Evil Deeds

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic

A story of witches, both black and white.

Evil Deeds

 

It was deep in the Harz forest way back in the 14th century, witchcraft was all the rage and here in this dark little cave sat three of the ugliest and most powerful witches of all time. They were crouched around a bubbling black cauldron each taking turns in adding some ingredients and then giving it a stir. “Wing of Bat” whispered the ugliest of the three as she cast the bloodied remains of a bat that she had trapped and killed earlier in the evening. “Eye of Newt” screamed the second witch, as she threw the tiniest of morsels into the boiling mass of putrid smelling liquid. “Tail of Cat” cackled the third and nastiest of the three witches as she ripped the tail off the still live screeching feline, blood and fur everywhere as the cat tried vainly to protect its appendage.

The rounds continued for some time as all the ingredients were added to concoct the required potion. Not all were from living creatures, there were numerous herbs and spices that the evil trio had collected from around the forest, Coriander, Tarragon and Oregano were but a few of the more pleasantly smelling items that were cast into the cauldron, not enough to take away the dreadful odour it must be said but maybe they eased it just a little.

Now the potion the witches were brewing was a terrible dark secret that only the highest of their brethren knew about, it was so hideous and horrifying that they had told nobody what they were doing. They were concocting a brew that along with a few carefully chosen spells would awaken the dreaded Trolls.

It was many years ago that these evil man eating creatures were put to sleep, they now had become part of the rocks and mountains in which they slept. Some were under bridges that crossed the many streams and rivers of the Harz Mountain region. Others were hidden in the backs of caves where they had once sat awaiting unsuspecting travellers to camp for the night. But now they were covered in grass and moss, bird’s droppings and cobwebs, they had become so disfigured by the wind and rain and the ever eroding cascades that came down from these spring filled mountains that they were unrecognisable to the human eye.

They had been put to sleep all those years ago by the wonderful white witch of the snow covered north. She had ventured down from her white wonderland in times of old when the Trolls were becoming more than a little difficult to control. She had spoken to their leader and most evil of all the Trolls, Hacken, and asked him to keep his compatriots in their designated lands on the highest points of the Harz, places where man kept away from and that were inhospitable to all but the goats which were the Trolls normal sustenance. But Hacken had refused, and what’s more he had threatened to come out of the forests and make inroads into the towns and villages that were abundant all over Harz. The white witch tried vainly to persuade Hacken and gave him a time limit to reconsider, she explained that if he ignored the warnings she was giving then he and his followers would feel the wrath of goodness. Hacken laughed at the white witch and dared her to do what she could, how could a mere female do anything to hurt a Troll, why, if he felt like it he could eat her in one sitting and still have room for a baby goat for pudding.

As the end of the time limit the white witch had stipulated drew to a close she came back from the wintry lands of the north to see what had occurred. Her first communications with the people of Harz let her know that her advice had been ignored and that not only were the Trolls still catching passing travellers from their lairs under bridges and in the back of caves but that they had even been seen in the small villages and had snatched old ladies and children from under the villagers eyes, the community had fought hard to protect their weakest citizens but what can mere men do against the rock hard hide of a Troll.

The only way to kill a Troll was to make him drink pure mountain water served from a tin cup, and although there was plenty of water about the Trolls either lay under springs to quench there thirst or cupped their hands into the shape of a drinking vessel. Occasionally a villager would see a Troll asleep and carefully prise his mouth open and pour in some water from the tin cup that all villagers carried with them. There were certain areas of Harz that the Trolls wouldn’t even drink from the streams, this was because sometimes the underground rivers ran through the tin mines, and this made them very ill and now and again proved fatal to a Troll, it was this that had given the elders of the villages the ideas about using tin cups, when they tried it and it worked it seemed to the villagers that their troubles were over. But catching a Troll asleep was not only rare it was also very dangerous if not downright foolhardy, The Trolls had very early realised what was happening and they had started pretending to be asleep in full view of the travellers in the hope that one would come near enough to catch. The obvious problem for Trolls is that they were very bulky and cumbersome and could not catch the fleet of foot; they were also very noisy so unless they stayed very still and waited for prey to come to them they got very hungry. Whenever they tried catching anything by chasing it the very noise frightened everything away and the Trolls soon got tired carrying all that weight. But Trolls had a couple of big advantages, one was that they could go weeks without eating as long as they didn’t move and the other was that they were very, very patient.

