Hell of an Afternoon

Submitted into Contest #65 in response to: Write about a group of witches meeting up on Halloween night.... view prompt

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Holiday Friendship

"And what, pray tell, is the meaning of this emergency meeting." Spoke one woman.


"Especially on a night as auspicious as this." Spoke another.


"We are busy women, Maggie. Potions to brew, curses to cast and spells to place..."


"And tonight is the night when all our powers are at their best."


"Yes, yes. But you must have heard of about our curious mister Buquet." Maggie insisted.


It was midday and the sun shone above them in the clearing where they stood. Five witches forming a pentagon drawn with chalk as it was customary. Wyrding stones were on the far ends of the cicle, forming a triangle.


"Yes, yes. The historian to move into the hamlet. He's innocent soul that one Maggie." Deidre commented. Her fury red hair seem out place with her calm countenance that she kept.


"Maggie may be on to something here." Spoke Linet. "He has been poking around asking about witches and warlocks. Though he says it is for his research." She had skinny frame with petite spectacles. She was the smartest of the group.


"What of it, if he were suspicious or not. What would you have us do about him?" This was Pale, the youngest and most naive. Her skin was ghost white and she had silver hair and silver eyes. A unique witch to say the least.


"You believe he is a hunter."


Gasps came from a few, others would not believe such an accusation. Who had spoken was wisest and oldest of the group. Minerva.


Maggie, with a straight face, replied solemnly.


"Yes, I do."


Chatter broke out among the women as many argued what this may mean. A few calling it a false assumption. But suspicions were arisen.


"That's quite enough ladies, we can figure this one out quite easily. Any of you have a piece belonging to him." Linet asked.


All of them shook their head regretfully. The knew this would have solved it simply. So it was they would have to turn to deduction.


"Who has spoken with Buquet or watched him from afar. Anything peculiar of note or out of place." Maggie inquired.


"I spotted him in the woods last week," Spoke Deidre who brushed her hair back. "He did not see me. He was inspecting common herbs we would harvest with quite the intent. Though once again I do believe he was just curious."


"Anyone else." Minerva asked leaning crookedly on her cane. Her cowl covering her face.


"I spoke with him at the library in the monastery three days ago." Linet said as she pushed up her glasses. "He was handsome and kind. Very inquisitive about those who lived in the hamlet. I had thought nothing of it at the time. Though now it may seem as if he was reaching for something possibly."


"And you Maggie, who called this meeting. What was it that brought you to gather us here."


"I have always had the sight. A foretelling sense and I could not deny the horror I felt when I saw him or was around him. When I attended Church one morning he brushed by me and I swore I smelt blood and charred flesh. I promise you I do not lie."


More chatter came upon this revelation. But the women were still skeptical. To charge a man or woman of being a witch hunter was serious offense. An innocent life could be lost. Yet no witch would suffer such a creature in their midst.


"Who will cast the bones."

"Who will spill their blood."

"Who will spit in the fire."

"Who will search the soul."

"Who will drink the tonic."


"I will cast the bones." Maggie brought a velvet pouch.

"I will spill my blood." Deidre unsheathed a dagger.

"I will spit in the fire." Linet brought their pan to heat.

"I will search my soul." Pale removed her cowl showing milky eyes.

"And I will drink of the tonic." Minerva brought a vial.


A ritual as old as time itself. It would draw the spirit of the hunter to them and they would slay it. The bones of earth will find him. The blood will bind him. The fire will burn him. And the soul searcher will slay him. The tonic will cleanse them. And then end the ritual so he may not haunt them from the Underworld.


The pan was heated over a spit till it was very hot. Maggie tossed her bones into the air and watched carefully as they landed. Her face construed in confusion.


"What is wrong sister?" Asked Deidre.


"I cannot sense where he is. Try to bind him."


Deidre slit her palm and squeezed it over the bones. Her expression too was confused.


"I do not sense a tether. See if he screams with fire, Linet."


She took her turn and spat into the fire setting a purple blaze upon it. And she listened closely.


"No, screams...?"


The three woman turned to Pale who was searching her soul. Only to find her collapsed in Minerva's arms.


"Quickly Minerva, the tonic release the spell!" Horrified Maggie look to her sisters. Deidre was drawing knives and Linet had brought her potions out from a belt beneath her cloak. Maggie looked back to Minerva.


Their hood was down and their standing before her was the Witch Hunter Buquet.


"Afternoon ladies, hope I didn't catch you conjuring by any chance. Wouldn't want you hurting any poor souls now would we."


Deidre who was ever calm gave a screeching yell as she charged at him. Neither of them had a doubt that he had slayed poor Minerva. Maggie had never seen her like this.


