Ch.1

Seven year-old Rachel Townshend lifted the hem of her fairy costume to keep from
tripping over it for the tenth time. She and her brother Todd, two years her senior,
struggled down the dark suburban street, juggling their candy bags from hand to hand,
tugging on their costumes, and shivering against the chill of the October wind.
Halloween was always fun, but it was always about two weeks too late to be comfortable.
Somehow the glamour of dressing up in a disguise seemed to vanish into the night amid
the walking, the toting, the fidgeting, and the cold.
"Just a minute, Rach. My shoe's untied," said Todd. The pint-sized Frankenstein
monster stopped and knelt to deal with the laces.
"Hurry up," whined Rachel. "I just want to hit a few more houses then head
home." She stared at her brother for a few seconds as his numbed fingers tried
unsuccessfully to tie his laces. This was really getting uncomfortable. Rachel turned to
her right to count the number of porch lights on the block. As she focused on the third
house, she felt a piece of material whip her in the face as a hard blast of wind suddenly
hit her from behind and forced her to the ground, sending her candy spewing from her
bag. More stunned than hurt, she quickly righted herself into a sitting position and
looked to her brother for an explanation. He was no longer beside her. Standing, she
whirled around in search of Todd. He was nowhere to be seen. Then, she thought she
heard his voice calling her name from a distance. She held her breath and listened.
Nothing. What she thought was Todd's voice could have been the wind, or anything for
that matter. "Todd! Todd, where did you go?" But Todd did not respond. He was gone.
Leaving her candy on the ground, Rachel turned and headed toward her house, which was
only a couple of blocks away. Hot tears warmed her cheeks, but she was suddenly colder
than she had ever been in her young life.

*****

The police officer seemed like a giant in their house. He was a full head taller
than Rachel's father was and much broader across the shoulders. His crisp blue uniform,
the gun and holster, the two-way radio, the shiny badge, and all the other paraphernalia
he carried about made him an intimidating figure.
"I'll put out a bulletin right now," the officer said. "More than likely it's just a
prank. You know how nine year-old boys can be." He flipped his black notebook shut
and jammed his silver ink pen into his shirt pocket.
"That's not Todd's style," objected Mrs. Townshend. Rachel's mother was a
slight woman, not much taller than Todd. Despite her diminutive stature, however, she
radiated strength. She had a well-chiseled face, which was suitably adapted to letting you
know when she meant business. She was not very pretty by most standards, but there
was something about her eyes that commanded people's attention. "I just don't think he
would pull something like that."
The policeman rose from the living room sofa where he had been taking Rachel's
statement. "I understand how you feel, Mrs. Townshend, but . . ."
Rachel's father broke in. "It's not just a feeling, officer. Todd's a sensible boy.
He wouldn't just push his sister down then run off and leave her. Furthermore it's been
over thirty minutes since this happened. He would have been home by now."
The policeman turned again to Rachel, who was staring at his shiny shoes. "What
do you think, Miss Rachel? You think Todd is playing a trick on everyone? After all, it
is Halloween. You know, trick or treat."
Rachel's voice caught in her throat as she tried to answer. Twice she tried to
speak, but she was too distressed. All this had happened so fast.
Mr. Townshend stepped toward the officer. As he did so, Rachel looked up and
saw her father in a different way than she ever had. She had always considered him a
big, strong man who was used to getting his way. As he stood next to the policeman,
however, he looked frail and confused. His eyes looked old. "I think we'd better get out
and start looking for him," he said in a voice that sounded hoarse and tired.
"Right away, Mr. Townshend," agreed the officer. He turned and walked out the
front door. Rachel watched him stride down the front walk to his cruiser, which was
parked in the driveway. He picked up the microphone to his car radio and spoke into it
for a few minutes. Then, he was off. He made his way slowly down the street, his
searchlight scanning the homes and yards along the block.
Mr. Townshend watched for a moment before turning to his wife. "Leah, I'm
going out to look in the other direction. We'll find him." His tone was unconvincing.

******
Todd Townshend could only believe he was dreaming. After all, he was flying.
He recognized the lights of the shopping mall below as he knifed effortlessly through the
air. He could make out the baseball diamonds in Halstead Park, the statue of Thomas
Jefferson, and Brightmoore School, where he attended the fourth grade. He had flown
like this numerous times in his sleep, soaring like an eagle over the town of Velmont.
Something about this particular flight was different, though. For one thing, Todd
was cold - freezing in fact. He didn't recall ever being cold in his dreams. And then
there was that smell. It was an awful stench that burned his nostrils and turned his
stomach. In a way it reminded him of the time he and his friend Billy Smith had found a
dead squirrel decaying in the wood pile behind Billy's barn.
Todd tried to turn to his left, where he sensed a presence of some sort. He soon
realized, however, that his movement was restricted by the wind resistance and by a force
that he could not identify. Whenever he tried to move in one direction of the other, he
was forcefully snapped back into his original position. He was being controlled, he
thought to himself, just like a puppet.
Gradually, Todd became conscious of the fact that he was descending. Soon the
tops of trees were whizzing by on either side. He zigzagged between the trunks as the
ground rushed toward him. He landed with unanticipated ease, but was surprised to find
that his feet were allowed to touch the ground only for an instant. He found himself
suspended in the air again, this time only a couple of feet from the ground. He was still
moving around the trees, but at a much slower pace. The straining of his clothing against
his body told him he was being held from behind, as if someone had passed a giant hook
through his costume and shirt, and he was now being dangled from a piece of cable.
In the next instant Todd found himself lying face down in a pile of brown, dry
leaves. They were cold and scratchy against his skin. As he lay motionless, he became
aware of the sounds around him. He could detect the wind rustling the few leaves that
remained on the branches overhead. He also recognized human sounds. Or was it
human? He listened closely to what sounded like a wheezing grunt. He could detect
footsteps falling on the dry leaves. The awful smell grew stronger as the footsteps grew
louder. Before he realized it, his arms were being forced behind his back and bound with
a course rope. He felt helpless to resist. Next, his ankles were being bound. An
uncontrollable sense of panic overtook him. He thought he heard someone yelling and
screaming in the distance. Only after he found himself being dragged through the leaves,
did he realize the screams were coming from his own throat. A sharp blow to the back of
his head silenced the sounds and caused him to melt into the warm comfort of a black
void.

***

Mr. Townshend cruised slowly down his street toward cull de sac in which it
terminated. Behind these few houses was a patch of forest, now lost in the darkness. As
he wheeled his Chevy Blazer around the circular dead end, his headlights caught a small
figure waving at him. Was it Todd? No. It was Gerry Jamison, a friend of Todd's. Mr.
Townshend pulled his vehicle over to the curb and rolled down the window.
"I know what happened," exclaimed the youngster as he approached the car. He
seemed excited. Wide-eyed.
"Have you seen Todd?" asked Mr. Townshend.
"I sure have." Gerry gulped as if to catch his breath. His vampire make-up was
still on his face, but much of it was absorbed and smeared. He was dressed all in black
and was wearing one of those black department store capes with the red lining. It looked
far too large for him. Mr. Townshend ordinarily would have broken into a smile at the
site of Gerry, but this situation - Todd missing - had too much serious potential for Mr.
Townshend to consider appearances.
"Is Todd around here somewhere?" asked the father.
"I don't know where he is," responded Gerry.
"But I thought you said . . ."
"I said I saw what happened."
"What do you mean? What are you talking about?" Mr. Townshend felt a knot
forming in the pit of his stomach.
"I saw Todd and Rachel coming down the street, and I was just about to yell
something to him when it came down and got him," said Gerry.
"When what came down and got him? Did someone pick him up?"
"It sure did. Whoosh!" Gerry made a dive-bombing motion with his hand.
"Gerry, you're not making any sense here. What went whoosh? What is it?"
"I don't know, Mr. Townshend. It was just a . . . a . . . black shape of some kind.
It just swooped down out of the sky and grabbed Todd and knocked Rachel down. I
could hear Todd yelling as it carried him off," explained the boy.
Mr. Townshend's face was frozen in a quizzical expression. He rubbed his hand
across his mouth and let out a big sigh. "Gerry," he said slowly, "is this some kind of a
joke? Did Todd put you up to this?"
"It's no joke, Mr. Townshend. I swear to God something swooped down out of
the sky and carried Todd off. It scared me so bad when I saw it that I wet my pants."
Mr. Townshend leaned out the Blazer window and stared down at the boy's
trousers. Sure enough, there was enough light from the street lamps to see that Gerry did
appear to have wet himself. But maybe he had wet himself first and was just making up
this wild tale to explain his accident. Mr. Townshend looked hard at the youngster.
"Gerry, have you been home yet? Have you told your parents about this?"
"I ran home, but my mom and dad are at a Halloween party. Julie Sanders is
baby-sitting for me and my baby brother. I . . . I'm ashamed to go in the house and let
her see me like this."
Julie Sanders was a pretty high school student who often performed baby-sitting
chores for several families in the neighborhood. Todd and Gerry both had a major crush
on her, and Mr. Townshend could understand Gerry's reluctance to allow her to see him
with wet pants. "Tell you what, why don't you ride home with me, and Mrs. Townshend
will loan you a pair of Todd's pants. I think the two of you are about the same size."
"Gee thanks, Mr. Townshend. I'm freezing out here. Once I'm changed I'll help
you look for Todd."
"The police are already looking for Todd. Besides, you've got to get back home
before Julie starts to worry and reports you as missing. Hop in. Oh, ah, maybe you'd
better sit on the floor."

Ch 2

It felt good to be back in dry pants again, even if they were a little tight. The Townshend
house was nice and warm, too. Mrs. Townshend had taken Gerry into the bathroom and
helped him remove his Halloween make-up with cold cream. She assured him she would
wash and dry his black pants and that Julie Sanders would never have to know the
difference. She gave Gerry a cup of hot chocolate and telephoned the baby-sitter to let
her know where he was. As he sipped from a big stoneware mug, Gerry repeated for
Mrs. Townshend what he had told her husband.
"I know it sounds crazy, Mrs. Townshend, but I'm not making this up," insisted
Gerry.
Todd's mother gave the boy a sideways look, then said, "Well, if something did
come down out of the sky and scoop Todd up, what do you think it was?"
The boy thought a moment. "Mmm. A witch?"
"A witch? Gerry, did you see a witch?" she asked.
"Well no. What I saw was some kind of black shape. But it did kind of look like
it was riding a broomstick."
"Do you believe in witches, Gerry?" asked Mrs. Townshend.
"I didn't until tonight," he replied. "Now I'm not so sure."
Mrs. Townshend studied her young guest to see if he appeared amused or gave
any hint of being involved in a prank. He struck her as deadly serious. "Finish your hot
chocolate, Gerry. Mr. Townshend will give you a ride home as soon as he's through
putting Rachel to bed."
"But what about Todd?" he protested. "We have to go look for him."
"That's being done, Gerry. Don't worry," she said, feeling she ought to try to
give some comfort in case Gerry really didn't know where Todd was.
"It carried him north," he said.
"What?"
Just then Mr. Townshend entered the kitchen. "Rachel's in bed. I don't know if
she can get to sleep, though."
Gerry picked up where he had left off. "It carried him north. At least that's the
direction it was heading when it scooped him up."
Mr. and Mrs. Townshend looked at each other. Gerry's sincerity hit them both
simultaneously. Mrs. Townshend's hand went to her mouth and tears welled up in her
eyes.
"Come on, Gerry," said the father. "Grab your cape and let's get you home."