Well after years of the Trolls becoming more and more difficult and more and more of them coming down from the highest mountains it was all going to be put a stop to. The White Witch summoned all the good people of the Harz area together and after five days of travelling they were all together in the square at Herzburg, the entrance to Harz.

All this goodness in one place made the White Witch even stronger and she drew all her strength and cast the biggest spell of her life.

 

With all this goodness that I take

Let all you Troll’s who are now awake

Feel the wrath from the witch of white

And give up now without a fight

Wherever you be in this mountain land

You will feel the spells coming from my hand

Your eyes will close and you will fall asleep

Never again will you walk or leap

Travellers all spared your evil malice

As you drink from this water filled chalice

 

With a final clap that sent sparks of beautiful fire soaring from her hands in every direction, she put all the Trolls to sleep. Wherever they lay in wait, they now lay asleep, at the mercy of anyone with a tin cup.

The villagers were overjoyed and after thanking the witch of goodness they celebrated with a party that went on for days. And when it eventually finished the villagers made there way back to their own homes with not one of them taken by a Troll. For days and weeks afterwards the people went searching for Trolls and poured water from a tin cup down their throats, killing as many of them as they could find. But as week followed week and month followed month the Trolls were forgotten and hidden by leaves and the natural growth of the forest. Lots of the Trolls that had been lying under bridges were killed but most of the ones in caves just kept on sleeping, as did the ones hidden in the forest. Yes they were not dead, just sleeping and slowly but surely they were being forgotten.

Years and decades passed, the Trolls became part of folklore, when children were shown a rock under a bridge that vaguely resembled something human and were told it had once been a Troll they laughed and believed none of it. The Trolls were no more as far as the villagers of Harz were concerned, just another myth, another story from the elders to keep the small children enthralled and just that little bit afraid of the forests.

But now all this time later we have a small coven of the most powerful witches in the land undoing all the good the white witch had done. They were chanting, the cauldron was boiling, and sparks and flashes were happening all around them and most of all an evil smell was enveloping the whole mountain.

The villager’s miles away could smell the putrid concoction, and when they looked in the direction that it seemed to come from they could see an eerie glow emitting from that part of the forest. They could feel something bad was going to happen, the whole air was filled with revulsion and hate, the air was getting thick with unnatural colours and swirling mists, what on earth was happening.

People from outside of Harz looked at the mountainous area; it had a sort of forbidding haze over it, like nothing they had ever seen before. Travellers that were about to venture into these forested mountains, whether be it for trade or pleasure suddenly changed their minds. Harz was not the place to be on this strange and evil night.

The first thing that needs to be answered is why are the witches doing this, well in these times of the 14th century all the witches whether black or white, whether evil or good were being hunted down and killed by men. The fear had been encouraged by their religious leaders and it was now having such a tumulus affect that it was spreading throughout the lands. Anyone who was even suspected was put through terrifying tests to prove they were not practising witchcraft, and most of the tests meant that you were either a witch or that you would die proving otherwise.

One such test was to be tied down with rocks and thrown into a lake, if you came to the surface alive you were killed as a witch but if you drowned as most did it meant that your body had been cleaned of its evil influence. A similar method was used in where the so called witch was dunked under the water on a seesaw contraption with the same outcome. Other tests included eating red hot coals or being strapped to a post while a fire was built around you, once you were aflame survival meant witch, death meant your body had been cleansed.

Now some of the evil witches might have deserved their fate and some fought with all their spells to survive, but the white witches who had only ever helped the people with their magic and healing herbs were also being put to death. The white witches had no defence but to hide as it was their sworn duty to protect mankind and they could not use their spells even if it meant saving their own lives. This meant that the powerful bad witches survived but the powerful good witches unless they managed to hide were killed off.

