She arrived on a tumultuous night: screaming wind, crying rain, explosive thunder, riding the lightning bolts through the dark clouds.
Blight on crops; the milk turned foul before the teat of dead cow.
Miscarriage of all the livestock and the wheat turned brown shrivelling to nought.
And worse was still to come.
What should we do we hear her scream at the dark full moon; we hear her cackle laugh at our misfortunes most dire. She sits on the shards of our dreaming moments waking us early and leaving no rest for her bed is made of our unrest. Our babies two now and that’s two too many have been taken by her foul magic for the blasphemy she hold most dear, is the fat of a young babe as a lotion for her skin, so that she can fly through the air; worse still to come for in her wake pestilence she brings a new black death to haunt in her way.
Then we rose in union and we screamed: “How to rid of the witch from hell; this Hade’s whore who destroys our lives and kills our babes! How do we rise from the ashes of the storm that feeds on lost hope and eats our souls?”
Then one night as the moon lay naked and full we hunted her with iron-rod and salt and sedated her with wild cats they chased the witch and ripped her skin; we prayed to God and to church to help catch the witch so foul. Fallen from grace, fallen from man, the witch cursed the cats and they all fell dead. She hexed at those of the brave that hunted the fiend from hell but God doeth protect, and having no power from the devil, when the moon became the early sun and her powers of the night did fade. We clasped her then in iron chains, and her body to the first giblet and hung her high, screaming and cursing till death took its reward and delivered the creature back to hell.
The witch is dead we cheered and cheered. We buried her deep and her evil ways deeper still. The witch is dead and buried deep and can no more lay waste or take our babes. The witch is dead and buried deep she now lives in hell with the devil and is the queen in Hade’s land.
One season, one year of peace did past. Till on the darkest night of January a storm did come upon this land and freed the witch from her earthly tomb and from the reign in hell to earth her evil soul did come. To haunt our dreams and destroy our crops; lay waste to our beasts till nothing they could yield. And worse of all another two new-borns have been stripped of skin and fat for her potion – the witchcraft’s skill most black.
We can hear her cackle at the full moon midnight. When she rides the winds with lotion made so foul to spread misery, plague and misfortune upon the crowd. Her joy is our pain, her drink is our tears no more can we fight this pestilence which comes in her wake. What should we do the witch is back? Those that hunted her died at the first breath she took when earthbound she did get.
We went to a priest and prayed: what should be done the witch is back. ‘No-use to bury her deep’, said the priest ‘cut off her head, and cut out her heart, and remove her tongue, and burn her black, then sprinkle her ashes at a crossroads on the first months full moon to stop the witch from coming back’…The witch is back, we killed her and buried her deep but alas the witch is back.
So now what is left of our dying village did creep upon her at the midnight hour when by a twisted oak she stood. She laughed and spat at our hopeless crowd with taunts most cruel of how she would haunt us till eternity pass. Then all at once as if God answered our prayers and sent an angel down a young maiden of quiet continence who had lost her babe and family to the pestilence most foul, plunged a wooden stake through the heart of the blackest of the witches that hell hath sent, with a wrath born of a young woman who had lost all hope, except for the taste of vengeance against the witch. The stake had been blessed by the young maid’s tears for the love of the family all dead and gone, did burn the witch’s skin and set fire to the direst heart. On her knees the witch did fall, the crowd did fall in anger and loss did tear the blackened heart from her chest; tore the tongue from her mouth, removing her head; with fire we did pyre her body until not much but ash was left and sprinkled it at the first crossroads to the cold north wind that did howl, taking her soul home to hell.
The witch is dead and as not come back. We pray and pray the witch does not come back.