Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Flash Fiction Friday, Week 48: All in Good Time...
The prompt this week was as follows:
‘You’ve met someone you’re crazy about, but he/she sees you as nothing more than an acquaintance. You mention your crush to a friend, who tells you there’s a simple solution to your problem. All it would take is one visit to the old woman who lives at the north end of town. Tell her what you want, she’ll cast a spell, and your wish for love will come true. Your friend used her ‘services’ and the spell worked perfectly.
You’re not a believer in all that hocus pocus nonsense, but decide to give it a try anyway. After all, what can it hurt?’
The prompt was to write a story about casting a love spell, and the genre was horror.
Patience really is a virtue; although, some folks learn that the hard way.
All in Good Time…
“Cass, I’m so glad you were able to get away for lunch today so we could talk. I really need some advice. I’ll try not to keep you too long so you won’t get in trouble. I know you only have a half hour.”
“Deb, I’m a District Manager now. I don’t have to punch a timeclock anymore.”
“That’s right, I forgot. I don’t think I ever congratulated you on your promotion. You deserved it though. It took them way too long to replace that clown that used to be your boss. What did they do with him? Is he a Vice President now?”
“Didn’t I tell you? One morning, he got up from his desk, walked out, and no one has seen or heard from him since.”
“That’s weird, Cass. Was the job just too much for him?”
“Oh no, Deb. If I told you what I did, you’d never believe me.”
“Cass, my God, you didn’t sleep…”
“With one of the VP’s? No way, Deb. I love my husband way too much to do anything like that. Remind me to tell you how easy it was to make all that happen. Enough about me though. Tell me about your problem.”
“Well, this new guy started in the Sales Department a couple of months ago, and I’ve been throwing myself at him since day one. He’s nice and smart and charming, but no matter what I do, he just looks right past me.”
“Why don’t you ask him out for a drink?”
“I have, Cass, and he always says that would be great, and then invites the rest of the department to meet up at McGill’s. It’s like we’re buddies and I’m just one of the guys.”
“Are you sure he doesn’t already have a girlfriend?”
“I know he doesn’t because after he’d been there a week, he asked Sarah, who works the switchboard, to go out that Friday night. I know they’ve gone out every week since then because on Monday mornings, we all hear about it from her. She and I are the same age, and I’m a hundred times prettier than she ever could be. I know I sound like a petty jealous bitch, Cass, but just once, why can’t I get the nice guy?”
“Deb, I can help you. Do you know where Monmouth Road is?”
“Monmouth Road? Sure. It’s that road off Highway 12 that leads into Cooper’s Woods. But, how does that…”
“At the end of Monmouth, there’s a house. An old woman lives there with her son. Deb, I promise you, she’s got powers. I paid her to put a spell on my boss to make him walk out and disappear, and then on the same day, I would get his job. I wasn’t even up for that position, but you see how it turned out.”
“Cass, you did say ‘a spell’?”
“That’s exactly what I said. You give this woman fifty dollars and tell her what you want. It’s spooky, but she’ll already know most of it before you even say a word. When the stars align, or some crap like that, she’ll cast a spell, and you’ll have what you want. One visit is all it takes. Go between 10pm and midnight. Deb, her spells really work. She was recommended to me by some people I work with. You have no idea what she has done for them. It’s all real. I promise you.”
Cass and I have been friends since first grade and she’s always been the level-headed one. She’s never said or done anything to make me not trust her. But, a woman with the power to put spells on people? Well, what I’ve been doing isn’t working at all. What can it hurt?
I got there around 10:15, and only the front porch light was on. I knocked on the door. A man answered – the old lady’s son, I assumed, and he told me to go into the first room on the right. The room was dimly lit, and an old woman sat at one end of a couch. She motioned for me to sit down at the other end.
“What is it you need?” she asked.
“There’s a man that I want to like me.”
Wait. Like? No way. If there’s going to be some magic done here, I might as well go all the way.
“I take that back. I want him to love me. He’s…”
“I know of whom you speak. He works where you do and his name is Todd. You have tried unsuccessfully for some time to attract this man, but he sees you only as an acquaintance.”
How…? Of course. Cass. She got to her and told her all about him. But, I never told Cass his name.
“Yes,” I said. “I need a spell to make him love only me forever.”
“Of course,” she responded. “You will place your donation in the box on the table by the front door and leave. Before long, you will have the love you desire.”
Donation? So, that’s what it’s called. Well, I can’t be any worse off than I was before, so what the Hell?
This was too much. Thanks a lot, my dearest friend. You had me believing there was something to all this hocus pocus. Just be patient, you said. The old woman will make it all right, you said. It’s been almost a month and nothing has changed even a little bit. Well, I hope you all had a good laugh at my expense. One more visit to that old hag was definitely in the cards.
This time, I didn’t bother to knock. I found her in that same room on that same couch, only this time, she was waving what looked like dead flowers in the air and mumbling something I couldn’t understand. I wondered for whose benefit this show was being put on.
“You phony old crow. You and my good friend had me convinced this spell crap was for real. You know what happened at work this morning? Todd announced his engagement to Sarah, the little tramp who answers our office phones. He’s known her for less than three months. You can take your spells and…”
“He will forsake the other. I am now saying the words, and tomorrow, he will love only you. The time had to be right to say…”
“I’m done being played for a fool. I’m taking my money back.”
“Careful child,” she said, pointing a shriveled finger in my direction. “Do not disrespect my powers or you will…”
I don’t know what came over me, but I slapped her as hard as I could. She fell onto the floor and began making the most horrible sounds. I hoped I didn’t seriously injure her. This whole situation has turned me into a monster.
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to do that.” I felt sick. “It’s just that I’m so upset and…”
I reached down to help her back up onto the couch, but something was very wrong. What was happening? I was filled with a deep pain. My face felt as if it was going to explode. I put my hands on my face and its shape was changing. Hands? What am I saying? They were turning into claws, as were my feet, and were covered with fur. I ran to the mirror I had seen by the front door. My God. My ears were large, my eyes were turning into small slits, and I had the elongated snout of an animal. My arms and legs were also now covered with fur, and were becoming longer and very muscular.
“What are you doing to me?” I could barely get the words out.
“You will find love now,” she said. “The only love you deserve. The love of such as yourself. The love of the beast. Be gone.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…please don’t do this…please…I…”
Her son came at me swinging a baseball bat, yelling at me to get out and never come back. I tried to run, but I could feel myself being pulled down to all fours. The pain was very strong now. I could feel my teeth, and the talons on my hands and feet, growing longer and sharper. A tail now swung behind me. The transformation was complete. I had become a hideous creature, cursed to live out my life in the woods, killing what I could find to survive.
I could still think and I could still reason, and I will always remember who, and what, I had been, and what I have now become and will forever remain. I ran and ran deeper into the woods, howling from the pain. No matter how far I got from the old woman’s house, I could still hear her and her son laughing. I know I always will.
I’m so sorry. Truly. Sorry. God, please help me…