Tag Archives: Beneficent

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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Angrat and Beneficent go to Grandma’s house

One day, after breakfast, Queen Elishka made up a basket lunch and called for her daughters, Beneficent and Angrat.

“I want you to take this lunch to your grandmother,” Queen Elishka told the young witches. “She hasn’t seen the two of you since you were tiny, and I’m sure she would enjoy a visit.”

Beneficent, of course, reached for the basket. “Of course we will, dearest mother,” she said, bouncing on her toes.

“Oh great,” muttered Angrat under her breath. “Spend an entire day with this nitwit.” She shook her head and reached for her broom.

Now Grandmother (as they often seem to do) lived in the middle of the deepest, darkest forest in the land. So the girls set out on their brooms along the path through the fields to the forest’s edge.

Beneficent zipped ahead on her magnificent golden broom, executing inside loops and barrel-rolls. She would fly far ahead, and return to fly alongside Angrat, then fly far ahead again.

Angrat flew slowly and steadily at ground level, dragging her toes along the dirt path. She took out her wand and shot at targets, nailing butterflies and bunnies with precise snowballs.

Darkness settled around the girls as they entered the forest. Beneficent glanced all around and fidgeted. Angrat perked up a bit. The dark trees loomed and cast a deep shadow over everything, and not another bird or animal was to be seen.

“I don’t like the look of this,” said Beneficent.

“Don’t be daft, this forest is lovely,” Angrat replied.

Spanish moss hung down from the branches overhead, and the gloom deepened as stray rays of sunlight through the branches overhead grew less frequent. Beneficent nearly lost her golden hat to the dangling tendrils and was forced to fly down next to her sister. Angrat whistled.

A large wolf appeared suddenly in the forest path, and Beneficent shrieked. Angrat clapped her hands with glee.

“Where are you going, little girls?” asked the wolf.

“W-we’re going to Grandma’s house,” Beneficent replied.

“And what have you in your basket?”

“We have a lunch for our grandmother, of course.” Beneficent flipped back the checkered cloth that covered the basket, revealing the roast duck and lemon cake her mother had packed along with bottle of wine.

“And where does your grandmother live?” asked the wolf.

“The clearing in the middle of the deep wood, the one with the ancient black oak.” Beneficent replied.

***

Now the wolf thought to himself that these girls would make tender morsels, if he could just get them off their brooms and catch both. And so he pointed out the field of pretty poppies alongside the path.

“Oh, what pretty poppies!” Beneficent exclaimed. “I’m sure that grandmother would like some, don’t you think so, Angrat?”

Angrat was studying the wolf, and deep in thought. “Sure, whatever, doofus.”

Beneficent jumped down from her broom and began gathering flowers.

The wolf paced back and forth, waiting for his time.

Angrat was now watching the wolf very suspiciously indeed.

“Beneficent,” she said quietly, “I think we’d best get going. You know Grandma needs to get to sleep early.”

“All right,” Beneficent beamed happily, holding up a bouquet of fresh poppies. “We’ll hurry to make up time, I think I have enough anyway.”

As Beneficent trotted back toward her broom, the wolf knew he would have to move fast now.

“I’m sure your grandmother will love the flowers,” the wolf said. “Girls, I must be going now.”

“Farewell, Mr. Wolf!” Beneficent beamed.

“Yeah, later.” Angrat muttered, fingering her wand.

The wolf, of course, knew of a short-cut that would get him to the clearing in the middle of the forest quickly. He dashed off into the woods, and ran straight to Grandma’s house.

***

“Wasn’t he a nice wolf?” Beneficent said, as she placed the poppies atop the basket and climbed back on her broom.

“You’re such an incredible ditz.” Angrat just shook her head.

The young witches climbed back aboard their brooms and continued the journey, hurrying a bit more.

***

The wolf came to the cottage in the forest clearing. He slowly opened the latch on the front door and quietly slipped inside.

Grandma was enjoying a nice game of Angry Toads on her crystal ball, and listening to loud music on her headphones. The wolf didn’t need stealth at all; she was oblivious to the world as he crept up behind her and clubbed her over the head.

Stuffing the old bat in the closet, the wolf climbed into Granny’s flowered nightgown, and slipped under the blankets just as the young witches came in the cottage’s front door.

Beneficent softly called, “Good morning.” But received no reply. “She must be sleeping.” So she went to the bed and drew back the curtains.

Angrat, observing the test-pattern flickering in the crystal ball and the headphones lying on the floor, hung back just inside the door.

In the bed Beneficent saw her grandmother lying with her cap pulled over her face and looking very strange.

“Oh Grandmother,” she said. “What big ears you have.”

Angrat just stared in disbelief. “Moron,” she thought to herself and shook her head, fingernails tapping impatiently on her wand.

“All the better to hear you with,” was the reply.

“And oh Grandmother, what big eyes you have,” Beneficent marveled.

Angrat’s eyes, on the other hand, just rolled.

“All the better to see you with, my dear.”

“But Grandmother, what large hands you have!”

“Paws, you mean?” thought Angrat.

“All the better to hug you with.”

“Oh! But Grandmother, what a terrible big mouth you have!” Beneficent exclaimed.

“All the better to eat you with,” cried the wolf, leaping from under the covers of the bed.

With one bound, he dove at Beneficent, fully intending to swallow her whole.

But instead he froze in a solid block of ice, and Angrat and blew the frosty fog from the tip of her wand.

***

Later that day the entire family, including Grandmother (now freed from the closet and fully recovered from the conk on the skull) enjoyed a feast back at the castle together. Fortunately, the frozen wolf-sculpture made a far better centerpiece than he had made an identity thief.

 

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No daily prompt again today, guess we’ll improvise something.