4 Nov


witch-finder photo: witchfinder wicca.jpg Katrina found it dark in her tiny room.
She’d been lying there for ages, snuggled up to a fragrant blanket, eyes shut against the dark, and almost thinking.
She began to wonder if almost thinking might be dreaming. She remembered dreaming, pictures floating inside her head, moving pictures with things happening, men and women dancing when the harvest was done, children playing, old men weeping. She’d seen so much inside her head and then the Witch-finder had visited her.
She had taken an instant dislike to him. He had a face shaped like a perpetual sneer, with rotten teeth (didn’t everyone except her have rotten teeth?) and a voice forged, somewhere, out of dense smoke and coarse hatred.
He had looked at her, and sneered.
And he had ordered the thugs who joined every winning side in ever skirmish, every war, every battle to take her off to be tried.
As a witch.
She, he had said, was a witch!
How did he know? Wasn’t it a secret? Something she’d always kept to herself? And her liaison with the devil, her delight in being coaxed into sexual ecstasy by him when the moon was full, wasn’t that a secret too? The words he said to her with his baritone voice, smooth as silk, and the things he did to titillate her flesh…
And the dratted Witch-finder, the sneer, the friendless ranger, had found out!
The bullies had dragged her off, and she’d screamed and cursed, all to no avail. They’d laughed and said the proof was in the pudding of her spells, and laughed again, and she’d cursed again.
But all this was a dream, surely?
Or a nightmare?
Now she was awake in her tiny room. And it was so small even she wondered how she’d got into it in the first place. No windows, though if there were any she’d hardly be expected to see them in this thick darkness. No door… why no door? How could anyone get into a room that had no door? Unless the room was built around her?
Or unless the room was a coffin.
Maybe she was in a coffin! Maybe that was it!
She thrashed about, needing to get out, needing to find air, needing to discover freedom – and suddenly things moved!
Her room shivered, and moved.
Somewhere a long way off a creature screamed, and another. Haunting sounds, were those screams. They echoed, they were inhuman, the sounds a soul in torment might make.
She kicked out violently and it hurt her.
But she got to see some light, a fractured fragment of light. Ethereal. Unearthly, like no light she had ever seen before.
So, she reasoned, this must be hell.
Katrina was in hell! What about all the promises the devil had made when he’d penetrated her with his passion? What about the slimy words, how he’d save her for eternity, how she’d never be condemned to hell and its fires and its destiny of everlasting pain if she let him do it one more time?
And this light, the flickering flash of it, was of hell. It had to be. And the screams were those of tortured souls…
She kicked the lid off her coffin.
A pixie with golden hair and wearing impossible garments, all colourful and clean with hair that was fragrant like flowers and smooth, unpocked skin, pointed at her and screamed again.
“Mummy,” she shrieked, “she’s not dead … the witch has come to life … mummy, she scares me!”
A bigger pixie, woman-sized though too clean to be a woman, grabbed the small one by a hand.
“Come!” she said sharply, “let’s get out of here … it’s supposed to have been dead for centuries! What do they think they’re doing, putting something like that in a museum!”
And they scuttled off.
Katrina sighed and settled back into the comfort of her tiny room.
The coffin lid fell back into place, might have broken but didn’t, and Katrina had new things to contemplate.
© Peter Rogerson 04.11.14


2 Responses to “KATRINA AND THE BOX”

  1. pambrittain November 6, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

    Excellent and compelling.

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