Tuesday, October 31, 2006

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.

Story #378

Happy Halloween! Also: last year's Halloween story, and the year before.

It's been quite an intensive month for me life-wise, which has left me in the last couple of weeks with very little mind for writing stories. Already I am two stories in debt, the story for the previous photo (#376) and the story for #370. November should be back to abnormal, so please bear with me. A warm thank you to everyone who took the time to click by here, and especially for enriching this domain of 24 letters with your comments and stories! (Really, I counted them "indeterminacy.blogspot.com" has 24 letters. Who would have thought?)

Last but not least: a salute to the prolific blogger with a wry sense of humor who is Tom & Icy, Lammy, Lula, the Alien Guy, the Dog-Faced Alien Girl, Dusty Doggy, the Devil, and really more people, creatures and beings than I can keep track of, but it's so much fun to try - thank you for sharing your awe-inspiring creativity with us! There are more worlds in Ohio than one might imagine. Enjoy your well-deserved break, and don't be a stranger, and know that we will all be right back there to see you, at whatever time, space or domain you appear.


Doug said...

And in whatever form. Hail Tom and Indie!

So even witches do the "Can't pay the rent/must pay the rent" bit.

cheesemeister said...

Olivia waited gleefully for Steve to arrive. She couldn't wait for him to taste the special punch and the delightful almond-flavored cake she had made just for him.
She could forgive him for cheating on her with Wynifred at the Oktoberfest party. Because on this crisp Halloween night, she and Steve would be together forever in eternity.

(Indie, I am really not as morbid in person as my writing style might sometimes make me appear to be!)

Indeterminacy said...

Doug: And Hail Icy! I've known one witch (Wiccan), and she did have to move because of not being able to pay the rent.

Cheesemeister: Thanks for the morbid twist. I like morbid.

cheesemeister said...

Great alliteration and several unexpected twists! It was a roller coaster ride.
I like doing the twist as much as I like unearthing morbid plots.

Indeterminacy said...

Thank you Cheesemeister! I would like to twist with you. Has anyone recorded a heavy metal twist?

cooper said...

I also appreciate the alliteration, I needed a good Halloween story.

Frances bo bancess said...

I don't usually "love" stories, but this one is so wonderfully written that it's the only verb i can think of. i love it. it's absolutely delightful! and intriguingly clever.

Indeterminacy said...

Thank you Cooper - I never thought anyone would like the alliteration. Here are some earlier stories with alliteration:

Story 144 and Story 29 (meager attempt at imitating Nobokov)

Frances: Your comment made my day, and every Halloween for the next thirty years.

Doug said...

Indie, that was a great story, with enough unexpected twists to keep a reader guessing Bewitched, bothered and bewildered.

weirsdo said...

I second or third or fourth all that. I liked that this story didn't end with the first twist. I knew he was going to kiss her, but it was satisfying none the less.

Indeterminacy said...

Doug: The way I'm twisting my mind around to get these stories out, it's no wonder that some of the twists fall into the story, too. Thanks for the compliment.

Mrs. Weirsdo: I guess you've had a lot of experience with kisses. Anyhow, kisses should always be satisfying, I think. Glad you liked this. xxx

{illyria} said...

sparkling dialogue. the banter of the beautiful and the bold-in-the-making. i suspect the world will be a better place if we surprised one another with bits of prose in our conversation.

this had me reeling--spinning in some small sentimental secret part of me--and i don't reel.

Indeterminacy said...

Thank you illyria, for very kind words, and also for helping me to understand my own story.

weirsdo said...

Indie: Pansi begged me not to post this link here, but as her publicist, I'm leaving no stone unturned.

Anonymous said...

:D I liked this story too.. oh you've inspired me to get one of these things.. haha thanks!!


Indeterminacy said...

Hi Heather! When I first read your comment I asked myself, "She wants to get a broom?" and then it clicked - you have a blog! Welcome to the blogosphere. I'll add a link to my sidebar