Indeterminacy 378 (A Halloween Story)

Badgered, bothered and belittled by those around him, not to mention the mugging and maltreatment, Harvey had had enough! The worst of them was Bill, that proverbial bully and sand-kicker, that brute who had dogged his path through high school, and now even worked in the same office with him. That day at work was especially rude – Bill had ridiculed him behind his back, and even the boss had laughed. Now Harvey wanted satisfaction. He paged through the telephone book, hoping to find something that could hurt Bill, when his glance fell upon the ad for Dial-a-Witch. “Love trouble? Want riches? Enemies to deal with? Dial-a-Witch is the magic for you. Full-service conjuring! Curses removed and reinstated! Homeopathic spells. All services affordable! Open Halloween only!”

“This is what I need!” – he told himself – “This is exactly what I need!” Visions of supernatural torture with Bill as the recipient danced jigs around his head as he rang up the number. “Trick or treat?” came a sultry female voice at the other end.

“Yes, please!” Harvey answered.

A moment later a puff of sweet-smelling smoke billowed out of nowhere and when it cleared, he saw the witch, sultry as her voice on the phone, standing before him. Harvey eyed her from the tip of her black hat, all the way down her black satin robe to her pointy black shoes and back up the broomstick. She lowered the broom, showing a face he’d have sold his soul for – to the lowest bidder, even!

“What can I do for you?” she asked, looking Harvey square in the face, an action that always made him stutter.

“I-I have an enemy I’d like dealt with. His name is B-B-Bill. Can you t-turn him into s-something awful?”

“Like a toad, perhaps?” Harvey liked the way she said it. Decisive. She knew exactly what to do, then again, she was a professional witch.

“Yes, a toad, with leprosy,” he said, regaining some composure.

“And crooked legs?”

“And warts and shingles and dysentery and allergic to lily-pads!” His imagination was on a roll.

“My, you certainly are vindictive,” she commented, laughing from behind the broom.

Harvey blushed. “He’s my worst enemy!”

Again her laugh, hidden by the broom. “Why are you hiding your face?” Harvey asked her.

“It’s so sensual when I laugh,” she giggled, “I don’t want to give you any ideas.”

She waved a hand in the air, spoke an incantation, then snapped her fingers, studying Harvey after she’d finished.

“So it’s done now?” he asked, somewhat confused. He had expected something more spectacular, like a sudden explosion and Bill the Decrepit Toad appearing at his feet.

“It’s done,” she said and smiled without laughing – which, by the way, looked very nice to Harvey.

“Will I be able to afford this?”

“Some Halloween candy is all I want.”

Harvey grabbed a handful of goodies from the Halloween bowl and let them fall into her open palm: chocolates, jelly beans and assorted bonbons. “And there’s no catch?” he asked

“Oh, that. I’m afraid there is…” At this Harvey’s jaw dropped. She went on: “These days, we witches have to be psychologists, too. Your worst enemy is not Bill, it’s you. You see Harvey, you’re too timid, and people walk all over you. But I’ve solved your problem. Each day you must do one bold thing, or you yourself will turn into the toad we talked about.”

“Oh no! Please! I can’t! I couldn’t! Turn Bill into the toad. Not me!” – but somehow he knew it was over, and that nothing he could say would sway her.

“Oh, incidentally, it’s almost midnight, so you better start right away!” she added, and purred her magic giggle, face veiled by the broom.

Harvey wasn’t sure himself what came over him then. He brushed the broom aside, grabbed the witch by both shoulders, pulled her near and kissed her open lips. Just as he felt that pleasant tingling of a kiss returned, her firmness dissolved into smoke, lips and all.

“I’m a very good witch,” he heard her laugh from someplace distant, fading into the midnight silence of Halloween.

Indeterminacy 378 (A Halloween Story)

indeterminacy

Joined January 2008

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Artist's Description

This halloween story was originally posted at indeterminacy.blogspot.com, a site featuring “one minute short stories” inspired by found photos.

Here is the found photo which served as the catalyst for the story:

Disclaimer: This photo is not my work, and is therefore also not for sale.

Artwork Comments

  • Damian
  • indeterminacy
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