Authors: Paul Kater
by Paul Kater
Published by the author at Smashwords -
Copyright 2010 Paul Kater
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Grimhilda made her wand appear as she felt the
splinters of what had been her magical mirror under her feet.
"Too bad about that one. It worked so well...",
she mumbled. "I'll have to prepare a new one." Her face became a
dark cloud when she thought of the one that had been stolen. She'd
never had the opportunity to test that one.
The memory of the theft of that mirror filled
her with rage again. If her mirror had not yet been broken, it
might not have survived this hissy fit. Now the only victim was one
of the chairs, and that was easy enough to fix.
"I hate that bitch," Hilda muttered, and tried
to banish the thought from her mind, at least for that moment. With
several brusque movements of her wand she magicked all the pieces
of the mirror onto a heap. The clinging sound of the silvery shards
made her even more angry. As the banishing had not really worked,
this did not improve things, so with a curse that would have made a
pirate blush she smashed one of the small windows in her room and
hurled the stack of splinters out of it. The screams from the
unfortunate and unsuspecting recipients of this malevolent gift
only eased her mind slightly.
"If ever I get my hands around the neck of
Rumpelstiltskin..." With that comment she breezed out of her room,
to find the mirror-maker and pleasure him with her presence and an
order for a new mirror...
The mirror-maker, Johan, promised he would make
her a new mirror. And one as a spare, in case an accident like this
previous one would happen again.
"I want it bigger than the broken one," Hilda
had emphasised. "Bigger and better. And brighter."
Johan nodded. "I'll do my best for you, as
always, honourable witch," he said. From second-hand experience,
we'd call it hear-say, he knew that Hilda was not someone to mess
with. The things she could do were pretty awesome, and that was
putting it very very mildly.
"You'd better. Otherwise you'll become a mirror,
and when I do that, believe me, it will not be a pleasure."
Grimhilda turned and was about to leave the shop, when she stopped
and looked at the craftsman again. "I need a mirror now."
Johan scratched his head. There was not much he
had on offer at that very moment. "Let me have a look..." He got up
and went into the back of his house, to the part that he referred
to as the 'muck shed' when he was alone. There he found a mirror.
It had only one crack in it.
"This is the best I can do for you, honourable
witch," Johan apologised as he showed her the mirror. "When I clean
it, it would not be too bad, I think."
Hilda considered the mirror. "A loaner, okay?
You clean it and bring it over before evening falls."
Johan nodded and was relieved. If she was happy
with this one, it would buy him a few days extra to get the real
"But no fussing about, I want the real mirror as
soon as I can," Hilda said, her hands on her hips. "I assume that
is not too hard too understand?"
Johan did not let his groan surface. "Of course.
Hilda nodded, turned and left, in search of a
basket full of apples. That was a lot easier than the mirror.
In the evening Johan knocked on the door of
Hilda's house. Carefully. After all, this was a witch's house, and
not just the residence of any old witch. This was Grimhilda's
Hilda opened the door, an apple in her hand.
Johan stared at it.
"What are you looking at?"
"Uhm, the apple..."
"So? It's just an apple. My apple, is that
understood?" To make the point stick, she took a bite from it. "You
gop the miwwow?" The piece of apple in her mouth severely impaired
her speech, but Johan knew what she meant.
"Yes, honourable witch, I have it right here. I
even managed to seal up the crack a bit," Johan said with fitting
"Good. Come in, I'll tell you where I want
"Uhm, couldn't you just like..." Johan made a
terrible mistake. He wiggled his finger over the mirror, hoping she
could magic the heavy thing to its place.
Hilda glared at the finger. "Yes. I could.
Digitus agilis in noctium."
Johan found out that evening that it is very
difficult to carry a large mirror into a house with a finger that
just won't stop moving.
"Your finger will be fine again tomorrow, in the
morning," Hilda sort of reassured him when he left. "Just don't
ever ask stupid things again."
"I won't, honourable witch, I won't!" Johan
then, having become wiser in a hurry, kept his mouth shut and
quickly left for safer grounds.
Hilda looked at the mirror. It would have to do.
She'd work on it the following morning, now it was time to retreat
and sleep off the ill effects of the insane world she'd been in.
These were still too vivid in her imagination...
"Now. Let's see..." Hilda had her wand in hand
and stood before the newly magicised mirror. She looked at the sun
and estimated the time of day and where that singing pale princess
would be. She should be... "Exhibio castellum."
The mirror did not respond. "Come on. Show me
the castle, damn you, and the yard around it!" Hilda was ready to
whack the mirror with a fierce bit of magic, but she held back.
"Loaner. Cracked. Urgh. Patience." The latter was not her
A knock on the door broke her concentration. She
walked to it and yanked it open, to see Johan the mirror-maker
there, holding up his still wiggling finger. "What?"
"Uhm, honourable witch, you said it would be
fine again in the morning?", Johan carefully said.