************************************************************************

Todd Townshend fought the fog in his head and tried to open his eyes. It took
several minutes, but he was eventually able to force himself to wake up. There was a
strange sense of urgency that kept prodding him onward toward consciousness. Finally,
he sat up and tried to take in his surrounding. Nothing seemed familiar. He didn't know
where he was, but everything smelled different, felt different. He felt warm. He was no
longer outside.
As his eyes came into focus, he realized he was inside some kind of a house.
From his location, somewhere in a corner, he could see that the place was both old and
messy. It was dimly lit by flickering lights-probably candles. The room before him was
littered with heaps of clothing, a couple of old stools, a half-rotted table, buckets, boxes,
and a broom. The odor was overwhelming. The air reeked of mustiness.
Todd decided he'd better get up and have a look around. As he tried to stand,
however, his movement was abruptly stopped. Something prevented him from rising to
his full height. Only then did he realize he was in a cage. The boy could feel his heart
contract in his chest as he determined he was locked inside a large puppy-training crate.
What was going on? What had happened to him? He looked down at himself and
discovered that all his clothing except for his underwear had been removed. He began to
shake with fear. Suddenly, he heard the flurry of words screaming from his throat, "Help
me. Let me out of here! I want to get out! Let me out of here! Hey! Hey! Anybody
here? Let me out!"
His voice was silenced by the appearance of shadow on the far wall. It was
followed by the sound of shuffling feet and labored breathing. As the shadow diminished
in size, the shuffling and wheezing grew louder. Someone was coming for him.
"Help me, whoever you are. Help!"
The figure came quickly into view, although Todd instantly wished it hadn't.
Hovering over him was a heavy-set old woman with features that froze the boy's blood.
Cold, green eyes with large black pupils stared emotionless over the tops of unusually
high cheekbones. Her nose, at least a couple of inches longer than the nose of any person
Todd knew, was slightly bent to one side and had a pronounced bump right in the middle.
The tip of it was covered in purple and blue spider veins. Despite her sizable girth, her
chin came to a narrow point and featured not one, not two, but three large warts, all of
which sprouted coarse black hair. Todd could not tell if she had hair on her head, for it
was covered with a ragged old kerchief. Her clothes were ragged, too, and badly soiled.
She leaned down very close to the cage to examine Todd. She simply stared at the
quivering boy for a couple of minutes, then her dry, cracked lips spread wide, revealing
yellow and brown teeth. A small piece of meat jiggled from between two of them.
Todd began to cry. The smell from the old woman's breath caused him to gag.
He backed away into the farthest corner of the cage and tried to catch his breath.
Somehow, he found some words. "Who are you?"
The woman did not answer. She merely lifted a knurled finger to her mouth and
dislodged the meat with a long, filthy fingernail. Then she puckered her mouth and
sucked down the morsel. Rising to full height once again, she let loose with a loud, high-
pitched cackle that seared through Todd's brain. She shook her index finger at Todd and
glared at him.
As the old woman turned to shuffle away, Todd again found the courage to speak.
"Hey, are. . . are you a . . . a witch?" He required a new breath every couple of words.
He felt as if his chest were going to implode.
The woman didn't answer. She simply smiled again and shuffled out of sight into
another part of the house. She returned in a few minutes, wearing a long, tattered cloak.
She opened the only door that Todd could see from the cage. As she did so, an icy blast
of wind entered the room and caused the light to flicker violently. The woman bent
down and grabbed the broom from off the floor. Then she looked over at Todd as if to
say, "Does this answer your question?" She straddled the broom handle, gave the boy a
wink, then instantly flew from the room through the open door. Once she was gone, the
door slammed shut.
Todd sat with his mouth open. The images in the room began to blur as the tears
welled up in his eyes and spilled over onto his pale cheeks.

*******
Samuel Townshend, Todd's father, felt the exhaustion dragging him down as he
came through the front door. He had been out searching the neighborhood for hours.
There had been no sign of Todd. Although he tried to tell himself everything would be
all right, his worst fears kept surfacing every few minutes. He wanted to simply drop to
the floor and lose consciousness until this was over.
The house was in darkness except for a small light over the stove in the kitchen.
Leah must have gone to bed. Mr. Townshend decided that was the best idea for him as
well. With feet that seemed like anvils, he slowly made his way up the front stairs to the
master bedroom. He entered the room silently without turning on the light.
"I'm not asleep. I can't sleep." It was Leah. She was beneath the covers, staring
straight up at the ceiling.
"I didn't find a trace of him. I think he's been kidnapped, Leah. I don't know
what else to think." Mr. Townshend sat on the corner of the bed and started to remove
his shoes. "I just know this is something more serious than a prank. Todd wouldn't pull
a stunt like this."
"Of course not. Oh, Sam," Mrs. Townshend sat up and threw her arms around her
husband. She began to sob uncontrollably. He wrapped himself around her and eased
her back onto the pillows.
"I don't know what's happened, here, Leah, but we'll get to the bottom of it.
Todd will be all right. He has to be. He just has to be."
Mr. and Mrs. Townshend comforted each other on the bed for several minutes,
each drawing what strength was available from the other. Then, the door chimes startled
them. They sat up together. Todd. It must be Todd. Or maybe someone with some
information about Todd. Dear God, please let it be Todd. Let it be good news. They
scrambled out of bed, Mrs. Townshend half-tripping over the covers she pulled along
with her. Mr. Townshend was down the stairs in a flash, missing the final two steps
altogether. He reached for the front door and flung it open.
Standing on the front porch was a small, unassuming man in a blue denim jacket.
He was thin and balding and wore large wire-rimmed glasses. A police detective? He
didn't look the part. The kidnapper? No way. He spoke in a quiet, pleasant voice. "Mr.
Samuel Townshend?" he asked.
Somehow, Mr. Townshend was surprised to hear his own name. His thoughts
were so much on his son that it almost seemed as if "Todd" were the only name on the
planet. "Who are you?"
"Forgive the intrusion at his hour. I know it's past two in the morning, but I have
to talk to you," explained the visitor.
"Is this about my son?"
"Yes."
"Do you know where he is?"
"I think so."
"Well, come one in." Mr. Townshend ushered the visitor to the living room sofa
just as Leah was stumbling down the stairs. She had managed to wrestle herself free
from the bed covers and wriggle into a bathrobe. "Honey, this is . . . ah . . . I still don't
know who you are."
"Sorry," said the man as he extended his right hand. "My name is Lawrence
Jamison. I'm Gerry's uncle. He called me as soon as you brought him home. He knows
I'm interested in these sorts of matters."
Mrs. Townshend furrowed her brow. "What sorts of matters are we discussing,
Mr. Jamison?"
"It's Dr. Jamison. Oh, but please, call me Lawrence. Just don't call me Larry. I
can't stand that name. I prefer Lawrence."
"O.K., then, Lawrence," began Mr. Townshend. "But as my wife asked, just what
kind of matters are we talking about here? Kidnapping?"
Dr. Jamison sank back into the sofa. "Of a sort, yes."
Mr. Townshend dropped to the sofa beside Dr. Lawrence Jamison. Mrs.
Townshend took the armchair perpendicular to him. "I think you'd better explain," said
Mr. Townshend.
Dr. Jamison nodded in agreement and suddenly seemed to grow a bit nervous.
"Well, this is not an easy matter to discuss. What I have to say is going to sound crazy. I
know it's going to take some time for this to sink in. Your mind is not going to want to
accept what I have to say. This has happened before, and I know what sort of reaction to
expect."
Mr. Townshend placed a firm hand on Lawrence's shoulder. "Just tell us where
our boy is."
The visitor could see that the Townshends were in no mood for discussion. He
understood. They simply wanted their boy back. He felt he'd best just come out with it.
"Mr. and Mrs. Townshend, your son… has been abducted by a witch."

