It’s been a while since I wrote anything that wasn’t just a recap or some sort of work thing, but one of my goals for this blog is to write more. Tentatively, I’d like Wednesdays to be my day of writing for me.
With that in mind, I’ve written a short story about witches, sailors, love, and pixie piss. I hope you enjoy it!
Bob drank like a sailor. In fact he wanted to be a sailor, but being unable to quit his drinking long enough to make it through basic training, he’d been forced to settle on a home full of reminders of the great wide ocean he had been denied access to. That insipid wretch of a girlfriend of his had painted the walls of the master bedroom and the guest room a seafoam green and ocean blue, respectively, to keep the naval theme, ahem, afloat, as it were. Even the bathroom had those tacky plastic seashell shower rings. You know, the ones that looked like they were sculpted from clay by a toddler, and then made into molds and mass produced from some company whose pollution policy proved how little they cared for the actual ocean. I mean, after all, if you can mass produce all the beautiful parts of the ocean, why do you need the actual ocean at all.
I met Bob at one of those meetings you’re not supposed to talk about. Unfortunately, not the one about drinking, but ours had a similar 12-step program. I was there to help curb my casting addiction. My fellow sisters had taken my wand, and locked it away somewhere that even with all the finding spells and divinations that I could think up or even create on my own it was impossible to locate. Even the minor demon I’d summoned didn’t know exactly where to look.
I know, I know, summoning a demon is particularly difficult without a wand, but not impossible. It just takes a little more magic. Another dangerous thing, yes I realize. My sisters are ever so fond of reminding me that magic is in limited supply now, and should be used only on an as needed for emergency basis, but really minor spells can’t hurt that much. I mean, who really needs to bend over to tie their shoes when a simple incantation and a snap of the fingers will do the work. You wouldn’t believe how handy that is when you’ve got an armful of scrolls to deliver and the elevator is broken.
Why the magical world can’t get on board with technology and simply scan scrolls in, I do not rightly understand. Something to do with magic and machines not working quite right. It’s like they’re from different neighboring universes and can’t exist in the same space without creating a paradox or some other end-to-life-as-we-know-it type event.
But back to Bob.
I don’t know why Bob was at that particular addiction meeting. I mean, the guy’s about as non-magical as they come. The first time I met him, I watched a pixie piss on his shoulder and he didn’t even notice until it seeped through to his skin. Only a non-magical creature could be that blind to a pixie, and that someone would have to be completely, mundanely human to not notice the stench of pixie piss. It’s sickeningly sweet, and it lingers. It smells like a dog bathed in mead that had gone rancid, and then rolled in melted lemon drops.
Maybe a troll. I think a troll might ignore such a horrendously sweet smell. I mean, what stench could get through their own body odor anyway? But Bob’s too small to be a troll.
The day of the pixie piss was my second meeting. I didn’t really want to be there. My sisters had dragged me there. I mean literally they wrapped me in my Great Aunt Fydelia’s enchanted corset, with my arms on the inside which, for those of you who have never had the displeasure of wearing such a horrid device, is not the correct way it is meant to be worn. Then they cinched it so tight that I was suddenly three sizes smaller, using the dangling corset laces as a leash. When I fell off my youngest sister, Cassandra’s broom, no one even noticed that the only thing holding me in the air was the corset lace that I’d quickly tied around the shaft of Cassandra’s broomstick.
I’m telling you, that shoelace tying spell comes in super handy.
Of course, the irony that they were taking me to a Caster’s Anonymous meeting and casting was the only thing that saved me from falling to my death was totally lost on them. They were more concerned about the fact that my hands had been free enough to even snap my fingers and seal the spell.
Bob told me, much later, after we’d started seeing each other in a more casual manner, that he thought maybe they had wanted me to fall to my death. While I don’t want to believe it to be true, it’s possible. Coven sisters dip from the same magical well, so my magic is their magic. They get rid of me, and they can divvy up all the energy from all the unused spells I can still feel inside me.
Torgga would tell me that’s nonsense, or maybe the paranoia of my withdrawals causing me to think the worst of my sisters. She’d look up at me while stroking her very fine dwarven beard and tell me, for close to the hundredth time, that it was her duty as my sponsor to remind me that sisters are tasked to care for one another, and that magic is a gift to all of those of us with the gift to harness it. As the magic dwindles, so do our kind.
