Cat, Bell, Book and Candle (Part 1)

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I sat before my front gate and watched the world going by. Everyone was in such a hurry that no one noticed me. Perhaps, if I had been a wholly black someone would have given me a second glance. Even if you weren’t superstitious, there was something about black cats that made people pause.

Luckily then, I was a white and black cat. I had three white legs and one black leg whilst my tail started black then white the rest of the way. White blots mixed with black along my back whilst my underside and chest were white. My head was black as were my eyes then my face was white with a patch of black around my left eye which then joined the black on my head and upper neck. My nose was black with a beauty spot above and my whiskers were white.

My eyes were amazing blue like quartz crystal or shads of frozen ice. They came from my Siamese side but also because I wasn’t your average pet cat. Magic flowed in my blood and I could see it, smell it and use it to do whatever I wanted within my abilities….Most of the time though, I acted normally and brought no attention to myself.

I smelt the air, my whiskers twitching and could pick out so many scents; the perfume the woman next door was wearing as she got into her car. The open sewer the three workers were struggling to fix down the street. The dog at number thirty-one who was barking in the back garden because he wanted to be let back in. The mouth tingling aromas of lots of dinners being cooked, plus the waft of another burnt potion….

I stretched, limbering up my legs and tail for scaling the house wall. The small silver bell and name tag on my purple velvet collar jingled together. I limboed under the gate and avoiding the cracked flagstone path, stepped through the flower boarder, leaving four perfect paw prints in the soil. I jumped up the wall, followed it along to the end then jumped down into the dimness of the ginnel which was the covered alleyway between the two terraced house.

Trotting along side the wall, I came to the end and clawed my way up the brick wall to the right side and over it. I was in my back garden then. Well, if it could be called that. The space was a long rectangle with a flagstone floor and jumble of potted plants growing along either wall.

A wire cable that was a washing line ran from the house to the back fence and on it today were tea towels and bath towels, moving gently in the breeze. A number of girl’s toys were laying about; a pink bicycle lent up against the back wall, plastic dolls like dead bodies on a beach, a skipping rope, an old paint tray full of chalks, pencils and papers, a football, a tennis ball and a broken racket.

I picked my way around it all and scaled the drain pipe. The house was narrow and only had one upper floor. There was a peeling green painted back door, a single window that looked into a kitchen. There were two windows in the floor above; a small one that was glazed over for the bathroom and the window I was heading too; that of a newly turned twelve year old girl’s bedroom.

I reached the sill and sat for a moment. I wasn’t at all out of breath but I liked to survey what was around me. From here, I could see the gardens of the other houses and the cobbled path that ran between the terraced houses’ backs. It couldn’t get anymore Victorian then this.

On moonlight nights, I would go up to the roof and sat close to the chimney and reflect on my passed lives. A witch’s cat is immortal and must live nine lives with nine different witches. I had sat on rooftops in Paris, Roman, Russia and London looking up at the same moon that lit up the night sky.

And now, I was here; Lancashire, England, home of the Pendle Witches.

I pressed my face to the window and looked in. She was in the room, my Little Mistress; Eden Raine Crowe. She was lent over a small camping gas stove and the black pot that was balanced upon it. Open books, bottles and jars lay scattered at her feet. She was wearing a handmade black dress with a white bow at the back as a symbol of a child witch.

I miaowed and pawed the glass, my claws scratching against it.

Eden turned her head, spotted me and dashed over. She flew the window up with such force, I had to dig my claws into the sill to stop myself flying along with it.

‘Macavity!’ Eden cried and scooped me to her chest. She held me there, saying things I could barely hear as she suffocating me against her dress. I wiggled out bum first and dropped to the carpet.

‘What earth are you doing, child?’ I chided her as I batted away an empty glass bottle.

‘Trying to make a de-stress potion for dad,’ Eden explained.

I approached the simmering cauldron and sniffed cautiously, ‘it’s wrong,’ I spoke.

Eden fell to her knees before the little stove, her dress riding up to show her knee length black socks with white bows on top. She put her hands in her lap and hung her head.

‘I know,’ Eden uttered, ‘I’m no good at this, Macavity.’

