From the author: What happens when a witch starts to lose her powers?
It was a dark and stormy night —
Lightning flashed and he glanced up.
“Mother!” he yelled. “Stop it!”
Rose looked up and smiled.
“Stop what, dear?”
“Apple?” She pretended she wasn’t holding a red fuji apple, nor injecting it.
“Come on, Mother.” He walked over and took the apple and syringe from her, threw them in the bin. “What did I say yesterday?”
“No more witching?”
“No buts. You remember why?”
“Yes, because … because … “
“Because you’re too forgetful, aren’t you, these days. Far too forgetful. And Snow White … is long gone.”
She gazed at him, then nodded.
He sat down back at his computer and read what he’d typed.
It was a dark—
“Mother!” For God’s sake he muttered under his breath. He got up and gently pulled her away from the bin.
“Bed time, eh?” He led her upstairs to her bedroom. “Can you get changed into your nightie?”
Instead she wandered over and stared out the window. “Look!” she chortled.
Despite himself he went over and looked out. The storm had abated, and a black cat was sitting on the fence.
“See! It’s Jinx! I knew he’d come back.”
He swore to himself. That fucking cat. He glanced at the back of his hand where Jinx had scratched him. It had been a struggle just to pick him up, as if he could read his mind, let alone carry him to the car, open the boot with one hand — that’s when Jinx had hissed and spat and scratched him, leaving deep red blood oozing. He’d dumped the cat in the boot and slammed the lid.
“Yes, he’s back.”
But how had he got back? He’d driven 60ks out of town before dumping him.
“See? I told you not to worry.”
He peered out at the cat, who stared back at him, eyes amber, then jumped off the fence and, tail waving, mooched over to the house.
He tugged Rose gently, urged her towards her wardrobe.
“Nightie, okay? Nightie nightie.”
Charles went downstairs to the back door, opened it. The cat darted in, straight to the kitchen, where it mewed at the bin.
“Not you, too,” he muttered, opening a tin of cat food and emptying it into the cat’s bowl.
We went back to his computer and stared at the screen, started typing.
The words came quickly and after some indeterminate time he’d completed more than 2000 words of the first two chapters.
Jinx jumped up on the desk and swayed his tail in Charles’ face. He grimaced. “I suppose we will have to keep you, eh?”
He stroked the cat.
“Well, Jinxy? How did you get home?”
Jinx placed his paws on the keyboard, purred and pressed two keys, Command and A. All the words were selected, highlighted in blue. Then he miaowed, pressed the delete key, and jumped off the desk.
Charles stared at the blank screen. All gone.