toward home. Her step was lighter and the pit in her stomach had uncoiled. "Yes, Master. As soon as I get home."
"Now! Hurry! The babies will be born soon." Master yelled.
A pain streaked through her body causing her to stumble and fall. Climbing, wearily to her feet with a moan she panted, "Yes, Master. I'm hurrying!"