A mysterious man offers a woman dressed as a witch a device that allows her to cast real spells on Halloween.
Jill spun around with the box of wines wine she held, about to punch some guy for calling her a nasty name, but lowered her fist when the gentleman in a white suit and pink ascents continued. “I love your costume.”
“Oh, thanks,” Jill replied, her face flushed red in embarrassment from the misunderstanding. She was outside the liquor store, about to get her car after picking up some last-minute alcohol for her and her husband’s Halloween party tonight. She was dressed as a witch – decked out with a pointy purple hat, black corset, ripped leggings, and red heels for the occasion.
“It’s missing an accessory,” the man commented as he looked her over.
Jill clenched her tongue, bracing for whatever line he would give.
The man shook a finger at the sky when he realized his answer. “Real spells.”
Jill tilted her head back in unexpected confusion. “Real spells?”
“Or, more specifically, the ability to cast real spells,” he elaborated in a manner of an eccentric billionaire.
The man in the white suit reached behind himself and impossibly pulled forward a green metal chest the size of a watermelon. Before Jill could respond, the man opened the case, revealing a glowing green fog surrounding a crystal ball.
“Trade me one of your bottles of wine, and this device is yours,” the stranger offered.
Jill leaned forward and stared into the box. “How does it work?”
“Simply hold the crystal and say, ‘I cast,’ and what you want casted. Although, this device will only work until midnight, and you’ll have to live with whatever you created.”
Jill thought the deal over. Even if the crystal ball weren’t magical, the item would make for an excellent display prop or an accessory for her Halloween outfit. The exchange may be more in favor of the stranger, especially if the ball was mass-produced. Besides, she could always go back inside the liquor store and get another bottle of wine. She was grateful she was able to buy booze on a Sunday now.
Jill held out the case of wines. “I accept your offer.”
Without studying the selection, the man pulled out one of the wines. He reviewed the label for a moment – not long enough to read everything – before holding the chest forward for Jill. Jill picked up the crystal ball, losing herself as stars and planets swirled around inside. The display consumed her focus until the liquor store door dinged from someone entering did she snap out of her trance. Jill looked around for the stranger, but he was nowhere. She shrugged.
“I wonder,” Jill said as she held out the crystal. “I cast five boxes of red wine.”
The crystal glowed red before unleashing a spark of purple lighting at the pavement. Jill closed her eyes and jumped back but held tight onto the crystal. When she felt the danger pass, she saw five cases of premium boxed wine sitting before her.
“Holy shit!” Jill cussed. “It fucking worked!”
Jill glanced around to see if anyone else saw what happened, but no one was around. She loaded up the wine in her black Jeep. After buckling in, Jill grabbed her iPhone from the phone mount and texted her husband. She told him to meet her in the garage as soon as she pulled inside.
Upon arriving home, her husband followed her instructions. The garage door closed as Jill jumped out of her car.
“You won’t believe what I got,” Jill said, her voice racing as she pulled out the crystal ball from her pocket.
Her husband, Mike, took the crystal. “Neat. Where did you get this?”
“I traded a bottle of wine for it to this weird guy in a white suit,” Jill explained, still in a hurry. “It’s magically.”
Mike flipped up his eye patch for his pirate costume as he studied the crystal ball against the garage light. “I’d say.”
Jill yanked the crystal ball from him. “No, I mean, this is really magically. Watch. I cast a vanilla cake the shape and size of a human skull on a silver plate.”
The crystal glowed red before and then unleashed a spark of purple lighting at the ground, creating a vanilla skull cake. Jill smiled, proud of herself for holding steady during the spell casting this time. When she noticed Mike hadn’t said anything, she saw his face was drooped down and whiter. She picked up the cake.
“Don’t you think this is cool?” Jill asked, her voice soft.
“I’m worried,” he responded softly. “Remember that old Simpson’s Halloween special where the things they wished for had negative side effects?”
“Oh,” Jill uttered but then perked up. “But what’s wrong with this cake then?”
“I bet the cake has that fondant icing I hate,” Mike said.
Jill nabbed a tiny piece of icing from the back of the skull for a taste test. “Damn. It is fondant. But I bet other people will enjoy it.”
Mike shrugged. “I guess small spells have small consequences, so how about we keep it that way?”
Jill huffed. “I suppose you have a point. Besides, the guy said this would stop working at midnight anyway.”
“Of course he did. Typically spooky wares guy. Was he dressed in a black robe?”
“No, I said he wore a white suit with pink accents.”
“Oh, that’s right. You did say that.”
“Yeah, and he also had this strange, pink tie with white swirls,” Jill added. “The pattern made me think of Norse mythology or something like that. He wasn’t an old man either. He looked about our age.”
“Well, we should get this stuff inside,” Mike said. “We do have guests.”
“Right, you go back inside, and I’ll bring in the wine. I might have cast a spell for more wine earlier.”
Following the recommendations of her husband, Jill kept the spells small throughout the night. Whenever she wanted something, she went to the garage to create the item, which made for the perfect cover. She casted spells for things like more food, new wine glasses after being broken by a guest, full-size candy bars for the trick-or-treaters, additional Halloween decor, and other small items that wouldn’t raise suspicions.
The party lasted until almost midnight. As Jill and Mike cleaned the living room with the house to themselves, a thud hit their window. Jill thought nothing of the sound until she heard another one. She peeked out behind the curtain. A group of teenagers was throwing eggs and toilet paper at their house.
Jill pulled out the crystal from her pocket. “Oh, I’ll teach you a lesson.”
Jill stormed outside, prompting her husband to stop vacuuming and follow her. The teens laughed and started to run away. Jill’s eyebrows lowered and pulled closer together as she aimed the crystal ball.
“I cast a giant black widow to scare them!”
The crystal glowed and sparked to life a 10-foot tall black widow spider. The pranksters screamed in terror while Jill laughed in delight. The spider chased after them, knocking over her mailbox and some streetlights in the chase. The spider spewed webs, capturing the teenagers.
“Okay, this is going to have some major consequences,” her husband said.
“You’re right, you’re right,” Jill agreed with a sigh. “I cast spider be-gone.”
The crystal did not respond. Jill shook the device and tried again, but with no result.
“It’s 12:02,” Mike said while looking at his watch. “Didn’t you say everything would go away at midnight?”
“Yeah, I thought it would be like Cinderella, and everything would turn to normal, but I guess that’s not what he meant. He did say I would have to live with whatever I created.”
The black widow returned with the three teenagers, dropping them off like a cat offering a mouse. From above, three firetrucks landed like flying saucers, surrounding the spider and their home. Troops of humans in bright white and yellow uniforms poured out from the firetrucks. One with a rifle fired at the spider, stunning the creature and causing her to collapse. Another group rushed over to the teenagers and proceeded to free them.
Jill and Mike stood close together as a short woman with a yellow overcoat approached them. The couple read the name Captain Mists on her silver name tag. The leader glanced over the couple, spotting the crystal ball in Jill’s hand.
“May I see that,” Captain Mists formally requested, pointing at the crystal ball. Jill handed over the spell casting device without saying a word. The woman grunted in frustration. “Not another one.”
Captain Mists whistled, getting the attention of her team. “We got another spell caster situation. Standard procedure. Clear out anything that’s not theirs and wipe their memories.”
This short story was triggered by my random logic process. As I was leaving a convenience/gas store, I saw a woman dressed as a witch leaving, which got me thinking of how witch rhymes with another word and what if someone offered the power to cast real spells. I’ve written a story with just Raven, so I wrote this one to feature Loki by himself.