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When we three meet again.

The reason to double check your Latin.

By Kelly Sibley Published 5 months ago Updated 4 months ago 12 min read

“Vive, ama, memento mei. Sum, fui, et ero. Cum tu aeternum.”

As the witch's powerful words rang out, lightning flashed through the pitch night, slicing the sky into an even half.

“You're saying it wrong!”

“I am not; how dare you!”

“Don’t get your knickers in a twist, Jeanie.” A rumble of threatening thunder expanded and echoed out in the distance. “I just think if you’re casting a spell for the binding and safety for our coven’s meeting, you should do it properly!”

The seated witch, who critically watched her friend cast in front of the puddling fire and simmering cauldron, pulled her tartan weatherproof blanket tightly around her knees. Being out and about in the middle of the night played absolute havoc with her joints. “Don’t want no nothing coming through from the other side when we’re busy, now do we?”

“And what, Matlida, do you think would come through during our coven meeting?” Mother Harper, the casting witch, raised a warning grey eyebrow almost high enough to reach the black brim of her hat. She was known by someone as one of the most powerful medical witches in the district and by others who didn’t like her or her methods as… ‘That Stupid Pig Witch’.

The fire under the boiling cauldron received a vicious poking with a blunt stick giving the offended witch time to formulate an answer.

“It's not as if we’re even a proper coven! Just the two of us. Out here in the forest. In the middle of the night.” Her voice rose in pitch with every complaint. “At our age. We should be home in bed. Or, at worst, there should be all the young witches here, tending the fire, making the tea and casting the protection spells. No self-respecting slave of darkness would be bothered with the likes of us!”

The cantankerous witch turned from the fire in a flourish of black cape and stared hard at her seated companion. “It be stretch’n the truth to breaking point when call’n us two old bags a coven.”

“Less of the old, thank you very much, Jeanie Harper.”

Mother Matilda Merriweather, like her dear friend Mother Harper, was not your usual witch.

When most Mothers of the ‘Magical Arts’ remained celibate and cloistered away in some dark, dank forest, these two witches preferred company. In Mother Merriweather’s case, from one very large family and Mother Harper’s, one bustling hospital for the Pregnant and Medically Stupid.

“It’s just a sign of the times, Jeanie. You know, young women nowadays just don’t wanna give it all up and become a witch.” Mother Merriweather gave an aged sigh of acceptance as she reached into her waterproof leather satchel and withdrew her butter biscuit tin, the one she had to hide from her grandees in case they pigged out on the rich biscuits and made themselves sick. The worn floral lid was prised open with a practised hand, and two little whisky bottles were withdrawn, also with a practised hand. The old witch lamented, “We're just a breed teetering on the edge of extinction!”

“Bulldust, Matilda, absolute bulldust. It's cause of that jumped-up little trollop Heggerty. She and her dragon mystic flunkies think’n the only way for our kind to exist is by dominating an’ ruling. But I tell ya, Matilda.”

“Oh, good goddess, here we go again...” Mother Merriweather mumbled quietly into the darkness, ignoring her friend's blazing blue eyes as she quickly popped another butter biscuit into her mouth.

The grey eyebrow once more rose in warning before Mother Harper sniffed away her disgruntled emotions. “I tells you, Matilda, we needs to act. We needs to bring back balance to the order of things. Witches aren’t rulers; we’re Mothers. We nurture, we build, we bind, we care.”

“And we’s give 'em a bloody good spanking if they’s don’t do as they're told!”

Mother Harper nodded at her friend's truth. “That’s right, we do. An that jumped up vicious little enchantress floozy Heggerty, needs a damn good whipping!”

A breaking of twigs and rustling of leaves emanated from the dark forest, setting both witches to alert. Nowadays were dangerous times, even for witches. And without a doubt, it was hazardous for witches who spoke out against Mother Heggerty and her Dragon Coven.

“Mr Gilipollas,” Mother Harper called out, “If that’s you hiding out in tha’ bush over there, I’ll be mighty cross!” Both witches waited a moment, “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times, you silly man, our dancing naked under moonlight days is well and truly over. There will be no wiggling and jiggling tonight!”

“Thas right, Jeanie, an a man your age shouldn’t be getting too over-excited. So come out here, have a cuppa and butter biscuit.”

“It’s not Mr G.” A nervous voice called out from the embracing darkness as both senior witches stiffened, anticipating their oncoming reactions.

“And actually, are you aware of what his name means?”

“Oh, it’s you, skulking around in the dark, is it?” Disdain dripped onto the leaf litter below from each and every one of Mother Harper’s syllables.

