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The Witch of Strasbourg

An origin story **Due to violence, gore, suggestive and coarse language. Reader discretion is advised.**

By Donna Fox (HKB)Published about a year ago Updated 6 months ago 10 min read
The Witch of Strasbourg
Photo by petr sidorov on Unsplash

**** Due to violence, gore, suggestive and coarse language. Reader discretion is advised.****

The mirror showed a reflection that wasn’t my own.

It reflected that of a much younger, much more attractive woman. Her lips shone red like blood as I flicked a droplet from the corner of her mouth. Her emerald green eyes radiated against her milky white skin and ominous black locks.

An eyebrow twitched as I made her lips form a sinister smile, while I continued to appraise her high cheekbones and heart-shaped face. Allowing my hands to caress the voluptuous curves of my newly claimed body, I now possessed.

Humming to myself happily, I was most certainly enjoying the upgrade. This was the most delicious body I have been able to obtain in a while and I was loving every bit of it.

But my revelry was interrupted by coughing and sputtering down at my feet.

Begrudgingly I looked to my feet, seeing a relatively handsome middle-aged man, laying on the ground with blood dripping from the corner of his mouth. Panic in his eyes as he coughed and sputtered, laying on his back he silently pleaded for help.

Reaching an open hand in his direction I made a waving motion and a crunching sound followed. The man's head snapped in an unnatural direction and his needless noises ceased.

Annoyed he had the audacity to disturb my peace, I grabbed the woman’s handbag and sidled out of her home. My heels clicked on the stone flooring as I stepped over two much smaller bodies and closed the door behind me.

Finding the keys to a car and I marched towards the one in the driveway, my luscious black tendrils of hair cascading behind me.

I was going to have so much fun with this new body.

I licked my lips in hungry anticipation as I stepped into the white BMW, turning the keys and peeling out of the driveway. It was time to do a little grocery shopping.

Pulling up to the store, I smiled to myself as I began to feel reminiscent. Remembering some of my favorite past times when humans tried to burn me at the stake, boil me in oil, or my favourite drawing and quarter me.

As I wandered the store, I enjoyed the many lingering glances from lust-filled men. Such simple creatures… All they need is a bit of eye candy and they’ll overlook anything.

I grabbed a few vegetables and some chicken, then paid for it and headed home.

I reminisced to myself about all the fun I used to have before Hunters were on the lookout for mysterious happens and disappearances. Which was only made easier in this age of overindulgent media.

Now I have to be a lot more careful about my choices and covering my tracks.

I pulled into my driveway and brought the groceries in, reflecting on one of my fondest memories. Something history calls The Dancing Plague.

It was a phenomenon that occurred in 1518 when people in the Strasbourg Alsace (today’s France) fell into an inexplainable dance mania. No one knows what caused it but after a few months, the dancing ceased and the village went back to normalcy. Or at least that’s how history tells it…

Back then witches were feared, revered, and had a lot more respect, in my opinion. Back then I was a much younger witch, still learning the craft. I had just taken my vows and was eager to start testing out my new powers.

My mistress had stressed upon me that we were not to use our powers for anything but good. Things like helping the crops and livestock grow, nothing more. We could heal humans of illnesses if they allowed us but were not to force the idea upon them.

She was convinced it was our duty to help these pathetic humans survive. This was also the belief system of our Coven and they sought to enforce such things. If we strayed just a little too far they would reel us in quicker than the crack of a whip

But I craved more than being the humble servant of humankind. I wanted power and the ability to make humans do my bidding, believing they belonged below witch-kind.

For years, by moonlight, I would practice my own brand of witchcraft. Making animals do my bidding, acting un-animal-like, and committing almost human acts.

Which went completely against my vows of doing no harm and only casting minor spells to enhance human life. It was miraculous that the Coven’s Council hadn’t detected my opposition to their most core beliefs. But more on that later.

By the summer of 1518, I was nearly a fully realized witch. More powerful than my mistress and in ways she couldn’t even imagine.

Now, it was no secret that back then I was nearly as delicious to behold as my current body.

I had carefully carved curves and hair as golden as sunshine. The envy of many women and the item of effects from every man in the village.

One day, as I was walking home a plump woman, approached me.

She wore rags that were covered in a mixture of manure and dirt, which did nothing but enhance her already pig-like appearance.

