Ragtag Daily Prompt: Cauldron

In her youth, she’d been a beauty, but as she aged that beauty faded. The older she became, the further she removed herself from the village. Now that she was old and infirm, she lived deep in the forest, sharing nothing with anyone. Alone.

She learned her trade from the prior occupant of her cabin, another crone of obscure origins. Once the other old woman had taught her everything she knew, the apprentice murdered the teacher and buried her body in another vicinity. Thus began the career of the witch, a worker of magic. She could have used her knowledge to heal the sick and wounded, improve crop yields. Instead, a lifetime of malice caused her to work only for evil. Her specialty was to sever the bonds of love between children and their parents, or between those who were in love.

When the mysterious man from the court appeared on her doorstep, her first inclination had been to kill him right where he stood, but she could sense that he was on the same side of good and evil as she. He wore a flimsy cowl that obscured his face, but with her third eye, she could easily perceive his features. Like so many who have sold their soul to the Devil, he was inordinately handsome. He handed her a bag of gold and told her what he wanted. She cared little for money, but the target of his intention intrigued her, so she agreed readily.

Now she stood before her cauldron. The heat from the fire underneath it was almost unbearable. She reach for the shelf above her and pulled down a wax figure that she had fashioned during the last full moon. The witch began to chant quietly over the poppet, her words indiscernible. The figure wore a tiny uniform with a little tricornered hat. It even had a miniature sword at its side. A lock of hair was wound around its neck. Making a circular gesture with her other hand over the bubbling, foul-smelling concoction, she then stuck a straight pin right into its chest and then tossed it into the pot. She smiled as it began to melt and sink beneath the surface.

“It’s done!” She cried triumphantly.