Aspects of the cottage were unusual, to say the least. A large white, winged-devil gargoyle hung to the left of a handwritten sign – Haunted Cottage. Julie and I exchanged glances.
“Welcome, you found the place then!” A short woman in her sixties with a mop of long, incongruously-black hair answered the door. “I’m Mary. Come in.”
Julie and I had answered an advertisement for a saddle, for my stepdaughter’s first horse. We passed through a tack room into a large conservatory.
“Please sit. I’ll make some tea.”
“Oh, no, that’s fine, we can’t stay long.” Julie smiled and toyed with her blonde hair.
“Oh, I insist,” replied Mary. Before we could say anything she’d disappeared.
Julie and I looked around. A large ‘Green Man’ planter hung high on the one solid wall and peach-coloured cushions graced cane furniture.
Soon Mary was back. “The tea won’t be long. Now I must tell you, I have two witches.”
“Two witches, in spirit. They live here. They get up to all kinds of tricks!”
“Oh.” Julie tried to keep a straight face.
I was far less sceptical. “Like what?”
“Oh, they stole my slippers and put them in an old coat. Come, I’ll show you!”
She led us into the cottage, a network of small immaculate rooms, full of antique furniture and effects. Stuffed foxes glowered from glass cages and witches, from small dolls to waist-high figures, were everywhere.
Back in the conservatory, having seen the coat and slippers, and having succeeded in getting Mary’s mind back on the purpose of our visit long enough to purchase the saddle, I finished my tea. “Well, thanks Mary, it sounds like it’s never a dull moment around here!”
She sat up suddenly. “Did you hear that? Thunder. There’s going to be a storm.”
“Oh well, we’d best be going.” I felt in my pocket for the car key but it was empty. “Hang on, where’s my car key?”
There was a flash of lightning and rain rattled on the windows. I ran to the car with my jacket over my head. “It’s OK, I left it in the ignition!” I shouted.
That lady was crazy,” said Julie, snuggling up to me in bed. Her skin was warm and comforting.
“Yeah, maybe, but when we were first sitting down I seem to remember the car key was pressing against my leg…”
Featured in the book, To Cut a Short Story Short: 111 Little Stories
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12 thoughts on “If Two Witches Were Watching.. (400 word version)”
I smiled while reading this. Interesting.
Glad you enjoyed it!
Wow! There is no doubt in my mind about this one. I have met diverse people throughout my life and wouldn’t put it past some of them to live a life such as this. What a wonderful experience! ✨🔮✨
Hi there! Yes, all the details of the house and the lady are true. I don’t think I could’ve made it up if I’d tried! It was a bit like a museum, and immaculate. They (she had a ‘partner’) had several horses and dogs too. I’ve often thought it would be fascinating to go for a week’s holiday there, to listen to their stories and ‘meet’ the two witches! Thank you for the feedback!
Oh wow! It sounds absolutely enchanting! ✨
The twist at the end seems to be common to all your short stories, and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying them! You’ve definitely got yourself a new follower 😀
Hello and thank you for checking out several of my stories. It’s lovely to know someone has read a few, not just the latest one!
A twist at the end seems to be a very common device in short stories/flash fiction. I’ve always enjoyed doing it so never really questioned the whys and wherefores. I read a short story recently that had no surprises really and no twist. It had won a minor competition but left me feeling disappointed, personally.
My story Scene in a Lincolnshire Churchyard doesn’t have one and there might be a handful of others, but not many!
Thanks again for looking in, and for the ‘follow’! 🙂
I agree, I always try to incorporate twists into my short stories, but not everyone seems to do it and yours are so nicely done that I felt it was worth pointing out 🙂
Ah, thank you 😀
Bordering on creepy but the imagery was really sweet. Even better that it was as concise as it was 🙂 Nice!
Hi Matthew, glad you liked it. In fact, apart from the character of Julie (I actually went with my mother) and the reason for the visit (although we DID pass through a tack room and they had several horses) it is all completely true!!
What a lovely story :))