I sat down, curling my tail around my paws and studying my Little Mistress.

‘Potion making is a magic unto it’s self,’ I announced.

Eden nodded and I could see her bottom lip trembling and her eyes tight trying to hold back tears.

I got up and padded around the books until I found the right one. I pulled it over to her and made the pages flap to the right page. This book was handwritten by Eden’s great-great grandma and other witches had written other spells and notes in the crackled yellow pages.

‘This one,’ I said and tapped it with a paw.

Eden took the large book into her lap like a toddler with a teddy bear and looked at the fancy, curly black ink on the page. Speaking the words softly, she underlined each one with her finger.

‘You should have enough left,’ I said as I nosed one of the bottles, ‘you really must be careful with how much you use, Little Mistress,’ I added.

‘I know,’ Eden uttered and started collecting what we needed.

Putting on protective gloves, she took the cauldron off the burner and onto a cork mat on a metal slate. Then she dug out another cauldron, this one a spotted grey colour and placed that on another cork mat.

Slowly, I taught her through the potion. Making sure she added just enough of each ingredient and stirred in the right places. We spoke the incantation together then left the potion to simmer for an hour.

Eden sat back on her heels, tried and flushed with the heat. She rubbed her eyes and toyed with the edges of her dress in an absent-minded way. Her long, black hair had tumbled out of the bun she had tried to put it in and now lay fanned down her back.

‘Time to tidy up, child,’ I said and nudged her with paw and nose.

Nodding sleepily, Eden slowly cleaned and tied everything away. I did most of the work though, using my magic to pick up things and place them back on shelves or in boxes. The pages of the books fluttered closed and the books slotted into the small bookcase once more. The bottles and jars floated back into their places in the racks then into the wooden boxes which kept them safe.

As for the failed potion and pot, I neutralised the warm orange liquid which made the potion stable and non-usable. It is safe for Eden to put in the bathtub, turn the taps on and wash out the black cauldron.

‘What time is your father coming home?’ I asked Little Mistress from my perched on the closed toilet seat.

‘Late,’ Eden replied, ‘he told me there was a microwave meal in the freeze. There’s cat food for you, Macavity.’

‘I prefer fish, a raw egg and a bowl of cream,’ I said.

Eden pulled the plug in the tub and watched the water spiralling down, ‘we’ll see,’ she added.

To Be Continued….

The Constant Spider

A tickling on my arm woke me from sleep. I brushed then scratched at my arm where the itch was before rolling over and going back to sleep.

The next night the tickling happened again. I rubbed my arm and noticed how cold my skin was so I pulled the duvet closer around me. Dozing off, I thought I’d solved the problem.

The third night the same feeling on my arm happened. Half awake, I looked at my arm in the darkness, nothing stood out and yet it felt like something was there. I turned on the lamp and inspected my arm. All the hairs were standing up but there was nothing else. I went back to bed.

I was expecting the sensation that night. I lay awake and felt for the first time the actual movement of a spider walking along my arm. I turned on the lap quickly without moving that arm and I looked hard, inspecting my skin. There was no spider or bug on me or the bed…. I didn’t go back to sleep.

Night five. I kept the lamp on and dozed fitfully. Once again the hairs rose on my arm and I felt the spider walking there. I slapped my arm hard all the way down, hoping to kill whatever it was. Then I got up and washed my arm, scrubbing it almost raw. Back in bed, lamp still on, I slept well.

It didn’t end. Each night, the spider walked across my skin. Sometimes I lay awake waiting for it and other times, I woke up feeling it there. I went to see doctors, I got treatments, I brought new bedding, I washed before I slept, I tried everything I could but the spider didn’t go away.

Now, I feel it all the time. The spider is always there, walking up and down my arm.

 

 

 

Flee #100WW

The bridge out of the city was grid locked and car horns were blaring maddly. People’s voices rose in shouting and panic, somewhere a baby was crying and there was a dog walking past the cars looking for food.

Izzy’s hands tightened on the steering wheel and she tried not to join in the choir of horns. She glanced to the passenger seat and saw her month old son asleep there. He would be hungry soon and she would have to try and breastfeed him against the steering wheel.

