(Photo found at http://tinyurl.com/c8yr99p)
As her cottage came into view, Brunda slowed her pace and circled over the house. Then she headed toward the far edge of her land. Hovering near the wild herb field, she stepped onto the ground and walked until she crossed the imaginary line where she judged her property to end. She turned and gazed across a small river that skirted the opposite side of her land. Earlier that day, the river had been almost a mile from this place. Now it lay at Brunda’s feet.
A whoop of joy rang from her lips. Her space-bending spell had truly worked! Now the herb fields, her house and the woods that surrounded them would be hidden from all except the creatures that soared into the air, for only from on high could the land herein be seen as it truly was.
But Brunda did not have long to rejoice in her success. A sudden clamor rose from the western horizon. The shrewd old woman turned to scan the area. The sky was lit as if by a glowing sunset, yet the time was just past midnight. The pungent smell of burning torches preceded a multitude of maddened town’s folk as they swarm over the ridge.
“It’s the witch; just where the Earl said we should find her!” The scream of a crazed citizen rang in Brunda’s ears.
She watched the incensed mob toward her and Mandrake. Shaken, but undaunted, Brunda reached up to stroke her cat. “Well now, isn’t it characteristic of the old goat to use that weapon from his arsenal. Guess the Earl thought he’d make sure this old woman departed alive or dead.”
“Well, if it’s a show they want, then a show they most surely will receive!” she cackled. This time Brunda’s laugh held no glee. It a horrible thing to hear.
She leaped onto her broom and flew high into the air. Poised some fifty feet above the ‘citizens’, Brunda sent a surge of fireworks into their midst. Amid their screams of terror, she pointed her broom toward the western horizon and flew over the crowd and away into the night. She didn’t stop until the manor house of the Earl of Campbell loomed below her. Circling near the garden, she leaned down to untie the last bundle of herbs that clung to her broom. The pouch had the word SARAH etched upon it.
“It would take the simplest of spells to lure the Earl’s trusted serving woman,” she whispered angrily as her hand twitched against the string.
The moon hung on the horizon when Brunda flew over where the incensed mob had been. The only signs of their passing were a few smoldering torches lying about the opened fields.
“Good enough,” she muttered triumphantly and flew directly home.
Later as Brunda sat reading a book of magic, Mandrake drew her attention to a massive crystal ball that sat upon the table. She scanned the orb’s smoky heart and found the image of the Earl of Campbell smiling down upon the writ that would make Brunda’s fertile valley his.
“He is foolishly unaware of the latest turn of events, eh Mandrake?” Brunda chuckled.
A smirk crossed the Duke’s face as he laid the parchment aside and reached to take up a cup of hot tea Sarah had prepared for him. He held the porcelain cup to his lips, savoring the warm vapors before taking a deep drink.
“Too bad I didn’t leave that pouch for Sarah.” Brunda mused. “I’m sure she would have gladly sweeten the Earl’s tea with the fine, poisonous herbs it possessed.” The old sorceress waved her hand across the sphere. It stood like an empty black pearl. “But there’s always next time, eh Mandrake?” She chuckled and went back to her book.
- Tales of Nightshade: Nightshade (Part Four) (creativemusingsoflediar.wordpress.com)
- Tales of Nightshade: Nightshade (Part Two) (creativemusingsoflediar.wordpress.com)
- Tales of Nightshade: Nightshade (Part Three) (creativemusingsoflediar.wordpress.com)
- Tales of Nightshade: Nightshade (Part One) (creativemusingsoflediar.wordpress.com)
- Mandrake – Herb Lore (madebymothereagle.wordpress.com)
- Growing a Witches Garden (pixiecraft.wordpress.com)