Fiction

A Top Hat Tips Original

Contents Sold Separately

by

Paula Spring

In the fall of the early 1800’s, poverty, fear, and religious fanaticism dominated the entire globe. Lynchings, hangings, and the burning of people accused of witchcraft were the norm. Home remedies were mistaken for evil magic. For most, a doctor could not be afforded. Secrecy was a survival method. Poverty and hunger created thieves.

Out of these mishaps, and misinterpretations that were lynched, hung, and burned at the stake. Sometimes could be found something real. As in the case of this old town. Something real lived among them. Thirteen to be exact. Thirteen women discovered utilizing evil magic for their own selfish gain.

Long had they lived in this town. Long had they practiced diabolically twisted magics consisting of potions, rhymes, chants, spells, and sorceries. They did so very quietly, secretively, and discretely. Never were they suspected. Never were they caught. Until a hunter found their meeting ground in the woods. Not only did he stumble upon them. He witnessed them in the midst of something so terribly horrifying, and that by the time he returned out from the woods into town. His hair had turned from brown to completely white.

“Witches!” He screamed. His face pale, and his eyes lit in shock.

“Witches!” He screamed again. “They were many!”

The coven of thirteen witches and one being the leader had swiftly been arrested. They were thrown into the town jail. They would be hung from the neck up immediately the next day.

The witches had a plan for such an occasion. Especially, if they could not escape capture. Especially, if they could not escape death. As with all soon to be executed, they were each granted one last request.

“Bring us our brooms and our trunks filled with the things we loved,” they humbly requested.

The towns people filled with spite and wickedness of their own kind gullably answered the request. Fortunately, this request would affect them for only one brief moment. Never again would these witches bring to this generation of this town any further grief. It would all seem to be over.

The trunks were all placed with them in their jail. Thirteen trunks in total. As the sun rose into the next day, the thirteen witches and their trunks were all brought out to the gallows.

Thirteen ropes hung from the massive beam. Thirteen trunks closed and locked. Thirteen brooms placed on top. The executioner dressed in black and hooded robe. His hand upon the lever. The signal was given. The floor dropped. Thirteen wrinkled elderly women dangled from the gallows by thirteen nooses.

When the thirteen elderly female bodies stopped jerking and gyrating as their necks, hung from cruelty of rope. The brooms began to fly. One behind the other. They flew in a circle creating such a wind strong. Winds that lifted the debris of autumn from the ground. Circling with the brooms were dried leaves and sticks creating an autumn spectrum of color. The glowing yellow dawn shining through.

Mysteriously, loudly, and violently the locked latches on the trunks flipped open. The lids of each trunk flew agape. A black and evil mist began to escape from the dangling bodies of the thirteen witches. Into the trunks the mist entered. Slamming shut each lid. Locked and latched once again each trunk.

To a sudden halt the brooms came. Slowly, the brooms floated down and retook their positions atop each trunk.

Fearful of the brooms and trunks, the towns people attempted to burn them. No fire would scorch even the patina of the trunks. No fire would light the the straw of the brooms. So, with no other choice. The town ordered the trunks to be removed by the witches remaining family. With these trunks they should leave. Never to return to the town again.

Thus, the brooms and trunks were carried and removed. The thirteen families scattered away from each other. Thirteen brooms and trunks they would each have to guard.

To be continued…