So the reason was both one of retaliation and also because the white witches were no more and could not interrupt their evil spells. The evil witches with their black cats and croaking frogs were releasing the Trolls yet again, the Trolls that fed on mankind. Evil was helping evil and it had all been caused by mankind’s fear of the unknown.

The first Troll to awake was Hacken, he rubbed his eyes and looked all around him, boy was he hungry, he could eat a, well he could eat a boy, a very large boy. Hacken looked around him, the whole place seemed different somehow, but he had only closed his eyes for a moment, well that’s how it felt to him.

Hacken strolled around the forest, very slowly as he was very hungry, and he came to realise that something strange had occurred. The houses had encroached on the forest more than he could remember, there were paths where none had been and men were happily walking over bridges without looking under them first in case a Troll should be there. It was very strange but very convenient, and very soon he was tucking into his first meal, a tinker was strolling across the bridge whistling away, not a care in the world when Hacken had him, quickly he bit of the mans head to stop that infernal noise then he set to on his arms and legs, when he was down to the torso he stopped for a drink of water, and after a few moments hesitation cupped his hands and drunk the beautiful fresh water. No tin in this he thought and then returned to munching on the body of the tinker. Similar things were happening all over the mountain, people were being snatched everywhere and now and again a Troll would be seen. Stories sped around the forest putting fear into everyone but by this time hundreds of villagers had been eaten by starving Trolls. The ones from the top of the mountain were feasting on dozens of goats that were leaping about everywhere; it was like a massive Trolls banquet. But down below the followers of Hacken were eating their way through village after village, two hundred years of hunger was taking a long time to go away.

Overnight the whole scenario on Harz had changed, witches were no longer feared, it was now the Trolls. They searched through forgotten manuscripts and asked the elders questions about the stories of the Trolls. They all said one thing when it came to who defeated them; it was the White Witch of the North.

The white witch, the good witch, but all witches are bad, that’s what they had been told. But this white witch, she must be good, does she still live, do any good witches still live. The villagers were getting more and more fearful as they read and listened to the old tales. The Trolls had eased up on their slaughter for the time being, some had been seen sleeping off their huge meals but nobody had the nerve to approach them with a tin cup.

At a massive meeting the elders decided that what was needed was an amnesty with the witches. They must talk with them and find out if they can help the people of Harz. But where do you find witches, for decades we have been hunting and killing them, they won’t just suddenly walk down the street.

The elders spent hours and days deliberating over the problem and eventually came up with what they hoped was a solution. They decided to build a village for the witches, right in the centre of Harz, they put up notices in every village and posted them on trees throughout the forest.

 

ALL WITCHES

GOOD or BAD

You have been granted an

AMNESTY

You may live in the new village of

SpellHarz

Under the protection of

all the people of Harz

 

It took a while, many weeks in fact but the first witches made their way to Spellharz, At first it was the few white witches, then a few of the evil ones came as well. They were just misunderstood they said, all they wanted was to be left to follow their witchcraft in peace, if anyone wanted evil spells it was mankind, if they didn’t ask for them the witches wouldn’t make them. The black witches were allowed to open a store selling love potions and other harmless spells but they were not allowed to sell anything that was life threatening to man. The white witches also opened a store selling herbal remedies and also opened a small clinic where they could treat ailments.

But now the elders came to the point, in return for the amnesty they must get rid of the Trolls.

 

The Search for the White Witch of the North

 

The three evil witches who had released the Trolls from their long sleep were in fact very early casualties of their own wickedness. Having been weakened to the point of exhaustion while executing the incredibly difficult spell they had lain down to rest. After such a trying spell they needed days to recuperate their full powers and be able to fully defend themselves once more. What they hadn’t bargained on was that that there was a Troll asleep right there in the back of their cave. It had been asleep just as long as Hacken and was just as hungry, it was overjoyed to see three humans seemingly cooking around a fire. Being a bit sleepy eyed he had not realised that they were witches, in fact if he had he might have spared them, witches can be a mite tough having lived so long. But these three although the ugliest humans he had ever seen were not too bad, in fact as he was so hungry they actually tasted quite scrumptious, bones and all they went down a treat.