She accused me of stealing her husband.

I denied it as it surely wasn’t true. Her husband was just as pig-like and I wouldn’t dream of sinking that low.

She became angry and dowsed me in well water.

My skin burned and boiled but before I could retaliate, my mistress appeared. She grabbed me by the arm and drug me back to our home. But not before apologizing perfusing to the woman in the village as she yelled profanities in our direction.

My mistress refused to believe my pleas that I had done nothing and that the woman was crazy.

I was then bound to stay in our homestead for the remainder of the month until she felt I could be trusted to leave. She feared the Coven would catch wind of the spat I had with that woman and come calling.

But I didn’t care. At that moment, I vowed to exact my revenge upon that woman.

A few days passed and the rumblings in the village had died down.

At dusk, I entered the village. Hood drawn over my brow as I searched for my target, following her until she got to her home.

“Hey, you,” I called, standing a few feet behind her. 

She turned to face me and I put a hand out in her direction, focusing all my strength and determination.

I wanted waves of pain and anguish to pulsate through her body, as I focused all my hate for humankind on her. I expected her to fall to the ground, screaming and writhing in pain. Just as the animals I had practiced on did.

But instead, her body began to gyrate and move in a rhythmic sort of way. Like she was dancing to music that no one else could hear.

“What have you done?” She asked in a fearful tone, clearly alarmed at her lack of bodily control.

Panicking, I ran for it.

Returning home to my bed as though nothing had happened. I wondered what had gone wrong. 

Why had it worked so well on animals and not her? Were humans and animals so different?

Over the next few days, the story had spread, as had the jittery movements of the woman. More and more people throughout the village began the same sort of uncontrolled motions that could hardly be classified as dance moves.

It lasted over a month and was gaining the attention of other villages, as well as government officials.

It was ruled an odd, unexplainable, and incurable plague.

After a month, there was a knock on the door of our homestead.

The Coven’s Council stepped over the threshold of our home.

Having never met the Coven’s Council I had no idea who they were or what to expect.

“This is the source.” The lady in the black cloak spoke, her eyes falling immediately upon me.

“Hazel, Scarlet, and Zelda.” My mistress paused in awe, “What is the meaning of this?” She asked, her old face stricken with worry.

“She did this.” The witch in the brown cloak pointed a long bony finger in my direction.

“Did what?” My mistress inquired, hastily stepping between the Council and myself.

Closing the door behind them, the one in the grey cloak turned to us. Removing her cloak from her brow, “She started the Dancing Plague.” She explained in a calm, yet superior manner. Drawing herself up so that she was looking down her long nose at me.

I assumed this one was the leader.

“Sabrina? She- she couldn’t.” My mistress sputtered pathetically, aghast at the accusation.

“Indeed.” Spoke the leader, her eyes narrowed as she revered me. “She has powers you know of not.” She explained, flaring her nostrils.

“How did you do it, girl?” Inquired one of her companions, closing in on me and pushing my mistress to the side.

I sat silent, locked in my staring contest with the leader.

“It matters, not how.” Stated the leader, she continued to look me dead in the eyes, unblinking. As if trying to read my mind.

“It only matters that it stops.” She commanded, breathing heavily in thought.

“And if it doesn’t?” I challenged, fighting to keep a smirk from crossing my lips.

They were afraid of me. I could see it in her eyes.

“You and your mistress will be persecuted and banished from the Coven.” The one in the black cloak threatened, huffing in annoyance.

“We’ll fix this.” My mistress promised from a kneeling position on the floor. Her expression was stricken in desperation.

“We’ll see to it.” The leader stated, turning and leaving with the other two in tow.

Over the next couple of weeks, my mistress hounded me incessantly to undo the enchantment.

I explained that I hadn’t intended for this to be the result so I had no idea how to undo it.

We would spend many late nights reading her scrolls of enchantments and counterspells. But she had nothing on this type of thing.

According to her records, this was an unheard-of use for magic, something she would start to call dark magic.

By fall the enchantment was losing its power and eventually all infected had stopped gyrating. The village was now on its way to returning to normal.

My mistress was more watchful and annoying than ever, clearly nervous I would commit more heinous acts of dark magic.

But she wasn’t the only one.

