Madge and the Witches in La Sylphide
On Halloween night my friends and I were trick or treating, and we were walking through the woods and we heard noises. So we all went in to see what the noises were into the Hillside woods, it was very dark we could hardly see where we were going. We heard chanting coming from far, far, far away. As we became closer and closer the noise got louder it sounded like someone was banging pots and pans. I thought this was a trick so I ran out and shouted BOO!!!
I could not believe what I was looking at there were people hanging from the trees with witches dancing around a cauldron. Me and my friends thought this was a joke until we heard them chant pulsa dinura, pulsa dinura. As I was smarter than my friends, I knew this was Arabic for Lashes of Fire. It is an ancient curse of death. No one can survive it.
Looking at the witches they should have been casting love spells.
“Get them!” screamed a big witch, who was dressed in black—black dress & cape.
They seized my friends, but I managed to evade them and run into the tress, only to become snagged in some branches.
Gnarly hands grabbed me from behind and dragged me towards the flaming cauldron. My terrified companions were lined up around the cauldron, held fast by the witches.
“Well, well—what shall we do my sisters?” the big witch asked the others. “Converts for the coven, or a sacrifice for the Master?”
“Ha, ha ha,” they all cackled. Then the one that was holding me added, “Let this scrawny one be offered up. The others we keep.”
“Excellent idea Ravensdeath,” the big witch replied and waved her hands over the cauldron. Immediately, green vapours burst forth from the cauldron, even as the flames bellowed out underneath it. A shape of a goat’s head began to form in the vapours and long streams of steam billowed towards my friends and encircled them.
Suddenly, their faces went blank. They looked like zombies, and I knew they were lost to me forever.
“Bring the small one!” the big witch commanded and I was pushed towards the cauldron. The goat’s head seemed to smile an evil smile.
Everyone began chanting, “Pulsa Dinura, Pulsa Dinura,” as I was pushed ever closer to my doom.
“Accept this sacrifice!” the witch holding me bellowed out, and, as she did, she raised her hands.
Now was my chance.
I dived to the ground, and scrambled across the undergrowth and the cold damp earth.
“No!” screamed another witch. “There must be a sacrifice. The curse! The curse!”
A flame, like a bolt of lightning, shot out from the cauldron and frazzled Ravensdeath, the one who had held me. Another blast incinerated the big witch. The vapours from the cauldron exploded into the night, blasting everyone off their feet.
I was first up. I shouldn’t have paused to look, but I wanted to see if my friends had survived. I felt a cold hand on my ankle. “You will pay for this,” one of the old crones hissed out, barely alive.
“Get him, faithful ones!” came a voice from the other side of the cauldron. Three of my friends stood up. Jamie, my army cadet buddy, did not stir. They turned their heads and looked at me. Their eyes were bright red, like lasers.
They moved towards me.
I kicked and kicked till the old crone released her grip, and I bolted through the trees and down the hill. My friends gave chase. They moved very fast for ‘Zombies’, but I knew they were not real zombies. Zombies only exist in movies.
This was no movie; it was real.
I reached the bottom first, jumping over fallen branches and slimy roots, sometimes slipping on the muddy surface. By some miracle, I stayed just out of their reach.
I ran and I ran. I ran till my lungs almost burst. Somehow, I put distance between us. Whatever they had done to them, super strength was not part of it. Doubled up in pain and gasping for breath, I looked at my ‘friends’ who had now become ‘fiends’. With great sadness in my heart, I turned and ran and ran.
I have never stopped.
I was young. Now I am old.
In all this time, I have never settled down in any place. I have gone from job to job, from country to country, fearing for my life, ever looking over my shoulder, knowing the witches and my friends are hunting me. Often-times, I hear chanting in the distance, above the noise of the busy city streets, “Pulsa Dinura, Pulsa Dinura,” and I know it is time to move on, and that I will never be free.