Michael Douglas: Witch!
The night is quiet except for the sounds of a water fountain and footsteps. A giant man steps under a streetlight revealing a scar that cuts from his forehead, curves and slices through the right eye, kissing his lower lip. He wears a crusty long-sleeve dark shirt, boots, and pants. Draped across a thick neck, touching his rotund stomach, is a woolen scarf. Slowly, his cold eyes scan over the red and white house. He stares down two daggers carved into an oak-wood door. He snarls at the sight of it. The giant stops, smacks lips. He takes in a strong inhale and exhale. There is no mistake now.
“Magic is in the air tonight,” he said. “Witch, come out!”
Neither a light seen, nor a noise heard. He growls, like a beast. A sneer of his lip, accompanied by a glare of anger he breaks the gates off the hinges. Speed equal to Cheetah, he crashes through the oak-wood door; slivers of splinters and chunks of wood. Sharp claws greets him, ripping deep into his shoulder. Blood flows down his arm inside and out the sleeve. A large bipedal big cat-like creature stands between the giant and the old woman. He screams like a banshee. They both crash into each other, beginning a strange, deadly contest.
She has to remember to breathe watching her summoned familiar battle that monster. Rumors have been swirling he’s been on the hunt, but she never thought he’d come here. How he found her is a mystery, but running is no option. That monster never loses a witch once he finds them. There are victims who has been on the run for years to meet their end at his hands in the end. She smiles seeing the giant struggle against familiar, as those razor-sharp claws slash its face, leaving gashes across their face. When victory seemed near, her familiar spears the creature into the bookshelf. She cheers seeing the giant get tossed into the sofa. A family heirloom, but living is more precious. They both shot up, wrestled their way into the kitchen. The destruction of metal and wood, loud grunts and growls pierces her ears. Silence fell for a second when the giant came flying into the wall leaving a big hole. Victory is near, it’s all she could scream to herself. The summoned beast ran after its prey, jumps through into the hole. Their noise. Each heartbeat turns seconds into minutes waiting for that death squeal. It never came, instead the giant came walking out the hole. The battle was quick, but he almost topple over. All her hopes goes alongside the sensation of de-materialization, seeing the monster stalk towards her. At least her barrier gives precious time to summon another one.
Towering over the old woman, and her bottom lip quivers seeing what is before them. Not just the scars from the big-cat, but smaller ones littering the giant’s face. The wounds never healed properly; they left behind wrinkled, fleshy and misformed raised skin. It’s hard to look at that face, harder still gazing into those eyes. The intense glare of dark red pupils makes the grizzled haired woman tremble. Looking elsewhere didn’t work, they’re drawn back to the repulsiveness of it all, and he can’t explain to herself why the face she can’t tear away. She examines more: the giant’s nose is big, wide, and flat; like someone hammered it down. Worst of all: there is not a single chipped tooth or gap. His teeth are far too perfect and bright.
“I-I am not your—”
It’s the last thing she said before his fist sends her hurling towards the ground. Blood splatters across the room and him. A pool forms from the back of her head. The giant goes back through the ruined doorway, lost to the night’s brilliant view.
Policemen are blocking off residents from the house. Other officers scour the area looking for any other clue they could find in this bewildering crime scene. Out of the darkness of the house, two homicide detectives returns to the strange crime scene, one black and the other white. The white detective rubs the back of his blond hair.
“This one takes the cake, Paul” said a blond detective said, overlooking the crowd.
“You’re right David, and that’s a slice I don’t want,” he replied.
The two make their way through the crowd to find a shaky woman, brunette, mid-thirties. She’s wearing clothes fit for a jog. On the verge of tears, fit for a therapist. This is the woman who called 911, who said the old woman’s face looked like a mushed pound cake. Paul knew they had to make it quick, their partner’s look spoke for himself. The black detective coughs.
“Hello ma’am, I’m detective David Glaser and he’s Paul Soul,” the black detective said first.
She does a hint of a nod and a barely managed smile. Detective Soul noticed she’s fidgety, could barely keep from tugging at her hair, didn’t look them in their eyes. He’s relieved their partner spoke first. Witnesses like this just aren’t are their forte. Their partner didn’t seem fazed and kept up an amicable smile. It’s a mystery how Glaser does it.
“I saw what you saw, and I can tell you. Even that shook me to my core. She shouldn’t have died this way. That is why we need your help. Anything can help us.”
“We’re going to do all we can to find who did it,” Soul finally spoke. Not with much conviction as their partner, he was just as honest. She didn’t speak at first; it seems trying to recall the events maybe too much for her. The blond detective sees them brown eyes darting everywhere. It’s probably too much for her after all, the shock of seeing that will haunt her for days coming. Then she stops, closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. A tear flows down her cheek. They loved her, the blond detective thought. He wonders if they should wait until she calms down. She opens her eyes.
“I am sorry, but I was sleep. When I went for my jog, that’s when I saw...”
“How did you sleep through that?” the blond detective asked, incredulously. He shouldn’t have done that, she flinches at his words. Detective Glaser coughs again, seemingly unbothered still.
“I’m sorry for my partner’s abruptness, but they made a good point. The gate’s door was pulled off the hinges. The front door is nothing but chunks now. The inside of the house is a wreck. The bookshelf, sofa, all broken. There is a large hole in the wall. Please, anything will help us solve this.”
She shook her and said, “I told you. I was sleep. Just asleep. I’m sorry, I didn’t hear none of that.”
“Nothing?” the black detective asks. The woman gives them a nod is the told him all he needs to know. They thank her for the cooperation.