The hunter was armed with a simple sabre and stood still. Deidre slit her wrist as she ran and from her left a doppleganger formed of her blood came upon him.


The three locked in a dance as Deidre's hatred fueled her stride. Meanwhile, the Hunter was cool. He sliced open her dopplegangers cheek and smiled.


"Do you feel that or isn't only she who will suffer?" He inquired curiously with a mocking grin.


Angered twice fold, he was stabbed by Deidre. Then, all of a sudden, she stepped back. A potion was lobbed right into the man's chest. An explosion of greenish gas engulfed him and ate away at his leather armor, burning his skin and clothes away.


"How do you like that you cocksure vagrant!" Cursed Linet as she made to lob another. But someone grab onto her arm and suddenly a sharp silver pain struck up her spine. She looked back in disbelief.


"Pale?...."


Maggie turned so fixated by Deidre and Buquet she didn't notice the silent Pale sneaking around behind them.


"Pale why?" Linet fell to the ground her eyes open but paralyzed.


Maggie fumbled for her ritual dagger. A Kris with a wavy blade. Pale looked at her with cold eyes. The moon was waning and Pale was strong in it's glow. Born on a full moon with silver hair, silver eyes and pale silver skin. She shimmered for a moment then disappeared.


Maggie closed her eyes, whispering an incantation.


"Acatoo veras amanu rek." She spoke with a deep undertone. She felt the blade dig into her neck. Instinctively, she tossed Pale over her shoulder with her hips. Her vision giving her fair warning of her attack.


She placed a knee on Pale's stomach and brought the Kris back ready to strike.


"Maggie please don't kill me." Pale begged, looking up at her. "I love him and he loves me."


"Your a fool Pale, he has taken advantage of you. He has slipped a potion or some such to warp your mind."


"No, we truly love each other Maggie. Can you not see." Her eyes, Maggie now noticed were bright pink, which were sure signs of a love potion affecting her thoughts. Regretfully, she elbowed her across the face knocking her out.


She turned her attention back to Deidre and noticed her doppleganger had died and it was just her and the Hunter. Maggie grabbed Linet's potion belt and ran across the clearing.


The Hunter realizing he was about to get double the trouble, fell back into the woods. Deidre was lagging behind, many cuts were torn in her woodland dress.


"Rest here, Deidre. I will finish him."


Out of breath and bleeding from the mouth she just nodded and held to herself to catch her breath.


****


The forest was ominously dark.


"Well, well. If it isn't Sister Maggie. How can one of the Coven be of the Covenant, I wonder." His voice seeming to echo in the woods.


"Show yourself! Have you no shame."


"Very little I'm afraid. Especially when it comes to ending the lives of such scum as yourself and your sisterhood of witches. God has given me, no he has blessed me with this holy task."


"Well then come finish me..."


"As wish, darling." A sabre flashed from behind her, but Maggies sixth sense allowed her to just barely duck beneath it. He followed it up with a triangular slash sequence from shoulder to shoulder then across the neck. Maggie backed away from the first two and guided the last over her head. Cutting some of her hair.


"Close, aye." He said as continued to press the attack. "The little one was so agreeable why can't you see the beauty in my task. In me, Maggie."


"Your a monster." She replied as she hid behind a tree as the sabre dug deep. He tried to pull it out but it wouldn't give. She stabbed him under the arm along his side. And pulled the sabre with her other hand spinning on her heel trying to decapitate him.


But he too ducked.


"Impressive, my dear. Now why don't be so kind and return me my blade."


Suddenly pain erupted in her palm. She flipped the sabre caught the blade as he came in to tackle her. The hilt exploded into spikes, a clockwork mechanism of some sort, and she clubbed him in the face, impaling the spikes into his head..


He fell in a heap at her side.


Breathing heavily she made her way to his body and spat on his corpse. Then tore a slip off her cloak to make a bandage where she held the blade.


"Rest in peace, Buquet. May the flames of hell welcome you as a friend."


She then tossed the potions onto his body exploding it in a mixture of flames and acid. For a moment she watched his corpse burn before returning to see how her sister's faired.


Linet was sitting up supported by Pale. The young witch apologizing heavily to everyone. Deidre leaning on staff smiled at Maggie.


"That wasn't what I was expecting to happen this Halloween..."


"Ya, I wish I saw this coming..."


"You can't predict everything dearies." Minerva said from behind them.


All the witches were shocked to see her alive.


"How?" Linet asked as gave the old lady a warm hug.


"Witch hunters often underestimate the will of witch I'm afraid. Now come dearies let us go home, we have much to do besides facing foes of old. There are children to spook as well as treats and tricks to share."

October 26, 2020 20:45

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Prathamesh Chavan
13:33 Nov 10, 2020

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