A Weird Tales Offering
| You Reap What You Sow
She grew them large, like pumpkins in a field, in soil rich with nutrients. Sherry's garden needed no watering or weeding. The scorching sun was what made her crops flourish. It excited her when her seedlings began to sprout. Planted in rows, all perfectly aligned and buried with cabbage leaves, it was hard to distinguish the type of crops she tended. Secrets suited Sherry. Harvesting took place by the light of the fullest moon. Sherry counted herself as the best gardener on earth. She reaped a vibrant yield unlike any other farmer.
"Good morning, my little angels. Remember, to grow big, strong, and straight like I know you can," she spoke the words of encouragement all plants needed to hear. She bent down to greet by name, each bud, each vine, and each plant nearing their harvest time. Upon hearing their mother's voice, each piece of greenery seemed to dance from their spot in the soil.
Sherry walked through each row of the garden offering more words of inspiration while sprinkling her special mixture of dirt, ash, oil, bat intestines, salt water, and human blood. In their veracious hunger the plants wiggled and fought amongst themselves to get the food of their craving. She encouraged the feistiness of her sprouts..
"Alright, little ones, Mama is going to leave now. I have so many things to prepare for our party in the moonlight. Behave while I'm gone and stay low to the ground. Keep hidden from the neighbors. They get frightened when they see things slithering in the ground. Ha-ha, my lovelies, tonight we will give them something to turn their hair white."
Carefully, she skirted out of the garden and walked towards her house. Her home was nothing more than a collection of twigs and branches tied together by dandelions. A weedy thatched roof drooped lazily overhead barely supported by the kindling that served as her walls. The floor, made of the same soil her plants thrived, soothed her. Just as in the days of old and from the pages of books written long ago about witches, a caldron sat at the entrance stewing over an open fire. The contents of the caldron brewing were a necessity for tonight's ceremony. It required only one more ingredient to bring the magic of her hash to life. It was one of the many tasks that still needed doing
Sherry pulled out her outfit intended for the night's festivities. It was a long black gown that seemed to flow with the blowing of the wind. A rope, resembling a noose, cinched the middle. With her broom, she dusted off the garden's grime still caked on the dress from last month's full moon passage. A pointed black hat sat in the corner. She reached deep into the pouch that she carried and pulled out a scarlet liquid. With her hands painted in the rich redness of blood, she adorned her gown with Satan's symbols of evil. With her artwork complete, she chanted the words of sorcery and her ball gown danced of its own accord without the blowing of a breeze. Her hat and broom, like a magic carpet, levitated in the corner. With just the hint of a whistle, the broom came to her and away they flew on the hunt for the soup ingredient still needed.
Sherry hovered low above the farm fields, hoping to spot her prey. Standing there in his dungarees was a farmer, stooped and bent from years of toil, tending to his own crops. His eyes were not slanted towards the sky but on the work in front of him, so there was no warning for the man of things to come. Sherry swooped silently from the sky and snatched the man's right eye from his skull. The deed was done so swiftly that the man would barely have noticed if it weren't for the incredible pain and the trickle of blood dripping from the empty socket. With just the one eye left, the farmer was unable to testify to the event and Sherry flew happily back to her nest.
Once home, she examined the prize and deemed it perfect for her moonlight ceremony. She placed the jewel in her pouch to keep it moist from the blood in the bag. Sherry would add the eye of the farmer to her soup at the precise moment.
She spent the rest of the evening tending to the remaining details. At exactly ten, she donned her gown and grabbed the essentials. She poured a bit of the simmering stew into a smaller kettle and tied it closed with the pouch containing the eye. Sherry plopped her hat on her head as she danced along the path to her garden. Her children, in their excitement, rose up to greet her. They wiggled and squirmed pulling at the roots that tied them to the soil. It brought a smile to the woman's lips
The moonlight illuminated her garden beautifully. She could see the smiling faces of her blossoms. Sherry was giddy with her accomplishment, but yet there was a stitch of sadness in her heart about harvesting her kids. She felt just like a mother sending her children off to college. Very soon, she would release her mature babes into the world to complete the work for which they were intended.
Sherry pulled out her kettle, still warm from the fire. She opened the pouch and pulled the eye, bloody and wet, from its home. She spoke the words of her incantation learned long ago in an ancient land. As she gently released the orb into the kettle, a puff of ebony smoke rose from the mixture. The earth around them shook as the coming-of-age sprouts uprooted themselves from the dirt. They clamored to be near their mother and awaited instructions. The fiery red, pointed eared, and glowing eyed munchkins were ready for the next adventure.
They were Sherry's devil minions and would reap souls for Satan.
Word Count 995