This of course left nobody to blame for the awakening which was quite fortunate for the evil witches, the elders just accepted the fact that the Trolls had awakened and even floated the explanation that the White Witch of the North might have been killed and her entrapping spell might have been cancelled out. All the witches present dismissed this idea but they too did not know if she was still alive. The witch’s normal communication was through the bats and other animals of the forest but in these dangerous times even the bats had stopped talking to them, so asking their once wide range telephone system was pointless at the moment.

It was time now for action and the elders suggested that a head white witch and a head black witch be voted in as leaders of their covens. Next a parliament consisting of witches and elders was organised and from there on an expeditionary group to search for the white witch of the south was to be formed.

The elders picked Hoffen to represent them, he had just turned thirty-five and was the strongest man in Harz but to go with that strength he also had a high intellect and was already being talked about as an elder of the future. He was always stopping arguments with his sound logic and the fact that he was so big and strong also gave people a reason to listen to his logic in the first place.

The White witches chose Esmerl, she was a kind and youthful witch, only in her early twenties but with powerful magic to aid her on the journey. She was respected by all the creatures of the forest and was one of the few witches they still talked to.

The evil black witches’ coven haggled and argued for days over who was to be appointed, not being the friendliest of witches even when they agreed on something they argued just for the sake of it. Eventually they chose Helgar, she was not very nice to look at but was as evil as they come, really bad, if anyone was going to cause problems for the expedition it would be her. The elders and the white witches both complained and pointed out that the intention of the mission was for it to be a success. After much more bickering the evil ones changed their minds and appointed Agatha, she was not only quite affable but also not very evil at all, some said that she had always wanted to be a white witch but didn’t like the colour.

The three set off the next day with a map of the outer kingdom and directions to where the White Witch of the North was last residing. Her former home was an ice castle on the very top of the northern mountains but nobody had visited or heard from her for well over a century, she was assumed dead by both the good and bad witches alike, but they thought it strange that no other witch had taken over the mantle as it was a much sought after and respected position in the olden days. It was hoped that if she was dead somewhere in her former possessions would be the spell for making Trolls fall asleep, but while there was the faint hope that she was still alive they would cling to it. For they all agreed that what better witch to cast the spell than the one who had been so successful all those years before.

Agatha was the oldest of the group, somewhere in her early hundreds and she was still quite agile, she had not ridden a broom for quite a while due to having to keep up the pretence that she was not a witch for the last few years. Her first attempts were pretty dismal and even after having it steadied by Esmerl’s kind hands she still fell off after a few minutes. She chose instead to ride an old grey wolf, quite tame under Agatha’s command but ferocious to everyone else.

Esmerl had no problem riding her broom and kept it at a low hover while the elder’s representative, Hoffen rode a dark black stallion named Dragoda.

Travelling mainly by night but during the day if the rode was clear the trio made good headway towards the ice palace. Five nights they travelled without incident but they had now come to what looked like their first big obstacle. They had to cross a wide ravine that was impossible for both Dragoda and the wolf, whose name was Gral to leap across. The two witches could have made it on their brooms but it was not possible to take over the heavy Hoffen or either of the animals so they headed for the bridge. It was well guarded as the entrance to The Kingdom of Danes, individuals could only pass across if they had papers representing their Kingdoms or if they had been requested to the Kingdom by the King of the Danes. The trio had neither so Hoffen tried goading the guards into letting them pass, “Are you afraid of one man and two damsels” he cried “and one of the damsels old enough to be your grandmother”

Esmerl tried the sweet and pretty approach, whispering sweet nothings to the soldiers but all to no avail.

Agatha stepped forward and blew them to Kingdom Come with but one weald of her magic stick. “They are lucky Helgar didn’t come they would have been fed to Gral” she cackled.

Hoffen and Esmerl were stunned by the abruptness and callousness of Agatha’s strike but had to admit it had been effective.

The trio marched on, and when any further difficulties got in their way Hoffen and Esmerl rushed to the fore and warned the people standing in their way that they were with the most ferocious and wickedest witch of all time and that it was in their interests to let them through. Agatha would put on her most awful expression and the three would normally be left in peace. On the few occasions that they were not then Agatha would display her powers with a bolt of blue flame cutting through a tree or similar object. This became their calling card and you can trace their journey by terrified guards and burnt trees.

