Posted in Male Author, Short Story

Deal Me In, Week 3 ~ “Witch War”


Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis

“Witch War” by Richard Matheson

Card picked: Seven of Diamonds
From: I Am Legend and Other Stories by Richard Matheson


My second Matheson story in as many weeks. This one was…not as good. It was more of a vignette than a story, weighing in at seven trade paperback pages.

The set-up? Seven pretty young girls (witches, though they are never called such) decimate an attacking infantry from the comfort of their common room by using mental powers. Men are spontaneously combusted, smashed with falling boulders, drowned by sudden waves, and attacked by various animals. It is especially pointed out that the girls seem “innocent” and there’s a certain amount of “excitement” that accompanies their side of the battle.

Written in 1951, “Witch War” hasn’t aged well. I wouldn’t be surprised though if this story particularly influenced Stephen King’s Carrie and Firestarter.