The Witch By: Reuben Joseph Beeman TTX
The little boy opens the front door. Cautiously, looking to the corner, he sees her. She always awaits him there. She is looking the other way, but her Strange Magic is a sure thing. As sure as the hair on his head is blond, he is positive that without seeing, she knows. Soon she’ll greet him & then…
“Hi, Witch… “ The boy volunteers. His greeting is a high melodious tremble. It ends almost questioningly. He’s always unsure of himself in her presence, and he certainly feels mixed inside about the Luminous creature who Glides in the air in his kitchen, forever waiting for him to get home.
His heart, his pure four-year-old heart, tells them that the magical woman who rides a broom in his house, rides the broom on the air like some sort of magical trike; the magic part of his heart tells him that this forlorn woman, this lady from another world, eerily attractive to his soul, the magic stirs & Whispers soothingly that she is his friend.
She hasn’t said anything. The now shy boy walks closer, being ever so quiet. He tries the salutation again. The magic is now conquering the boys' fear of the witches' omniscience.
He is much bigger than her, even at 4, he is getting gainly on much as far as height concerns itself. But this does not in the least alleviate the boys' awe for the witch.
She is green of skin, so the boy mentally knows that she must have been something of a rotten witch before mother gave her board in this house. Green is the color of all witches who do rotten deeds and use the bad magic. But who was he to judge? He was more often than not a naughty boy. Maybe, this was the kindred spirit that drew the Witch to the house…
"Hiiiii, Reuben,” says the Witch. Again and again in her horribly crafty witchy way she has broken him of his defenses by catching him unawares. Often she’d greet him the moment he came in. When he felt safe with this routine, she’d wait oh so patiently sometimes. She knew with her Witchy brain, the little boy whose imagination ran so wild and often did the most originally mischievous things; she knew (she let out a little Witchy cackle at her wise and witchy observation) the Witch was absolutely sure the boy would fill her full with contrite confession of his miscreant deeds. His curiosity & love for her, his fascination for her, let there be no other way. She knew what the blonde haired boy was thinking even as he thought it. And yes, he was right, she had come for him &, they WERE kindred in spirit.
"Have you been a goood boy today, Reuben?"
The little boy didn’t know what to say. Once he told her it was over. Mommy would find out, & she wasn’t as kind about being bad as the Witch seemed to be. His little gears were spinning. He looked around for Mommy but as usual, she didn’t seem to be anywhere in sight. His racing mind pondered this: Maybe Witch pays Mommy rent by babysitting or showing up at the right time: always when I have done something bad… But this didn’t make sense, cause Bad is what he did, HE LIKED IT! It was the best kind of fun, until he talked to the Witch… His train of thought was broken… “Reuben, Reuuuuben, have you been bad today?”
“Noooooo…” he sheepishly lied. It was of no use. She’d know, knew now, knew even before he came through the door. How could she not know? She was a Witch; a bad one with green skin who rode a broom. & he was just a four-year-old boy who didn’t know how to be half as bad as she did.
“What did you do today, Witch?”
“Well… I flew around, it’s fun flying around, I can see anyone I want… I see you a lot!” the Witch said as she spun carelessly Around on the Broom to face him. She cackled as the boy looked on her with his big brown saucered eyes. “Now what about you? Were you a good boy!!?”
THE boys’ feet shuffled about without his guidance. They wanted to be away from this wretched old hag and her treachery. Too often the boy had opened his mouth and spilled his guts about where they had taken him. There was too much energy in these feet to be stuck in the house all day, or even worse, covered restlessly in a blanket because the little guy upstairs had been sent to bed early… & WITHOUT DINNER TO BOOT! Yes, they sensed treachery afoot and danced their useless dance. The boy wasn’t going anywhere, as usual, he had been hypnotized by the Witch.