Ch. 3

Todd Townshend had no inkling of where the idea came from or why it descended upon
him like a block of concrete. All he knew was that from somewhere in the recesses of his
brain, emerged the thought that his survival depended upon his attitude toward his
predicament. The idea engulfed him, stiffened him, and forced upon him the realization
that he was engaged in a life or death struggle. That sense of immortality, which seems
to surround all children had vanished. Here he was, after all, clad in only his underwear,
sitting in a cage in a witch's cabin. He knew that his life was on the line. He decided he
was in the middle of a war. More so, he settled on a strategy to win the conflict-defiance.
The old woman had been gone for the longest time. Todd shook himself and
decided to look around the room as best he could from his puppy crate. He realized that
he was in a corner of the room, the rough-hewn wall to the left, and a huge, black metal
object to his right, which partially obstructed his view of one side of the cabin. The big
black thing looked like an enormous metal box of some kind. He inched toward the
right-hand side of the cage and eased a hand through the thin metal bars. Slowly,
cautiously he extended a finger to touch the black box. Ouch! It was hot. That's where
the heat was coming from. It must be a furnace.
Just then the door flew open and the old woman zipped in on the broom. She let
the broom drop to the floor and shuffled over to close the door. She removed her cloak
and the kerchief, which covered her head. For the first time Todd could see that she did
indeed have hair, but it was thin and wispy, mainly gray. As she started to shuffle out of
sight, Todd decided that if he was going to fight a war there was no time like the present
to fire the first shot.
"Hey, crone-face, where'd you go, to get a make-over? It didn't work!" He
almost could not believe what he was saying. His parents had always taught him to be
polite and respectful, especially to elderly people. Then again, he thought, this wasn't a
person - it was a witch. Besides, this wasn't any ordinary set of circumstances. He was
engaged in a battle for his life. Right now, his words were the only weapons he
possessed. He heard the old woman shuffling around off to his right, somewhere on the
other side of the big black furnace. He apparently drew no reaction with his first salvo.
He wondered if she could even understand him. What if she was deaf? If so, he could
say anything he wanted and it wouldn't make any difference. Perish the thought. He
decided to try again. "Hey, Stinky, how come you smell so bad? Haven't you ever heard
of soap and water?"
In an instant the old woman appeared before him, an angry look on her face. She
rushed the cage and kicked it violently three or four times. Her reaction startled Todd
and he retreated back into the corner of his prison. "O.K., O.K.," he yelled. "I was just
kidding!"
The woman glared at the boy and snorted.
"Can't you talk?" he asked. "Cat got your tongue?" He remembered his father
used to ask him that when he was small.
The old woman bent low and pressed her face up against the bars. She opened
her mouth very wide and extended as far as she could the stump of what used to be her
tongue. Todd recoiled tighter against the rear corner of the cage. "I guess it does," he
said. Suddenly he felt sorry for the old woman. He didn't know she didn't have a
tongue. He felt badly for having tormented her. His pangs of guilt didn't last long,
however, for the old woman began to cackle and point at him. This seemed to restore his
resolve to do battle.
"You've gotta let me out of here. I have to pee," he announced.
The woman's only response was to cackle even louder as she pressed her face
firmly into the bars.
"I'm serious. I need to pee." At first Todd had asked to urinate just on the hope
she would actually let him out. Once he'd said it, however, he'd become aware of the
fact that indeed his bladder was full. Maybe words weren't his only weapon. Rising to
his knees, Todd separated the fly of his briefs and arched a golden stream of urine right
into the face of his captor. The woman screeched and stumbled backward onto the floor.
Todd moved to the front of the cage and pressed the advantage, soaking her with every
drop that he could. When he had finished, his target struggled to her feet and scurried out
of sight. "I just thought you needed a little perfume," yelled the boy.
The witch returned after a couple of minutes, wiping her face with an old, soiled
rag. She had something else in her hand, too. Todd couldn't tell what it was until she
approached the cage with it. The object was a huge three-pronged fork. She angrily
plunged the fork into the cage. Todd withdrew, but he wasn't quick enough. The prongs
pierced him in the left arm. He was shocked to see blood flow from the three little holes.
"What are doing, freak?" he screamed.
The old woman howled with laughter. Then she examined the end of the fork and
noticed a small drop of blood hanging off the end of one prong. She put it in her mouth
and acted as if she savored the taste. "Mmmm." Then she smacked her cracked lips
together and indicated she loved the taste. She pressed her face against the cage again,
her eyes wide with glee.
"Do you plan to eat me?" Todd felt as if he already knew the answer.
"Yumm," rasped the old woman.
"I'm gonna be a lot stringier than you think," yelled the boy. Suddenly he
remembered something he'd seen on The Three Stooges. Now seemed like the perfect
time to use it. He extended his index and middle fingers and lunged at the witch's eyes.
He found his mark. The old witch recoiled in pain, burying her face in her hands. "I
gotta fork, too, you smelly old cannibal!"
Once again the old lady retreated into another room.

*****
Samuel Townshend had quickly lurched up out of the sofa and paced off to the
left. His wife had sprung from the armchair and huffed off to the right. Dr. Lawrence
"Don't Call Me Larry" Jamison was left alone on the sofa. He could see the distress in
the Townshends. "Look, I told you this wouldn't be easy to accept," he offered.
Mrs. Townshend was the first to speak. "Dr. Jamison, maybe you'd better leave
before we call the police."
Mr. Townshed was quick to chime in. "What kind of a sick prank is this?"
"Look, I'll go if you want me to, but just give a couple of minutes to explain."
The Townshend stared at each other long and hard. Finally, the both relaxed and
resumed their seats. "Let's hear it," sighed Sam.
"Thank you," said the doctor. "I must warn you this doesn't get any easier."
"We're listening," said Sam. "Make the most of it."
"O.K. Well, there's a witch that lives in the woods just north of here," Dr.
Jamison explained.
"So, you're sticking to the witch story," interjected Mrs. Townshend.
"It's the truth, Mrs. Townshend. I swear it is. As hard as it is to believe, you've
got to try. I want to see you get your boy back. Please hear me out."
Mrs. Townshend rolled her eyes and looked away.
"Let him talk, Leah," urged Sam.
"Thank you. As I was saying, there is a witch who lives just north of town. She's
got a small cabin—a shack, really—in middle of the woods. She's a terrible creature.
She does unspeakable things. She flies around the neighborhoods at night abducting
children. She takes them back to her cabin, and she, ah, well, she eats them. Now, I
know how this sounds, believe me, but I assure you . . ."
"And how would you know about this witch, Dr. Jamison," asked Leah.
The doctor suddenly grew very still and seemed to push his body back hard into
the sofa. "I have first-hand experience with her."
"You mean you know this woman?" asked Sam.
"Woman? No, Mr. Townshend, this is no woman. We're talking about some
ungodly creature here. A beast. Something part demon. This isn't the first time this has
happened. When I was a boy, I was out Trick-or-Treating on Halloween when she
swooped down and got me."
Both of the Townshends bolted straight. "You?" they asked in unison.
"I was about eight at the time. I didn't know what hit me. One minute I was
heading for someone's porch, and in the next instant I was a hundred feet in the air. She
took me to her cabin and stuffed me into a little cage she kept on the floor. I'll never
forget the way that place smelled. Have you ever smelled rotting flesh? She was going
to eat me. She made her intentions quite clear. Oddly enough, even after she scooped me
up I had hung on to my candy bag. Of course, she took it from me when she crammed
me into that dreaded cage. I suggested to her that she might find something to eat inside
the bag. I figured maybe if she filled up on goodies she'd lose her appetite for children—
namely me. Well, she found an apple and took a huge, vicious bite. In the next moment
she was crying out in agony. Some sick pervert had spiked the apple with razor blades.
Little did he know he'd actually be doing me a favor.
"Well, it turned out the old hag and sliced her tongue off on the razor blades. In
her trashing about she accidentally kicked it over toward the cage. I picked it up and
pulled it inside the cage with me. She came over tried to get it back, but by that time I
was sitting on it."
"I'm not feeling well," remarked Leah.
"Oh, believe me, I know how distasteful this is. Ah, no pun intended. The thing
is, I was able to use that piece of tongue as a bargaining chip. I told the old crone I'd
give it back to her if she would open the cage and let me out. Reluctantly, she agreed. I
guess she figured she could sew the tongue back on, or do some kind of magic with it or
something. Anyway, she opened the cage, and I bolted out as hard and fast as I could.
Head first. Right into her gut. Witch or no witch, she crumpled like a rag doll. My dad
would have been proud of that block. He always wanted a football star for a son.
Anyway, I knocked the breath out her. When I realized she was down, I scrambled out
the door and ran through the woods as fast as I could. I didn't look back until I reached
town. Even then, I stayed in the shadows until I got home. I think she could have
recaptured me if she really wanted to. But, I guess with her tongue gone, and maybe a rib
or two cracked, she didn't feel much like coming after me."
Mrs. Townshend stared at the storyteller in total disbelief. "That is some story,
Dr. Jamison. Now would you leave?"
Jamison looked over at Mr. Townshend.
"I think my wife is right, sir. It would probably be best if you just . . ."
"Look I can see you still don't believe me. You're just like all the others."
"All the others?" echoed Mr. Townshend.
"Todd is not the first, Mr. Townshend. Children disappear all the time. They're
here one minute and gone the next. It happens in towns like this one all over the world.
No one ever finds them."
"But you know where they are," said Leah Townshend sarcastically.
"I know what has happened to a fair number of them. Naturally, I get the same
reaction from whomever I tell this story to. But I'm willing to face a wall of disbelief,
Mrs. Townshend. Every time a child disappears I'm going to tell my story—again and
again, until someone listens to me. I know the truth. I know what happened to me. And
I know what happened to Todd. I do have one small shred of evidence to support my
story."
"What do you mean?" asked Sam.
Dr. Jamison reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a flat glass container
filled with some kind of fluid. Something shriveled was floating inside of it. "I still
have this," he said, handing the object to Mr. Townshend. "It's the old gal's tongue."

Ch. 4

Now Todd was once again all alone in this awful smelling room, trapped – like a rat in a
cage. All sorts of horrible thoughts started rushing through his mind. What if no one
ever found out that he has in here?! Then the witch would have no trouble at all in eating
him. But then again, who knows how long she was going to keep him in this small
prison. That was when he realized something of the utmost importance about his cage.
There was no door! Todd looked around his cage frantically. He crawled over to all four
sides of his entrapment and tested all the bars. He tried bending the bars, breaking the
bars, and kicking the doors. There was absolutely no way out!
"That's impossible!" Todd gasped. Tears began to roll down his face, the first
time in his life that he could recall crying – other than when he was a baby. There had to
be a way out. After all, how else could he have possibly gotten into this cage unless there
was a door?! "Hmmm." Todd lied down on his back and lifted his legs back into a birth-
giving position. As powerfully as he possibly could, he pushed himself off the bottom
and kicked the side of the cage facing the center of the room. The entire cage tipped over
as a cause of the weight and force. Yes! Todd thought. Unfortunantely he still couldn't
get out of the cage. He had however been able to move his cage forward somewhat
though. He could get a slightly better look at the room he was in.
Todd looked in the direction of the furnace and saw what appeared to be a
bookshelf on the other side of it. The bookshelf had four shelves on it. There were only
books on the very bottom shelf. The books were all different colors – red, blue, black,
green, and brown. On the other three shelves there were jars and beakers and boxes.
They all seemed to be filled with one thing or another. Todd squinted and saw that on of
the jars had the words "Toad Eyes" written across it.
"Eww!" Todd thought he was going to be sick from the thought of the contents of
the other boxes and jars.
Next to the bookshelf was a single bookstand. On top was a velvet cover, and a
book under a glass box… or was it crystal? The book almost seemed to be giving off its
own light. The book itself was white. Todd was unable to tell what was on the book
cover though. The book was facing toward the ceiling and so all Todd could see was the
book's binding.
Then, Todd saw the door that the witch had gone through so many times already.
The door was wide open. Through the open doorway, Todd could a strange looking bed.
It looked like something out of a scary movie. Like one of those princess beds - only
scarier. The witch was lying on the bed asleep. The dark wood of the bed made it look
like a sea monster, or something worse. The sheets that the witch was sleeping on were
pink and soiled. Brown blotches decorated the coverlet that was lying on the floor of the
bedroom. The only light that he could see in there was a single candle resting on a
nightstand sitting next to the bed. The small bit of light made it possible to see that there
was a snake inside of a glass container against the far wall of the bedroom.
Todd suddenly wondered how that old witch could stay asleep through the racket
of his cage testing. Seeing the witch sleep however was making him sleepy. Todd
decided her would only take a couple minute nap.
When He woke up he realized he was being dragged back to the original place in
the corner. He looked up to see the witch in the doorway. Her hand was outstretched
toward Todd. She was moving the cage back with magic! How else could she be
moving him from across the room?! She was, after all, a witch. Then the cage clanked
against the wall.
The witch made her way to the cage that was holding Todd and kicked it once,
hard. Todd screeched at her, "Okay, okay. I'm sorry. Just leave me alone!"
At this the witch smiled and walked away.
Todd started to get worried. "No, wait! I was kidding! Come back, don't leave
me here!" Then he heard the door to the witch's bedroom slam. He was along for the
third time now, only this time, he didn't want to be. He was hungry, and this room – this
place - was starting to freak him out – a lot!

