Don't Consult a Witch

A girl is still hung up on her ex-boyfriend when a strange woman offers to help her out of her situation which she agrees to despite her friend's disapproval.

Reading time: 9 minutes 2 seconds.



The Explorer's Tales

“You are not ready yet?” Meena asked Parul as soon as she entered her room.

“Nah, I'm not going, you go ahead,” replied Parul without even looking at Meena. She was laying on the bed staring at the ceiling. “I don’t feel like going to a party.”

"You are kidding, right? Parul is not feeling like going to a party?” Meena said as she looked into the mirror one more time, it was obvious that she had been doing that all evening. She held her head at every angle to check if her makeup was alright, turned to sides to look at her dress. Flipped her hair a bit and then finally when she looked at Parul who was still in bed in her pyjamas, still staring at the ceiling, she got a bit concerned. “What’s wrong dear? Are you sick?”

“No, no, I'm not sick.”

Meena walked up to her, sat beside her and started caressing her head but then she stopped suddenly and—“Wait, is it about Sam?”

“What!? No, of course not.”

“Oh my god, it’s about him. It’s about Sam,” she stood up and circled the room furiously. “Uh god Parul, I can not believe you are still hung up on that murderer”

“He is not a murderer,” Parul now jumped and sat upright on the bed. “The judge let him off with no charges.”

“And we all know how that happened.”

“You think he bought off the judge? The JUDGE?”

“He can buy anything and anyone. For god’s sake Parul, he was the only one there. The police even found a gun on him.”

“But he wasn’t shot, he had a heart attack.”

“Yeah, and we know my brother had a weak heart, he would’ve collapsed on just the sight of a gun.”

“You are just saying that because you hated Sam, you always hated him.”

Meena let out a short burst of sarcastic laughter. “Ha, what the hell are you talking about? Why would I hate him? Except for the fact that he killed my brother.”

“Because he chose me and not you.”

Meena's face went red. Nobody spoke. They just kept staring at each other and then Meena walked out of the house and left.

A month later Meena and Parul had reconciled and had totally forgotten about the incident but it was about to come back again in a few minutes. They were returning from their favourite Chinese restaurant. It was just a few blocks away so they were walking when they saw a new shop had just opened a few streets away from Parul's house.

The front had a giant crystal above the shop. It was glowing and changing colours every few seconds. Along with lights and colours, a few words would appear and disappear now then which read—

‘Consult a Witch. Know you past, present or future.’

Meena pointed at the shop. “Look at that, isn’t it too late? Halloween's already gone,” she said to Parul.

“Or maybe too early.”

Both burst into laughter but then a woman walked out of the door staring at them so they stopped abruptly and started walking away.

“Hello ladies, do you wanna know your future?” the woman asked.

“No thanks, we like to be surprised," Meena said jokingly.

"How about the present then? You know you are right about your boyfriend”—both Meena and Parul stopped and looked at the woman—“I mean your ex-boyfriend.”

“How do you know about that?” Parul asked.

“Come on, I'm a witch. Wanna know some more?”

“Let’s just go,” Meena said pulling Parul's hand but Parul didn’t move at all.

The woman was wearing strange clothing and jewellery. She smiled and said, “Come on, first one's on me.” Then she went inside the shop. She knew Parul would follow her and she did.

It was dark in the shop. The only light was the glowing crystal ball in the centre of the room and a few candles. Meena followed Parul. She didn’t want to be there a second longer.

“I don’t like this place. Come on let’s go,” she whispered to Parul who wasn’t listening.

“So how do you know about Sam?” Parul asked the woman.

Meena spoke before anyone else could, “Oh, isn’t it obvious? It was all over the news. She must have heard it there.”

The woman looked at them for a second then slowly she let out, “True, but I didn’t say past,”—she moved closer to the girls—"I said the present. You wanna know the truth? I can help you see the truth.” She was looking at Parul ignoring Meena who was rolling her eyes.

“How?”

“Come along,” she moved further into the darkness behind a curtain.

Parul followed dragging Meena with her. Behind the curtain, there was a round table. A few strange symbols and figures were carved into the plywood.

“This,” the woman began, “Is my third eye. Sit.”

Meena sighed and rolled her eyes once again but when Parul sat on a chair, she did too reluctantly though.

“I can help you see him, see the world from his eyes. I can help you become him so you could decide for yourself, so you can find out the truth you so much desire.”

Both Meena and Parul looked at each other. Meena had an expression of disapproval on her face while Parul had one of curiosity.

The woman looked up in the air, closed her eyes and said a few words in a language that none of the girls understood. She then, without opening her eyes asked Parul, “Now, do you have anything that belonged to your lover, anything? It’s not a necessity but it will make things easier and clearer.”

Meena started to say, “No, she got rid of all of his stuff when—”

“Wait,” Parul interrupted. She reached into her handbag and pulled out a watch. “He left it at my place. I never got a chance to give it back.”

“Parul!”

“I’m sorry Meena, I found it after we were broken up.”

“But why do carry it around in your purse?”

“LATER!” the woman shouted. "Place it in the centre. Now take my hands and hold each other too. Aaaaaand close your eyes.”

For a minute Parul saw nothing but darkness but she heard the woman saying something that she didn’t understand and she started to see something. At first, it was just a bunch of colours but she slowly started to see what looked like a room, Sam's bedroom, she recognised. She started hearing too. The air conditioner was on. Faint music told her that the television was on in the living room. Meena tightened her grip on Parul’s hand. She understood that Meena was seeing that too. For another minute Parul couldn’t understand what she was seeing but then she realized and her heart skipped a beat. She was looking through Sam's eyes.

