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Witchcraft for Dummies

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?”

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On the eve of the next full moon, the witches gathered at the library and sat dejectedly looking down at their press-on nails.

Tags

witches, coven, halloween, curse, spooky, funny, short story, story

I am a photographer and a writer. If you enjoy odd, short stories, I have a folder in my RB portfolio titled “Short Stories / Writing.”

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Comments

  • JanT
    JanTover 3 years ago

    Heh. I like this! Good story and full of active verbs that propel the story forward to the (no blood lost) climactic end. Must reread more slowly this time, Ellen. You hooked me! No, snared? Ah, nailed me!

  • Jan Timmons 20 days ago
    Heh. I like this! Good story and full of active verbs that propel the story forward to the (no blood lost) climactic end. Must reread more slowly this time, Ellen. You hooked me! No, snared? Ah, nailed me!

    Add your comment as a reply to Jan Timmons Show text formatting help:
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    .. reply | report | delete waddleudo 20 days ago
    Lovers of words gravitate towards each other.
    I know you like to read the ending first. NO FAIR!
    I got it, “nailed” you! Press ons? Hah!
    Hope you are doing just great, Jan. I’ll have to check to see if you have anything new in your RB portfolio!
    Cordially, Ellen (waddleudo)

    – waddleudo

  • Michael McCasland
    Michael McCaslandover 3 years ago

    Your mind is definitely on a different orbit than the rest who are herded from one end to the other. Some may say your “wacked” or “tripping” or “one of them” or… I think, how cool to know you and I love how your mind works and travels. This is a fantastic piece of work and am absolutely astounded that it is not full comments.

  • The reason, dear Michael is they’re afraid . . . they’re very afraid . . .
    (jus’ kiddin’)
    Must be all those mushrooms in the 70’s. Also kidding here.
    I just write to entertain myself, all the while thinking – “this’ll get ’em.”
    I hope you laughed.
    Ellen

    – waddleudo

  • John Dicandia  ( JinnDoW )
    John Dicandia ...about 3 years ago

    Any chance I could order a copy of the book?

  • How flattering, John. I’ll RedBubble mail you right now.
    Cordially, Ellen

    – waddleudo

  • trish725
    trish725almost 3 years ago

  • Thank you Trish, Pops and all. An honor to be Featured in your excellent Group!
    Cordially, Ellen

    – waddleudo

  • Zolton
    Zoltonalmost 3 years ago

    ha ha… I enjoyed this. : )

  • Hi Zolton: I am so thrilled you liked “Witchcraft For Dummies.” If you have the time and inclination, may I invite you to read a few more of my short stories? You will find them in my portfolio in a folder called “Writing and Short Stories”
    ; D Cordially, Ellen

    – waddleudo

  • DirkDougler
    DirkDougleralmost 3 years ago

    I really like the idea you have here. It seems Bernice is the more genuine of the witches and is shunned for being such.

    I think if you wanted to add some backstory on why the other witches have such disdain for her that might enhance the flavor of that part.

    I enjoyed the ending and thought it was a good twist that Bernice ends up being the only real witch in the coven

  • Thank you much, Dirk for the read and the thoughtful consideration – even offering some insight and advice. I will certainly give it some thought. Sometimes a writer gets so close to their work they “assume” what is inbetween the lines is obvious, but sometimes not!! This deserves a re-read by me . . . through your eyes. Thanks again.
    Cordially, Ellen

    – waddleudo

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