“Oi, oi, oi, it’s our young Beatrix. How goes it, Maiden?” Mother Merriweather beamed happily as she relaxed back into her deck chair. “I hears from ol’ grumble knickers over there that you killed the sex-crazed yellow dragon when she was trying to deflower your young fella. Well done you, my girl.”

The elderly witch took great pride in her gossip and found that a cuppa-tea and a biscuit tin were all she really needed when gathering information—no need for pliers, dungeons and stretching devices. Everyone eventually spilled their dark and dirty little secrets when faced with a butter biscuit and hot tea.

“Err, yes, well, um… kind of, but not really. It was more of a team effort.” Beatrix stepped closer to the fire; the forest was cold and wet, and her cheap leather boots were thoroughly soaked right through. “I just needed to come and speak to you both.”

“Really, couldn’t you have just popped into the hospital?” Mother Heggerty turned her back to the young witch and warmed her derriere by the fire, turning up her nose, the old witch sniffed. “This be my private time.”

“It’s not safe.” came Beatrix's quiet reply.

“What… you worried you can’t take on Heggerty? Frightened, she might jump out and pounce on you, little mouse?” The night sky dwindled as the stars disappeared, “Worried she might eat you up and then go BBQ, your friends? Burn everything and everyone you care about to ash and cinder?” The night noises silenced as Mother Harper’s voice rang like an axe to wood. “Don’t you have what it takes? Scared, are you little witch?” The darkness cloistered the three witches in a small puddle of dwindling warmth.

“Yes, I am, and so are you!”

A loud guttural laugh rang out around the clearing as the stars returned and the forest retreated. “Ooo, she’s got you bang to rights there, Jeanie!”

Mother Harper folded her arms over her ample bosom. “I may be many things, but I’m not stupid, and I’m certainly not afraid of Heggerty. I’m just cautious.”

“Yes, so am I.” Beatrix’s blue eyes began to tear up. “But I am very worried.”

“Oh, now don’t cry, little Bea, it’s alright. Tell your Aunties what’s the matter.” Mother Merriweather passed the young witch a butter biscuit. “Pour her a cuppa, Jeanie.”

Beatrix gratefully took the fatty biscuit, “Thank you. I think… well, it’s a bit hard to… I don’t quite know where to…” the young witch’s shoulders dropped before a decision was made and the long sleeve of her black cloak was pulled up.

Both elderly witches leaned in, ensuring they got a full eyeful.

“I’m a monster!” was wailed out by the heartbroken young witch. “I’m going to turn into a murdering monstrous monstrosity who's going to maul and masticate her friends in a terrible munching massacre.” Beatrix flopped to the floor with biscuit in hand.

“Gosh, that’s a lot of M words, ain't it!” Mother Merriweather was impressed.

“Sounds like a whole lot of cra…”

“Jeanie, language!”


“Why are the both of you not freaking out right now? I have a dragon scale growing on the back of my hand. I am going to turn into a dragon. A dragon, ladies. A bloody huge dangerous and insane dragon who goes around eating people.”

“Are you now?” Mother Harper poured herself a cup of tea with a little whiskey element as the night-time birds hooted and tweeted.

“Would you like another biscuit, little Bea?” The tin was held out helpfully.

Beatrix took another because, really… what other option did she have? The older witches really weren’t reacting the way she expected them to.

A wicked smile grew helpfully over Mother Harper’s face as both grey eyebrows rose innocently upwards. “Has no one ever given you the birds and bees talk?” The two elderly coven sisters leaned in.

“Err, yes!” Beatrix rolled her eyes haughtily, “I’ve delivered numerous babies!”

“Do you know how they got in there in the first place, though?” Mother Merriweather smiled innocently as she took a long sip of her tea; her coven sister’s features grew shadowy.

Blushing was something that unfortunately came all too easily to Beatrix. “Yes, of course I do.” Waves of uncomfortable heat flowed across her cheeks. “But I’m a witch, so that’s something I don’t partake in.”

“Oh, we partakes of it all the time, don’t we, Jeanie? Does you good! Clears your sinuses. Ere, have you seen hunk hunka man in action?”

Mother Harper sniggered to the moonlight, “I’m not talking about ordinary folk; I’m talking about witches, birds and bees, you silly little girl.”

The grove was quiet as the fire crackled away.

“Biscuit, Jeanie?”

“Alright, yes, I have had a private showing of the hunka hunka man, and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. Walked with a limp for a week.”

Mother Merriweather smiled a cat’s got-the-cream grin.

Beatrix looked at the two old hags, who obviously were enjoying every single moment of her ignorance, but bit down her temper and answered as evenly as she could.“No. I don’t know anything about the witches, birds and bees.”

“No, I didn’t think Heggerty would cause knowledge is power, but so is ignorance… in the right hands.” Mother Harper’s teeth shone under the moonlight’s sparkle.

