Suffer a Witch
By Jeffrey Kieviet
Sally gulped the wine with a panicked thirst. She was reckless but it didn’t matter, the wineskin was always full, offering more of the wretched, wonderful sustenance. With a cough and a sputter, she imbibed the warm liquid and felt it trickle down her gullet. Her breathing began to calm and she closed her eyes to wait for the effects. In a splayed seated position on the floor, she felt her chest rise and fall with each breath, and then that familiar tingling sensation asked her to slowly open her eyes. “Where are you?” she called, looking for the familiar lie, a corporeal representation that was beyond her understanding.
Without a word, she heard it.
The being was before her, but not. It existed outside of time, outside of space, outside of reality as she understood it, but it was there.
“You were supposed to save her!” She felt her confidence waver. The old wine only held her to this plane with skeletal security. If she pushed too hard, she would go further into the abyss, further than she had ever gone, further than she could or should go.
SHE IS SAFE
It was not a real voice, not a real thought, just a feeling empathetically pulsing in the room. “Safe.” The being she could not quite see, it was her husband. Not her husband, her husband was dead, but it was her husband. That feeling of walking into a room that smells of a loved one, that ringing in the ears of their laugh, the feel of them standing right behind, if she just looked over her shoulder she’d see him standing there, but he was not there.
“How can she be safe? I saw her! There were news men everywhere, she was burning, she was on fire!” The thought of what she’d seen on the television, the gawking crowd surrounding her burning baby, made her stomach tighten and convulse. Of course, her daughter, Mozzella, was an adult woman, but are children ever more than babies to their parents? “She was on fire…” The last word trailed of as a stream of tears poured down Sally’s face. She took another long draw on the wineskin, hoping to get more power, access to clearer answers.
The room shimmered and suddenly Sally felt – not saw – the essence of Noah, like the specter of her husband was making a ethereal phone call and, intuitively, Sally knew who was not going to answer on the other end.
Noah had put something inside her daughter.
“No. No NO!” She shouted into the air. There was a quivering and a hiccup, Sally had a spasm of pain shoot up her spine. The ancient wine gave her access to a world she couldn’t understand, granted her power she couldn’t imagine, and right now, it was angry with her. But she was angry with it and wasn’t going to back down. “We had doctors. It’s been too long, there was nothing wrong with her.” Nothing wrong except her daughter’s naked, burning body broadcast on every news station in America.
Sally’s husband, Mozella’s father, had been from Greece. Or at least his parents had been; Endorian had been born in Wisconsin, found his way to California for school, met Sally and tried for a normal, happy life until his death. When they inherited his parents’ artifacts after their demise (Endorian outlived them by many years, but not nearly enough for Sally or Moss), most had been thrown away or sold, a few boxes left in storage in the attic. Then, about a year ago, Sally had been rummaging through the old things and found the full wineskin. Tentatively, hoping for a mouthful of deliciously aged Roditis or Malagousia (she considered herself an amateur connoisseur), she’d found a portal to another world. Not a doorway, but a window. Not a way to transport to this strange new land, but a way for the world to come to her, in voices, feelings, the occasional outburst of power. Magic, for lack of a better translation.
She’d used this magic to rid her daughter of the insufferable waste of human life who’d been called Noah, the drink with a man problem. The voices, the feeling of her husband, what she could only call a “ghost,” had nudged and prodded her daughter into reason, finally calling it quits a little over 9 months ago. Sally had thought everything would be fine; her daughter was sad but had made the right decision, she was going places in life and the only place Noah went was the bar. Then she saw Noah on some talk show with his blurred penis, pissing for entire duration of the episode. It seemed that the magic had gotten out of hand, whatever witchcraft had set Mozzella straight had left a little something inside Noah. A never-ending piss. He’d been all over the news, late night shows where he sat there with his member in a bucket, a modern day freak show. But this little game she was playing had now hit closer to home, leaving something fantastic with her daughter, her own flesh and blood. Mozella had been complaining about cramps for a few months, but this afternoon, while sunbathing at the beach, she’d burst into flames. Human combustion. And it was all Sally’s fault.
“No, this wasn’t my fault. This was you!” She was shrieking at the room, trying to get through to the other world and blame what lay through the looking glass. Her husband would help her, even if it was just his shade, a shadow of the man, he would help.
No God? No. God. It was an answer, but it didn’t make sense. The magic, the fire, the pissing, it wasn’t her. It wasn’t the wine, which she was now nursing like a silently crying baby. The ether she had tapped into wasn’t responsible for any of it. It was God. Maybe not the God she knew, or one she could even understand, but it was the great cosmic force at work, that is what the voice was telling her. For the blink of an eye, she almost saw her husbands face, almost saw him mouth the words:
Wine dribbled down her chin. In a wave of unrelenting pain, her neck snapped straight and Sally fell to floor, stiff as a board. This was the deepest she’d ever gotten into the wine, a human body wasn’t meant to descend this far. And then peace; she blacked out.
After what could have been hours, could have been days, could have merely been a few minutes, she awoke on the floor of the attic, next to the drained and empty wineskin. She was taken by a gripping fear of hopelessness. Her connection to this other world had been severed. She’d never drunk so much from the skin before, but every other time, regardless of how much she drank, the liquid inside never seemed to lessen, and now it was gone. Sally lay on the floor and lost herself. More time passed (hours, days, minutes) and she remembered her daughter. She may not have the magic to help her, but she had to go to her. She would drive to the hospital; they’d have to let her see Mozzella, her beautiful Moss. If nothing else she could tell her the truth, she could admit the part she’d played, even if the voice had said it wasn’t her fault. Her breath caught in her throat when she realized she didn’t even know if her daughter was still alive, if she’d been able to survive becoming a human torch. That’s when there was a knock on the door.
Sally got up off the floor and stumbled down the stairs in a haze, not bothering to shut the attic door, not bothering to look through the peephole. Blindly, she opened the door, it swung open, and standing there, with his leaking dick in his hand, was Noah.
“Hello Mrs. Sampson,” he said with a wry smile on his face. He then turned toward the woman and aimed. With the power of a fire hose trying to knock out a rioting Birmingham high school student, urine shot towards Sally’s face.
Instinctively, Sally held up her palm like a pathetic shield. The stream stopped as if it hit an invisible wall. It ricocheted, raining piss all over her front porch, drenching a surprised and perplexed Noah, but none reached Sally. She felt her husband’s presence, the window to the other world. The magic was still alive within her.
To Be Continued…
Choose which chapter comes next!
Want to know where Noah’s been since he went out to sea? Find out in: The Leviathan & the Puppet
Want to know what’s happening to Moss at the hospital? Find out in: Lightning on Golgotha
Vote #pissboy or #firegirl and the winning chapter get’s posted next!