Adult Winner of Fire Witch Story - Wil Marshman

The Glendale Witch

She looked out the window and spied Hyram walking away.  The fire that he started was beginning to build. 

Yesterday, Glenda told Hyram that they had to break up.  He was surprised but soon began accusing her of making eyes at Bobby G.  He was furious and even threatened to ruin her for cheating on him.  “Me cheating, “she thought, “when he has a wife and children that he has been cheating on!” When his voice grew louder and angrier, Glenda grew afraid and fled the cotton mill where they both worked.

The next morning Hyram met her at the door as she came to work.  He pleaded with her to meet him in his office on the fifth floor of the mill after work.  He talked about forgiveness and his undying love with a sad, plaintive look on his face.  She agreed to meet him to close out their “arrangement.”

Glenda had known that it was foolish to get involved with her manager in the mill.  But she did not know how jealous he was, nor how his anger could lead to this kind of rage and conflagration. 

Hyram was handsome, dapper, and very friendly with the girls in the mill.  Even though he was married, Glenda was very attracted to him.  When she got to his office after work, he began again to accuse her of “being sweet” on Bobby G.  He refused to hear her denials and got a wild look in his eyes.  Almost in mid sentence, he suddenly turned around and stormed out of the room.

Glenda took a moment to calm down and walked to the door.  It was locked or barred from the outside.  She banged on the door, but everyone in the mill had gone home.  Through the door, she heard Hyram muttering, “You’ll pay. You’ll see.  You’ll pay.”  Glenda tried and tried to break out of the room to no avail.  She went to the window, but it was too high to jump out.

Soon, she heard noises outside the room and smelled something.  It was gasoline!  Could Hyram be starting a fire?  Glenda began banging on the door again and pleading with him to let her out.  His silence scared her even more than his shouting.  

First, she sensed a slight rise in temperature as sweat crept out on her forehead.  Soon, however, she could hear the growl of the fire as it raced from room to room, floor to floor.  She could feel the fire spreading even though she could not see how much. 

When the heat reached an intense level and she could barely touch the room’s walls, Glenda called on her ancient Zaa, the shield of her witch clan that her grandmother had taught her.  She no longer felt the heat – she was inside her witch spirit.

Then she turned to the window to watch for Hyram leaving the mill.  She spotted him under the old oak tree on the corner, looking back at the fire.  Acceptance of her situation came quickly.  She knew that she could not escape - and she knew that the old wooden mill with all its cotton would go up in a fast, intense blaze.  But her mind jumped to a plan of revenge.  “You thought to be rid of me, Hyram”, she thought.  “I will be with you unto your grave.”

Glenda closed her eyes and called forth the merge spell of her clan.  Instantly, she went to a place of nowhere/nowhen.  Before the fire could end her life, she transported her life force into Hyram.  He became male/female, citizen/witch, husband/lover - a unique amalgam of contradictions. 

Abruptly, he somehow heard her voice queerly inside him.  Still he looked around nervously as if she was talking to him from nearby.  “I am here, I am here,” the voice whispered. He was confused.  But the voice continued, “I will be with you forever.  You will feel my love and my hate every day of your life.  Look toward the fire where you left me.  I am watching you from the window – and I am here inside you.”  Hyram heard loud cackling laughter that raised hackles throughout his body.  Hyram easily shifted his gaze to the fifth floor window where the silhouette of a witch glowed black against the now raging red-yellow flames. 

He heard Glenda’s laugh echoing throughout his mind, throughout his being.  And she laughed frequently as she drove Hyram completely, deeply, absolutely mad.


Background: Wil is a 73 year old California resident,
New England Yankee (originally),
Harvard graduate with a math major,
Computer scientist for over 50 years,
Married with three children and five grandchildren.

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