Characters Environments 
Author Marian Parisher-Nichols
Poems and short stories, free to read.
"When I write, I shoot from the hip!"

Rhoda, the Wicked Witch.

The sun sank low behind Glendale Hill, the violet and magenta hues bounce off the cumulus clouds creating a sky that looked on fire.  Now on this hill was an old two-story house that most of the townsfolk considered haunted, so not too many of them ventured up there, especially at night.  Only a few of them knew that a wicked witch lived in the abandon broken down house and that was just how Rhoda liked it. 

Rhoda cast her spells for the few people who wished to take advantage of her special skills and charge weird prices for her services.  You never knew what Rhoda would ask for in payment, if you were lucky, it would be just plain money.

As darkness felled, a full moon made its way upward to the pinnacle of the indigo sky, the night was clear with billions of twinkling stars.  Inside the abandon house in a fireplace, Rhoda had her cauldron bubbling.  The fire crackled and neon green smoke escaped up the chimney and spread out across the countryside. 

Rhoda wore a purple floor length, long sleeved frock, over that was a black cloak plus her tall black hat that stood two feet tall with a pointed end.  This queer looking headgear had special powers.  The pointed end of the hat helped to concentrate the mental powers of the one wearing it.  The hat had the special blessing from the one and no self respecting witch would be without it.  They often hid this hat, for to be caught with it by the ordinary folk meant certain death by fire.

Being a witch was a dangerous occupation and many women have died because of suspicion that they were witches, but most were not.  You would find it very difficult to catch a true witch, for cunningness and trickery were their special skills.  A woman never chose to become a witch; witches were born with their unique powers and this is an inherited trait that often skips several generations.  You never knew when a girl baby was born if she would indeed inherit this trait.  The families where this happened, often destroyed the child if they learned it early enough to intervene before the child became too powerful.

There were a few witches who knew themselves to be witches but refused to practice the skills and allowed themselves to go dormant and so they lived lives as ordinary women.

Rhoda, now one hundred and twenty one years old, was still a very beautiful and youthful looking woman, except on this night, Halloween.  On Halloween, witches reverted back to their true appearances.  Their skin had a light greenish hue, their noses was long, crooked and pointed, and often had a wart somewhere on the tip.  The chin protruded out further than their nose and their eyes, oh their eyes; their eyes were red and often flash fire when they were angry. To maintain their powers, their youthful looks and beauty, they had to caste a special spell and brew a portion on Halloween and they needed a gruesome ingredient, the severed head and blood of a virgin girl.  To say the least these items could not be had just for the asking, so the witch had to obtain them herself.

Giving the brew a last stir with the wooden spoon, Rhoda was satisfied that it was ready except for the last vital ingredients and these she would search for while her portion simmered.

Taking her broom from its special place over the fireplace, she went outside, she looked carefully around, satisfied that no one is about, she threw a leg over the handle and leaned into wind and up she went.  Soaring high she flew past the full moon and for a minute she is silhouetted against it, then she is gone.  Her destinations?  The village, where she hoped to find a young girl alone, and easy prey.

Silently, she swept through the streets, peering through doors and peeking in windows, searching for the perfect one.  She knew what she wanted and she would not settled for anything less.  Unless her time was coming to an end and she had to choose quickly.

At last, she spied a young girl sitting cross leg in front of the fireplace playing with her doll.  And she was alone.  She looked to be about three.  Rhoda liked them very young for they did not resist as vigorously as an older child would.  Why with just a swiped of her knife, the head rolled and she could catch the blood from the jugular vein while the heart still beat for a few second after the decapitation.

Oh yes, this was Rhoda’s night!  Soon she would have the last two ingredients and be able to enjoy the coming year.  She would be young and beautiful … until next Halloween.

Dismounting at the porch’s edge, Rhoda made her way stealthy to the door.  She peeked in the window one more time and could see that all is well.  She eased open the unlock door.  She entered the room.  The child’s back was to her.  Rhoda mentally cast a spell over the child, her eyes flaming red as she did.  Sure now that the girl was within her power, Rhoda advanced. 

Innocent and unaware, the little girl played with her doll.  Rhoda held the knife high and crept closer and closer.  Slow and easy.  Step by step, nearer and nearer. 

Quickly, she grabs the girl by her hair … and … WHOOSH!  The End!

But as the knife came down towards the child neck, a force stopped the action in midair.  Rhoda was shock at this turned of events.  The knife was still in her hand and the little girl was unhurt.  Knowing something was fishy, Rhoda glared around the room, looking for who or what had interfered with her. 

“Don’t looked so surprised, Rhoda,” said a beautiful woman who stood behind Rhoda just to Rhoda’s right as if just emerging from the kitchen.  “Come to Mommy, Caitlin,” she called and the little girl stood up and ran to her mother.  The woman took the child into the bedroom, left her there, and closed the door.

During all of this, Rhoda found she was unable to move.  “Who are you?” she snarled.

“Oh don’t you recognize one of your own?” she replied sweetly.  “I would think that you would.”

Rhoda glared, her eyes flashed and her lips cured back from her rotten and broken teeth, “You’re no witch.  If you were, you would be in your true form.  Look at you.  You are beautiful.  Tonight you would look as I do.  Unless you have already had your portion and have broken the spell for another year.”

Laughing softly, the woman replied, “Nooo!  I am as I am always.  I am Crystal, and I am a non-practicing witch.  And I had a little surprise for you, Rhoda.”

Crystal snaps her fingers and the room fills with men, men carrying torches and rope.  Crystal smiled at the men and nodded.  They surrounded Rhoda; they grabbed her and tied her with the horsehair rope, horsehair from a newly born filly, the only rope strong enough to capture and hold a wicked witch. 

Rhoda fought, she screamed, she cursed the men, and fire flashed from her eyes, but still they drugged her from Crystal’s home.  They removed her hat, they bound her wrists and one took her broom, they marched with her down Main Street to the blacksmith’s shop where a great pile of dried sticks were stack.  Kicking and screaming they force the witch up onto the pile of dried wood and bound her there.

One very important looking man stepped forward and addressed the crowd and Rhoda.  “We the residents of Glendale now judged Rhoda to be a true and evil witch.  I now pronounce sentence on her, that she should be burn alive in accordance with the laws governing the kidnapping and murder of young children, in this case small girls.  Her judges are the parents and relatives of all the children that she murder for her own evil purposes.  Now, please carry out the execution!”

The men all threw their torches onto the woodpile, and fire leaped skyward, shrouding the witch in flames.  They shouted, “Burn witch, burn!”

The End!

Or is it?