Free writing: Witch Hunt

The woods were rustling with all of God’s creatures, as I stood before the entrance of Lady Seddick’s residence.
I banged on her wooden door but it gave under my insistance. Kissing my knuckles, I nudged the door open with a boot and called out, “Lady Seddick!”
With my musket at the ready, I crept further into the lair.
Pots, pans, whiskey jugs, and aging sausage hung from the ceiling. Every corner was piled with books or plants or a cat. Currently there was a cat weaving through my legs. Sometimes I wondered if she had trained them to trip people or if that was just the devil in every feline creature.
“Lady Seddick!”
My voice came back to me like a boomerang.
The cat, a different one I think, meowed.
I made my way to her hearth where her cauldron hung over a dying fire.
The cats chorused and I pointed my weapon.
“Lady Seddick!”
A shadow traveled towards me carrying something.
“What? Point that thing elsewhere, you’re going to hurt someone!” it said.
I frowned. “That’s the point!”
She appeared in front of me, and I started.
“Mathias, quit fooling around,” she clucked.
“Lady Seddick, I am here under order of Judge Rufus Young to investigate you for witchcraft.”
She narrowed her bright green eyes and laughed. “Come, Mathias, you know I don’t dabble with the dark arts.”
I tapped the cauldron with the butt of my musket.
“What call you this?”
I held up a book in Latin. “And this!”
“The Classics.”
“Doesn’t look like Oedipus to me.”
“Do you only read what they offered you?”
I huffed, tried to unglue a cat from my boot. “And are these not your familiars?”
She cackled. “They’re my family.”
“Why not have a real family?”
Her lovely face contorted. “The King stole my family!”
She sat down a pile of wood net to the cauldron and made a gesture. Her floor length auburn curls began to braid themselves. I began to back away, only to be tripped up by a cat.
“You have a gift for interrupting my bath time,” she said, winking. “Unless you want to join in, just ask Patches where I am next time.” She gestured to a pile of cats.
I shifted the musket to my other hand. She laughed.
“Mathias,” she crooned. “We both know what you really want.”
I moved forward as she spoke, and OH! that devil had her hands on my musket.
My vision blurred and I shoved her off. And then stared down at right hand which clutched a sachet.
“For your boy.”
No! How could she? I though of Benjamin lying pale and sweaty in his trundle bed. But still, no boy of mine would be under a witch’s spell! I made as if to toss it in the fire.
“It’s not poison. You know that.”
I snarled, “I’ll not have him drink a harlot’s potion.”
The force of her slap gave me a crick in the neck for days afterwards.
“Well if you want him to die,” she reached out for the sachet. “Datura is hard to come by in these parts…”
I made as if to snatch it back and found myself frozen.
Lady Seddick easily plucked it from my hands. She squeezed the pouch and then folded her arms.
“You can have it, but-”
“Say nothing?”
She nodded.
I found the magical mixture back in my hand and she shooed me out. “Be back in six weeks for more treatment. AND LEAVE THAT METAL THING AT HOME!”
I tipped my hat and she slammed the door in my face.


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