Tossing Salt Presents:
The Witch’s Gold! (Fiction)
November 22, 2021
A/N: I decided to take a crack at writing a story and no, it doesn’t have superheroes, vampires, wrestlers, or rock stars. Not even a muppet or space alien. Yeah, I know. It’s new and different for me too. Just a greedy man and a witch back in the days of the Salem Witch Trials. I had a dream one night, made some notes, actually followed up on it for a change, and here you go. This is what I do late at night when I can’t sleep. I wrote, went back and changed a few things, wrote some more, wash, rinse, repeat, etc. And this is the final result. It’s a short read so let me know what you think. Comments, thoughts, and any questions are welcome. And now, take a seat. Shall we begin?
The Witch’s Gold…
A story by Doug Maynard…
Eric Christopher walked slowly through the woods. As an officer of the court of Salem, Massachusetts, it was his job to uphold the law of the land and also find those vile creatures of the devil, witches, and bring them to justice.
“It is so dark out here”, Eric thought to himself as he continued to walk down the small path.
He had heard rumors of a maiden, a widow by the name of Victoria Walters, who practiced witchcraft and was said to be a servant of the devil himself.
Eric suppressed a shudder as he came to the end of the small pathway which opened into a larger area where sat a small house. With a small sigh, Eric crept up to the home and peeked into the window. There he saw a woman, dark black hair, a fair complexion, and a worn, yet still, attractive face, standing over what could only be a cauldron that she was slowly stirring.
“That has to be her”, he said to himself. “And what is she doing?”
As Eric stood and watched, he could hear her voice leaking out through the window.
“Lizard tongue and bat wings. In this brew, the spell shall bring!”, he heard Victoria sing.
Deciding that he’d seen enough, Eric quickly moved to the front of the house and pushed open the door, removing a gun from his waist as he entered the room and pointed it at Victoria Walters.
“I’ve caught you in the act, Witch. In the middle of making a potion and casting a spell, Surely in service to the devil himself!”, Eric proclaimed as he busted into the room.
“No”, Victoria proclaimed. “You just heard me singing ay my cookpot. That’s all you heard!”
“Singing at your cookpot indeed”, Eric said as he grabbed Victoria’s hand. “With a piece of dried batwing in your hand, ready to drop into your brew!”
Victoria looked down and sighed, realizing that she had been caught. Then she spoke, “It’s only a small spell. A potion to help a sick neighbor.”
“Small spell or not”, Eric replied. “It’s enough for me to get a reward and to burn you for being a witch. Come along now and don’t try to resist me or else I’ll shoot you down.”
“Please, I beg of you”, Victoria pleaded. “Don’t turn me in. Could you use a small spell for yourself? To win the love of a maiden? To confound an enemy?”
Eric stood quietly for a few moments and then replied, in a cold icy tone. “A small spell for your life? No! But a large spell? Now that might interest me.”
“How large?”, Victoria asked.
“Large enough for you to teach me how to turn lead into gold”, Eric sneered. “Can you teach me that?”
“No”, Victoria said. “That’s far beyond my ability.”
“You’re lying witch”, Eric growled. And then he reached over to a box that was laying on her table, ripping open the top to reveal several pieces of gold.”
“Yes”, Victoria admitted. “It’s my entire life savings. Payments from grateful neighbors for helping them when I can. Take the gold, please. But do not turn me in.”
An annoyed look came across Eric’s face as he replied. “Do you take me for a fool witch? The gold is mine anyway when I turn you in. It’s the law. Come now, you vile witch. Prepare to burn!”
Pulling out some rope, Eric quickly looped it around Victoria’s wrists, pulling it tight so the rope was cutting into her skin. Then he yanked on the rope, pulling her toward the door.
A panicked look came across Victoria’s face and then, looking at her captor, she spoke quietly, “All right. All right. I’ll tell you what you want to know.”
“I thought you might”, Eric smirked. “Now what do I do ?”
“Follow me to my garden”, Victoria replied. “You’ll find what you seek there.”
“Lead the way, witch”, Eric said.
Eric followed Victoria into the small garden located behind her house and then watched as she approached a small tree.
“Dig under this tree and you’ll find what you seek”, Victoria said.
“Splendid”, Fric laughed. “But you’ll be the one to do the digging. And don’t try anything funny or else I’ll gut you where you stand!”
Victoria thought about replying but instead moved to fetch a small spade that way laying on the ground near the tree and then, falling to her knees, began to dig. A few minutes later, she found what she was seeking and pulled a small cloth bag from the ground.
“Here is what you want”, she said. “Now will you please let me go?”
Looking at what she held in her hands, Eric’s expression hardened and turned cold. “For what? A dirty little pouch that looks empty? Do you think I’m a fool?”
“The pouch is nearly empty”, Victoria tried to explain, “but not quite. Take what is in it.”
Watching Victoria closely, Eric took the pouch and shook it, only to see one gold coin fall out of the pouch and into his hand.
“A single gold coin? That’s it?”, Eric said angrily.
Victoria looked at him and said, “Keep shaking the pouch and repeat after me. “Oltin uyumim boʻlsa, albatta, men kichrayman.”
Eric hesitated for a moment and then did as she said, shaking the bag as he repeated the words she had said. “Oltin uyumim boʻlsa, albatta, men kichrayman.” And as he shook the small bag, another gold coin fell out.
“Another coin? But… the bag was empty.”, he said.
“It will never be truly empty”, Victoria explained. “There will always be one gold coin in it, so long as you remember the spell.
