Sunday, August 30, 2020

Real Witch

One of the other intents with this blog was to populate it with previously unreleased short fiction. The following was initially written around two years ago.

- NW


“My eyes have seen the glory of the draining of the ditch
I only come to Baton Rouge I gotta find myself a witch
I'm gonna snatch me up a couple of em every time it rains”
- Tom Waits, “Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard, 1978

“So, Mr. Stills, what brings you to Baton-Rouge?”

“Ah, nothin’ Charlie. Nothin’. Just looking for a witch.”


The ad was put up online. It read: Need a real witch. I’ll be at the bar at Charlie’s. I wear a red
shirt. Ask Charlie. Within the week, hopeful candidates filtered in.


“You got imitation voodoo from a shopping mall and your face says ‘I believe in crystals.’ No

“Hah, wiccanism ain’t witchcraft sugar. Move along.”

“Sorry, this ain’t a love potion thing.”


“Sheezus, you don’t get real witches too much anymore. Charlie, you remember old Missus

“Sure do, Mr. Stills.”

“She was a witch, man. Real voodoo hoodoo. She even had a crystal ball someone gave her,
but it had an inch of dust on it ‘cause she never did have need for it.”

“I remember the crystal ball.”

“I should just look her up. She still above dirt, or the devil finally come callin’?”

“She died winter of two years ago.”

“Really? Damn, I should’ve been there for the funeral. Just damn. She was a wonderful lady, in
a mean way.”


“Hey mister, I saw your ad, an’ I’m a witch.”

“You a witch, little girlie? Naw you ain’t. Get lost.”

“Am so! It’s the truth even though you don’t believe me!”

“No, you ain’t. You kids just get caught up in the look of it, you want talking cats and colored
potions, but you don’t know nothin’ about actual witching. I’ve met a real witch, Old Anna Benoit,
and she wasn’t some goddamn Halloween costume!”

“Yes I am! I’m a witch and my gramma was Anna Benoit an’ she taught me things an’ though
momma was a christian and did try to keep me away from witchcraft all the know-how I got from
gramma still stuck an’ I’m a witch!”

“Whoa, okay, slow down girlie. You say your gramma was the Anna Benoit?”


“That’s a bold claim, and I’m afraid you’ll have to prove it. Not many folks used Anna Benoit’s
name in vain.”

“I ain’t bein’ vain.”

“Maybe so. Tell you what, Missus Benoit used to do readings by looking in the glass a man had
been drinkin’ from. So look into the bottom of my glass and tell me somethin’ about myself.”

“I can do that.”

“Ah-ah girlie, one more thing. If you got Anna Benoit’s blood in you then liquor’s like water to
you. Read my past outta an empty glass.”

She drained the glass in a fluid, sure motion. And then she told him something he had only ever
said aloud to himself, seven years ago.


“Well oh shit.”

No comments:

Post a Comment