* * *
Leah gasped at the though of a severed tongue in her presence. She slowly
stepped away and under her breath cried out her husband's name.
Sam attempted to comfort her. "It's all right Leah. Don't worry." Mr.
Townshend lifted the small glass container to eye level to get a better look at the object
inside. "This… is the tongue of a witch?"
Jamison smiled, "So, does that mean you believe that what I say is true?"
"No." Leah said quickly.
Just as fast Sam answered, "It seems a little far fetched…"
"A little?!" Leah cried out.
In annoyance Mr. Townshend looked at his wife under a raised eyebrow. When
she noticed his glimpse, she sat down quietly. "… but, given the circumstances, we don't
have a hole lot of options. Ah, Mr. … Dr. Jamison, is this tongue forked?"
Lawrence snatched the tongue away from Sam's grasp. "Of course it's forked!
All witches have forked tongues."
Mr. Townshend scratched his head in wonderment. " 'All witches'? You
mentioned that this 'sort of thing' happens all over the world. If you don't mind my
asking, just how many of these things are there?
"World-wide? Hmm… oh, I don't know, a couple of hundred maybe."
Leah spoke up again. "A couple of hundred!"
"Well, world-wide, yes. You only have the one to worry about however. The
number of these hags is diminishing yearly though, thanks to people like me." Jamison
said with a sense of pride in his voice.
" 'People like you'? Just what is 'people like you'?"
Dr. Jamison sighed. "Uh, this is the other part you aren't going to like. The
'people like me' is, ah, supernatural hunters."
"Did you say, 'supernatural hunters'?" Sam asked in disbelief.
Jamison nodded. "Yeah, this is going to sound crazy…"
"Like everything else tonight." replied Mrs. Townshend.
"Yes, well…" Jamison said, "as you now know, witches are real. Well,
apparently, as we found out just 3 years ago, there are other supernatural beings that are
real."
Sam asked, still confused, "Supernatural… like werewolves, vampires and
aliens?"
Lawrence laughed hard at this, "No, no, no. Aliens don't exist!"
"Daddy? Daddy, who's here?" Rachel asked as she made her way down the
stairs rubbing her sleepy eyes.
Sam walked over and picked his daughter up. "Why aren't you in bed sweety?"
"I can't sleep daddy. I keep thinking about Todd. When will he be home?"
Sam Townshend placed Rachel's head on his shoulder and looked at Dr.
Lawrence Jamison. "I don't know honey, I don't know."
Jamison got up from his seat and walked over to Sam and his daughter. "Well hi
there." Rachel looked up at the doctor. "What's your name?"
"Rachel."
"Rachel?! That's a pretty name. I'm Dr. Jamison. But you, can call me
Lawrence. Is Todd your brother?"
"Uh-huh."
"Well, I'll tell you what. I, am going to find your brother and bring him home.
Then, when he gets home, he's going to play a game of Monopoly with you." Rachel
smiled at this. Monopoly was her favorite game. "But, you have to go to bed now,
okay?"
"Okay!" Rachel started wiggling. Sam put her down and she ran up the stairs.
When she go to the top, she waved at Jamison and went into her room.
"Cute kid. Hope she didn't hear too much."
Sam looked shocked as if he just understood something. "Aliens… So vampires
and werewolves do?"
"Oh, don't worry about it Mr. Townshend, Vamps and werewolves normally
aren't found anywhere near witches. The fact of the matter is, I've never even seen a
werewolf or a vampire. I just know they exist because other hunters have seen them, and
killed them. Witches though, now that is my area of expertise!"
"Now, what are you planning on doing to help my son Mr. Jamison?"
"Dr."
"Fine. Dr. Jamison. What are you planning on doing to help Todd?"
"Well, Mr. Townshend. There's only one thing that I can do."
"And what, pre-tell, would that one thing be?"
Jamison held the severed tongue up to eye level. "I suppose I'm going to have to
pay my old friend a little visit."

Ch. 5

The witch came into Todd's room with a big bowl of something green. She placed the
bowl outside the cage close enough for him to touch. The stench was almost as foul and
vile as the witch. The sight of the filth along with the smell of it forced the vomit up into
his throat. "What?" he asked, already knowing the answer.
The witch just stared at him.
"Do you want me to eat this stuff?"
The witch nodded.
"Why, so you can make me fat and juicy for when you eat me?"
The witch smiled widely and nodded again.
"Well, you can just forget about that, Stinky!"
The witch's lips turned into a vicious snarl. She let out a piercing roar and kicked
the bowl of green slime. The contents spilled out of the bowl and splashed on Todd's
face and chest. It was hot and began to burn him to the point that he was screaming.
"Agh! What is this stuff?!" Todd screamed while brushing the slime off of
himself. When he looked up at the witch, she was smiling wide and began laughing and
pointing at him. Again, she left him in the room by himself.
A few minutes later she came back with a soil stained rag. She threw the rag on
top of the cage. Before Todd could say a word, the witch was back in her bedroom with
the door closed. He was all alone once more.
Todd reached his fingers through the gap between the bars and pulled the rag into
his imprisonment. He wiped the awful smelling crud off of himself as best he could.
There were now green stains from the mush all over his Fruit of the Loom underpants.
There were now burn marks on his face and chest. The burning sensation didn't go away
either. For the first time, Todd realized that he had lost to the witch. There was no way
that he could think of to defeat her…
"Then Hanzel threw the evil witch into the oven…"
The furnace! Maybe he could pull off a little fairy-tale stunt. In Hanzel and
Grettle, the witch had the two kids captive. Then, when the witch opened the cage to eat
Grettle, Hanzel escaped and threw the witch into the oven. Maybe Todd could do the
same thing. Or at least something along those same basic principals. But how could he
get the witch to open up the cage? It was quite apparent that the witch had already
decided to keep him in that cage for quite a while. She wouldn't even let him out to go to
the bathroom (which is why he now had feces smeared inside his briefs).
Think Todd, think! That was the only thing racing through Todd's nine-year-old
mind. In fact, it was skyrocketing through his mind. There had to be some way to get
that old crone to let him out of the cage.
Maybe if he REALLY had to go to the bathroom. No! She frankly couldn't care
about his waste needs. Or any of his other bodily functions for that matter.
What if he could somehow trick her into letting him out?!
What if he was sick? Yeah. Sick. That might make her let him out!
No! She would probably eat him sick. She was a witch after all, she could
probably live forever. No, there had to be something better.
"Wait a minute!" Todd suddenly had an epiphany! SHE, was a witch. He
wasn't.
She might be able to live forever since she was a witch. However, he was only a
regular human. So that meant that he could die. What would the witch do if she were to
find him dead?! You know, stone cold… six feet under… in a final sleep!
Yeah. That seemed like a pretty good plan. The next time the witch came into
the room, he would play dead. Then, she would have to let him out of the cage. And
when she did, he could shove her straight into the furnace. He was suddenly very
grateful for Grim Fairy-Tales.
Todd looked up at the door to the witch's bedroom. Under his breath he
whispered in a voice that almost frightened himself, "Come and get it, ya old hag!"

* * *
"Wait a minute Dr. Jamison!"
Lawrence turned to look at Mr. Townshend. "You coming along Sammy Boy?"
Mr. Townshend looked at Jamison as if that was the dumbest question he had ever
heard. "Of course I'm coming! He's my son! But close that door and come back
here…" Jamison closed the door. "You can't just go charging out there without a battle
plan."
Jamison let a small smile creep across his face. It was as if he had found
something incredibly funny. " 'Battle plan'? Now you're sounding almost like a general.
You got any ideas?"
"As a matter of fact Mr.… Dr. Jamison, I do." Sam pivoted on his heels and ran
up the stairs. Jamison heard the sound of an attic door being open and a new set of stairs
hit the ground.
"The attic?" Jamison asked silently.
The Mr. Townshend's voice rang through out the house. "You coming Doctor?"
Lawrence Jamison and Leah Townshend exchanged confused stares before he ran
up the steps to meet Sam at the top.
The two men carefully climbed the narrow ladder to the attic. Sam was the first
to reach the top and he turned on the ceiling bulb. By the time Lawrence was in the attic,
Sam was already frantically searching through old and dusty boxes.
Lawrence started looking around the attic in astonishment. This place was
enormous by any means of an attic. It was about the size of a living room or a large
apartment.
The room was almost completely lit up from the single ceiling light. There was a
sewing mannequin in one of the far corners. It looked kind of scary with the white
feathered hat it was wearing.
In one of the other corners was an old wooden rocking chair. It seemed almost
ancient, and there was a cellophane-type wrapping on it to keep it from getting dusty or
moldy. There was a hole eaten through it however from termites.
As far as furniture went that was it. The rest of the room was flooded with
cardboard boxes. Jamison walked over to one of the boxes that was filled with papers.
He picked up the top paper. It was a piece of notebook paper that was yellowed with age.
There was a poorly drawn picture of what appeared to be a hippo with a suit on. The top
right corner of the page said:
Todd Townshend
4/10/94
Kindergarten art
Ms. Raperd
And on the bottom of the page was written in big, bold, sloppy green crayon:
My DaDdy
Jamison let out a silent "Cute."
Sam heard it and looked up. When he realized what the good doctor was looking
at answered with, "It's me. Wasn't I attractive?" The two began a short-lived chuckle.
"So, Mr. Townshend. What are we looking for?"
Sam moved a few more things from the box to the floor. He pulled out a small
red and white box. "This, for one." He slid the box to Jamison.
Lawrence opened the box. He looked up at Sam in confusion. "A gun Sam?"
"A Magnum."
"Yes, I can see that. Along with a small box of amo." Jamison took out a small
white box out of the gun's box and shook it. It created a clanky shuffling sound. "But
we witch hunters like to kill these wenches by a more, ah… conventional means."
Sam turned to Jamison in amusement. " 'Conventional', doctor? Like what, a
stove?"
Lawrence looked at his new found comrade with sincerity. He had meant like and
oven.
Sam laughed and shook his head. "This isn't a fairy-tale! A witch, which you
claim is a real being, has my son captive! I am going to use ANY means necessary.
Even if that means blowing her friggin' head off!"
"It just seems a bit…"
"A bit what Doctor? A bit rash?! Well here's a news flash for you: My kid it
being held as a prisoner against his own will be someone who plans on eating him! Right
now, this woman… or witch… or what ever the devil she is, is on the top of my 'To Kill
List'! So if you have a problem with how I plan on dealing with her…"
"No!" Jamison stopped to soften his voice in hopes that Sam would do the same.
"No. I don't have a problem with it. It goes against the way I normally deal with this
situation, but I'll go along with it."
Sam looked to Jamison to look for insincerity. There was none. "Good."
Lawrence put the picture down and the box containing the gun on top of that. He
then walked over to Sam, sat down, and began looking through more boxes. "So, Mr.
Townshend. What is the other thing?'
"Pardon me?" Sam asked unsure.
"You said that the gun was one of the things you were looking for. What is the
other thing?"
"Oh." Sam went back to searching the box. When he go to the bottom he took
the box away and began looking through the next box. "Somewhere up here, I have the
blueprints for the entire town! Using the map, and your memory, we can find this witch
nice, and fast."
Jamison finished his box and went on to the next. "And, ah, what, exactly does
this, blueprint look like?"
"Like this!" Sam pulled a poster roll out of a tall box. He took the rubber band
off of it and unrolled the poster. It was a blue piece of paper with white lines on it. It
was a bird's eye view of the town. Sam looked back in the box and pulled out a red
marker.
Sam made a red dot on the blueprint and said, "This, is the house. This…" he
made a cloud on one side of the paper, "…is the woods. Here, show me the witch's
house."
Jamison took the marker from Sam and put a small "x" near the center of the
cloud. "That's where the old gal lives."
Sam looked at Lawrence. "And that's were she dies!"
Doctor Jamison climbed to his feet and peered out the attic window toward the
woods. A smile crept across his face. "Think she'll remember me?"
Sam chuckled, "Well, if she knows your coming, expect a cake."
The two laughed at this. Sam joined the doctor at the window. "Don't worry
Todd, daddy is coming."
Jamison had something to say too. Although it wasn't for Todd. It wasn't for
reassurance either. Sam turned away from the window. He picked up the blueprints. He
picked up the gun and climbed down the ladder.
"Come on Lawrence! Let's roll!"
Jamison grinned evilly at the woods. In a voice that almost scared himself he said
under his breath, "Here we come. Ya old hag."

