Witchcraft for Dummies © Copyright 2010 by Ellen Hecht
After meeting on every full moon for a year, Miranda and her coven decided to pool their knowledge and write a “How To” manual for witches. Warm months, they had gathered in a clearing behind Lenora’s house. When nights grew colder, their meetings moved to the public library where inspiration to write the book evolved from their surroundings.
. Each woman contributed recipes, incantations and advice. They poured over every entry, selecting the best. Bernice’s idea for a title, “Witch Are You?” got groans. Instead, they chose Lenora’s idea, “Witchcraft for Dummies.”
. All the witches wore press-on fingernails except Bernice. Hers were real, and claw-like. Whenever they would have a giggle, Bernice would cackle. They tolerated her.
. Bernice mentioned her brother-in-law ran a printing business from his garage. Again, the other witches nixed her idea, opting for McGraw Hill. They sent off a query letter.
. Designing a book jacket was next. Miranda recommended black with sparkles. Bernice said she preferred blood red. When they chose black with sparkles, Bernice pursed her lips and scowled. Every one of her ideas had been rejected.
. The women couldn’t wait for the next full moon. Mid-month they made an appointment with a promotional photographer. Bernice got the message too late. After waiting half an hour, the group went without her.
. By the next coven meeting the proofs were back. Everyone was pleased except Bernice who hotly objected, leaving abruptly even before the traditional pricking of their thumbs.
. Since Miranda contributed the tip “Be careful what you wish for” (which had swollen to an entire chapter) she suggested they carefully word an incantation to assure success for their collaborative effort. Time went by but they never got around to it.
. Bernice stopped coming to the coven meetings altogether. The witches agreed she’d been a bad sport. They could do just as well without her. To be fair though, someone said she wished things could have worked out differently.
. McGraw Hill responded favorably. Meetings were scheduled, ink dried on contracts, presses rolled. When the first printing was bound, the coven gathered at Lenora’s to celebrate and plan book signings.
. They were all shocked to notice the group photo on the back of the book jacket had changed. They knew full well Bernice hadn’t been there, yet her scowling face loomed in the background. How could it be?
. DeWitt, the publisher’s representative, telephoned Lenora almost immediately. Who was the other woman in the picture? Why wasn’t she given credit in the book? McGraw Hill would stop shipment, take the loss, have to eat it. Did they have a lawyer? Lenora distinctly heard a cackle on the line before the phone went dead.
. On the eve of the next full moon, the witches gathered at the library and sat dejectedly looking down at their press-on nails. Miranda broke the silence.
. “Okay, which of you is the genius who wished things could have worked out differently?”
On the eve of the next full moon, the witches gathered at the library and sat dejectedly looking down at their press-on nails.