Wednesday's Words on a Friday

On Wednesdays, Delores, from Under The Porch Light, has a word challenge meme which she calls “Words for Wednesday”.

She puts up a selection of six words which we then use in a short story, or a poem.

I’m hopeless at poetry so I always do a story.

It’s a fun challenge…why not join in?

This week's words are:

1. escargot
2. convulse
3. spectre
4. intervals
5. beseiged 
6. dandruff

we also have:

1. inclusive
2. retrofit
3. supine
4. dangled
5. denim
6. degenerate

I've only used the first six in Chapter Two of The Stardust Revenge from a couple of weeks ago.

Here we go...Chapter Two

Three days later, on the eve of a full moon, Wizard Brenton delivered a small jar of black stardust to Witch Naomi.
She assembled the rest of the ingredients and cast a blessing spell over all of them. 

Tomorrow, on the day of the full moon, the potion would be mixed and Naomi herself would take it to the old stone cottage where the Black Wizard, Eric, was staying with an elderly village woman to do his cooking and cleaning. That lazy so-and-so had no inclination to do either of those things for himself. He spent his time reading the births columns of newspapers and gathering as many newborn souls as he could. Souls three months old and younger were perfect for his intention. 

Unfortunately for Eric, there weren't many babies being born in this area, he was considering a move to the next county, but he couldn't go until the dark of the moon. Black Wizard Eric was an impatient man, but nothing could be done in this case, he would just have to wait. He needed a hundred new souls to blend for his immortality spell and so far had only gathered five. In hospitals across the land, five babies were lying in comas, with no mortal person knowing why such a thing had happened. 

Witch Naomi woke early on the full moon day and went outside to collect the fresh dew from the rose petals and orange blossoms and plucked one new leaf from the ancient, yet sturdy, oak tree.

These would be stirred into the holy water, then the liquid gently warmed as the black stardust and gunpowder were stirred in. Even with gentle heat, the mixture fizzed and spun as the stardust went in. It was important the dust be from a black star as it would dissolve the gunpowder completely and enhance the explosive effect. 

When the mixture had cooled again, Naomi carefully poured it into a small crystal bottle and stoppered it thoroughly. Wouldn't do any good to spill it on the way to old Nadia's cottage!

Later that afternoon, Witch Naomi gathered her things and went calling upon Nadia. She brought along a basket of fresh vegetables from her garden as her reason for visiting. Naomi knew that Nadia wasn't happy having to care for a Black Wizard and would be happy to help with any plan Naomi had to move him along. 

The two old women sat over cups of tea for a good while enjoying a general gossip while Naomi told Nadia exactly how to administer the potion to Eric. She was to pretend the nearly empty bottle of Scotch couldn't be located and then "find" it when Eric was thoroughly impatient. The potion would be already in the bottle, Nadia held it steady as Naomi poured it in, then carefully placed it in an unusual place so that she would have to pretend to look for it. Eric's impatience would see him swallow a glassful in just one large gulp and follow it with another pretty quickly, since the bottle was so close to empty he might as well finish it off. 

Witch Naomi returned to her home and prepared for the evening, she wanted to be there when Eric met his fate. Nadia would pretend that she had burnt her hand while cooking and had called on Naomi to assist with serving the meal and cleaning up after. 

As darkness fell, Nadia welcomed Naomi back into her kitchen and the evening meal began. With a large bandage covering her "burnt" hand, Nadia first served Black Wizard Eric with a silver dish of escargot, with a light garlic sauce. At intervals throughout the next two hours, Nadia and Naomi took turns bringing dish after dish to the table. They were beseiged by requests from Eric for more of this, more of that, and Naomi could see that Nadia was tiring. 

Finally, Eric declared he had finished his meal and the two could start clearing away all the dishes. Only when the table was completely cleared would he accept his nightly glass of his favourite Scotch. When all the dishes were back in the kitchen, Naomi started heating a large pot of water to begin the washing up of this great mountain of plates and platters, bowls and spoons. 

Nadia searched the kitchen for the bottle of scotch and pretended to apologise tearfully whenever Eric yelled for it. When he sounded as tough he might storm into the kitchen and find it himself, Nadia finally "found" the bottle in a back corner of the pantry. Witch Naomi carried it into the main room along with a crystal glass and poured a large amount for Black Wizard Eric. 

As predicted, he was angry enough to gulp it down immediately and Witch Naomi calmly suggested that he might like to have another, since there was such a tiny amount left and perhaps he could sit in the big chair by the window and savour it while he gazed at the moon and calmed himself. Eric agreed readily enough, the scotch was poured and while Eric gazed at the full moon illuminating the night, Naomi watched Eric. 

Less than a minute after swallowing the last of the scotch, Naomi saw Black Wizard Eric's body convulse in pain and he turned to her in confusion. 

"What's happening to me?", he snarled, "what has that stupid old woman done? Did she pick the wrong mushrooms? Has she put some other poison in my food?"
Witch Naomi stayed calm as she replied, "Nadia has done nothing wrong, she is an excellent cook and I watched every move. Your meal was as perfect as always."

"Then what?" asked Eric, more feebly now as his body convulsed again and again.
"The scotch," said Naomi. "It has been enchanted, and now you, Black Wizard Eric, yes, I know who you are," as a look of astonishment crossed over his face, "you, Eric, will be sent home."

With a few more convulsions, the spell was completed, the physical body exploded into particles smaller than dandruff as a spectre rose from Eric's body. The newest souls, including Karin's, were released, and the remains of Black Wizard Eric flew as a cloud out of the window, into the night sky, where it would be gathered and taken to the hell it had come from. 

Karin's soul floated close to Witch Naomi, unsure as to where it should be. Naomi carefully directed it into a crystal bowl and covered it with an enchanted shawl. At the stroke of midnight, it would be delivered to Karin where she lay in her crib at the local hospital. The other souls went into another bowl, Naomi would need to sort out which soul belonged to each baby, before returning them and hoping they hadn't been gone too long.


  1. Fascinating story...are you going to let us know how the return of souls went?

  2. How does one sort out the five souls?? Do let us know...please.

  3. Best use of Scotch ever. Vile stuff.
    And be careful what you wish for Eric. He will be immortal. Immortal dust.
    Great story - thank you.

  4. Now you've got me looking quizzically at the unopened bottle of Johnny Walker Black sitting on my shelf. Have Remy & Shama tampered with it, I wonder? Noooooo....they'd never do such a thing...not to good Scotch, but more particularly and more importantly, not to me!

    Love your story, River! :)

  5. Delores; I'm not sure I can work that out yet.

    Susan Kane; If I only knew....

    Elephant's Child; I've never tasted it so I'll take your word for it. Eric will never be immortal, he didn't gather enough newborn souls.

    Lee; are you sure that bottle is unopened? Hmmm?

  6. What a wonderful conclusion to the story. Great job! (But you'd better start figuring out how to sort those souls, because your fans wanta know...)

  7. Wow! Your imagination does your proud. Fantastic story. Hope each baby receives the right soul back. I am sure you will let us know how that goes.

  8. Susan; I'm sure there is candle magic in there somewhere and stardust from a white star.

    Mimsie; They will get the right soul, I just have to work out how.


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