Well, so do her kind; we witches are still a booming species. The gene is passed drown matrilineally, from mother to daughter, so as long as a witch has a daughter, that daughter is destined to be a witch. As I understand this whole genetics thing, all that means is that a witch has to pair herself up with a male who happens to have a lot of sisters. It’s not a guarantee, but it improves the odds somehow. Or so my sister Claudette says. Apparently her father was a biologist or a geneticist, or somesuch. He was some sort of –cist, which makes her our resident expert on all things scientific.
Science is another one of those things that doesn’t mesh well with magic. Like the whole technology thing.
My point is, when I’m ready to have kids, I need to find me a man with sisters if I want to continue to pass on the witch gene, and as I’m the only daughter from my mother’s family line, I’ve been told it’s imperative that I have at least one daughter.
Which brings us back to Bob. Bob has sisters. Ten of them. Maybe that explains why he wanted to be a rough and tough, manly sailor who drinks and swears a lot.
It might also explain why he let that girlfriend of his paint the bedrooms in such feminine colors. Seafoam green does not scream “this is a man’s bedroom.” It says in a polite whisper that this dude let a girly girl decorate.
And don’t get me started again on those ridiculous damn seashell shower hooks!
So, my sisters are dragging me into this meeting, held in a church of all places! And I look up to see this no-neck guy with the physique of a retired football player sitting directly across from the entrance. He had a cigarette burning in each hand, flicking his ashes carelessly as he flailed his hands about as he spoke. He seemed to be in the middle of a story about how unfair it was that he wasn’t allowed to have just a small drink while waiting for basic training to begin.
Actually, he tells this story pretty regularly. Of course, there are slight variations depending on whether or not he’s been drinking when he starts the story. The more he drinks, the more ludicrous the punishment for sneaking in liquor. The more drunk he gets, the smaller the flask he used to sneak in said liquor. On this day, the day we met, he was explaining that it was a flask about the size of those pocket Bibles radical Christian enforcers sometimes pass out at stop lights. He was using his hands to illustrate the size and accidentally flicked the still burning cherry of his cigarette directly onto the hovering lap of a particularly persnickety little pixie named Peach Blossom.
Peach Blossom raised his hands to cast, but the barrage of “tsk tsk” sounds helped him to think better of it. Instead, he pulled out his puny pixie pecker and pissed directly on Bob’s burly shoulder.
Bob, simple human that he is, finished his story completely unawares.
Torgga paused the meeting to let everyone take a break while my sisters handed me over, still trussed up like a turkey. As everyone took their seats, there was a bit of a kerfuffle as everyone tried to sit as far from Bob and the rancid mead smell as possible, leaving the only two available seats on either side of Bob.
The rest is sort of history. At first, he seemed like your average dumb human male, but there is a sort of sweetness to him that seems to come out when he’s not around people who are judging him. After our sixth meeting together (and the pixie piss smell finally dissipated), he invited me out for a few drinks, and before I knew it we were stumbling into his very ocean themed apartment, complete with pirate flag. There’s even a mock ship steering wheel displayed prominently on the wall above the dining table, which was as far as we made it with our clothes on that first night.
Now it’s been almost a year since we met, which means we’ll both be getting our one-year pins soon. Yes, we still go to the Caster’s Anonymous meetings. I still don’t understand how he ended up at that particular meeting, but I’m glad he did. Besides, going through the 12 steps with me has helped him slow down on his drinking a bit. I’m on step 5, I think. It’s taking a little longer than I anticipated, but I’m learning patience.
Bob’s helped with teaching me patience. After all, I’ve had to be particularly patient waiting for him to realize that he and I are good together for more than just the occasional frisky play date. But he’s finally come around, and he’s going to break up with that girlfriend of his soon, so we can be together officially. He’s just waiting for the right time, which makes sense, I mean they do have enough of a history that he let her completely decorate his house. All except the pirate flag; that’s his.
Of course, my patience only goes so far, so if he doesn’t do it soon, I might just have to turn her into a slug to get her out of the picture. After all, that’s just a little spell and hardly worth even mentioning. It’s a whole lot simpler than summoning a demon, and uses only a pinch of magic. What harm could come of it?