Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Good Witch of Sinclair

"AHhahaha!!" Rose a deep, raucous and rancorous cackle from the first floor, far back and far left room of a large community house. The house is called, due to lack of a more creative name, Witch House. The running joke goes something like this: witch one- "Where are you headed after school?" witch two- "The house." witch one- "Which house?" witch two- "Witch House!"


            Nobody lives at the house formally, however some may end up staying the night after a lengthy witching party paired with pizza and gossip. The house, on the outskirts of a small town by the name of Sinclair, Ohio, is abandoned, so meeting there is illegal, which is indeed perfect for their recreations of choice: potion crafting and spell casting.

            The whole house resounded with intermittent cackles as the fourteen and fifteen year old girls added various ingredients to their witchy potions, mainly herbs and spices from their parents’ pantries. These ingredients went into pots full of warm water- rather, cauldrons. Every one of them has their own personal wooden mixing spoon, which has been uniformly branded in the schools shop classroom by an honorary warlock, Jerome, who is the boyfriend of one of the witches. From one particular room on the first floor, the room farthest back and farthest left, the pungent smell of vinegar emanates throughout the halls. Hellga (with a purposeful and verbal emphasis on 'hell') is creating a very special spell this time. This is no love potion; no, it is much more complex to create. The effects, if the potion is conjured properly, are impossible to reverse.

            "HahaHA!!" Rose a light, euphonious and amicable laugh from the second floor, far back and far right room of the very same house that Hellga was conjuring up her special potion in.
            "Why do all of these potions include tadpoles?" Tadpoles were easy to acquire in the right season- a river with a pool of general stagnancy in a small natural inlet of sorts was just a short walk away. "Forget it. No tadpoles this time." She decided.
            "I wonder if these potions actually do anything." Said Glinda out loud. She was talking to herself. As a common courtesy, new witches were left to practice potions and spell casting in the privacy of their own room. Error was okay; it was a part of the learning process. The more advanced witches let others come in and watch 'how things were done' but Glinda was nowhere near that point. She had just joined the coterie last week.
            Glinda grabbed a packet of Kool-Aid out of her purse and poured the contents into her stew of warm water, garlic powder (not garlic salt; garlic powder. Garlic salt would RUIN it), three dandelion heads and two slices of untoasted whole wheat bread. The bread was then to be cooked like a grilled cheese with mayonnaise instead of cheese betwixt the slices and then consumed with a vial of enchanted chocolate milk. Glinda, of course, had no plans to follow through on such preposterous plans and if she did the Kool-Aid would have cancelled out the effectiveness of the potion anyway. Convinced that she could do anything a potion might ostensibly accomplish, she opened her window and dumped the potion onto the ground, two floors down.
(It was one of many variations on a love potion)

            The next day at school Glinda was gliding through the hallways, holding her unicorn and rainbow themed trapper keeper close to her chest with both arms crossed over it. This trapper keeper was special- she had owned it for three years now and a lot of memories were stuffed into the zip pockets, some hidden away under the hole that gave access to a new secret compartment under the unicorn and rainbow scene. Old notes were bit apart by the metal rings and any surface was etched all over in back in pen and marker- all of this amid a tumult of homework. In fact- there was a math assignment to turn in two hours from now...where exactly was that?
            I could have sworn I slid it right on top of the rest of my papers in here! she thought to herself. She began fishing for papers at random, pulling one out as she navigated the familiar hallways, stuffing it back in and fishing for another.
            "AHA!" Glinda said as she thrust her hand holding the paper straight into the air. "Got you!" She said, and just as she returned her gaze to the hallway in front of her it met the bewildered eyes of someone she had known for most of her life, thanks to the even longer standing relationship of their fathers. Glinda's trapper keeper slid across the floor and her math assignment floated peacefully to the ground to take its place among the rest of the papers that fell out of the trapper keeper from the collision and the ensuing bounce and slide across the floor that threw open the already unzipped trapper keeper.
            "Rachel!" Said Glinda, still a little shook up from her literal run in.
            "It's Hellga." Replied clinched teeth complete with an icy glare. "You know we're supposed to address each other by our chosen names when there isn't an outsider around."
            "Right…well you know I'm still new to this whole witch thing. I think you should pick a nicer name, though." Replied a white simper complete with a warm countenance.
            "A nicer name?! We're witches!" Hellga retorted in a raised voice. "What's nice about being a witch?!"
            "Well I'm a good witch...that’s a nice thing, isn't it?"
            "Any real witch wouldn't be a 'good' witch." She gesticulated sardonically. "You don't know anything. All you do in your stupid room is make kool-aid! I don't know why you even come hang out with us..." She gave a haughty mien and in a mocking undertone made her parting salutations: "...Glinda." And off she went. Glinda picked up her papers that were strewn about all by herself and continued on her way.
            I'm not even a witch! She thought to herself.