"Is morning over already?", Hilda asked him
"No... not yet," Johan had to admit.
"Right." Bang, said the door, and Hilda stomped
off to the mirror again. "Well, well, look here," she said as she
saw that an image had formed in it. It was a bit crackled, with
only faded colours, but she could live with that.
Hilda pulled up her chair and watched the
slightly distorted image, checking out the castle and the grounds
around it at her leisure.
"Now where's the kid..."
But no matter how she scanned the castle,
Snow-White wasn't there. Also on the meadows around, where she used
to sing her obnoxious joyful songs and pick the flowers, there was
no trace of the girl.
"How did she pull that one off..." Hilda
muttered and said a simple spell to locate the girl.
It took the mirror a while, but then it showed
her an image that surprised her quite a bit. The queen's huntsman
was in the forest, dragging Snow-White along by the arm. That was
not exactly what Hilda expected to see. Curious, she watched the
scene unfold, until the huntsman pulled a knife and got ready to
turn the girl into filet mignon. The mirror, prepared in a hurry,
did not give Hilda sound, but Snow-White clearly started
"Hey, that's not going to happen," Hilda
muttered. "I was going to take care of her. Whatever gave him that
idea?" She got up and located her broom and cloak. As she was
getting ready to fly off to the forest and stop the huntsman, she
cast another look at the mirror and saw the huntsman letting go of
Snow-White's wrist. The girl took off like a bat out of hell,
through the forest. Hilda noticed Snow-White was not running
towards home. "Weird," was her comment on that. "It's the place
where she always runs to when there's trouble..."
With a wave of her hand the mirror became a
regular mirror again. Hilda stepped outside with her broom, mounted
it, and set course to the forest where the huntsman was. The wicked
witch was determined to find out what this whole charade was about
and he was the easiest prey for her to tell about it.
When she reached the huntsman's position, she
was forced to circle over the trees for a while, until he had
progressed onto a more open spot where she could land.
The man reached for his large hunting-knife and
pulled it out as he saw the witch touch down. "Who are you? You
must be a witch!" He held out the knife.
"My, my," said Hilda. "I bet you did not spend
much time in school, am I right?"
The hunter frowned. "How'd you know that?"
The wand that appeared in Hilda's hand turned
the impressive knife into several leaves of overcooked cabbage that
then hung over the man's hand. "Otherwise you would have learnt
that you don't stop a witch with a knife. And you don't threaten a
witch like me with a knife either. Well, you see what that got
The hunter stared at his hand, then shook off
the cabbage. "What do you want from me? I have nothing of value!",
he then shouted at her.
"Hey, no need to yell, I'm right here!", Hilda
yelled back, and much better than the hunter could. The force of
her words made him topple backwards into a bunch of ferns. She
waited until he had gotten back to his feet. "So, now you are going
to tell me all about that thing with the girl just now."
"What girl?" The hunter tried some bravery, for
which he was known and what had him selected as being the huntsman
of the queen.
Hilda crossed her arms over her chest and tapped
her foot on the ground. "Don't start like that, mister. What I did
to that big knife of yours can just as easily happen to certain
parts of your anatomy, and your wife would not be happy when she'd
find that out. Would she?"
The hunter swallowed as he considered her words.
"Okay, okay, okay. No need to go that far. The girl was Snow-White,
the daughter of the king and the stepdaughter of the queen. The
queen wanted me to kill the girl. I was about to do that, when she
started crying and go all soppy on me, and I can't handle that. So
I let her go. She won't make it out of the forest alive anyway, and
at least this way I know I didn't kill her."
Hilda, the wicked witch, snorted. "Well, you
did, just not the way you planned. But if that makes you happy, who
am I to mess up your day. And that's it? End of story, everyone
"Well, no. Not really. Just as you fell out of
the sky I was thinking how I could get a lung and a liver."
"Eeeuw... you have a weird taste, buster," Hilda
said as her face displayed her disgust.
"Hey, not for me okay? The queen wants to see
Snow-White's lung and liver, so she knows the kid's been taken care
of. I was going to stab a bear or so on the way back. But not much
I can do now, since you turned my knife into cabbage..."
"You. Stab a bear," Hilda snickered. "Do you
have any idea how big and strong a bear is?"
"Huh, from a distance they're not too bad," the
"Oh, right, so you are going to stab one from a
distance. Yeah, do invite me when you're going for it, I want to
watch that. Front row seat please," Hilda grinned.
The hunter thought, long and slow. Especially
slow, he was good at that. "That's not a good idea, is it?", he
"No. Not really." Hilda thought, very fast. She
was good at that. "Now listen, let me get this straight. The old
hag is out to off the kid, right?"
The hunter had no problems at all translating
'the old hag' to 'the queen'. He nodded.
"Crap. That means I've been going after the
wrong one." Hilda stood and thought some more. "I am going to do
something really bad, my friend the hunter. I'm going to be good
for a change."