It was exactly as I said it would be. The witch caught us—more importantly me—off guard. I wasn’t proud that it happened but I knew that it would so there was no sense getting bent out of shape about it.
I woke up tied to a tree, as was the rest of the group, and it was nighttime. The rest of them were still unconscious. The witch was standing by a giant cauldron—yeah, some things are very stereotypical—and whatever she was mixing smelled horrible. That was expected, though, given what she was cooking. Plus there was no telling what else she was using.
She looked just like I expected her too. Her skin was green, she had a long nose and she wore a pointy black hat. Ha. Just kidding. Witches are so hideous that they actually make me cringe every time I look at them. Her skin was gray and looked like it was rotting, and there were patches of hair on top of her head. Her purple eyes—yes, just like The Witches—looked into her brew like she wanted to drink it, even though it was scolding hot. I started to wonder why she hadn’t killed us yet because normally a witch would have.
The witch eventually noticed that I was awake and started to float over towards me. It creeped me out a little bit.
“A paladin,” she said in a surprisingly gentle voice. “I haven’t seen one of you in years. Not since I killed the last one.” True or not that certainly sent my stomach for a spin.
“A witch,” I replied. “I haven’t seen one of you since the last time I killed one.” She merely smiled. It was a horrible one but a smile none-the-less.
“I could feel you the moment you came here. You’ve been poking around ever since but you were taking so long I thought you would never find me. I really must thank you for bringing all of them here with you.” I was surprised she was able to get the better of everyone. She really must be the last sister of the Terrible Three.
“What do you want with all of us?” I asked her.
“Time,” she said. “In time.”
“You’re the last sister of the Terrible Three.”
“I haven’t heard that in centuries. My name is Belinda.”
“Wes.” I figured what the heck.
“I know.” Comforting.
“You were here back during the Salem Witch trials?”
“Yes I was.”
“I’m assuming that whatever you were doing back then you are now doing again?”
“You would be right.” I was surprised that she was answering me so quickly, but that meant she was more than sure she was going to kill me or that there was nothing that I could do to stop her.
“What were you doing?” I asked her, knowing what she was going to say before she did.
“The same thing that I have been doing for the past five centuries,” she started, “bringing back my sisters.” I’ll keep the language PG-13 so I won’t say the words I really want to say, but oh crap. If I couldn’t even get the better of her, what was I supposed to do against three of them? It took almost a dozen paladins to take down all three of them.
“I always enjoy a family reunion. Maybe I could go get some refreshments.”
“Soon.” What did that mean?
“OK, then. I don’t suppose that you will tell me why we are all here?”
“You are here tied up so you do not interfere,” Belinda explained. “They are here because I will need them to bring my sisters back.”
“What do you mean? What about all the cats?”
“Yes, that is for them to drink. I need to draw their souls to bring them back. How do you think the trials started before?”
“Some girl just wanted to start drama?”
“So were some of them actually witches?”
“No,” she said. “I got that stupid girl blabbing so the town was distracted. I didn’t fool the paladins, unfortunately.”
As she was talking I was trying to figure out a way to get out of the ropes but she put some sort of spell on the them so there was no getting out of it. I honestly didn’t see how I was going to possibly get out of it. I had pretty much accepted the fact that I was going to die. The worse part of it all was that she was so calm, and seemed so careless about it.
“Are you going to use my soul?” I asked her.
“I can’t,” she said. That was a relief.
She took one of the cats and tossed it in the pot. There was a loud sizzling sound and a loud pop. A puff of steam flew out and the smell amplified by a hundred.
“I think it is about ready and the moon is full,” she said. “Time for you to go.”
“Why did you wait all of this time?” I asked trying to stall.
She looked at me for a moment. “There are certain stars in alignment. It is beyond your understanding. Goodbye.”
I expected for her to kill me, but instead she just lifted the tree right out of the ground and sent me soaring through the air, back towards the center of the town…