(Note to messenger; The contents of this letter are to be read aloud on the main stage at the convention of the Ragwort Coven, which will take place at 8PM, October 31st in conference room 3-A of the Salem Marriott. Ideal timing for this interruption is during the Q&A portion of Sister Black-Eyed Susan’s keynote address.)
(Notice the gaggle of witches stuffing their guts with dessert, complacent, barely paying attention. Before you begin, spell the lights to flicker and play muffled industrial noise over the PA, something that clinks and clanks and groans, disorienting but not so loud as to drown out the message. Don’t forget to cackle where appropriate!)
Black-Eyed Susan! Black-Eyed Susan! I’ve got a question!
(Pause there, torturing the audience as you saunter up to the dais and seize the microphone, giving Susan a vicious side-eye. Wait for her to return to her seat, where she can heckle you as she scarfs down the delicious pastry on her tray.)
Good evening, Susan.
Greetings, esteemed sisters of Ragwort. Most of you know me. I have been sent here on behalf of Sister Hyacinth. (There will be a groan from the crowd. Keep pushing.) She, not I, wrote the following words, and she did so even though her poor heart weighed heavier than, say, a compact car. Her recent excommunication from the coven has had a greater impact on her than she expected, leaving a hole in her life the size of…well, I suppose it’s about the size of a Mini Cooper. Thus, although the skies outside are bluer than the body of a pre-owned sky blue 2007 Mini Cooper S Convertible available for only $2500 O.B.O., Hyacinth’s world is cold and overcast.
Here’s what she has to say.
It’s not me who needs to change, but us.
Although we call each other sisters, few of us are related by blood. Webster’s Dictionary defines “sister” in a variety of ways, but for the purposes of this speech, I’ll point your attention to two. The first is “a member of a women's religious order (as of nuns or deaconesses).” It’s been nearly two centuries since we all made a pact to serve the same entity, to sow chaos in human affairs. Who could forget the time Sister Alyssum seduced that Pickens fellow into seceding from the union? Or when Sister Hyssop sold the gun that killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand? Or when Sister Primrose lobbied to have Fox cancel Firefly after one fantastic season? I bring up these examples to show you, things have been good for us for a very long time.
Unfortunately, I’m afraid our time is up.
Our job is to cause pain in the human world, but humans barely live in their world anymore. Just the other week I was paging through this online Necronomicon called Reddit dot com, looking for a poison recipe. Amazing power, the internet, half as accurate and four times as fast as any of the divining spells I know. Anyway, in the comment section I saw a group of young men openly planning to kidnap their governor. I can’t fully explain it, but that brought a tear to my eye. It’s becoming clear—to me at least—that the humans are perfectly capable of sowing their own chaos.
This brings us to what I consider to be the existential crisis of our time. Ladies, be honest with yourselves; what can we do for Ragwort nowadays? How can we avoid being replaced by these neotechnopagans and their minions, the ones called trolls?
This is an important question; one Black-Eyed Susan doesn’t want you to ask. She’d rather have us bubble, bubble, toil and trouble our way into obscurity. The times are changing, sisters. We ought to change with them.
The second definition of “sister” I want to point out is “a girl or woman regarded as a comrade.” (They will cringe at the word comrade. For a group of evil witches, they’re oddly afraid of an enlightened working class.) This is an ideal we’ve lost in recent years, the way the Mini Cooper lost the white stripes on its hood between the eighth and ninth generation. Let’s do what Mini should do: go back to 2007. Don’t you remember the way we would giggle when unsuspecting new families bought homes just before the real estate bubble burst? We were close in good times, why must we tear ourselves apart in bad times? Isn’t now the moment we should drop the ego, come together as one, and craft a serious plan for the future?
(Knowing my sisters, there will probably be a good deal of laughter here. Don’t worry, it won’t last. Most will realize that I’m right.)
I know, I know. Why should you listen to me? This is clearly a desperate attempt to reverse my excommunication, right?
Wrong. I, Hyacinth, have been offered consulting positions on the boards of directors of many prestigious groups, such as Koch Industries and 90% of all pharmaceutical companies. The fact that old Susan blacklisted me just for taking those meetings is abhorrent. I could have just accepted an offer and left you all in the rearview, but here I am, in spirit. If I’m going anywhere, if I’m doing anything, I want it to be with my sisters. We’ve been through too much to break up now. Sleepy Susan over there is clinging to the past.
I think what’s called for is a change of management. As such, I would like to move to vote: Who should lead the Ragwort Coven, me (Hyacinth) or Black-Eyed Susan?
I will accept the results of the election gracefully either way. But first, Susan, is there anything you’d like to say on this matter?
(At this point, Susan will stand to protest, but she won’t be able to. The poison I planted in her pastry will have closed her throat, and if she’s not dead in that moment, she will be soon enough. From there, one of two things will happen, so I’ve written in contingencies.)
Well, that's a shame. What say you, witches? Will you accept Sister Hyacinth as your new leader?
(If the coven seems to agree upon following my lead, whistle for me, and I’ll come in to pick up the pieces. If not—and this is very important—you must run. Not just run, but sprint, or as much as you can manage, and make a serpentine path as you go to avoid their attacks. A warning, it’s unlikely that you’ll escape without a few bruises, if you escape at all. I am ever so sorry about the last time, by the way. Should you survive the conference room, I will be waiting outside the Marriott for you in my tiny sky blue chariot, a 2007 Mini Cooper S Convertible, stripes and all. We'll make the trip to Washington together and see what we can do about tightening your grip on the nation's nuts. Thanks again, Senator McConnell. I couldn't do this without you.)