The Ice Castle was now in sight, but the path was overgrown with tall grass and in places where it had not been looked after for many years it was cracked and positively dangerous to walk along. Hoffen led the way on his robust stallion, flattening the grass and where their were boulders to move he got off his horse and shoved them aside or got Agatha to blast them away. The path was several miles long but eventually they got to the palace door. It had not been open for decades and Esmerl went in search of a window, buzzing around the palace like a demented bee she eventually found an opening that she could slip through on her broom. Hoffen for the first time realised that Esmerl had not been out of his sight since the journey began and was suddenly fearful for what he now thought of as his own white witch. She had throughout the journey shown only tenderness and care and he had started to grow very fond of her. Agatha pooh, poohed his concern, she is a witch my boy, she can down ten of you if she so desires.

While Hoffen was outside worrying, Esmerl was inside searching up and down the frozen corridors, in and out of rooms searching and calling for the famous white witch. Suddenly as if by magic, which it probably was Esmerl came into a wonderful room, all sparkling and filled with calm and serenity. The White witch of the north was lying on a bed in what Esmerl hoped was a deep, deep sleep. She moved close to the bed and just as she touched the hand of the sedate witch her eyes opened and a voice as clear as the morning breeze sailed through the air.

“So, they have awoken my dear, how did it happen, only a witch as strong as me could have awoken them, I have lain asleep just as they have for two hundred years, it was part of the spell, I have sacrificed all those years for the good people of Harz”

“My dear white witch, we don’t know, there is a rumour that a coven of black witches used their powers together but the ones we suspected have never been seen since so we really don’t know” whispered Esmerl “Is there a way of putting them back to sleep my dear white queen”

“I can not achieve this now my dear, It is not that I am too old it is because my powers are weak having slept so long, and even then I needed all the people of Harz to help me with my spell, whoever casts the spell must be willing to give up their life to sleep as long as the Trolls, is there anyone good enough still out there.

Esmerl shivered slightly but rose to her full height “I my queen, if I am worthy I will meet the sacrifice”

“But you are a mere child. No it must be someone who has lived their life, not someone who has yet to experience it”

An evil cackle sounded behind them “Then it will be me my white queen, I will cast the spell, you will call me Agatha the white witch who wears black, it is a colour more to my liking oh queen”

“We broke down the door, I was so worried” said Hoffen “I used my strength and managed to push it open so no damage was done my queen”

The White Queen then spoke “My dear sister Agatha, how long is it since I last saw you, it must be well over the two hundred years that I have lain here, you always hated white, mother could never understand, I told her that my younger sister was not evil, mind you that is a wonderful cackle, almost makes me shudder”

“Dearie, don’t you worry, it is my time to sleep, but the spell, can we say it from here or must we return to Harz.”

“Here will do as long as it is you that says the words and not this sweet girl here, she has a future with this young man, it is foretold in his face”

After a bit of coaxing Agatha had the words to a tee, they all held hands and thought of Harz and the White witch who wears black chanted the magic spell.

 

A thousand beams of light shot from Agatha’s fingers and headed towards Harz, in what seemed like an eternity it was all over, the Trolls were asleep again and all was well again in Harz.

Agatha with a smile that ill fitted anyone wearing black drifted into a pleasant sleep, “I hope she stays asleep forever as it will mean the Trolls never awake, but it is a shame to leave her after such a short time back together” said the white queen.

“We will tell everyone how good she was when we get back” said Esmerl, “it will probably make the black witches angry at first but once it is clear what Agatha has sacrificed for them I think they will be truly proud that it was a black witch that saved the day”

“And we will always remember the day that she saved Harz and me especially” said Hoffen, “because it will be the day I proposed marriage to the sweetest witch in the entire world”

“And the day that I accepted” replied Esmerl

 

“Who said stories don’t have a happy ending anymore” said the White Witch of the North

 

The End


Submitted: March 20, 2014

© Copyright 2022 Rod Blakeman. All rights reserved.

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