Eric stood there in silence as a smile formed on his face, thinking to himself “This is just exactly what I wanted. But she’ll probably change the spell as soon as my back is turned. I should just kill her!”
And then, looking again at Victoria, standing there watching him, Eric continued his thoughts. “If I killed her now, her ghost would seek revenge.” And then a cruel smile formed on his face as an idea came to mind.
“Okay.My silence and your freedom for this pouch. I accept”, he said with a smile.
“I would think so”, Victoria replied. “It’s a very good bargain.”
Eric then continued, “But there is one more thing”, he said. “There is a young lady in the village whose favor I seek.”
“What?”, Victoria smiled. “The cruel and heartless officer of the law wishes to purchase a love potion?
“Yes”, Eric replied. “But not just an ordinary love potion. I wish to bind this lass to me forever. I want her devotion forever, a bond that even death can’t change.”
“She will drive you mad and bore you within a week”, Victoria scoffed. “But if that’s what you desire, so be it.”
Victoria quickly got to work, pulling assorted items from her cabinets and mixing different liquids as she muttered incantations over the brew, stirring often until finally, she stopped and using a large spoon, put the concoction into a leather pouch.
Handing the pouch to Eric, she told him, “Here is what you requested. Empty this down the chimney of her house. When she breathes the fumes of her fire, she will fall into a deep trance. And when she wakes up, she will be yours forever.”
Taking the potion from Victoria’s hands, Eric smiled and walked towards the door.
“It was a pleasure doing business with you, good witch.”
And Eric walked out the door as Victoria moved quickly to close it behind him and let out a huge sigh of relief.
Walking away from the small house, Eric looked back to make sure he wasn’t being observed and quickly moved towards the back of the house. Spotting a tree next to the house, he quietly scaled the tree, climbed to the roof, and approached the chimney. And then, as Victoria had told him, emptied the entire pouch down the smoking chimney. And then, still moving quietly, he climbed down the free and went to stand by a window where he could observe the inside of the home. As he watched, he could see Victoria growing dizzy, and then he watched as she dropped to the ground, totally unconscious.
“The witch didn’t lie”, Eric thought to himself. He quickly moved into the home and picked up the unconscious Victoria, tieing her hands and feet as he picked her up and tossed her limp body over his shoulder.
Days later, when Victoria woke up from the effects of the potion, Eric had already collected his reward for finding and turning her in, and her trial, for being a witch was already over. She was sentenced to die, and to be burned at the stake.
As the fire was lit to the pyre of wood beneath Victoria’s bound body, she screamed as Eric, who had been watching, walked away. “Eric! Eric, my beloved. Don’t leave me now!”
As the flames began to grow, she screamed in pain and then once more yelled to Eric. “Eric, be careful. You need to know the meaning of that spell before you use it on the pouch. Eric, there’s a translation inside the pouch, It’s small and you’ll need help to read it. Please read it. Please!” And then, as the flames consumed her, Victoria screamed in agony and pain once more before being consumed by the flames and leaving the mortal coil.
After watching the brutal scene, Eric walked to his home and, after locking the door, decided to take a look at the pouch. He could see some writing, but it was too small for him to read.
“I’ll get a magnifying glass in the morning”, he told himself. “But tonight, it’s time to make some gold.”
And then Eric got busy, making gold coin after gold coin. He worked long into the night and then dozed off. And hours later, when he woke up, he found himself in an unknown place in total darkness. He heard a loud, piercing roar of sorts that he couldn’t identify and quickly started looking for shelter. He found a cave and walked inside.
As he walked, he thought to himself, “This ground is so soft.”
Eric continued to walk and noticed some writings on the floor. He stepped back to see what it said. He saw a pledge to Satan and some words that sounded very familiar. The writing said, “Oltin uyumim boʻlsa, albatta, men kichrayman.” and uner it, it read “Translation: As my pile of gold grows taller so indeed shall I grow smaller”. Eric shook his head and tried to make sense of the words when he then noticed a giant gold coin. And then it all sank in.
“Oh no! No! No! No!”
Turning and fleeing in terror, Eric ran from the coin back out the opening into the light. It was his study and everything was so huge. Eric just stood there in awe, shock, and amazement. Then he heard what sounded like a large roar behind him. He turned and looked and saw two giant green eyes staring hungrily at him. His cat, Goldy.
“No! No! Goldy, no!”, he screamed as the cat, nose to the ground, stared at him, hungrily licking its lips. The giant cat crept forward and Eric felt panic in his heart as he turned to run. The cat leaped and just missed snagging Eric with his giant, razor-sharp claws as Eric ran away, diving under the couch for protection. He ran/crawled to the back of the couch as a paw reached under the couch, swiping and trying to pull him closer to the waiting feline. Just barely dodging the razor-sharp claws, Eric stumbled backward and up against the leg of the couch. He was out of the cat’s reach now and stood, hands on knees and bent over, trying to catch his breath.
And then, Eric heard a soft noise behind him. He turned and saw a huge spider coming towards him. Large, black, and the eyes just seemed to glow in the darkness. Eric let out a loud scream and tried to run, but the spider pounced and leaped upon Eric, digging its fangs deep into his side and back. As Eric lay there, in the spider’s clutches, he could feel his life leaving his body as the spider’s venom took effect. Eric knew that he was a dead man. And as his eyes closed the final time, all he could see and hear was Victoria, hearing her laughing, echoing in his ears and mind.
And then Eric closed his eyes for the last time.