Hello All you Cute Bats & Mittens!
I have a new short story coming out, just in time for Halloween! It's part of a Wolfsinger Publications anthology titled Never Cheat a Witch.
The prompt for the anthology revolves around the idea inherent in the title: cheating a witch is a bad thing to do. I took that idea and wrote a story about a village that needed to find help in dealing with a witch they had wronged. Titled Isabella the Eldridge, the short story is filled with magic, werewolves, magical trees, faithful villagers, loving grandparents, and witches that hold grudges.
Here is a piece:Amidst the waste, slop, and vile run-off, wrapped up in old rags, looking like nothing more than another pile of refuse. The Old Blind Woman. They say she gave up her sight to punish someone who wronged her. A last, desperate trick. What-ever the truth was, it was plain to see she was a witch with nothing left to lose.
I crouched down beside her. A rat screeched nearby, annoyed at my presence no doubt. “Megarith?”
The pile of rags shifted. Moved. Muffled, a coarse voice whispered, “She needed the babe. Powerful magic in a babe.”
“What?” I asked.
“You were about to ask me what she needed the baby for. Or have we reached that part yet?” The Old Blind Woman yawned, stretched. “Dark magic.” She unfolded her legs and lifted a rag off her head. I saw the stories were true. Deep scars surrounded empty sockets. What a mess. The patchy remains of her thick eyebrows danced like hairy warts as she grimaced and scrunched her face. “After being roasted in an oven, together with a few other savories, and then ground to powder and ashes, she would use the material in certain spells and potions.” She sounded as if she recited a treasured family recipe for pot roast. “Or she could have wanted to transform the baby into something else.” A wrinkled hand reached up and wiped the drool from the corner of her mouth.
I fell back on my butt, stunned.
The rat chittered and squeaked.
“Yes. He should know better. Never cheat a witch,” she cackled. “They will make you rue the day and the night for the rest of your short, pitiful, life. Trust me, I should know.”
There are a lot of other talented writers in the anthology as well. I'm looking forward to reading their stories. The titles look intriguing. Below is a table of stories and authors:
Acts of God © 2022 by Ian Kitley
Skulls on a Shelf © 2022 by Jodi Rizzotto
Better than Gold © 2022 by T.W. Kirchner
Law of Spells © 2022 by Lea Storry
Subscribed © 2022 by Louise Zedda-Sampson
No Age Restrictions © 2022 by Danielle Mikals
Fair Trade © 2022 by Dominick Cancilla
Dream Weaver © 2022 by Wendy Harrison
Can’t Be Done © 2022 by Elle Hartford
Dwarves, Donks, and Death © 2022 by Brian MacDonald
Mike and His Three Lives © 2012 by M.A. Lang
Book and Key © 2022 by J.L. Royce
Isabella the Eldridge © 2022 by Frank Montellano
Hex © 2022 by Clark Sodersten
Paper Mage © 2022 by Sandra Unerman
Controlling the Kudzu © 2022 by Bailey Finn
The Friar and the Turnip © 2022 by Christopher Wortley
How to Steal a Spell Book © 2022 by Mirabelle Poppy
The Frog and the Princess © 2022 by Jean Martin
Marigold at Midnight © 2022 by Tyree Campbell
Learning Something Useful © 2022 by Joyce Frohn
Night Work © 2022 by Rose Strickman
Breaking Down a Cursed Sandwich © 2022 by Ray Daley
Paybacks a Witch © 2022 by Harriet Phoenix
For those interested, my title has a deeper meaning not mentioned in the story. Isabella the Eldridge is a mangling of Isabella the Elf-Bridge. The title witch is friendly to elves, functioning as a bridge between our world and theirs. If I ever write more of the tale, there is plenty to work with.
All for now,