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Written by susie, 2006

      As Mary answered the door, she smiled for her visitors were the two little boys from next door, Mikey and Scottie. They were such nice little boys. She welcomed the boys in and asked if they would like some cookies and milk. Both boys nodded and sat down on the overstuffed, black and orange couch. While Mary was out of the room, the two boys started whispering to each other. "You do it!"

      "No, you do it!"

      "No, you do it!"

      Mary paused in the doorway, listening to the two little boys arguing in whispers, chuckling quietly. She loudly cleared her throat as she walked through the door, so the boys would know she was near. She settled herself in the chair across from the couch. Mikey and Scottie quietly munched on their cookies and rapidly drank their milk. "Ok, boys, what can I do for you? I love to visit with you, but I think you came here for a reason, right?"

      The boys looked bashfully at the rapidly disappearing cookies. Scottie, the smaller boy, looked up and hesitantly started, "ummm, we were wondering....."

      Encouragingly, Mary said, "Yes, what was it that you were wondering about?"

      "Well, what.... what..." Scottie paused, took a deep breath, "do you do? I mean, we saw you really late last night, and you were dressed like a witch! Were you at a costume party?"

      Mary was stunned. Thoughts ran quickly through her mind. The boys had seen her? Uh, oh! Time to think fast, old girl! Heck, why not just tell them the truth and see what happens? "Boys, no, I wasn't at a costume party. I am truly a witch! Would you like to see some of my things?"

      The boys looked at each other, jumped up and ran to the door. As they opened the door and started out, Scottie stopped and turned back. "Yes, I DO want to see your things! C'mon, Mikey, Mary is our friend, she won't hurt us! Will you, Mary?"

      "Of course not, boys. I think of you as my grandchildren. I love you both very much. I would never hurt you in any way! Come with me, I think you will enjoy seeing some of my things. They are really interesting....." She smiled and held out her hand. Scottie and Mikey slowly walked to her side, with Scottie reaching out for her hand. Mikey grabbed Scottie's other hand and the three of them walked to the kitchen. As they walked, Mary made the boys promise to never tell anyone about her secret and what she was about to show them. It had to remain a secret, no matter what. The boys both promised.

      Mary opened the door to her basement, turning on the light so they could see the stairs. Mary led the boys down to her basement, walking to a locked door at the far wall. She slowly reached into her pocket, again reminding the boys that this was all a secret. With a frightened look in their eyes, both of them nodded.

      Creaking loudly, the door opened slowly to reveal a large dark room with a green glow kind of hovering over an orangish glow. The boys hugged each other and started to turn away.

green glow

      "Don't worry, boys, there is nothing to harm you." Mary stepped into the room and turned on the light. It wasn't a bright light, but it did make the room not completely dark. The green and orangish glows were still in the corner, but now they could see what was causing those weird colored glows - it was a bubbling cauldron sitting on some rocks with fire coming from them.

bubbling cauldron

      The boys slowly and cautiously entered the room. Their eyes grew large with all they were seeing. Just inside the door, but over to one side a bit was a large cage made of bones, hanging from the ceiling, while floating behind the cage were a couple of ghostly images - a skull in a knight's helmet and what looked like an image of the specter often called "Death". The boys stopped and stared. "wha.. wha.. what is that?" Mikey stepped behind Scottie, altho Scottie was about a foot shorter, as if he were trying to hide. Mary chuckled.


      "That is just to scare away anyone who gets in here without me. And, see, there is a ghost in that mirror over in the corner." The boys looked to where she was pointing. Sure enough, there was what looked like a ghost kind of suspended in front of a mirror, and it was reflected in the mirror. And wow, what a mirror - there was a skull on it and it looked like it was framed in bones!

ghost mirror

      "Mary, are those real bones and is that a real ghost over there?" Mikey had finally found his voice. Mary was a bit surprised, for there was no fear in his voice, it was more curiosity and excitement.

      "No, those are not real bones, not human bones at least. They are from an animal graveyard. I would never use human bones for anything. You see, boys, there are what you might call 'good' witches and then 'bad' witches, although there are not very many 'bad' witches anymore. And there are none around here!!" Seeing the look on the boys' faces, she sought to calm them. "And no, that is not a real ghost - it is one I conjured up to make it look real."

      "Come over here and look at this!"

witch closet

      "What do you think of this? These are most of my things!," pointing to a large open closet hidden around a corner. The boys rushed over, excitedly chattering.

      "Wow! Look at all of this, Scottie! I know what a lot of it is, do you?"

      "Well, those are potions on the top shelf, and there is her spell book, and I see a jack o'lantern, her dress and hat - and look, there is her broom! Does it really fly, Mary?" Without waiting for an answer, he rushed on, "and I see a bat, her black cat - Hi, Smudge!....."

      Mary started to chuckle once again. Smudge was busy watching her bat, and didn't seem to care that his favorite kids were standing right there. She tried calling him so the boys could pet him, but he didn't seem to hear her either.

      Mikey interrupted Scottie, saying, "Do you see those two hands? Those are called 'hands of glory'. They come from dead guys who were hung! Isn't that right, Mary?"

      Mary looked at the boys and answered, "That is right, Mikey. But they were killed over hundreds of years ago. They were passed down through the generations to me. Do you know the story behind the 'hand of glory'?" As Mikey shook his head, she started to tell them. "The 'hand of glory' is the right hand cut from a man who was hung for being a murderer. It used to be used in black magic. But now I just keep them because they belonged to my ancestors. They don't really have any power. I use them mostly to prop up my spell book - they make great bookends!" The boys laughed.

      "Gee, Mary, this sure was a lot of fun. We were a little scared at first, but now we aren't. Can you tell us more? And tell us some stories, we won't get scared. We promise!"

      Mary smiled and said she would be glad to. She took the boys over to a small group of chairs and started to tell the boys about her cauldron and then what life was like as a witch.

   The above story and images were created and remain copyrighted to susie, October, 2006.

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