17 Oct


witch photo: Witch thflying_witch-1.jpg“I’ve got the right spell for just about everything, except chicken soup,” muttered Griselda, staring with something close to despair at the mess of glutinous matter at the bottom of her cauldron.
“Then why not feckin’ do what everyone else has to do and go to the shops and actually buy a tin of the muck?” demanded Henrietta Blackboil, her only friend in a world that finds most genuine witches well-nigh friendless. She had called hoping for a free meal because she’d spent her last few pounds on vodka, and was beginning to feel hunger pangs gnawing at her insides. Not that she liked chicken soup – she hated the stuff – but had enough sobriety left in her skull to tell herself that beggars can’t be choosers.
“I don’t like shops,” growled Griselda honestly. “When I was a nipper I had my ears boxed by Tawdry Thompson the shop-keeper for pinching sweets off his counter, and I’ve not liked shops since then. Not that I’d pinch sweets any more – not when I have the perfect spell to create as many as I like out of thin air!”
“Well, it’s clear as feckin’ mud that you can’t do soup,” growled Henrietta. “Come on – I’ll keep you company, we can go to the huge supermarket outside Brumpton, but you’ll have to drive.”
“No car,” smirked Griselda. “It’ll have to be my second best broomstick.”
Henrietta’s heart slumped into the pool of vodka somewhere near her feet. “Second best?” she asked, weakly.
“It’s the only one with a long enough stick for two knobbly bottoms,” grinned Griselda. “Come on! I’ll drive and you can hang on and pray I don’t do any loop-the-loops!”
“Pissin’ hell!” growled Henrietta, but, being both hungry and penniless, she climbed onto the broomstick behind Griselda.
Don’t let anyone try to tell you that witches on broomsticks, zooming through the air with the ease of ancient gods, is the stuff of fairy stories, because it’s a great deal more than that. Griselda had long mastered the art of defying gravity and common sense, and could do it with a huge range of long domestic objects, including uplighters and vacuum cleaners, but she preferred the broomstick on account of the way people screamed when they saw her riding one. Her tatty cloak and pointed hat accompanying a truly aquiline nose and desperately over-sized chiselled chin, making shapes in the skies as she hurtled along, sent ordinary every-day sensible folk running for shelter and screeching themselves hoarse.
The supermarket outside Brumpton was (and is) a massive place. Outside, there is a huge car-park with spaces for ordinary cars, those occupied by the disabled and those with toddlers in tow.
Griselda looked around herself from a hundred feet – and scowled.
“I see no appropriate spaces,” she muttered.
“Just get down there, witch!” shouted a terrified Henrietta, who blanched at the notion of flying on a broomstick, but particularly hated hovering. When she looked down it made her feel sick, and she did occasionally vomit, especially after her alcohol intake had been staggeringly monumental – and that was the situation at the moment, so, true to form, she vomited.
“Ma!” shrieked a child she had doused with the noxious contents of a stomach that had suffered alcoholic abuse for many long decades.
“Filthy cow!” hissed Griselda, and she zoomed down and parked in the cycles bay where she attached her broomstick using a chain with combination lock attached.
“That’s it!” she chirruped, “come on, hag! Let’s get some soup!”
The insides of supermarkets can be confusing enough to those who use them regularly, but to one who has never been inside one before they can be far worse than merely confusing.
They offer brightly lit rows of wares with signs begging the shopper to consider this brand of meatballs or that container of donkey-milk. They profess to know everything there is to know about good health and associated foodstuffs whilst trying to encourage the shopper to buy extra-large packets of lard. And all the time there are points to be earned. Confusing points, seemingly worthless points, points that promised to create millionaires out of harassed single mums and old women merely by letting them flash a card at the check-out. And added to that array of confusion Griselda had never been in such an establishment before.
She did the only thing she could do. She squawked.
Then she grabbed a mop from an assistant trying to clear the product of a broken bottle of dermo-something-or-other off the floor, mounted it and zoomed into the air, leaving a weeping Henrietta Blackboil shivering in a corner of the entrance lobby.
From her elevated position, Griselda saw the entire contents of the supermarket with a panoramic sweep of her eyes.
And there, not three confusing rows of tins away, were the soups.
With a swoop worthy of a fighter pilot on acid, she zoomed down, grabbed a tin marked “chicken soup” and careered off in a gentle spiral.
Gentle spirals are what flying on soggy mops was meant for, and she decided to treat the army of other customers to a display of aerobatic delights. She hurtled down the frozen food aisle a couple of metres off the ground, she careered past bakery and buns at twice that speed, and somehow found her way a yard off the ground and inside the gents’ toilet.
What she saw in there was to affect her for the remainder of her days.
“I never knew,” she blabbered to the check-out girl as she paid (with money created by a spell she knew well) for the chicken soup. “I just never knew…”
The girl looked at her quizzically.
“If you get near one, grab it and hold on to it for all it’s worth and never let go,” she blabbered, “I never, ever guessed…”
© Peter Rogerson 17.10.14



  1. pambrittain October 19, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

    Wait! What?

  2. barbod2014angusbelle October 20, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    Oh, now, let me guess. She saw a man or two in the gents and decided they could all fly while peeing, perhaps?

  3. Peter Rogerson October 20, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

    Oh, tush…

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