Zelda the Witch (“As Told by Zelda’s Familiar, Hemlock the Cat”)
Article ID: 12784
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,825
Times Read: 2,586
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Author: Heather Belt
Posted: April 26th. 2009
Times Viewed: 2,586
The sound of clinging glass could be heard from the tiny wooden home occupied by Zelda the witch. Zelda lifted a heavy leather bound book off the table and made her way towards the tiny mirror hanging from the wall. She examined the age that had accumulated on her face, as she had done everyday for the last few years.
Zelda was not always such a vain soul and in her youth enjoyed the attention and praise that often accompanies beauty. But as she began to age, and wrinkles began to plague her once youthful face the compliments from the villagers began to fade and Zelda decided, by Goddess, she was a witch and she would do something about it. For years she had managed to soften times blow by mixing concoctions of toad and bones, lavender and thyme, but these proved to be temporary fixes to an unsolvable problem.
Or was it?
Zelda could remember her mother’s words and a potion she once came across in her childhood. Having no use for the particular potion during her youth, she dismissed it from her memory and for years this spell eluded her thoughts.
As the years passed Zelda became so consumed with her vanity it slowly began turning into desperation and the memory of the potion crept its way into her thoughts once more. Then one night in dream, the spell found its way back into Zelda’s life.
Upon waking the next morning, Zelda scoured her extensive spell collection in an attempt to retrieve the potion. She sat the book back down on the table and began to flip through its aged pages. Flip, flip, flip…nothing. More flipping, more searching and just when Zelda began to think she never really saw the spell at all a loud “ah-ha” rang through the air.
Zelda’s finger halted the next page from landing and quietly she repeated the words before her “Le beau charme de Lune”. Zelda had found the potion! She began to scroll the list of ingredients: Rose hips and sage grounded up fine, with a pinch of moon dust, one can erase time.
To the moon a ladder must be made, from the moon some dust saved. The Beautiful Moon Spell.
Zelda’s first few attempts to retrieve the last elusive ingredient of “Le beau charme de Lune” were quite humorous. There was the broomstick attempt, but witches are people too and getting up that high on an enchanted piece of wood wasn’t flying.
After a few more failed attempts, Zelda was on the verge of giving up when the answer came to her, as it does to most witches, in another dream. Children, millions of children under a powerful spell forming a ladder all the way to the moon.
And so the beginning of the end… began.
The spell had been easy to cast over the children, for Zelda was a powerful well-trained witch. Within moments millions of children began to rise from their silent slumber and follow the enchanted sound of Zelda’s voice.
As Zelda sent the last child up the ladder she tilted her head back and took in the night sky. The moon was high harvest and the smell of burning chimneys could tell anyone dead or alive that Beltane was approaching.
“All these years, all this time”, she mumbled under her breath.
Zelda used to imagine what this moment would feel like. The moment where she knew things could now change. No more toads, no more bones, just eternal youth, in her body… forever.
With a sigh of relief and hike of her skirt was revealed a woman who was about to be herself again.
She couldn’t believe how easy it was to climb the children at first; they said nothing, their eyes blank. Now only remained a hollow emptiness where life used to be. Zelda half questioned herself whether or not this would work, but the closer she got to the moon, the more convinced she became that this time, it would work!
And then… “Oh my Goddess!” she screamed as she lost her footing. Zelda felt the a gust of cold Winter’s air brush by the back of her neck and before she knew it she was plummeting to the ground…and then all that could be heard was a massive shock of screams, children screams, piercing the once silent night sky.
The ladder began to give way as millions of children flew through the air, breaking the strong chain they had formed just moments before. Zelda’s concentration had been broken the moment she slipped and the enchantment over the children was no more.
Zelda’s arms flayed, desperately grasping for anything that might save her life, but all she got was cold night air. And with a soft thud, Zelda’s body finally touched the ground.
It was at that moment I ran over desperate to find sign of life in Zelda’s cold body. There were none. Because of the spell’s workings all the children landed safely and softly on the ground. Silently and without question the children found their way back home as I mourned the loss of my companion and friend.
800 years later the story of Zelda the witch is not easily found in books or prose for it is has now become a cautionary tale told in the silent whispers of wizards and witches around a fire in good company. Vanity to mortal and witch alike is no laughing matter and in some cases, like Zelda’s, could cost you your life.
I, Hemlock the cat and Zelda’s beloved familiar, still reflect fondly on the life and memory of Zelda and wish that she had never found “Le beau charme de Lune”. I guess the lesson to be learned here, dear friends, is to beware of vanity, for it can find its way into your hearth, life and sometimes, if you’re not careful, into your craft as well.
Just as is did in the story of Zelda the Witch.
Copyright: This short story is the property of Heather S. Douglas and may not be used or published without the owners expressed permission.
*Dedicated to the spirit and memory of my mother, Wendy, who passed into her next incarnation in February of 2007.
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
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