Soon the Coven’s Council would reappear and banish us from the Coven for improper practices, to my mistress's distress.

I took the dismissal with a grain of salt.

Over the years they would turn up, having tracked me down for other bits of dark magic that they deemed unnecessary.

They even went so far as to track me across the pond. To what the world currently calls North America. By then I was more than done with them, so I had them burned at the stake during the Salem witch trials.

In the end, I made those bitches pay, as I traded their souls for immortality and they’re no more than worm food.

Suddenly an unexpected knock on the door pulled me out of my reminiscent daydream.

In no mood to entertain, I swung the door open ready to send whomever it was into the oblivion that the Coven’s Council resided.


The sound of a shotgun split through the air and I found myself splayed out on the entryway floor. My wounds burned and bubbled just as the water had centuries ago.

The bullets must be laced with holy water and salt. 

So this was how my life would end, thwarted by a lucky Hunter.

I laughed to myself at the irony of it all, blood bubbling up and slipping over my lips.

Humankind sure has come a long way. Long gone are the days when they were afraid of the likes of me.

Back then they called me a witch but I was something much more sinister. Those who knew me called me sin itself.

The End

A note from the Author:

A special thanks to Aly Suhail for the inspiration for this piece.

He wrote a poem about The Dancing Plague and it inspired me to write this. Here is a link to his poem:

A Dance Craze That Went Too Far


These are some of the adventures that lead up to the ending of Sabrina's life

A Trade

A Devil in the Making

To Hell and Back

urban legendsupernaturalpop culturemonsterinterviewfiction

About the Creator

Donna Fox (HKB)

Thank you for your support and feedback! 💚💙💜

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Comments (17)

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  • StoryholicFinds6 months ago

    love it! ❤️

  • Lamar Wiggins6 months ago

    Awesome read. I really enjoyed the origin. Your intuition was hard at work when you wrote this, cause little did anyone know there would be a coven challenge on the horizon. Is horror your favorite genre? You do it so well!

  • I'm so glad I opened this in a new tab to reread it and came back to it. Else I don't think I would have remembered that I forgot to comment on your latest Sabrina story. I would have been waiting like a fool for a reply for a comment that I never made 🤣🤣🤣 I didn't realise this the first time around but I did now. The bullet was laced with holy water and salt so it took her out. But what did the well water contain to cause her skin to burn and boil?

  • Dana Crandell6 months ago

    I like that you've written some of the stories in this series for Vocal challenges. This was a great one for the Broken Mirror challenge.

  • Mark Gagnon10 months ago

    I don’t know how I missed this but I’m glad I found it. I liked how you filled in the back story. It really flushed out her personality. Well done 👍

  • Oh no, I'm so sad Sabrina got killed! I got so attached to her from reading her past. I didn't expect her to be gone so easily. Anyway, I loved this story so much!

  • L.C. Schäfer12 months ago

    Ooooh I liked her! The dead children dropped in there as if inconsequential was especially jarring 😮

  • Caroline Craven12 months ago

    Wow! Great stuff! I love your main character! Really well written.

  • This was so good!! I’m a bit disappointed Sabrina died I really liked her as a protagonist. Her exploits and evil adventures would make a great book.

  • Alex H Mittelman 12 months ago

    Love your work! Great story!

  • This absolutely grabbed my attention! I love reading horror. This was beautifully written Donna ❤️

  • Hannah Moore12 months ago

    I like the dancing plague centre piece a lot.

  • ThatWriterWomanabout a year ago

    OOooooh yes I liked this a lot! The backstory was amazingly written! Keep it up! I also loved the easter egg of the witches' names!!

  • Quincy.Vabout a year ago

    interesting to read...........

  • Donna Reneeabout a year ago

    Wow!!! This was really captivating and creepy and haunting…. especially creepy in the first section haha 😱😱… It is also just a super interesting story, I love it! And thank you so much for the content warning!! It really helped me know what to expect and that there wasn’t anything I would specifically need to avoid ❤️🥰

  • Novel Allenabout a year ago

    Great storytelling here Donna. The darned devil is everywhere. I read Aly's story too. Ideas come from everywhere. Well done.

  • aly suhailabout a year ago

    Wonderfully written Donna and many Thanks 🙏 for mentioning me, God luck with your stories .

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