Thursday 11 October 2007

Weaver of Words - A Short Story

A purple streak of lightning shot across the night sky as Alyssa slipped out of the lilac sarong. Twigs cracked beneath her weight as the broom plunged towards Shane Rylands’ garden, and a rose bush not so much cushioned as gave an extra bite to her landing.

“By the quill,” Shane Rylands sputtered.

Alyssa disentangled herself from the rose bush, pulling thorns out of her arms and legs and sucking the blood from her fingers. To add to her disgrace, the sarong flapped down and slapped her in the face. She picked a rose petal from between her teeth and hoped her attempted grin was not akin to grimace.

“Y-You are a-a w-witch,” he stuttered.

“Told you.”

Alyssa itched at her arms and looked with suspicion at the rose bush certain it concealed a gang of stinging nettles. A spider dangled on the edge of her broom. She bit her lip, uncertain what to do now she had performed her not quite as planned entrance. Smiling seemed to be the plan of the moment.

“W-wait th-there,” Shane trembled, then turned and ran back into his house.

She caught slices of conversation – what’s going on out there? And, have you painted the cat green again? The sarong refused to co-operate as she attempted to tie its belt in a delicate bow, and ended up with something that looked as if a witch had cursed it into a knot.

Flashlight washed out the night. Alyssa staggered back, and tripped over the edge of her broom as Shane attacked the darkness with his camera. As she shielded her eyes from the glare, a second spider flipped up into the night and with horror, Alyssa realised they were the false eyelashes she’d borrowed from her mother’s dressing table.

“Gargoylian Balderdash, with a puff of smoke and a blast of lightning,” Shane wove words into the sky with the tip of a feather.

Alyssa, expecting either fear or admiration, was dumbstruck. Literally. It felt as if a dentist had sneaked into the garden and injected her with novocaine from her forehead to her toes.

“I-I’m a w-warlock,” Shane exclaimed, then he called out. “M-mum, I-I’ve turned another ne-neighbour into a g-garden ornament.”

copyright Phoenix Rendell 2007

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