Hello loyal readers. Zoe and I are hopping on a plane to go to Colorado at 6am PST, to go on a nice little vacation to Boulder. As such, my computer is staying home. A vacation from the computer. Yes, very nice for me. Right?
So I thought I’d leave you with a nice present before I left, another piece of short fiction of dubious quality. Another entry into The Daily Chronicles, this one deserves some background. A couple weeks ago there was a story floating around the newsfeeds about some witches in Romania that attempted to curse their government officials for raising taxes. How could we pass up this real-life opportunity to write about witches? What follows is a rough-cut, as it were, that may grow into something slightly larger.
The Daily Chronicles: Angry Witches
by Matthew Thomas Maenpaa
“Have you looked out the window recently?”
Maggie looked up from her computer to see her coworker leaning over the wall of her cubicle. She glanced around at the cubicle farm that surrounded them, gesturing idly with her hands. “Do you see any windows nearby?”
Dave shook his head. “You’ve got to see this.”
He walked to the office across from the hall, its window looking out over the company parking lot. Maggie followed, fidgeting with the rings she wore on each finger. Dave raised the blinds and Maggie followed his gaze to see a massive circle of women, dancing and chanting around a bonfire. Most of the women wore robes in various shades of blue and green, but some wore nothing whatsoever. Skyclad, as they say. Maggie felt her mouth twist. On the 8th Floor they were too high to hear the chanting, but Maggie had a guess. The bracelets around her wrist clattered as she reached for the pentacle that hung under her blouse. Dave gave her a curious look. “Maggie, shouldn’t you be down there?”
She shook her head. “Not my coven.”
“Why do you think they’re here?”
“The new law passed yesterday.”
Dave smirked. “And they think that protesting us will change that?”
Maggie shook her head. “They aren’t protesting.”
Clusters of naked women stood on top of cars, forming the five points of a star around the circle. In the center of the dancing ring, a white-robed priestess led a black goat by a rope. Maggie could just make out the gleam of the silver athame in the priestess’s other hand. She thought about the large number of witches that had gathered to join in the curse, but found it odd that they would only use one goat. The curse would be weak with such a small death. It would have been better if every woman had sacrificed a chicken or rabbit, but they probably didn’t want to dirty their robes.
Maggie looked at Dave. “What is security doing about this?”
Dave shrugged. “Probably just watching.”
“I’m going to call Mr. Stevens.”
“Maggie, you probably shouldn’t bother him with this.”
She ignored him though, returning to her desk to dial Mr. Stevens’ extension. He answered after the second ring. “Stevens.”
“Mr. Stevens, its Maggie Riley down in Hexes.”
“Mz Riley, what can I do for you?”
“Well, Mr. Stevens, there are a lot of angry witches in the parking lot.”
“Shit. Really?” She could hear him drawing the blinds from his 15th floor office, looking down to the parking lot. “Well damn. Has security done anything?”
“I don’t think so, sir. Think we should bring out the warlocks?”
“That would be like trying to put out a fire with gasoline, Mz Riley. No no, I’ll have the Protection Division enhance the wards. We’ll see how this plays out.”
“As you like, sir. Anything you’d like me to do?”
“How is that crop dessication hex coming along?”
“Nearly finished the last map overlay, just waiting to get coordinates from Deployment.”
“Very good, Mz Riley. Thank you for calling.” The line went dead with a click.
Maggie returned to the window, where she could see the priestess bring the knife across the black goat’s neck. The witches stopped dancing, raising their arms to the sky and screaming like banshees. Maggie thought she could hear the horrible bleating of the dying goat, but it could have just been a memory. Blood spilled out on the pavement, looking like a tiny oil slick from far off. A ripple of color shimmered in front of the window where she and Dave stood watching, the curse bouncing off the building’s wards. In the parking lot, two hundred angry witches suddenly turned into two hundred very confused frogs. Maggie sighed, then returned to her desk and sat down. The phone rang. “Magitek Designs, Maggie Riley speaking.”