A Gullible Witch

Beneficent always believed whatever she was told.

For a while, when they were young, her sister Angrat often took advantage of her sister’s gullibility. Beneficent could be sent on wild goose chases of all varieties, often to hilarious results. Angrat told her a true princess would be able to feel a single pea through nine mattresses, for example. Beneficent spent the entire summer convincing herself she was adopted. Which Angrat, naturally, carefully said nothing to confirm or deny.

But eventually, even Angrat grew mostly tired of such games. It was always much too easy; her sister’s empty head never provided any challenge.

So the two sisters lived together in relative peace, until Queen Elishka decided the young witches were old enough to attend their first year away at boarding school. They packed their brooms and traveled to Madame Zelda’s Coven of Primary Witchery for the Spring term.

Beneficent proved proficient with Scrying and Divinations, especially the crystal ball varieties. Angrat excelled at Hexes and Curses, with a minor in Weather.

One morning, they were out gathering herbs in the swamp for Potions class. Angrat spied a frog on a lily pad, and promptly hatched one of her better schemes.

“Ben,” said Angrat. “Do you know the story of the Frog Prince?”

Beneficent didn’t.

“It’s an old tale. There is a cursed prince somewhere near here, a handsome and rich one. Supposedly, he was cursed for offending the Swamp Crone herself.”

“His curse is to remain a frog forever, until a princess whose heart is pure breaks the curse with a kiss.”

Angrat enjoyed the rest of their day in the swamp, as Beneficent grabbed one frog after another and eagerly osculated each amphibian on its little froggy nose.

As always, Angrat marveled at her sister’s eagerness to embrace any tall tale offered.

Nothing came of the smooches.


Toward the end of term, Beneficent was walking by the well when she heard a faint cry from below:

“Help, I’ve fallen in the well, can you lift the bucket please?”

She turned the crank and pulled up the bucket, an inside was the greenest, wartiest frog Beneficent had ever seen.

“Thank you miss, I feared being stuck in the well forever. I am Très Charmant.”

Beneficent’s eyes widened.

“Are you an enchanted prince, Très?” she asked.

“Why, yes I am. How did you know?”

“My sister told me of your curse. I believe I can help you.”

Beneficent lifted the frog to her lips and bestowed her finest kiss.


Within the year, Queen Elishka announced the wedding of Princess Beneficent to Prince Très.

Angrat attended, but in foul humor. She’d never suspected there was a real prince.

At the reception, Princess Beneficent listened while Très pronounced his eternal love and everlasting devotion to the most beautiful witch in all the land.

Beneficent always believed whatever she was told.

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Horrors d’oeuvre, sir?

“One of those swanky parties?”

“Black tie, RSVP, the whole drill. St.John never does anything halfway.”

“Ostentatious bastard. Probably pumping the crowd for votes, too. Check the coats dear, I need to powder.”

I traded the coats for a pair of claim tickets, and stepped into the dining hall.

At the front of the room, a young lady stood waiting in a bathrobe. Cameras flashed as the robe dropped to the floor, and she spread herself across and elevated dining table, completely nude.

A man seemed to be directing her… Bouncer? Bodyguard?

My wife returned from nose-powdering and peered over my shoulder.

“Ooh! I’ve heard of these. Nyotaimori, they’re going to serve sushi directly from the model’s body.”

The bodyguard fellow was donning a chef jacket.

“Sure I can’t stomach anything like that, sounds unsanitary.”

Screams. He was wielding a meat cleaver, hacking.

“Not sushi.” I could see clearly for one heartbeat before the dinner crowd stampeded.

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“Better make sure your car starts”

You know how stupid-cold it must be outside for her to say that, right? The sort of weather Eskimos fly to Florida to avoid.

Yes, it’s stupid-cold enough to worry about the car starting (or not). The Chevy felt reliable today. (It’s not really old enough to reach that ‘unreliable’ stage, though its driver certainly is). Started right up, naturally.

But now for the fun part…did you know that, just idling, your car needs to sit running for thirty minutes? Starting it puts a big drain on Mister Battery. According to the Internet (font of all wisdom), it’ll take 10-15 minutes of driving, or thirty minutes of idling, to make sure the battery’s fully charged.

Assuming your alternator is working, that is.

Now I feel stupid for the test-start. Who knew it took that bloody long? Just goes to show, wives are not intended to be heeded. Nothing good ever comes from it.

Back to my couch-potato-ing. Another convenient excuse to avoid doing any writing! Meanwhile, the Sinister Sub-Zero Auto Theft Ring is driving my car away, chortling.

Damn, I could’ve just surfed the internet, if I wanted an excuse to not-write.

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Did I mention I don’t like winter?

In the heat of the dunes

I bet you guys didn’t know you were surrounded by desert in all directions, did you?

I mean,  it’s pretty hard to tell from the snow on the ground. But here we all are on my oasis. Come in, come in and have a fruity beverage. Mind the camel, he spits.

You see those Bedouin warriors riding in circles around us, aiming their long rifles this way? Don’t mind them. They’re only angry about the racially stereotypical fictive treatment they’re receiving.

They’ll stop shooting any moment now.

You see, I was asked where I go to relax and unwind. If you’ve been here a while, you probably already know–hey, you’re in it! THIS is where I unload and relax, usually with a handy caffeinated beverage and an internet nearby.

A satellite signal way out  here, I guess. Best not to ask.

Now personally, I wouldn’t have decorated the place with all this heat and the sand that just gets in the sandwiches. But I got it at a big discount from Hollywood Backlots R Us. Peter O’Toole Memorial Sale.

So top off your fruity beverages and lean back in the shade from the palm trees.

I’m hoping for some belly-dancers soon. Hey, we had lingerie models yesterday, why not?

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A sanctuary is a place you can escape to, to catch your breath and remember who you are. Write about the place you go to when everything is a bit too much.

Wonder if I’ll get an Academy Award