The boy, with this tiny logic, suddenly grasps the question she has just asked. Didn’t she mean, ‘BAD’ boy? By asking if he’d been ‘good’ she was really just asking him if he’d been ‘bad.’ He thought to himself that at the question game she liked to play with him, she was really good but in a ‘bad’ sort of way.
“Well……ummmm… I...” the boys' feet were really at it now! They screamed at him to allow them to run-run away please stream did him to allow them to run run away from this green pointy hatted woman, who belongs, not a bit in this house, nor anyone’s as far as they were concerned! The arms joined in on the dance, & for a brief pause that accompanied the boy trying to grasp some fantastic way of answering her, the Witch thought, (at the site of the childs’ ‘still animation’) he would beg her to go pee. She was about to ask him the question again, not wanting to be robbed of the boys' confession. She fed on his every word, especially the bad things. They were so deliciously bad too! So simple, curious & adventurously bad at such a young age. She was aloof to her own Deeds, being the Witch that she was. But this boy… This boy fascinated her.
“Welll… I guess I was good, Witch.” The boy said, humbled by her. YES! He had it! & he had to say it quick because he knew it would not stay with him for long.
“Well… I walked down to the beach and chased some seagulls,” the boys’ smile filled the room, he was perking up now!
Since she was a Witch, an evil green nice sweet witch, with green skin and a clever hat, the magical kind who rides brooms in kitchens, and knows just the right questions to ask four-year-old little boys, she asked, “Did you catch any of these Seagulls? These bad bad gulls?”
How smart this Witch was, thought the boy. How wise & Witchy! To know from the kitchen how bad these gulls were. They chased mom’s ducks. Mommy shot them with steel marbles from a slingshot to keep them from swooping down (very much, he imagined like a Witch would, this very Witch) He imagined her swooping down on a broom to do whatever bad witches do. He fantasized the green type were the kind that locked little boys up in cages and fed them a lot of candy with their green fingers than blindly felt the boy each day, waiting patiently for a long-awaited supper (yes, yes, he had seen the gulls swoop down and steal mommy’s ducklings. The boy knew the gulls would never bring the baby ducks back, & this often brought him to tears. They were his little friends. But Mommy, she put an end to that with her slingshot. That had kept them away from the duck babies. Sometimes the seagulls fell into the river and floated away; Where to…? He wasn’t sure, but he was sure that Mommy didn’t like those seagulls.
Oh, how the boy loved the Witch now! He told her his tale with his own simple words. Her voice prodding him on when his tongue couldn’t quite get out what his overdeveloped imagination told him to say. They were not lies of course. But he stopped often enough to tell her the names of each one of these bad seagulls. Or, how a bad woman he called the Cane Lady, had chased him away from eradicating these bad, bad, very bad birds, birds that liked to eat his little friends. Witch asked him more about the Cane Lady as she spun around riding a gentle breeze of salt air that poured through the open window. Her voice, The Witches voice came from everywhere as she asked her questions.
Oh, how she laughed and cackled. Magically her laugh somehow had become two laughs. By some greater trick or spell, she asked the boy her questions and laughed at the same time. Simultaneously the boy was baffled and enchanted by the magic of it all
He told the Witch bravely now of how he yelled at the woman, & to show her that he meant it, he defiantly threw rocks at those gray vultures of the beach!
“… then the Cane Lady chased me, but, she wasn't very fast. So, I came home. & now I’m talking to you, Witch!”
The Witch seemed very pleased with this & began to laugh from every direction.
The boy, also pleased with his apparent victory (which he knew to be bad) but ‘good' bad, joined in on the laughter. When he saw Mommy and Auntie Ellen come into the room he forgot all about the Witch. He ran into Mommy’s arms then quickly into Auntie Ellen’s…
He loved it when Auntie Ellen came over. She brought a strange magic with her. She always came over when his animals, the soft bears that lived on his bed, got tired of being so quiet and came to life...
Reuben Joseph Beeman
Time Traveler Extraordinaire