June 12

The Witch who Ended the World (Part 3)


[…continued from June 11 entry…]


“Stop.” The girl’s calm command was somehow strong enough to make Jonathon obey.  A drop or two of gasoline dribbled out of the slightly tilted can.

Mitchell hoped that his friend has finally come to his senses.  He should untie the girl from the chair, return her unharmed into the wild world.

“You entered people’s dreams,” Jonathon said.  “You turned them into mass murderers.”

“I don’t have as much power as you think.”  The girl’s voice cracked slightly as she spoke.  She ran her tongue over her dry lips to moisten them.  “I can’t make people do anything they don’t want to do.”

“You’re lying.”  Jonathon’s hands were shaking, liquid sloshing in the raised gas can, but no fresh drops spilled.

“For example, it was easy to make you stop.  You didn’t really want to burn me alive.”   She pouted and batted her eyes, the picture of innocence.  “You don’t want to burn yourself alive, either.  No matter how much I’d wish it, you’d never pour that gasoline over yourself and light a match to your soaked skin.”

Jonathan’s hands continued to shake, the liquid sloshing louder in the metal can.  Still, none of it spilled.

“Evil,” he said, matter of fact.

Mitchell wasn’t sure if his friend described the girl, or his own murderous plans.

“As I said before,” the girl continued, “we weren’t burned alive.  All the Salem witches were hanged.”

The girl blinked, and her hazel eyes were beautiful.  They seemed to flash in the dark, like a cat’s.

Mitchell realized he shouldn’t see her eyes.  She’d been blindfolded only seconds before.

He glanced down at his hands, and noticed he was holding the thick cloth Jonathon had used to cover the girl’s eyes.

Hanged.  Strangled by rope, their necks broken.

Mitchell quickly wrapped the blindfold around his friend’s neck, tightened the ends and twisted them.  The gasoline can fell to the ground with a clank, and Jonathon’s hands went to his throat, trying to dig beneath the tightening cloth.

Mitchell gave the blindfold another twist and a violent yank, nearly lifting his friend’s feet off the floor.  Jonathon’s neck gave a satisfying snap, and his body went limp.

“Excellent work.”  Binding ropes fell from around the girl’s wrists and ankles, and she rose from the chair in an elegant, almost floating movement.  “Pick up the ropes.  There are still survivors, but your hands are strong.  I’ll enter your dreams tonight, to give you further instructions.”

This basement had been her prison, but she seemed in no hurry to leave.  Her feet moved slowly, as if they barely touched the ground.

As she ascended the steps, she offered parting words of encouragement.  “You can be the one, Mitchell.  You can be the witch who ended the world.”