Tuesday 10 May 2022

Brooms, Bulls, and Brews by Fleur Lind, chai latte,


Agnes was itching to fly again.  Her broom had been in for repairs at Bart’s Broom Repairs since her untimely, embarrassing and rather painful collision with a bull, which had followed after flying through a cloud disguising a bolt of lightning.  The clap of thunder that followed was also enough to rock her on her broomstick. She had been jolted off course and hurtled toward the ground, spiraling out of control, doing summersaults as she desperately tried to pull her Magnum 2020 back into line.  These were tricks that would normally only be seen by a  witch with vastly more years of flying experience, but Agnes was looking every bit the pro as she smashed the moves among the clouds. Like a bucking bronco, the air pockets were hard and had tossed her about like a rag doll.  As a result, her custom-made broom, a gift from her mother, was in bad shape.

The bull wasn’t impressed, either.  Agnes had tried to swoop, pulling the handle up hard, her eyes squinting, not wanting to see what her fate would be if she was eyeballed by the bull while he was mating.  With her eyes closed tight on impact, Agnes skittled the bull and his mate, the three of them tumbling on the grass, sliding through freshly dropped, as well as hard crusty cowpats. The bull snorted his annoyance, his nostrils flaring, the cow, her brown eyes huge with horror, mooed mournfully, confused as to why her ‘afternoon delight’ was over so abruptly.

            A week or so later and back on her repaired broom, Agnes once again was relishing the wind in her face and with a mix of euphoria and adrenaline, was savoring the pure joy of flying.  Her crooked nose twitched with delight.

 As she scanned the landscape below, she saw a secluded place in town.  She didn’t want to surprise unsuspecting mortals by swooping in on the foot traffic, but the town was hosting a Busking Festival and with many interesting and unusual performances on the footpath,  onlookers would assume she was one of the acts. 

 Her landing was far softer than previously in the paddock, and so as not to waste any time in snaring the attention of the foot traffic, with expert efficiency she set up with her wares for an impromptu show. With a spell, she conjured up her cauldron, potions pot, and some tiny bottles filled with colourful, devilish liquids. She tossed in some tasty accessories, for luck. She always added condiments; frogs toe, wool of bat, and eye of newt.   

The cauldron’s contents bubbled and steamed, making for an impressive sight for onlookers and a good witch’s brew. Agnes then stood as still as a statue.  Pedestrians stopped to watch. Her stillness was hypnotic. 

            A woman walked towards her and as she passed, Agnes followed her with her eyes then broke her frozen stance and let out a loud cackle. The woman jumped, startled.  Her growing audience laughed and clapped as they tossed coins into her pot.  A woman with her baby in a stroller walked past.  Agnes licked her lips.  “How much for the child?” she asked in a wickedly devious tone. 

              The woman scuttled past quickly with the stroller.

 Two children stopped.  Agnes picked up the apple, holding it out to offer them, “You want a little bite?  It’s very tasteee….” Her voice was melodious and luring as the word trailed off.

The children stepped back, pouted, and shook their heads assertively.

 A young woman walked by, so Agnes cackled again.  Holding Ferdinand, her frog, she caught the woman’s eye. 

“You want a little kiss?  All your dreams will come true-ooo…” she ended in a cheeky, melodious tone.

The young woman smiled nervously, wondering how to pass Agnes without being taken with the magic of her wand.  Thinking Agnes was only busking’, albeit very cleverly at that, the woman thought there was still something very authentic about the witch.  Agnes’s attention to detail with her costume and script.  There was something a little unnerving about her.

 Despite any apprehensions the gathered crowd may have had, Agnes’s pot was filling with money.  The clink of coins as they dropped into the bottomless pot, was very pleasing.

Finally, as her last act, she produced a potion bottle.  Try my potion, you won’t be disappointed,” Her tone was sweet but menacing.

 So as not to cause too much of a stir,  Agnes didn’t cast a spell to turn anyone into cats, rats, or elephants.  At the end of the day, after her audience dispersed, she cast a spell and made her props disappear.   Feeling very satisfied with her first public performance, she counted her money and grinned. “Same time, same place, tomorrow!” she murmured wickedly.


About the author

Fleur is a Kiwi, living in SE Queensland. She enjoys the fun, challenge, and possibilities of short stories. She is a member of the local writer's group and contributes shorties to the weekly paper. For more of Fleur's work: fleursfabulousfables.wordpress.com

No comments:

Post a Comment