Today’s little tale comes from Catherine A. MacKenzie. The current topic is “magic brew” and what follows is an excerpt from Cathy’s short fiction “Between the Good and the Bad,” which (if her muse cooperates) is being expanded this month for NaNoWriMo. (November is National Novel Writing Month; write a 50,000 word “novel” in one month.)
You can read “Between the Good and the Bad” in its entirety in her most recent short story collection, available on Amazon and Smashwords:
I don’t kill without reason, at least not anymore, not once my sugar problem had been discovered. Sometimes killing for blood is a necessity, like the need for caffeine that drives humans to drink cup after cup of their morning coffee. They require caffeine as I need blood. But I’ve learned to use my skills to help the world, and I’m selective with my prey.
My witch gene enables me to cast magical spells. I’ve conjured up all sorts of formulas in order to carry out my deeds, and I consider myself somewhat a poet when I recite my chants.
You’ve heard of those unexpected, unwarranted deaths where one individual dies in a sole-vehicle accident? Everyone assumes they are suicide victims, although they keep the thoughts to themselves, for how could a driver veer off a deserted road into a ditch at three o’clock on a beautiful summer’s day and kill oneself? Those are some instances when I’ve helped out; there are a lot more. Sure, some of those motor vehicle deaths are accidents, but the majority are the result of my spells. Of course, no one will ever know the difference between the two.
There are more mysterious deaths than I can take credit for, so I wonder if there are other individuals like me in this town performing the same type of act, although I haven’t met anyone yet. It would be difficult, not to mention dangerous, to approach a suspected individual and ask.
Then there are those people who are too mentally diseased, too down in the dumps to live. Suicidal they might be, but killing themselves is something they would never accomplish successfully on their own—or even attempt—so I’ve taken it upon myself to help. I brew my special liquids and cast the spell of death or, at least, ensure suicide attempts are successful.
I’ve also helped others to die earlier than they would naturally. One such individual was Germaine, a woman in her sixties, who feared aging. She’d had numerous facelifts, so many in fact that her face had begun to resemble Michael Jackson shortly before his untimely death. I had been forced to put her out of her misery; she requested it, in a roundabout way. One more face job would have killed her if I hadn’t, and she had an operation scheduled for the week after I intervened.
Another was Amy, a beautiful twelve-year-old who was so full of cancer she didn’t stand a chance. Another year might have been afforded to her, but it would have been a painful and horrific twelve months for her to endure, not to mention the cruelty to her family while they watched her suffer. It was imperative something be done to relieve her and her family from misery.
Henry experienced a different type of death. He received the hands-on treatment. He had cheated on his wife, but that was the only similarity between him and Michael. Henry was a sex offender and had served a six-year prison term before being set free on a technicality. Six years for molesting eight little boys? I knew he’d hurt again, and I wanted to prevent the future suffering of young boys at his hands. I set those unknown future children free. A sentence of endless years wouldn’t have been enough for Henry; he needed to burn in hell for eternity. No spells for him. One late night, I confronted Henry, much like I had Michael, but I performed slow, painful acts on Henry like he had on those poor little boys. He suffered horrifically and begged for death before I was halfway through.
There are numerous other Genevieves and Amys I have helped, all with similar circumstances and pre-determined fates, and there will be many more in the future. And then there are the Henrys—males and females—who don’t deserve to live.
Although I can go several weeks without gorging on blood, there’s no shortage of innocents and victims, not in this depraved world, so I don’t have to worry about where my next feed will come from. Other times, when I get an uncontrollable urge, I try to be selective and pick a frail, elderly individual whose time would be up soon anyhow.
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Catherine A. MacKenzie