It was all very blurry as if Sam couldn’t focus his eyes on anything. Then his hand lowered from his mouth holding an empty bottle of whiskey and the opposite wall came into focus. Both girls gasped as they saw the name 'Parul' carved on the wall a hundred times. They heard the empty bottle rolling when Sam picked up another one. He stood up and tried to walk out of the bedroom but he was so drunk that he tripped a couple of time. It was impossible to see anything because he was swinging his head all around. He left the bottle spilling the whiskey all over his bed and walked into the bathroom. He leaned on the sink, twisted the tap, splashed some water on his face and looked up.

A pale tired face with swollen red eyes and unshaven beard stared back at them and just like that he burst into tears and then everything went dark. Parul and Meena opened their eyes.

“What? What happened?” Parul asked.

"Oh, the poor boy must have passed out," the woman replied.

“I wanna see more. Take me back.”

Meanwhile, Meena hadn’t said anything. She just stayed on the chair looking at nothing. She couldn’t believe what she had just seen.

“He's passed out, dear. Come back tomorrow. Since this session was cut short, I'll do another one for free.”

Parul visited the woman daily. After her second free session, she paid heavily for each session despite Meena's disapproval. She just wanted to see Sam and kind of liked the way he had broken down in her memories. Meena felt that something was weird about both Sam and the woman and that’s why when Parul was on her way to the shop, a week later after the first session, Meena was trying to stop her.

“Parul, I'm serious. I don’t feel good about this. This woman is trouble, I'm telling you.”

“You saw with your own eyes. You saw it. You have seen what has become of him. Are you still convinced he's guilty?”

“He’s obsessed with you. That sounds like a psychopath plus this creepy woman who calls herself a witch. I am scared Parul, that’s all I'm saying.”

“It’s okay, you don’t have to come.”

“It’s not me who I'm scared about, it’s you.”

They reached the shop. Parul turned back to Meena just to say, “Then come with me, because I'm not turning back, not now,” and entered the shop. Meena sighed and she too followed.

Sam was sitting on the sofa and a friend of his was sitting in front of him. He was looking at Sam with pity. The vision was clear this time. Parul concluded that Sam wasn’t drunk but he was sobbing. His friend was just looking at him. He wanted to say something but it seemed he didn’t know what to say. Then he realized he still has to say something so he opened his mouth,

“Man you gotta pull yourself together. You can’t live like this.”

“It was me.”

Parul's heart stopped. She felt the grip on her hand tighten. Was she gonna hear what she dreaded the most? She started praying in her head.

“What?” his friend asked. He was shocked too. “What do you mean? You are not saying that you—”

“Yes.”

Parul heard Meena mumble 'I knew it' under her breath.

“Sam, what are you saying? That poor kid had a heart attack.”

“YES, BUT HE WAS MY RESPONSIBILITY,” Sam jumped up. “I took him there. So far from the city. I couldn’t get him to hospital in time. It was all my fault. Parul trusted me, I had promised her to keep him safe,” Sam fell on his knees and started crying. “It was my fault. It was me. It was me. I could have saved him. I coul—” he started crying uncontrollably. His friend had to pick him up from the floor.

When the session ended. Nobody spoke. Parul just paid the woman and left. Meena sat there for another minute before leaving. The woman got busy in her work. She didn’t have other customers or appointments. Later that afternoon, she started to pack her stuff. She was only halfway done when a man walked in.

“Are you closing?” he asked.

“Yes, permanently.” She looked at the man and, “So? how'd it go?”

“Good,” Sam replied, “We are back together. What did you do?”

“I told you I am a witch of my word, besides I couldn’t have done it without your extra-ordinary performance. What about your friend? Did you give him lines?” She laughed.

"Didn't have to. Here, as I said,” he passed a thick envelope, “the rest of your payment.”

“Thank you.”

“Oh, there one more thing.”

“Yes? Glad to be of service.”

Sam pulled a gun out with a suppressor mounted on the barrel and pointed it at the woman. She laughed.

“Are you trying to scare me to death too, give me a heart attack? Or have you already poisoned me?”

Sam's face fell. “How do— how do you know?”

"Oh, please," the woman replied casually. She wasn't worried at all, of the fact that she was the target of a gun.

“I had to do it. I didn’t want to but there was no other choice. He had found out about my illegal business. He had to be stopped.”

“Honey, you shouldn’t go around telling your secrets out loud in a shop like this, I barely got you out of the trial, I can’t keep doing it.”

“Oh, don’t worry about that. Nobody knows my secret now. Well, nobody except you but there’s an easy way to fix that,” said Sam smiling at the woman and then he pulled the trigger.

The suppressed shot echoed through the walls. Sam expected the woman to fall dead on the floor but she stood there, smiling, holding the fired bullet between her thumb and the index finger showing it to Sam whose face was white with fear.

Sam stumbled backwards trying to get away from the woman. He fell on the floor and the woman slowly walked up to him, still smiling. Sam looked up at the evil grin and started trembling.

“You know what we witches say about consulting a witch? We say— don't!”

“Ar—are you—gonna ki—kil—kill me?”

"Kill you? Don't be ridiculous. What good are you to me, dead? You are rich, you have contacts and resources. I need all of those.”

“W—wh—why?”

"Because," the woman pulled her face as close to his as she could, stretched her smile as broad as she could, opened her gleaming eyes wide, looked into his terrified ones and said, “I’m building a coven.”


The witch will return.


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