Ch. 6

Jamison and Townshend raced down the stairs and to the front door. Leah quickly got
out of her seat and rushed after her husband. "Sam! Where are you two going?!"
Lawrence and Sam turned to Leah. Sam ran back to her and placed his hands on
her shoulders. "We're going to help Todd. We're going to save him."
"Frankly Mrs. Townshend…" Jamison yelled to her with spunk, "We're going to
take the crone out – for good! She won't be able to do this to anyone ever again. Shoot!
My coat!" Jamison ran back up the sidewalk and brushed his way past the Townshend
couple.
Sam yelled into the house, "There isn't much time Lawrence! Let's go, now!"
Jamison returned with his denim coat on. He reached in his pocket and pulled out
the flat glass container with the tongue in it. "You think she'll want this back?" He ran
to Sam's car and got in the passenger side. He turned to the embracing duo. "You
coming Sam, or do you want to make out with your lovely wife a while."
Sam kissed his wife and went to the car. He ran around to the driver side of the
vehicle and shouted to his wife through the darkness, "Wish us luck Hun!"
"Good luck you two!"
Sam smiled back at her and got in. With in seconds, they were driving away
toward the woods. Leah whispered a small prayer and went back into the house.
"Nice car Mr. Townshend."
"Thanks." Sam looked at the digital clock installed on the dash. It was close to
4:30 in the morning. It would be dark for another two and a half hours. Hopefully, that
would be enough time to find Todd and save him.
Jamison felt Sam's worries. "Don't worry Sir. We'll find your boy. I promise"
Jamison knew that Sam felt it was an empty promise, but it wasn't. This would be the
fourth witch that Lawrence had gone after. The other three he killed easily. But this one,
he knew. This one had been the reason he had decided to rid the world of these vile she
demons in the first place. This was witch was the only thing Jamison had ever really,
truly been afraid of. A witch after all, was one of the most powerful – not to mention evil
– beings alive. And this one in particular had it out for the good doctor. She's had it out
for him for a long time. And with good reason. He had taken her tongue!
Sam continued to glance at the time. The minutes passing seemed like hours… it
seemed like forever. Sam squinted and saw a police car up ahead. It was the same
officer that had been helping Sam earlier to find Todd. "Do you think he could help?"
Jamison looked up. "A cop?! You must be joking! A cop wouldn't even believe
us, let alone help us. No, just keep driving."
The officer looked out of his rearview mirror and noticed Mr. Townshend's car
coming toward him. He got out of the car to greet him.
"Keep driving Sam…"
Sam slowed the car to a stop. Lawrence gave him a stern look and went back to
looking at the town's blueprints. His vision was focused on the red dot that he himself
drew in the middle of the woods.
The cop stood outside of Sam's open window. "Good morning Mr. Townshend.
Are you still looking for Todd? I haven't found a trace of him."
"Yes, in fact, my friend here is helping me look for him."
"Oh, hello there…" The officer stretched his hand across Sam. "I'm Officer
Jenkins."
Jamison shook the man's hand without looking up. "I'm Dr. Jamison, Dr.
Lawrence Jamison. You may call me Dr. Jamison."
"Pleased to meet you, Dr. Jamison."
"Likewise, I'm sure."
"Well, officer, if you don't mind…"
Officer Jenkins stepped out of the way of the car and let Sam drive past. He sat in
his squadron and said over his radio, "Get me anything you can find on a Dr. Lawrence
Jamison."
After a short while of waiting, Jenkins got a reply over the radio. "Did you say
Lawrence… Jamison"
"Yes, that's correct."
"Well, Jack, the computer has a Lawrence Jamison as wanted for the deaths of
three women. All three women were extremely old hobbits who lived out in the woods
or swamps. The first was an unidentified woman in a swamp in Belfast, The second was
an unidentified woman in some wooded area in Kenya somewhere, and the third was an
unidentified woman in the woods somewhere in Australia. None of the women had I.D.s,
they all lived by themselves. All of them looked old. In fact, an autopsy on one of the
women said that she was almost 200 years old… not like that's possible though, so they
dismissed the autopsy as evidence. Another weird thing is that there happened to be
skeletons and corpses of young children found inside of the houses of these women.
Strange, huh?"
Jack Jenkins looked toward the woods. "Yeah, really strange."
"Why do you ask Jack?"
"Oh, uh, no reason. Talk to ya later Gabby." Officer Jenkins turned the key in
the ignition and drove to the woods.
When he got there, he saw Townshend's empty car with footprints in the mud
leading into the woods. "Oh, no you don't." He got out of his car and began to run,
using the footprints as his guide.
Sam and Lawrence continued walking through the woods. Jamison was looking
around for a tree that looked familiar of a bush that he remembered. Sam was looking at
the blueprints to attempt to figure out where they should be walking. Sam asked Jamison
without looking at him, "So, any clue where we're going?"
"I'm pretty sure. From where we entered, we should have been traveling north-
west, right?"
"Yeah. Northwest. And we're going that way, so it should be just a matter of
time before we come across the witch's house."
Suddenly, the two heard a rustling coming from a patch of bushes. They stopped
walking and looked at the bush. Jamison asked, "What do you think it is?"
"I'm not sure. You're the witch expert."
"Trust me, this has nothing to do with a witch."
Then a large wolf jumped out from the bush. It was about five feet long and
about two hundred pounds. Its dark brown fur was ratted and old. The K-9's lips were
stretched back in a snarl. Its yellow teeth a couple of inches apart from each other
allowing a growl to pass through. Its gums were pink with small black blotches under the
teeth. Its powerful paws shifting weight from sided to side. It was glancing back and
forth between Sam and Lawrence. Its eyes were blood-shot and the beast was foaming at
the mouth. Its tail stood at attention behind it. It looked hungry and ready to pounce the
two humans frozen in front of it.
Sam whispered to Jamison, "I thought you said werewolves normally aren't found
anywhere near a witch!"
"Yeah. I did say that. This isn't a werewolf. Just a really big regular wolf. But
trust me, they're just as dangerous."
Just then Officer Jenkins appeared between two trees to the left of the wolf. "All
right, freeze you two!"
The wolf turned to the cop's voice and charged him. "Officer!" Sam yelled.
"Look out!"
The wolf ran strait at the officer. It jumped at the cop roaring and growling. A
fearful look covered Officer Jenkin's face. He lifted the gun to the airborne beast but was
knocked to his back before he could fire. The wolf stood on top of the cop and was
growling and snapping at his face. Then the gun fired and the wolf went limp. "Get this
thing off of me!"
Jamison and Townshend both ran over and pried the animal off the officer.
Jenkins made his way to his feet and brushed himself off. "Thank you gentlemen. Oh,
by the way…" He pointed the gun directly at Lawrence's face, "Freeze!"
"What is the meaning of all this Officer Jenkins?" Sam asked the cop.
"You're 'friend' is a murderer. As it turns out he's killed several elderly women
all over the world. He really gets around, and does a lot of damage. He's wanted for
murders in Belfast, Kenya and Australia! So, Mr. Jamison, if you'd please come with
me…"
"Dr. Jamison!" Lawrence said angrily.
Officer Jenkins chuckled and said in a sarcastic voice, "Oh, I am so very sorry sir.
Dr. Jamison. I beg your pardon. A thousand apologies Dr. Let's go Jamison!"
Lawrence said in a calmer tone, "I can explain Officer."
"Oh? I'd love to hear this. What, was it an evil twin who killed those women?"
Jamison was not amused. "No, it was me. But they weren't 'women'. They were
witches!"
"Witches?! Of course! That's the only possible explanation! They must have
been witches. Let's go punk!"
"I'm telling you the truth! They were witches. I'm a witch hunter. In fact, a
witch kidnapped young Todd Townshend. That's were we're going right now as a matter
of fact. To kill the witch and get Sam's son. If you want to come with us, I'm sure
that…"
"Okay hotshot! I've heard enough! Let's go, now!"
The cop walked over and put Lawrence's arms behind his back. The officer
reached for his handcuffs to bind Dr. Jamison.
Jamison looked to Sam with disappointment. "See, I told you he wouldn't believe
it." Just then, Lawrence turned and head-butted Officer Jenkins. The cop fell to his
knees holding his head. Jamison started running toward Sam and cried out, "Go!"
The two men began racing off into the woods. Lawrence stayed slightly ahead of
Sam the hole time. Officer Jenkins stumbled to his feet. After he got his senses back, he
took off after Mr. Townshend and his witch-hunting partner.