And that, my friends, is how she is a good witch.

            Later that evening back at Witch House (which house?) Hellga was at it again, perfecting her potion. This was the third and final version that she was to brew up. The first two, she perceived, were good enough as they were to do the trick, but she had to be sure. She didn't want any half effectiveness for this potion: that would leave the victim in obvious need of help. If the potion worked properly the victim would not be able to ask for help in any way that any other human would understand nor would they be able to do anything about it even if they could ask for help!
            Steam and odors of repugnance rose from her cauldron- a large pot usually used for her families spaghetti night- as she mixed the last and most important ingredient into the potion with her branded wooden mixing spoon. The target of the potion was actually in the house! she thought with a crooked smile of misplaced antipathy. This feeling, which she had never stopped to think about, had morphed and grew into something completely bigger than it needed to be. In actuality, Hellga should have only been angry with herself. It was not her friend that had done the disowning; she had done it to herself! She had been friends with her now sworn enemy since they were little babies goo-gooing about poop and sucking their thumbs if they ever lost their pacifier. It all came crashing down one and a half years ago when they entered middle school. The school was a combination of two smaller elementary schools, so naturally people picked up new friends in the halls or at class. Hellga, whose name was still only Rachel at the time, was intimidated by the new faces and shrunk from them. Her best friend flourished at the new faces and became friends with many, many new people. Rachel recognized this and took it personally.

            With the potion carefully held in her left hand she exited her room. She watched the liquid level of the concoction sway between the edges of the cup, reaching high every three or four steps but never quite high enough to spill over. With the confidence gained in herself to not spill, she continued her short stepped gait and looked up just in time to catch the bewildered eyes of someone directly in front of her that she had known for years. They met in a slow but direct frontal body collision and the potion held in front of Hellga was lost mostly on her shirt and a bit on both of their shoes.
            "RACHEL!" Shrieked Hellga as she gave off a frightening miasma.
            "It's Glinda." Replied an ingratiating smile.
            "I don’t care what you think your name is! I hate that name! It's from that stupid Wizard of frickin' Oz movie- which has nothing to do with real witchcraft!! And what's worst of all is I hate MY name now because it's also YOUR name!”
            "Oh come on, now, you don’t hate it! Remember when you used to like that they were the same? We'd try to convince people that we were twins, but it never worked." Said Glinda, unfazed by Hellga's ardor. "I guess we never thought that people would figure out that parents are only cruel enough to name twins in alliteration and dress them the same until they are old enough to know better. They couldn't get away with naming twin girls 'Rachel and Rachel'." She laughed a little at her wandering thoughts and looked back at Hellga.
            After a pause Glinda lifted up a bottle, which had fallen to the ground. "Kool-aid?"
            Hellga forced a smile. "I think I could go for some." She said, reaching for the bottle. "Look…I think I know what I need to do. Let me go back into my room and make a basic elixir to share with you.” Hellga slunk back into her room and started making what she had no doubt in her mind was the most powerful potion she had ever managed to concoct.

