The Witch Bridle

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Chapter 29

“You are certain that this garment has touched the flesh of the witch called Oona?”

“Yes.” Thankful was certain. She had seen Oona in the flowery Caribbean-flair dress, though not often. Hopefully it was one dress she would not miss. The girl felt awful and felt that way ever since she stole the dress to hand it over to Lucia. She’d never stolen anything before. The child-witch struggled with that and finally reasoned that she’d only taken the dress without permission. And that’s all this was. Right?

“Now,” Thankful imagined, “what would the dark lady want me to do with the dress?” She was troubled by the look on the lady’s dark face.

“You shall put this dress on the body of a corpse before burial.”

“Uh, what’s a corpse?” Thankful was terrified by the word, and feared what she thought it meant.

“The dead, child. A woman.” Lucia throbbed with essence. “And you must do this without delay.”

Mechanically Thankful asked, “Where will I get a corpse?”

“From a gravedigger.”

“I don’t know a gravedigger.” She was amazed she still kept herself calm. “Where do I find a gravedigger?”

“In a graveyard! Now go!” The lady’s menacing face drove the child toward the door.

Thankful did not face the lady and said, “I don’t think they bury people like that anymore.”

“Go!” the Dark Witch rumbled.

Thankful turned now and bowed her head in respect to the lady. Then she reached for and pulled a Family Circle from her pile of books and magazines and left her own room. The child-witch recalled she saw something about burials in that issue. She walked only a few feet when she turned back to the doorway of her room and shouted, “I found the page!”

Thankful knocked respectfully, and entered. She placed the open magazine on her bed side closest to the door. The girl planned to be dismissed, or at least yelled at, and had no clue what to do next. An instant later the dark lady appeared and, amazingly, motioned for her to stay. Thankful glanced back at the door, to make sure it was closed, then turned back to the lady and said:

“I think it’s more like a store now. You have to buy places for people to bury their dead bodies.” She proceeded to show the lady several advertisements for family plots and burials, funeral homes, grieving services and more.

Lucia took a long moment to digest what she had learned. With some softness, she said, “You will arrange a plan so you may do this as I command.”

“I’m only five My Lady.” Thankful froze for what she had just said.

“Go now and think! Think of how you will fulfill my command.”

With no hesitation, Thankful silently departed her room.

Lucia hovered close to the flowery dress. She said in a low, chilling voice, “The child-witch shall place this garment upon a fresh-dead corpse to carry the lively and vivacious Oona to the lifeless body of the female. And Oona shall inherit the lack of life of the corpse.” November had brought great strength to Lucia’s being. “My dark enchantment shall ultimately command the witch Oona to serve me. And through my influence and persuasion, I shall learn the powers she presently commands to resist my spells.”

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