|The Witching Hour
Author: Sanaryelle PM
The night that Macbeth murders King Duncan, told from the point of view of one of the witches.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama - Words: 1,429 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Published: 12-22-04 - Status: Complete - id: 2183805
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Disclaimer: Macbeth belongs to Will Shakespeare, as do all characters that appear within. All that I can call mine are the names of the three witches: Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, taken from the three fates in Roman mythology.
The Witching Hour
"All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter!"
Uttering these self-same words, I thus sealed Macbeth's fate, to betray him in deepest consequence and release his unavoidable spiral unto death. My sister and I had knowledge that 'twould take more than mere mutterings and murmurs to hie the man to his next enterprise. Marry, we wouldst scarce leave him lacking our unsought aid. Lachesis, the Second Witch, left for King Duncan's palace at Forres, to curse his horses wild at the moment their master met death. My sister Clotho, the First Witch, commissioned me to ensure that our plan was carried through, and then she slipped away to plague the husband of the "rump-fed-ronyon" who had withheld chestnuts from her. Clotho will oft' o'erdo spells out of spite and malice. She slips poison into her own pewter chalice. However, owing to her affinity for storms, and her talents for commanding them, before leaving hence she vowed to set the heavens astir for the night.
Anon, I was alone. Tonight was a time wherein we were to work the greatest mischief we have e'er done, and the greater duties haply, yet not happily, fell to me; I, Atropos, the Third Witch, the youngest, and the most lacking in power. The point of the triangle, one may remark. Weakest I may be, but I am still a poster of the sea and land. Ruby rock and scarlet sand.
With a simple charm, I traveled swiftly to Inverness, hardly drawing nine breaths ere I found myself before Macbeth's castle. The clouds to the west thundered gently, the faint moans and howls like to the voices of despairing souls drowning in Acheron. I transfigured, clothing myself in an owl's body, and entered the inner bailey as King Duncan and his companions astride their steeds didst arrive. Perching hidden in the shadows of the rafters, I espied Lady Macbeth, bidding his Majesty welcome with her nectar-coated serpent's tongue. If e'er a mortal was intended to be a witch, 'twould be her; she wouldst be one to dethrone Queen Hecate herself. After chasing a family of temple-haunting martlets from their nest for my own pleasure, I flew to the window of the Great Hall, whither I stayed for many an hour. The wine of time, 'twas turning sour.
Lilting tunes of the hauts floated feather-like through the air, reduced to mere whispers by the drunken, raucous laughter of the crowd. The heavy, rich scent of roasted meat hung thick about my nostrils, teasing my moistening tongue with its near-edible waft. The light of the torches heated my front, denying the biting chill that ruffled my back and caused the candles to flicker feebly in protest.
I presently beheld the High Table, and thither was Duncan, seated twixt the Thane and Lady. The latter appeared fair and radiant, yet the former seemed immersed in dark thoughts, doubtless dwelling on the prophecy I had poured in his ear. Charring hope and churning fear. His was the only visage not expressing some appearance of gaiety. About him were music, song, dance, games, and laughter ringing off the stone walls like the echo of a hammer on an anvil, all harsh and strange and alien to me. Empty was their giddy glee. The only familiar sight was the brimming darkness of Macbeth's face. Anon he quitted the chamber, to be tailed by his Lady moments after, and I flew to the next window to witness the talk. As I hath dreaded, Macbeth wouldst proceed no further. To my delight, Lady Macbeth's mettle vectored over that of her husband, and turned him back to the deed. Her choice of words deserves much admiration: she durst even go so far as to compare Macbeth's cowardice to the cat in the adage. Wherefore that mortal woman was not born a witch, I wilt never comprehend.
To the breathless, soulless court went I, exchanging my body for a woman's before hiding in a niche of stones and mortar. My intent was to observe the actions of Banquo and his son. Their timely meeting with Macbeth caused me to gather that the King was now abed. Banquo revealed some unease, having dreamt of us sisters the night before. The dream was sent by Lachesis, no doubt, confident that 'twould give Macbeth remembrance of Banquo's given prophecies, particularly my own.
When the fated murderer was alone, silent as a moth I cast a spell, conjuring the ghostly image of a blood-smeared dagger, handle towards his hand, leading him to the King. He was ensnared; his fate was sealed.
Swiftly took I the body of an owl once more, and flew to the window of King Duncan's chamber. I could see the archway plainly from my post. The bell tolled. As I watched, the door swung ajar, revealing Macbeth's pallid face. Behind him, I glimpsed the two officers, having fully succumbed to the potent wrath of grapes, slumbering as if in death. Spongy minds and stinking breath. In each hand, Macbeth bore their daggers, each point as sharp as a sliver of the moon's eclipse. The man, for he art but a man, did hesitate, the tip of one dagger poised above the King's unknowing heart. He paused, and I glared at him with my amber night-eyes, willing him to carry through. An eternity passed ere he moved, stabbing again and again. Three times three did he thrust the blades into Duncan's bleeding bosom, and e'en as the body rolled to the ground, I let out an owlish shriek that bespake my triumph.
Escaping Macbeth's sight, I flew back to the stony halls of the castle through another window, whence I returned to my womanish body, and concealed myself in some niche to await the murderer. From the second chamber came the voices of two sleepers. One cried, "God bless us!" and "Amen", the other. I listened for Macbeth's "Amen", but heard it not. The Thane of Cawdor, soon to be King, walked by, brow wrought with lines of trouble, carrying the bloodied daggers on his person.
It was after he had passed that I plotted to double his troubles. Fire burn and cauldron bubble. I had remembrance of my eldest sister's malicious plan to sentence a sailor to eighty-one sleepless nights, and what could be worse than such a punishment? Why, eternal wakefulness. "Sleep no more!" I cried, "Macbeth does murder sleep". The man's footfalls didst halt on the stair and anon he answered, "Who's there? What, ho!" Invisible to his eyne, and deaf to all ears but his, I cried, "Sleep no more! Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more".
My mischief having run its course, I transformed into the owl to wing my way to the desert place. As I flew, yonder below me I espied two riders, whom I knew as the Thane of Lennox and Macduff, Thane of Fife. As the obscure bird, I released a clamourous cry to the winds, as if bewailing the fall of Duncan along with nature- the unruly night surely couldst not all be due to the power of my sisters alone.
At the desert place I completed the trio, but if any mortal soul hadst beheld the grounds, they would not have looked upon the Weird Sisters; they wouldst but remember Graymalkin, Paddock, and Harpier that night. Crowding by the gnarled limbs of a thorny bush, the storm battling above us, we returned to our women bodies. Our conversation ran thus:
First Witch:When shall we three meet again?
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
Second Witch: When the hurlyburly's done,
When the crown Macbeth has won.
Third Witch: That will be ere next set of sun.
First Witch: When Macbeth has grown in pain,
Then shall we three meet again.
Second Witch:Where the place?
Third Witch:Upon the heath.
First Witch: There to meet with Hecate
Second Witch:She shall be angered, fortune tells.
Third Witch:She hath no knowledge of our spells.
All:Fair is foul, and foul is fair.
Hover through the fog and filthy air.