            They met in a basement room, which was the only room (besides their personal witching rooms) that was likely to be empty.
            "So what did you make for us anyway?" Asked Glinda, a little excited and a little nervous because she had never really tried a potion and although she was skeptical of their effectiveness she never really knew for sure that nothing would happen.
            "It's a basic love potion. Not like...a philter that everyone is trying to make and give boys at school, so don't worry about that.”
            “I would just use a Mickey Finn if I ever wanted to make a philter.” Glinda grinned. Hellga looked confused. “Maybe I need to work on my witch jokes…” Glinda sheepishly concluded.
            “I realize that I have been terrible to you for no reason,” Said Hellga after a pause. “and it's time we make this right. Let's drink this together and see what happens…"

If only she had believed that she had been terrible and wanted to make this right!

            Glinda took the potion in hand and without second thought or a whiff of the pungent mixture and gulped it down as fast as she could. Hellga smiled and drank down what was actually a vitality elixir with food color to look the same as the potion she gave Glinda. With her eyes on Glinda the whole time, Hellga waited for something to happen- a change to begin. Glinda stood smiling back, not sure what to say or if she was supposed to wait for a minute for the potion to set in.
            " do you feel?" Hellga hesitated.
            "The same as before." Glinda smiled.
            Hellga's eyes shifted towards the ground and her eyebrows and lips suggested that she was working something out in her head.
            "But I think that's because you never lost your place in my heart, Rachel. I always have and always will consider you one of my closest friends- even if you hate me." Said Glinda, catching on to these idiosyncrasies that she used to be able to pick out in split seconds and know the exact meanings of.
            Hellga looked up and her mouth tightened slightly as she involuntarily began grinding her teeth.
            "It's not working..." She muttered at first. After a pause of confusion from Glinda and a pause from Hellga while retracing the making of her potion- what it could be that is stymieing the progress of her diabolical plan she iterated: "IT'S NOT WORKING!"
            She shouted this time, infuriated because she knew everything was perfect, even in making it so quickly.
            "What... what are you talking about?" Stammered Glinda, afraid for the first time that a potion might actually have some effectiveness.
            "You'd better be barking in about seven seconds!" Hellga shrieked in response. She was standing, her arms were locked straight down at her sides and her hands were making tight fists.
            Glinda swallowed a giant lump in her throat. Her mouth was dry.
            This potion was indeed a dud, much to Hellga's growing concern. This potion was meant to transmogrify the victim into a cocker spaniel. The potion description did not say 'transmogrify', though. It said 'transform'. Transmogrify, however, is the proper term for witchy potions crafted by these middle school girls.
            "TURN INTO A FREAKING COCKER SPANIEL ALREADY!!" Hellga finally shouted in Glinda's face, revealing the intent of the drink.
            The right corner of Glinda's mouth bumped up, forming a half smile. Her diaphragm made her stomach look like it was getting jumpy because she was letting a few involuntary laughs out under her breath.
            Embarrassed, Hellga threw her own glass that formerly contained the food dyed vitality potion onto the ground, shattering it.
            "Witchcraft is so stupid!! It never works!" Hellga said in a long avoided admission to herself. “I quit...” She said under her breath. “and I’m sorry.”
            Glinda wrapped her arms around the post that Hellga had made of herself since the potions failure.
            "How could I ever be mad at you?!" Said Glinda to her post.
            "How long were you going to be a witch for?" Said Hellga, quietly.
            "As long as it would take."


  1. Rachel!


    Are you trying to tell me something?

  2. My favorite parts: Hell-ga (which I annunciated properly every time), the "witch-which" joke, and TURN INTO A FREAKIN COCKER SPANIEL ALREADY!
    And the ending.
    That's it, I'm making a blogspot.
    You are an incredible writer, little brother. :)