Beatrix looked at each of the elderly plotting witches. “What’s going on with me?”

“Ooo, deary can’t do that; you're not one of our coven members. We’s can only give the talk to coven members. It’s the rules.”

“That’s right, Matlida, you’re perfectly correct, it’s the rules.” Mother Harper smiled at Beatrix like a hungry mountain lioness, “But if you agreed to become, can’t ever, ever take it back ever, member of our coven…” The old witch left the thought hanging, waiting for Beatrix to pick it up.

“Well, you're not giving me much of an option, are you?”

“Oh, you little witch, you always have options.” Mother Harper stood with the fire’s flames growing at her back. “You have the option of asking Heggerty an seeing if she lets you walk away with the knowledge. Hey, you never know; she might even let you join her coven! I doubt it, but you could always try. Or you have the choice of joining our coven and staying true to your ‘Sisters of Midnight’ for the rest of your life on pain of death. Then you’d be a member of a coven who will always have your best at heart, who always stands together and be told the truth about witches. Or your last choice is to walk away, never know the witch’s birds and bees, and just learn to lives with it.” The cold blue steel tint of Mother Harper’s eyes shone out from under her pointed black hat of station.

“Tha’s right there, Jeanie, lots of choices to choose from, bit like a bikki tin!”

“Ahh, I …ahh, we might… ahh… well… did you cast a protection spell at the beginning of our meeting?” quivered Beatrix as she looked over Mother Harper's shoulder, her eyes widened.

“Of course I did, you silly girl. I’ve been casting longer than you’ve been breath’n. What do you take me for some silly little carpet maker’s daughter fresh to the knowledge?”

“Errr, Jeanie.” Mother Merriweather stood up as rapidly as her dicky knee allowed, dropping her precious blanket to the wet ground. “Jeanie…”


Mother Merriweather pointed to something over her friend's shoulder.

“It’s behind me, init?”

Both wide-mouthed witches nodded in unison as their eyes travelled upwards.

“It’s a slave of darkness, init?”

Again, a double head nod.

“Does it look hungry?”

The tips of two black witches' hats swayed backwards and forwards.

“Butter biscuit hungry or guts, eyeball and crunching bones hungry.”

“The last one, Mother Harper.”

“Oh, poop!”

Mother Harper turned slowly so as not to startle the dark-taloned creature, which had slithered from the depth of nightmare shadows and, as it did so, drawing closer to the warmth of fire and the scent of power emanating from a poorly protected coven.

The head witch hid the fact that she was glad not to have put on a fresh pair of bloomers for the evening, which would have been a wasted effort. “Oh, you are rather big now, aren’t you?”

The salivating dark slave sniffed the air with slitted, glistening nostrils. A flickering tongue spat out from its strong jaw, sampling the breath of its future victims. Death’s rattle greeted the three witches, who were slowly but surely stepping back from their meeting place and towards the forest.

“I told you you weren’t doing it right.”

“Shu up, Matlida, I was, but you interrupted me.”

“I would like to know what you two are planning on doing! Mother Harper, it’s moving.”

“Well, little Miss Witch, on top of my list is not to die.”

The dark, glistening monster leaned over the fire, sizzling its underbelly as it licked its drooling maw.

“Oh, crap, Jeanie, that’s not good. It ain't even feeling fire!”

“What do you suggest, Matilda?”

“I’m too old to run away, so I guess we’re just gonna have to…”

A blue-white flame ripped over the heads of the two elderly witches, setting what little hair the demon had on fire as its skin bubbled and blistered. A scream so loud both the witches pulled the brims of their hats over the ears in a futile attempt to block it out, as the shimmering claw of a magnificent golden dragon gently pushed them behind its vast sheltering tail.

“Well, Jeanie, I guess we won't have to give her the dragon talk after all!”

“No, Matilda, but she’s one of us now. If we live through this, our coven has just reignited itself and Heggerty better start runn’n!”


About the Creator

Kelly Sibley

I have a dark sense of humour, which pervades most of what I write. I'm dyslexic, which pervades most of what I write. My horror work is performed by Mark Wilhem / Frightening Tales. Pandora's Box of Infinite Stories is growing on Substack

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Comments (2)

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  • ROCK 3 months ago

    Hahaha 🤣; I am rolling in laughter! You must be quite the guest at a dinner party 🥳! You "monstrous monstrosity"!

  • Delightful, inventive & humorous. Well done, Kelly. Editorial Note: In the paragraph, "'Really, couldn’t you have just popped into the hospital?' Mother Heggerty turned her back to the young witch and warmed her dairyaire by the fire. 'This be my private time.'" Shouldn't that be Mother Harper? (I believe Mother Merriweather is seated.)

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