“She was like a grandmother to everyone. Her door was open to anyone. Somehow she always had a meal prepared when someone needed it. We’re all going to miss her,” she said, finally breaking down into tears, walking away.
The detective notice all of them were grieving, crying. Comforting each other. The blond detective felt guilty over their abrupt statement. A tap on their shoulder, the black detective is gesturing them on. The job’s not over. The two have more people to speak to. It’s going to be one of those days, they think to themselves.
The drive back is always longer than getting there when cases like this happen. The black detective hasn’t spoken their usual ice breaker or some quip to lighten the mood. No song plays on the radio, melancholy from the crime scene has finally set in. Their somber faces just stare at the scenery before them. Staring out at the endless trees, the blond detective wishes they didn’t see of buildings peeking from the trees. It’s just another reminder of their effort. After interviewing more people, all their stories matched up. Everyone of them were in dreamland, didn’t wake until after it was all over. Even the graveyard shifts workers didn’t make their way back until the same time. It’s like something kept them asleep or away. They couldn’t explain the mischance. Shredded pieces of cloth is the only hard evidence they found.
“It’s a cold one, isn’t?” Glaser speaks at last.
“Colder than Fairbanks, Alaska,” the blond detective said.
Under the bright sun and cloudy sky. Away from the police combing the area and news crews. The blood doesn't glisten; it has caked onto his face and hand—the same one he used to pull out her heart. He finds a windowless brick house in an open area of the woods. The myriad colored abode, no bigger than a tool shed, engraved with moving faces of women who all look terrified. One in is an old woman whose face shifts from shock to tear. He knocks on the door. The door opens; a woman dressed in a white robe greets him.
“My beloved Michael Douglas, you have returned to me. What news do you bring?”
“She is dead,” he tells her, presenting the heart. She plucks it out of his hand. Michael Douglas, her puppet, is right. After centuries, she is dead. How many have died along the way, just for this moment? So many, she could fill up five graveyards.
Death, this death, to be exact; the aroma wafts off the heart and into her nostrils. It’s a high, the best kind of high. The smell of it sends her into a frenzy. She jumps at him, wrapping her arms around the log that is his neck. She kisses the man with an unmatched feverous passion. She digs her fingers into his skull, scraping off the blood caked on his face with her nails; blood oozes from his scars. Finally, she parts from him and floats down, shivering, savoring the fading taste. When her feet touch the ground, he speaks.
“Will I return now?” he asks.
“You will. But, first, Michael, did you kill an innocent witch?”
Michael frowns before he speaks, she raises an eyebrow. She can already guess what he is about to say. Still, she waits for her familiar to speak.
“Yes,” he says despondent. He lowers his head. He promised his mistress that he wouldn't kill any other witch, but the journey has been long and he eventually forgets what she looked like until he remembered the picture in his pocket of the blue-eyed, brunette witch—his target. How guilty he feels for failing her.
He looks down, counts on one hand to the closest number he can remember. He’s been traveling for six months; crossed paths with so many witches, not all he murdered. The number should be simple enough for Michael to count all on one hand. He does.
She sighs and pinches the bridge of her nose. It’s her fault for giving Michael such low intelligence, equal to a five-year-old. However, at that age, a child is the most malleable. An age where they want to be around their mother, where their affections and emotions are unbridled by the influence of parenting. Where the child loves to get praise from their mom. Indeed, the raven-haired witch knew exactly this. Even when he fails, her faithful Michael never stops until he succeeds. Despite being a murderer, she finds charm in what he do. Sometimes, there is a feeling of Michael being the child she never had. It is why the punishment he will receive will not be harsh. After all, it is a festive mood. Even a parent spares their child then.
“Penance shall come later.” After a squeeze of the heart, her hand opens; the heart floats off into the house. “For now, it is a celebration.”
Standing like a little boy awaiting a spanking, it is stark contrast to the predator who has been hunting for the last six months. His knees are bent, eyes are facing the ground, arm behind his back. Lip quivering. He stands like a little boy awaiting their parent’s harsh reprimand. Looking up, his face lights up at her smile. He returns it, some of the bloody flakes break off to fall towards the ground.
“It is time to return now, my beloved Michael.”
Michael strips off his clothes to unveil sewn on muscular arms stitched to a large chest. Rune tattoos blacken his upper torso, which turns into carvings found on his wooden stomach. There are runes running down his muscular legs. There is no crotch. She smiles, looking upon Michael Douglas; he is a fine creation and notes a few repairs she must do to him.
She steps back into the house, putting some distance between them, enough to let her stretch out her neck and slither it on the ground. Pushing leaves and twigs out her way. She coils around Michael from the stomach up, making sure he’s nice and snug. She kisses him one last time before dislocating her jaw, letting her stretch her mouth wide. All at once, she gobbles him up, leaving only his feet sticking out. Her face turns a deathly dark purple. Her veins protrude; beads of sweat rolls down her cheeks; an excess of saliva pours off her bottom lip. The muscles in her mouth pushes him down her throat in one go. Her sweaty face returns to normal. Her neck now resembles an overgrown tumor. The boulder that is Michael Douglas goes down easy. As she gulps him down, he shrinks down to a swallowable size until he’s gone.
She recoils her neck back into, and Michael Douglas left her neck lumped and sagging. A hand cloth floats towards her; she grabs it and wipes the sweat off the folds of her neck. She enjoys the regular taste of ginger and cocoa he leaves. Flicking of her wrist, the door closes. The house vanishes.
— THE END —