* * * *
The doorknob turned slowly. Here we go Todd thought and instantly lied down
and closed his eyes. He took a deep breath and held it as best he could.
The old crone staggered into the room. She strolled over to Todd's little cage and
peered at his still body. She turned her head slightly to the left, confused. Suddenly, she
kicked the cage.
Todd felt the hard rapping of the cage against his flesh. The cold steel hurt his
side. It felt like it was breaking bones, but he could tell it wasn't. He just had to stay as
still as possible for his plan to work.
She kicked the cage over and over again. The witch began to let out high-pitched
screams at the boy as she hurled her entire weight into the cage, slamming it against the
wall. The boy remained still. She lifted her hand toward the cage and the steal bars
peeled away from itself like as if it was made of liquid. She pointed her index finger and
suddenly Todd was levitated.
Todd had no clue what was going on. He was floating! Then he was dropped
back to the bottom of the cage – what was left of it. Suddenly the cage was completely
gone. It was as if the hag had dissolved the cage by pointing at it. He was in the air
again… and dropped again. His ribs felt like they were about to fall apart like sand
dropped into the ocean. For a third time he was in the air and this time it felt like he was
moving! He cracked his eyes open slightly and saw that he was almost six feet in the air!
He was suddenly dropped again and this time he landed on the table in the middle of the
room. Is she going to eat me now?!
The witch walked over to the table where she had just set him down with her
telekinesis ability. She stood next to his limp body and screeched again at him in an
attempt to wake him. She pulled the wooden fork that she had tormented him with
earlier out of her apron. She held the prongs a few inches from the boy and poked him
once in the stomach. He didn't move. She poked him in the chest. He didn't move.
She poked him in the face.
"Ow!" Todd jumped from his lying position and slammed strait into the witch.
She sprawled across the room and landed with her face against the furnace door.
The witch screamed out in loud pain. She pushed herself away from the furnace
and turned to Todd who was rushing at her. She lifted a fist and he was suddenly flying
to the other side of the room. His body bounced off of the far wall and his face smacked
off of a chair. The witch raised her hand at the door to the outside and she screamed
something unintelligible at the door. Then, thick green vines sprouted from the floor of
the cabin and covered the door to the outside world. Todd's only escape was now
blocked. She got up off the floor and ran into her bedroom and slammed the door.
Todd was left alone in the room again, but at least he was no longer caged up.
And, he had apparently hurt the old witch. Now, he could walk around. His legs were
in pain from being in the same tight, wrapped up position.
He wanted to see the book. He walked over to the bookstand next to that crone's
bedroom door. He looked into the glass cover box at the book's cover. The book was
white, as he had seen before. There were three large silver stars on the cover of the
book. One in the very center, and one to the upward diagonals of the center star. It
looked almost like a face made of stars. Todd Picked up the cover and set it on the floor
next to the bookstand. Then, he reached out and brushed the book's cover. That is
when it changed.
The stars in the corners opened to form eyes! Just below the center star the cover
itself opened into a toothy grin!
Todd jumped back in fear and let out a yelp. He inched his way back to the book
and saw the face still on the cover. Its eyes were a deep green and it had incredibly
sharp teeth. Then, the book spoke.
"I am Vishnuish, The Great Book of Spells. Tell me what you desire, and I'll
show you the spell."
"Vishnuish?" Todd said dumbfounded.
"Yes, that is my name."
"You speak?!"
If the book were to have an eyebrow, it would have been raising it. "Of course I
speak! Why wouldn't I?"
"Well, you're a book!"
"A Magic book! Now, What spell do you desire?!"
Todd thought for a moment. "I want out of this house. I want to go home."
The book's eyes seemed to search the room. Then it laughed.
"What's funny?" Todd demanded.
"You are in the house of a witch, correct?"
"Yes. So?!"
"Only the witch who owns the house can let you out."
"But, she won't let me out!"
"Well, witches have a power that I can not penetrate. I am a witch's book, they
just consult me to find out how to make a difficult conjure. They each have their own
binding spell on the house. Others can get in, but only she can get out at will. The only
way to get out, if she doesn't let you out is to kill her."
Todd asked, "How can I kill her?"
The book took a second to think and answered, "Well, you have to…"
Just then the witch burst into the room and whipped the glass cover on the book.
Using her magic, she threw Todd across the room. When he landed on the ground, he
found himself in a cage again. She walked over to the cage and kicked it hard twice.
Todd screamed at her, "I wanted to know how to get water."
The witch knew he was lying. She heard him ask the book for instructions on
how to kill her. She wouldn't let that happen. She began to pace back and forth. Then
she conjured a glass of water. Todd reached out through the bars to grab the glass from
her hand. But then she stole it away from him and set it on the table… a good eight feet
from his reach. She walked over and sat in one of the chairs next to the table and began
to laugh and point at him.
Todd felt tears begin to well up in his eyes. He thought that there was no way
that he could get out now. He rapped the cage as hard as he could, inching it to the
table. This just made the witch laugh harder at him, but she didn't stop him. When he
and the cage was a mere foot from the table, the witch lifted a finger at him. The cage
disappeared and he was free. Confused, he stood to his feet and reached for the glass.
He suddenly found himself against the wall where his cage was earlier. She was playing
games with him.

* * *
Lawrence Jamison and Sam Townshend made their way out of the wooded area.
They now found themselves in a wide-open area. There was a small cabin in the center
of the area. The treeless area around the cabin was a perfect circle with a 30-foot radius!
It was as if the cabin was disabling any growth. There was a pile of leaves, but they
were all dead and crispy. Even the grass was dead and brown.
The two men slowly walked toward the cabin searching the ground. There was
not a living thing within this "circle" of death. Then Sam noticed the cabin's
appearance. It was a single story high. It was clearly made of logs – but from were?
There were no visible windows on the small building at all. That was the weird part.
How can you have a house without windows? "Hey Jamison, there aren't any
windows."
"Yes, I know. She's a witch. She doesn't need windows. If she wants to see the
outside, she just comes out, or she commands the walls to separate. She could be
looking right at us right now!"
"Right now?!"
"You bet. Come on, let's save your son."
"Hold it right there Jamison!"
Lawrence and Sam turned around to see Officer Jenkins in front of them. His
gun was pointed directly at Dr. Lawrence. "I want the two of you to stop where you are,
and I want you both to give up."
Lawrence appeared as if he though this was a big joke. "Give up?! Yeah, right."
"If you give up now and come quietly, I can assure you that I won't kill you."
Sam suddenly got a thought, he had to be brave to help his son. "You won't
shoot."
Officer Jack Jenkins looked shocked to hear Sam say this. "Oh, I won't? I think
I will."
Jamison played along. "No, you won't." He began to walk slowly toward the
cop. "You don't want to shoot the two of us. You can't. You might get fired if your
boss were to find out that you killed two unarmed men." He continued to walk forward.
"I mean after all, it wouldn't be good for morale, would it?"
Jenkins began to look nervous as the man walked toward him. He wasn't
prepared for this to happen. "You be quiet. I'm warning you!"
"Or else what? You'll shoot? I don't think so, Officer Jenkins. Officer. How
long did it take you to achieve the rank of officer anyway? Or do you just have to work
patrol?" Jamison quickly reached out. He grabbed the gun from the officer and turned
it around in his hand. He was now holding the gun and pointing it at the cop. "Now you
listen to me, copper. I am tell you the absolute truth! There are such things witches.
Now, I don't care whether you believe me or not, but I obviously believe it enough to
use a gun to make my point! So you listen to me, and you listen good. There are such
things as witches and you have one living right here in your little town. In fact, she's
living right over there, in that cabin. And there's something else. She has kidnapped
Todd Townshend, the son of Sam here. Now, I'll make you a little deal. The three of us
break into that cabin. If there is a witch in there, and if she has Todd in there, we kill the
old crone and save the kid, and then you owe me one enormous apology. If there isn't
anyone in there at all, well then, you can take me to prison, because I tell you now, that
all three of those women that I killed are…eh, were witches! Do we have an agreement
Officer Jenkins?!"
The police officer looked right at the gun and nodded.
"Good answer." Jamison turned the gun over in his hand and gave it back to
Officer Jack Jenkins. "Now let's get that kid out of there!"

Ch. 7

The three men made their way to the door of the witch's cabin. Jamison strolled up to
the door, reached out his right hand and turned the knob…
"Locked." he said, half expecting this to happen.
Jenkins said with glee, "Good. Now, you can come with me!"
Sam smiled and shook his head, "I don't think so Officer Jenkins. You're a cop.
Why don't you just break in or something?"
"Because, Mr. Townshend, technically I can't do that without a warrant. I don't
have one on me at the moment either."
Jamison looked at the cop with disgust. "You need a warrant to break down the
door of a witch?! Okay, the word 'Why' comes to mind."
"You have no proof that there is a witch in there Dr. Jamison. 'No proof'…
what am I talking about? Witches don't even exist! Let's go Sir."
"Sam?! A little help?!"
Sam walked over to the door and he and Lawrence threw their entire weight
against the door.

* * * *
The witch and Todd both turned their head hard to the door.
"Yea! Daddy's here!" Todd ran to the door to try to let his father – or who
ever it was - into the cabin.
The witch lifted her palm and the boy flew back against the wall again. He tried
to go to the door again, but it was as if there was an enormous hand holding him against
the wall. He couldn't move. He couldn't think of anything else to do but scream.
"DADDY! HELP ME! DA…"
The witch opened her mouth and let out a load horse breath. The boy was
instantly muted. His lips were moving and he was pushing the sound out of his body as
hard as he knew how, but no sound was audible.

* * *
Sam Townshend heard his boy yell the words "daddy. help me. da…"
"That was by boy Officer Jenkins. Did you hear him?!"
The cop nodded his head "Yes" in disbelief. "Yeah, I heard him." He rushed
over to the door and helped the other two men in an attempt to break the door down.
The three men slammed against the door.
"Why isn't he still talking?!" cried out Mr. Townshend.
The officer though quickly and gave the reply, "Maybe she has him gagged."
"No, I think she's controlling him. She's using her magic to hush him up. She
knows that someone is here, and she wants us to go away. The thing is, I have no clue
how she can use controlling magic when she has no tongue!"
The officer suddenly looked shocked and asked, "She has no tongue?!"
"No, she doesn't. I took it from her a long time ago. which, is why I'm
dumbfounded as to how she can use control magic. Control magic is usually spoken.
Unless she's figured out a way to do it by thinking the incantations…"
"Come on gentlemen," Sam said, "Let's get my son out of there."
The three men crashed against the door again. The hinges started to creek.
Again the smacked against the door. One hinge broke and the top of the door bend
slightly inward. Again… and again… and again they threw themselves against the door
as powerfully as they could.

