Follow me

She played and I watched them follow across the stream, into the woods. I was sad, I knew their fate. The witch had ensnared me years ago. Now spellbound, I watched from the shadows of my mind as the man I had become scouted her every meal. Children were soft and tender and her appetite was never sated. The horrors I had witnessed from the recess of my controlled body were countless.

Every death tore at my soul, but the bonds which fettered me were unbreakable. I turned from the sight as the moonlight filtered through the clouds. I knew my body would start searching for the next town. I had the cycle of the moon to find it, but even though I thought these things. I knew I had no control.

I had agreed to serve, and within the moment lost all control. I had been a child, and she had charmed and eaten all of my friends. She had offered me a deal. I could live if I would serve. I agreed not knowing the cost. The horrors of countless years had passed now, and as my body shuffled slowly to the next location.

I knew I controlled by her will, there was a pattern. She had me travel through the countryside, the loop was large, it took many years to complete. Part of her plan I am sure to have the folk have forgotten about their lost children. She only took enough to not stunt her feeding grounds. She was as intelligent as she was evil.

I had been thinking all this not watching from my prison where my body was going. I realized I had entered the woods. I was following her. I was confused, she had never done this before. My body ate when necessary, false words flowed from my mouth as needed, and I had traveled for countless years. Never had she pulled me into her woods. Fear lanced through me, and I wondered what she wanted of me.

After countless moments I saw my body arriving at her cottage. It was small and I knew the oven was on, it was always on. I could hear the hushed groans of the children who had broken out of her charm from the cages as I walked past them. Some cried out for help, others simply sobbed. They recognized me and had put two and two together.

The door opened before me and I shuffled in. Herbs hung from every space and the heat of the oven was stifling. She stood half-naked; breast bared in the center of the cottage. She was beautiful, I realized. Raven hair with sticks, stones, and feathers weaved into it. Seemingly unkempt and yet lovely. She was looking at me with eyes the color of blood.

She smiled asked me “My pet, do you still wish to serve?”

I found I had control of my voice, “I…,” it was strange and hard to speak after all these years. “I… li… live to serve,” I replied. She smiled, baring her teeth. Each one was as perfect as the next. I didn’t know how long it had been, but she had not aged a day since I had last seen her.

“Do you now…?” Her question hung in the air.

My body turned and walked over to the next room and before me was a giant mirror. I looked in horror as I realized I was an old man. Hair falling out, gaunt and hunched over. It had been decades I realized. She came up beside me and put her arms around my neck.

“I can make you young again,” she whispered in my ear.

I noticed I could move my fingers, whatever she had undone more freedom was there. I was terrified, but I tested the bonds of my spirit, and they buckled slightly. She came around to look me in the eyes.

“Don’t you want to be young again?” She said softly, her blood-red eyes glistened in the dim light.

“H… how?” I asked as I prepared my soul.

She spun around and the grass skirt she wore spread out showing her legs and more. She seemed perfect in every way. She stopped and her perfect bosom bounced to a rest.

 “Do you think I eat children just for fun?” Her words made me stop cold.

“I… I… couldn’t,” I stammered.

Her smile faded but quickly returned. “Listen, I’ll be blunt. I have certain needs, that I want a man for. But I’m not interested in you the way you are now, and I really don’t want to catch someone else when you have served so faithfully.”

The full scope of her words hit me. I had never had an opportunity to be with a woman. I nodded and she frowned a bit. I worried maybe she realized I had gained a fraction of control more than she intended. Still, she grabbed my hand and walked me over to the oven. The sickly smell of cooking flesh overcame me as she opened it up.

Her back turned to me I took my chance, with all of the rage I had felt over my lifetime, all of the sorrow over lost souls I was forced to find. My spirit shattered the shackles hold it. I heard her grunt, bent over halfway into the oven. I did not hesitate I shoved her in and slammed the door shut. Her Screams would haunt me for the rest of my days and the black foul smoke that billowed out nearly made me vomit.

When her screams had stopped, I walked over to the mirror. I knew I had made the right choice, and I only hoped God would forgive a life of servitude to a witch by my actions. I went out to the yard and told the kids the witch was dead.

As the sobbing abated, I opened their cages and said “Follow me… I’ll take you home.”


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