Friday Flash: Wicked Witch for Hire

Wicked Witch for Hire

This wand is made out of a unicorn’s horn. No, truly it is. But I know what you’re thinking. Gnarled wood.  Or maybe twisted metal, after you’ve picked it up and felt its weight.  A dumb, blind dwarf with crushed hands had made the wand, you might think.  All his anger, frustration, and fear had been forged into a twist of gross metal as ugly as his broken fingers.  That’s what you might think. But you’d be wrong.

It’s not an easy object to obtain, so you’ll understand when I quote a pretty high price for my services.  I had to dupe the tender heart of a pure virgin, and she had to lure the beast into a starlit meadow.  In the calm of night with only the hoot owls and the crickets, she slipped on the bridle as I advised her to do.  I told her that her true love would appear to her then!  She was naïve enough to believe it, or maybe desperate enough.  Her gold hair was only a decade away from graying, you see.  A wrinkle already graced her smiling mouth.  No time to lose searching for her lover when magick can bring him to her.

And who to take the horn from the creature’s head?  Only the most pious priest.  It was so easy to convince him that the creature was evil, better dead.  The virgin with hair of spun gold was harder to convince of her part in my plan.  At least she had mind enough to question for two seconds.  But not he.  He was easy.  He was young and strong enough to pick up an axe that was made by the crippled hands of a blind, mute dwarf, and he swung the weapon easily, never asking if the creature was of God or the Devil.  He met his Maker soon enough.  No one draws many breaths after slaying a unicorn.

A unicorn’s horn.  Yes, believe it.  Once this wand had been a spiral of purity, white and pearly.  They say that all the moonlight a unicorn is ever exposed to is stored within that horn.  Touch an old sick woman with it and she becomes well and young.  Graze the cheek of a maiden with it and she will be with child.  Courage to warriors, and wisdom to kings! 

That’s what they say.  But they are wrong.  The world demands balance.

To fix the water wheel, don’t you think it’s fair that suffering go into it, if not pain from your own broken backs?  To make the ground fertile again and produce food for your child’s groaning stomach, doesn’t some life have to be given? To purify the well, what sort of purity do you think it takes? 

The decision is yours.  To live easily, all you have to do is pay the price I ask: love me.  I am a wand-wielder for hire.

—###—

This is my first foray into #FridayFlash. It’s an older piece, reworked to a better conclusion. Thanks for giving it a look!

11 thoughts on “Friday Flash: Wicked Witch for Hire

  1. Anonymous

    Terrific!

    Wow, powerful stuff–mixing existential questions with wonderful, concrete but magical description. So apt a characterization of much of religion’s role in history–and justice for its actions is served. 😉 The ambiguity of the end–whether to choose (or accept the inevitablity of?) the wand-wielder’s (viewpoint?) world. Of course, the wand-wielder is not the most reliable of speakers or companions…TERRIFIC first flash and welcome. It’s a wonderful, supportive community.

    Melissa
    http://windspiritgirl.wordpress.com/

    Reply
    1. Katherine Nabity Post author

      Re: Terrific!

      I hate to admit it, but I hadn’t realized there was a bit of a Abraham/Isaac overtone until I was reading _Good Book_ by David Plotz over the weekend. I guess that sort of thing sticks with a person.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Your first foray

    Absolutely wonderful story!

    I can say that your first foray into #fridayflash territory is a success.

    Welcome, and I look forward to reading more of your work.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    Wicked Witch For Hire

    And all she’s asking is the highest price of all… Brilliant debut – welcome to #FridayFlash 🙂

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Wow, what a great debut! I really enjoyed the darkness in this, some lovely twists and turns, and that ending, oh, what a choice to have to make.

    Sam
    aka @FutureNostalgic

    Reply

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