A loud, constant clicking drew her attention to the right. The wide stretch of river was filled with all kinds of boats and on both side banks overcrowded with buildings blocked out a dark sky. Rain was falling in a soft patter, making a nice sound on the roof of the car.

Izzy searched for the source of the noise, knowing it couldn’t be far away. Then she saw it; one of the monsters was coming out from behind a building and entering the river.

It was the height of a skyscraper, had a bulbous dark brown and black body, with many legs each as long as a football field. It looked like a giant flea.

A nearby building exploded; metal and glass raining down on the monster and the boats below. People screamed, abandoning their cars, choosing to run instead.

Izzy got out, ran around and took her son in his car seat out, then grabbed the nearest bags. The rest of the luggage would have to be left behind. She joined the sea of people and tried to get off the bridge.

The monster let out a bellow, destroyed another building and charged forward, destroying all in its path.

Inspired by;

The Hanging Tree #CCC

Ben looked at the bent tree branch and saw the bodies hanging there. Sacks covered their heads and long dress hung on skeleton frames. Only the feet and hands stuck out and they were little more than skin covered bone.

The wind twisted the frayed ropes that went around the necks and upwards to wrap around the bent branch. The bodies spun eerily.

The boy prayed that they had no faces.

‘Go away,’ Ben whispered, ‘it’s not real.’

Shutting his eyes, Ben took a deep breath then looked once more. The hanging bodies was still there, twisting on ropes which let out painfully creaks.

Someone called him and Ben turned sharply away. His friends were waiting for him to play. Ben ran off to join them but other things lingered in the woods, waiting to be seen.

Inspired by;

Happy #1LinerWeds

I could see more then normal. Some said, I had an eye for detail, I called it I wrong wiring in my brain. When Father built me and brought my organs back to life, I wasn’t whole. And now, I see the truths and lies of the world.

Inspired by;

Postcard Short Story

Dear Gem,

I know it’s been awhile since my last letter and I promise I shall write to you in detail later. Here is a note to say that things are going well at the Haunted House and bookings are coming in fast. It feels strange that my months of hard work are over and soon, the House will be open year around for nightly scares.

Thank you for all the antique stuff, including the china dolls and tea sets you sent. They were useful to fill the nursery room up with. Though it’s probably more horrifying then you wise to see.

I can’t wait for our open day tomorrow. We have half price tickets and also food. We are running special discount books for the future and prompting not only Halloween weekend and Dia de los Muertos night, but Christmas Zombie Feast too!

I wish you could see it!

Your’s Angel.

Halloween Cookies

The kitchen was warm and rain was dripping down the window. The radio was on, classic music drifting out of the speaker. We sat at the breakfast bar finishing lunch. My eight year old twin girls, Eleanor and Phoebe, munching on carrots and dip whilst I nibbled on a ham sandwich.

‘Mummy? Daddy says Halloween is cancelled, why?’ Phoebe asked.

‘It’s the virus, sweetie,’ I said, giving up eating and rubbing my huge six month pregnant stomach. I was feeling tender today and one of the twins or both had been very active in the night.

My husband had been supportive but he had needed the sleep as he had an early Saturday shift to work. I had felt guilty carrying on dozing when he got up but I had so needed more rest.

I was looking forward to him returning at two because I could have a nap he could keep the girls to the park to let off some energy. The twins didn’t do well staying inside all day and we agreed that too much TV and computer games wasn’t good for them.

‘The virus has ruined everything,’ Phoebe spoke again.

‘But I don’t want Halloween to be cancelled!’ Eleanor cried.

‘I’m sorry, Ellie, it’s just the way it’s got to be,’ I replied.

‘Can we still decorate and watch scary movies?’ Phoebe cut in.

‘But we can’t go trick or treating! That’s not going to be fun,’ Eleanor pointed out.

I pressed my hand to my mouth feeling nauseous rolling in.

‘Mummy? Are you okay?’ one of the twins asked.

I nodded and sipped some ginger ale.

‘It’s the babies,’ Phoebe said in a soft voice.

Eleanor nodded and whispered back, ‘she’s going to be sick again.’