* * *
The door crashed into the room. Todd smiled wide. Standing in the doorway
was his dad, a police officer, and a man in a denim jacket. The witch seemed to be
slightly afraid of the man in the jacket. The three men walked into the room, looking
like part of the defensive front line for the Green Bay Packers.
The man in the denim jacket was the first to speak. "Honey, I'm home!" He ran
at the witch full throttle. She lifted her right hand at him and he went sprawling across
the floor.
Sam ran toward his son when suddenly a force began dragging him back. It was
more of the witch's magic. "Todd!"
Todd tried to yell "Dad!" but his voice was still hushed by the witch's magic.
The man in the denim jacket got to his feet and helped Sam to his own feet. The
officer pulled a shinny handgun from his holster and pointed it at the witch. He
fearlessly walked toward her.
The witch stayed in her seat and smiled at the tall officer of the law. His gun
pointed strait at her face. The witch inhaled and the gun was instantly out of his hand.
The gun went a few feet more toward her and then turned itself around to face the man.
It was suspended four feet in the air and aimed at his belly. The cop put his hands into
the air, over his head. The witch laughed at this sight. He slowly backed away from the
gun that was threatening to shoot any second. The gun turned slightly to the left and
shot a bullet past Jenkin's head. The officer pivoted and raced out of the cabin in the
center of the woods. The gun, still floating, followed after him.
Todd tried to reach out for his dad, but he was still paralyzed against the wall.
Jamison stepped out in front of Sam. He ordered to the witch, "Let the boy go!
Now!"
The witch curled her lips and angrily squinted her eyes. Then she burst out into
laughter, as if she was anything but threatened by the denim wearing man before her.
Lawrence reached into his coat pocket and pulled out the glass container, which
held the witch's tongue. "Fine. You won't let the boy go. Then let's make a trade. The
boy, for your tongue. You seemed so eager to get it back when we first met. Still want
it?"
The old, magic woman opened her mouth and raised a fist to Dr. Jamison.
He could feel the water in the container begin to slosh around in his hand. He
turned his face to look at the tongue. He was not expecting what he saw. The witch's
severed forked tongue was flipping around from sided to side. Then, like a snake in an
aquarium, the tongue turned with its forked part facing Lawrence. Like a snake it
smacked against the glass like it was trying to bite the doctor. Jamison snapped his head
back in shock. The tongue went back to flopping around in the glass. The fork of the
tongue slowly climbed to the top of the container and then shot down hard. The two tips
pierced through the glass. The water began to drip out through the two little holes.
Jamison stared at the container shocked. "You've got to be kidding!"
The tongue repeated the action and broke the glass a little more. The water
began streaming out speedily. When all the water in the container had spilled out, the
tongue repeated his attack on the glass once more… and shattered the glass!
A small shard cut into Lawrence's hand and he dropped the whole container,
what was left of it.
The tongue landed on the ground and crawled like a snake across the floor to the
witch. Sam leapt at the crawling tongue. Like a snake it turned and whipped at his face,
cutting his cheek. Quickly, the tongue scurried across to the witch and jumped. It flew
into her open mouth and reattached itself to the stump inside.
The witch closed her mouth and licked her lips. She then puckered her mouth
and began to speak. "Ah, much better. Well hello there Larry. I want to thank you for
giving me my tongue back."
She turned to the boy and said, "Todd, meet Mr. Jamison." Todd was instantly
thrown across the room and into the man wearing denim. The two fell to floor, Todd on
top of Lawrence.
Todd rolled off of him. "Hey Larry!"
Dr. Jamison stumbled to his feet. "Don't call me Larry! I hate that name! Its
Lawrence! Only She calls me Larry."
The witch laughed at Jamison's anger. "What's wrong Larry?!"
He looked at her with anger. "DON'T CALL ME LARRY!"
"You know, Larry," the witch said with sincerity, "That boy is a lot like you
were. He hit me and knocked me across the room, just like you did. But don't worry,
I'll eat all of you!"
Sam yelled, "I don't think so!" He ran to the table and splashed the glass of
water on the witch.
Steam began to drift off of her. She cried out, "Oh, I'm melting. Melting! oh
what a world, what a world!" The steam stopped instantly. She looked at Mr.
Townshend and laughed loudly. "You've seen too many movies. You're not in Oz!
This is life… you idiot!" She held her hand up and the table slammed into Sam,
knocking him to the ground. Then the table tipped over and landed on top of him. She
stood up and laughed. She walked over to him and was about to stab him with her fork
and then stopped. "No, I'm in the mood for kids. A girl. Todd, I'll eat you later, don't
worry. But, ah, didn't you have a sister trick-or-treating with you?"
The witch put on her cape. She used her magic to paralyze Todd and Lawrence
in their position. "Pardon me boys." She hoped on her broom and flew away. The
knocked over door stood itself up and reattached to the doorway.
Sam tried to push the table off of himself but couldn't. He screamed after the
witch, "Rachel! No!"

Ch. 8

"Get this thing off of me!" Lawrence and Todd ran over to the table that was pinning
Sam to the floor. Together, they managed to lift it high enough for Sam to pull himself
the rest of the way out.
Todd gave his father a big bear hug. "Are you okay Dad?"
"I am now." The two held their embrace for a few moments before Sam broke
out of it. "Now lets get your sister." Sam was the fastest of the three. He opened the
door and rushed out. Then, the door closed and locked by itself.
"Dad. It locked up again!"
Sam turned and tried to open it, but he couldn't. He threw his weight against it,
but the door didn't budge. "Okay, let me think." He turned his head to see the witch
sitting on her broomstick about a hundred feet in the air. She swiveled around and flew
in the direction of the Townshend home. "You two stay here. She has to come back
sooner or later. I have to stop her from getting Rachel."
Jamison yelled through the door, "Well, if you kill her, the door should unlock
anyway. When a witch dies, her everything that is being done by her power, ceases.
Good luck Sammy Boy!"
Sam ran as fast as he could toward the edge of the woods. He leapt over
branches and a bush. After a while, he came across the corpse of the wolf. He imagined
the wolf coming back to life and leaping for his throat. Of course, it did not.
A bit later, he was at his car and searching for his keys. They weren't in any of
his pockets. That was when he noticed them in the ignition. He tried the door to get in,
but it was locked. Sam looked around to figure out what to do. There was nothing
around for him to use. So, he used the only thing he could think of. He arched his
elbow and crashed his arm through the window. He reached his hand through and
unlocked the door. In a couple of moments, he was on his way to his house.
The witch was nowhere to be seen.

* * *
A few minutes later, Sam pulled up in front of his house and was running to the
door. He burst through the door and heard his wife screaming the name of his daughter.
Frightened, Sam bolted up the stairs calling, "Leah? Leah, what's wrong"
Before he could even see her, he heard her yelling the answer. "It's Rachel! She
started screaming. When I got the door… it's locked. I can't get to her Sam!"
Sam reached the door and was pounding on it with his fists saying, "Racheal's
door doesn't have a lock!". Then he was kicking the door. And before he knew it, he
was throwing his full weight against it. The door began creaking as if it was ready to
give, but it wouldn't go. He yelled to his wife, "You kick the knob when I hit the door."
He backed up as far as the hallway wall would allow, and took off at the door as
fast as he could. When he was a foot from it, Leah kicked at it. The two of them,
working together, broke the door. However, before it could fall out of the doorway, it
was being held up by magic.
Racheal's voice traveled through the door. "Mommy! Mommy!"
Leah cried out, "Mommy's here. So is Daddy. We'll help you sweety!"
Sam grabbed on to his wife's shoulders and backed away from the door. The
two of them jumped full force at the door, and it gave under the weight. The two of
them broke a hole in the door. The two of them were now both on the floor looking at
the opened window of their daughter's room.
Just outside the window, the witch sat on her broomstick holding Rachel under
one arm. Racheal's lips were moving as if she was screaming, but no sound could be
heard from her. The witch began a high pitched hackle and said, "Happy Halloween
you two." Then she was gone.
Leah began to panic. "A witch. A witch. That was a…"
"Yes. It was a witch. The witch Jamison was telling us about. I've got to stop
her."
"What can you do?!"
Sam sat there looking at the window, thinking. A wicked smile crept across his
face. "You'll see. Come with me."
The two began racing down the stairs and out to the car. Sam backed the
car up and drove toward the woods. The witch on her broomstick was still within
eyeshot, and they were gaining on her.