I shut my eyes feeling the room start to swim. The whispers of the girls faded and I tried to relax. I had hoped my second pregnancy would have been better but it was turning out to be worse then my first.

Also, I was having twins again, this time one girl and one boy. So, they wouldn’t be identical like the girls but still, I wasn’t looking forward to juggling two babies again.

‘What would you like to do this afternoon girls?’ I asked them, breaking up their whispering.

‘How about some baking?’ Phoebe suggested.

‘Can make Halloween cookies?’ Eleanor pushed in.

‘I want to make a cake for dad!’ Phoebe gushed.

I nodded, ‘help me tidy lunch away then and we can do that.’

Soon, the kitchen was a mess and busy with activity the cookies had been made first and baked second as they need to chill in the fridge. Eleanor choice to make a three layer chocolate fudge cake- dad’s favourite and that didn’t take that long thanks to the double oven in the new kitchen.

Then the cake and cookies were ready for decorating after we had all tied up and only two arguments had broken out – first the twins not happy about having to tidy up then about who was going to lick the spoon and the bowl from the chocolate fudge frosting.

Later, I lay on the sofa, heat pack on my headache and the girls decorating the Halloween cookies on the coffee table with some kids’ TV on in the background on.

The door open, there were shouts of delights from the girls and I smiled knowing that now I could have that nap.

Post It Note Short

Just ignore the monster under you bed, he only wants to play with you.

Dear Diary – October

Dear Diary,

The winds are changing, they are colder and wilder and enjoy sweeping the rain and everything else about. Nature is turning; leaves becoming colourful, things are dying back and animals are busy.

Autumn is in the air for sure! Summer has been clinging on all September but now finally, she’s let go. The air smells of burning leaves and wood, mixed with damp earth and slightly rotting of vegetations.

I’ve been breathing deeply every time I’ve been outside. I loved that autumn smell and the cold air in my lungs. The wind caresses me like an old lover wanting once again what we now can’t have.

I walked in the woods today and there the earth and leaves smell so good. The river was cloudy with dirt and rubbish. I saw a shopping trolley- why is there always one in every river? Like a river isn’t complete without a rusting trolley!

The ground was wet with yesterday’s rain but there was a dry crispiness to the air. Some people were walking their dogs and children were playing. It busy but not noisy.

I went to the tree my parents as teenagers had carved their initials in and scratched a love heart around. I traced the shape and the letters with my fingers. Would I ever experience the love they do?

Home and into the bath to warm up. There’s something nice about easing the aches of walking for three hours in a tub of warm water. I had soup of tea and though the clock said it was early, I went to bed because darkness was pressing against the windows.

Tomorrow, I’m going to start my Halloween shopping and I can’t wait!

Nap

The afternoons were getting harder to get through. The time dragged and it felt like waiting for paint to dry. I had tried to fill the time with watching TV, gardening and looking out of the window.

Still though, I caught myself dozing off sometimes and even woke myself from sleep, confused by what I’d missed.

Maybe, it was lack of sleep in the night or the strangely warm autumn. Perhaps, it was a sign as there had been others, of the old age I hated admitting too. I brushed it off, blamed it on other things.

Sleep though didn’t seem to want to let me go. I felt like I was having an never ending battle with keeping my eyes open and my thoughts in one place. I would nodded off and jerk myself awake, I’d get up and shake off the blanket sleep had tried to wrap me in.

Sometimes though it was too easier to give in. I didn’t have the fight like I use too and my energy was lacking after morning activities. So, a little sleep helped me to get through the rest of the day.

The days were getting shorter and darkness always seemed close at hand. My excuse for sleeping was justified; it’s cold and dark, I liked to be warm and feel safe. Plus, the growing aches in my joints were eased when I laid down. – Not so great when I stood up though!

Stretching in my basket, I looked at the clock then the TV and tried to see if it was time for a walk. The old man had fallen asleep in his chair again, his head was on his chest and his hands were in his lap. It seemed unfair to wake him up.

I was comfy and too warm. I yawned and snuggled back down. Maybe, I should just give into these day time naps? They didn’t seem that bad really.