* * *
The Townshends parked their car just outside of the woods' outskirts. "Now
what is your plan, Sam?!"
Sam reached underneath the passenger seat and pulled out a small red box. He
reached inside and pulled out a gun and a handful of bullets.
"A gun?!"
"There're more than on way to skin a cat. Maybe the same holds true for
witches."
Sam hoped out of the vehicle and ran into the woods. "Sam?! Sam what is that
supposed to mean?!"
Sam slowed down to let Leah catch up and the two were racing through the trees.
Leah tripped on a downed branch and came face to face with the dead wolf, which Sam
had earlier encountered. Then she let out the typical response for such a situation. She
screamed in sheer terror.
Sam helped her to her feet and comforted her. "It's okay, Leah. It's dead.
Officer Jenkins shot it."
Then from behind them came a voice that was unfortunately familiar to them.
They turned to see the witch floating above them. "The dear officer may have shot the
poor thing. But that doesn't mean it's dead." The witch spoke some foreign words that
sounded Hungarian – or, at least it had a Hungarian accent. Suddenly the wolf began to
glow a bright green. Its eyes opened and glowed a deep red. When the Townshend
couple turned back to the witch, all they saw was her cape disappearing behind some tall
trees.
The two turned back to the wolf to see it rising to its feet, and it was growling.
Sam and Leah glanced at each other briefly and ran in the direction the witch had been
flying. Suddenly, they heard the wolf chasing them.
Out of the corner of his eye, Sam saw what appeared to be Officer Jenkin's
squad car. He grabbed Leah's hand and rushed in the direction of the vehicle, his gun
swinging back and fourth in his coat pocket. The wolf was racing close behind the pair.
Sam was the first to reach the car and swung the door open. Luckily for him it
wasn't locked. He and Leah leapt in the back seat and slammed the door. A second
later the wolf slammed against the side of the car and began pounding its paws against
the windows. Its eyes were bloodshot and it was viciously hungry.
"Are we moving?" Leah asked in her fear of the moment.
Sam realized that she was right. The cop car seemed to be being dragged toward
the witch's cabin – very, very slowly. He looked around and noticed the keys were still
in the ignition.
The window cracked and the wolf tried even harder to get in. It wanted to rip the
couple to shreds and eat their guts.
Leah became more frantic and screamed, "Sam! Do something!"
Sam began to look at the situation to figure something out. The only thing he
could think of was to get in the driver seat and drive to the witch's home. Then, they
would reach her faster, and get away from the wolf. The only problem was the grate
between the front and back seat.
"Leah, I need you to calm down. I need your help."
Leah nodded and slowly calmed her breathing a bit. The wolf hit the glass again
and Leah screamed. Sam slumped down into the seat and motioned for his spouse to do
the same.
"Now, when I count to three, kick the grate as hard as you can. Okay?"
She merely nodded. The wolf hit the glass again and broke part of the window
in. It used its snout to start chipping more of the window away. It now had its nose and
a couple of inches of snout in the car.
"One… two… three!" The two kicked their legs out hard. The force bent the
grate toward the front of the vehicle. "Again! One… two… three!" They kicked it
again, and the grate crumpled under the force. It broke away from the interior of the car.
Sam started to climb the seat to get to the steering wheel, and saw the dead body
of Officer Jack Jenkins slumped across the driver and passenger seat. He had been shot
in the back of the head. It had to have been the gun that the witch possessed, Sam
though quickly. He climbed over the seat and moved the corps's legs to his side so he
could sit in the driver's seat. He turned the key, but the engine didn't start.
The wolf pushed more of its snout into the car. Leah backed away from the
vicious beast's snarling mouth, while screaming.
Sam turned the key again, but the engine still wouldn't start. He hit the steering
wheel twice and turned the key again. This time, the engine turned over and the car
started. He slammed his foot on the accelerator and the car sped along through the
woods. After about four yards, the wolf fell off of the car and began chasing it to the
witch's house.
The cabin was in eyeshot. Sam continued driving toward it, but there were too
many trees to maneuver past, and the front of the car slammed into two large pines. The
hood popped up and steam rose out of the engine. Sam got out of the driver side door
and went around to let his wife out of the back seat. Not far behind them, they heard the
wolf rushing through bushes and trees. The two ran as fast as they could go to the
witch's cabin and they both slammed into the door.
The witch whipped around to see the Townshends burst through her door and
slam it shut. Moments later, the wolf was clawing on the door.
"How nice of you two to join us." the witch cackled with delight. "Let's see…
Todd, Rachel, and loving parents. Why, it's a big family reunion. Oh, and I can't forget
my dear friend Larry!"
Sam and Leah looked around the room. The witch stood by the furnace. Inside
the furnace appeared to be a cauldron. The witch was stirring something inside the
cauldron with a big wooden spoon. In the corner next to the furnace, Todd and Rachel
were inside of a big metal cage, which had no visible door. Lawrence was magically
paralyzed against the wall beside the witch's bedroom door.
Sam looked at the witch, puzzled and asked, "What's cookin'?"
The witch smiled and turned back to her enormous pot. "Townshend soup with a
side of Dr. Jamison with Townshend parents for dessert." She laughed at her own
words.
Leah cried out, "My babies!" She ran over to the cage, but was thrown back to
the wall were Lawrence was "glued".
Sam demanded to the witch, "Let them go!"
The witch chuckled at this order and replied, "Uh… No! After all, a girl's got to
eat. However…" She turned to the man and raised a finger.
Sam got out of the way of the point and noticed that she was pointing at Dr.
Jamison any way. Suddenly, Lawrence was free from the wall. The witch finished her
sentence with, "I will give you a sporting chance. After all, I do enjoy a nice workout.
Adults to save the kids. What do you say to that?"
Leah stepped away from the wall. "I say I want my kids back."
" 'I say I want my kids back'." the witch mocked. "Maybe you don't get the
rules Missy. You want the kids, you must get through me."
Leah looked angry. "Gladly!"
Before Sam or Lawrence could stop her, Mrs. Townshend was racing at the
witch.
The old hag laughed and blew at Leah. The wife of Sam stopped dead in her
tracks. Her hair and skirt began to fly back as if she were being hit by a strong wind.
Then, she was thrown into the air and found herself floating by the ceiling. The witch
laughed and called up, "Pretty cool, huh?!"
Jamison and Sam ran at the witch and the two kids kicked their prison hard. The
witch looked over at the kids and lifted a hand to paralyze them both. When she turned
back to the adults, Lawrence was there to slam into her. The witch fell backward into
the furnace, knocking the cauldron off of its balance. Once the old woman was in the
flames, Sam closed the doors of the furnace and Lawrence propped a chair up against
the doors to keep them from flying open. Inside the furnace, screams were heard and the
witch was pounding on the doors in a mad attempt to save her life. A few moments
later, the sounds from the fire stopped.
Sam turned to Lawrence and smiled. "We did it! We killed her."
Suddenly there was a loud thud and the two men turned around to see that Leah
had just fallen from the ceiling. Sam rushed over to her and wrapped his arms around
her in a big comforting hug.
Lawrence walked over to the cage and looked for a door to release Todd and his
sister. He found none. "Todd, how did she put you two in here?"
Todd sat up and grasped the bars. "She kind of, shot it out of her hand."
"She… then how do I…"
Todd pointed to the bookstand. "That book. The white one. It's a book of
magic spells. Ask it."
Lawrence looked confused. "Ask it?"
"Yeah. It's a magic book. It talks."
Lawrence stood up and walked over to the bookstand. He touched the glass
container and lifted it off. He reached out for the book. Suddenly eyes and a sharp
toothed mouth opened from the cover of the book.
Lawrence leapt back in surprise and the book asked, "What spell do you desire?"
Dr. Jamison peered down at the book and asked, "You talk?!"
Todd yelled from across the room, "I told ya so!"
Jamison nodded knowing he had been previously warned. He asked the book,
"How can I open the cage that the witch has the children locked up in?"
The book closed its eyes and mouth and the pages flipped themselves. When the
book got to a page near the middle, it stopped flipping. A Latin incantation near the
bottom of the page began glowing.
Lawrence read it over twice and shut the book. He asked the book, "May I take
you with me to read and learn a little magic of my own?"
The book opened one eye and closed it again. "If you must."
Lawrence put the book under his arm and strolled over to the cage. He held his
hand out to the cage and spoke the incantation that was written in Latin. The cage
dissolved itself into Jamison's hand. He studied his palm and said, "Cool."
The children ran to their parents and the four sat in a group hug. Jamison walked
over to the door and the family stood up and followed him. Todd, still hugging his
mother said, "Let's go home."
Lawrence placed his hand on the doorknob. He opened the door, and a wolf
leapt at him. Leah screamed and Sam and Lawrence pushed the animal away from the
door and shut it quickly.
Jamison looked scared and confused. "Where did that come from?!"
Sam, just as scared said, "That's the wolf Jenkins killed. I though you said when
a witch dies, her magic doesn't work anymore."
"It doesn't!"
All five of them stopped and looked at the furnace. Lawrence and Sam pushed
the woman and children to the side. The two men began walking slowly to the furnace.
The furnace burst open tossing the chair to the side. Out of it stepped the witch,
still on fire. In terror, Lawrence threw the magic book at her. The witch made a
throwing motion and a fireball engulfed the book. She opened her mouth and made
exhaled deeply. Jamison was thrown across the room and against the door. His body
broke the door and the wolf was instantly on the man's chest. Lawrence could only use
his forearms to keep the beast from ripping his face off.
The blazing witch turned to Sam and screamed like a banshee at him. He wanted
to cover his ears from the awful sound – like his wife and kids were – but he was afraid
of what would happen if he did. The witch's mouth became wider and wider as the
sound became more deafening.
Her mouth was now wide enough for Sam to have fit his own head inside. The
flesh was burning away from the witch's face. Sam reached into his pocket and pulled
out his loaded gun. He quickly aimed it for the center of the witch's wide and screaming
mouth and fired off a shot.
The witch's mouth slammed shut and the witch's eyes became large. She
puckered her lips and the bullet shot strait into Sam's right shoulder. He screamed
loudly with pain as the blood exploded from the wound. He fired a second shot. The
new bullet found its position in the witch's forehead, directly between her eyes. She let
out a small yelp and fell to the ground. Within moments, she was completely consumed
by the flames that were already covering her body. The fire quickly spread across the
floor. It ran up the walls and over the table and chairs. Sam dropped his weapon
wrenching from the pain. He and his family quickly sprinted from the house. Just
outside the door, Lawrence lied on the ground. His face had a couple of cuts and his
arm was badly wounded. On his chest lied the corpse of a wolf. Sam and Leah helped
Lawrence to push the wolf's body off of him and the five quickly walked away from the
cabin. When they reached the trees on the edge of the perimeter of dead grass, they all
turned around to watch the old hag's cabin burn to the ground, just as the sun was rising.

Aftermath

Jamison and Sam lied on their hospital beds side by side. They could leave just as soon
as the doctor came into their room to give them a prescription for pain relievers. Sam
had a bullet wound in the right shoulder. Lawrence's left arm was torn open in two
places - giving him a large loss of blood – and numerous cuts on his face.
The doctor cam into the room with prescriptions for pain relievers for the two
men and told them they could leave whenever they were ready.
Todd, Rachel and Leah came into the room to see how the two gentlemen were.
Todd ran over to Lawrence. "So, the witch took you too?"
Dr. Jamison nodded. "Yep. When I was about your age. Did you notice that
she didn't have a tongue when she first got you?"
"Yeah."
"That's because I cut it out."
"Cool." Todd was overwhelmed by the though of this man who had helped save
him cutting out the tongue of the witch. She seemed almost invincible.
Sam looked at his family and smiled, happy to finally be finished with this whole
incident. "Why don't you guys go to the car. Lawrence and I will be there in a little
bit."
Leah put an arm around her daughter. "You sure Sam."
"Yes. Of course I am. We'll catch up."
"Okay then." Leah leaned over and kissed her husband. "Let's go Todd."
Todd jumped out of his seat next to Jamison's bed. "See you downstairs
Lawrence."
"You bet buddy." Lawrence smiled and made a thumbs up signal to the boy.
Sam watched his family walk to the elevator at the end of the hallway. Then he
turned to his new friend, the man who had helped save his son's life. "So, how was it
meeting your old 'friend' again?"
The two men began laughing. "It felt good… putting an end to her, that is. Now
she can't hurt any other kids. Tell you what. It was a lot more fun the first time."
Sam looked slightly confused. "Why?!"
" 'Cause I got a souvenir."
The two laughed at this. Sam looked at the ceiling and asked, "I never asked
you. What kind of doctor are you?"
"A psychiatrist."
"Really. After this, you should give Todd some free sessions." They both found
this funny too. Sam sat up and slowly climbed out of his bed. "Come on. Let's go
Larry."
"I thought I told you not to call me Larry!"

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