Turning to the dark

Mud, for which rich ladies would pay handsomely, drenched the roadside shrubs as a black, horse drawn cart thundered past. It did it so convincingly that most people within earshot would have checked the sky for thunder clouds. Two unaware witches were striding down the same road. They were going to a wedding reception and held their frilly white dresses high above the muddy track.

"Weddings always make me nervous.'' said the taller one, nibbling on a piece of yellow cheese.

"Why do you say that? Asked the shorter one. "You can survive for weeks after one of them pieces of cake."

"Cakes always seems to make me fat." replied the taller one sliding the cheese back up her sleeve. Her name was Esmeralda.

"What in heaven's name do you want to be thin for?" asked Felony.

"I can't seem to catch any rabbits when I've been eating cake all night" answered Esmeralda sadly.

"The rare rabbit on cold damp evening..." said Esmeralda smacking her lips.

"Yes, or a rat or something." Said Felony

" A RAT!" ... exclaimed Esmeralda "Are you telling me that you cook RAT stew!"

"Well... to be honest...I do not always COOK it..."

"Do you,.. eee do you.. drink it..?"

"Drink it?..Ehhh... you know... You mean.. like blood..?.. Well ... how should I say it... well ..yes.."

There was a long awkward pause. Not even the birds seemed to be chirping.

"I think.. I mean.. it seems perfectly acceptable.. Eh, normal to me. Can happen to anyone, right?" asked Esmeralda.

A pause again.

" Right." commented Felony as she kicked a small stone to make it sound very casual.

"Why did I have to start talking about rats" she thought angrily. It must be this tiny mouse last night that she did not manage to catch.. " A MOUSE?" she thought " A mouse? I am eating mice? Or should I be honest and say "drink"..?" That seemed a bit odd...

Felony's thoughts were interrupted by a cry of "Hey! Fell! Look at that really big tree in the distance, up on the hill. All shrouded in mist, it is."

Felony looked up. "Yes! what a grand place, I bet that mist has beneficial properties for the skin. And, and I'm feeling quite hungry, uhh, I am. She winced in a way that suggested that her school teacher, Gertrude, would think that the extra "I am" at the end of the sentence was unforgivably unnecessary.

Esmeralda's face lit up in a wide grin, exposing her unladylike teeth "Great! We could have a picnic."

She pulled a yellowish lump out of her sleeve. "Too bad I only have this cheese..."

They walked for a while in silence. Both wondering if they were thinking the same thing. Technically they were therefore thinking the same thing. But that didn't occur to either of them. The thought that they were both secretly thinking was "bloody mice..." Shortly followed by "what am I thinking!" One thought inevitably led to the other and soon they were both walking in lines that were wavy .

Two horses pulling a large carriage rushed by, narrowly avoiding both Esmeralda and Felony. This, snapped them out of it and covered them with mud from head to toe.

Suddenly the thought of going to a wedding didn't seem like a good idea. What was standing around in uncomfortable dresses compared to living off fresh, juicy rabbits and spring water?

Without noticing, they both left the path and entered the woods on their right, they started scanning the the tall grasses for any movement. Esmeralda's mouth opened slightly and saliva started dripping from its corner. Felony's nostrils widened sniffing the air hungrily. Within a few minutes their appearance changed from slightly simple minded country girls to something quite different. Their fingernails now somehow looked longer and had acquired a yellowish tinge. They were breathing heavily and Felony started stretching her tongue out after mosquitoes and other insects flying around their heads.

Mist was beginning to uncurl, spreading through the trees. Both Esmeralda and Felony had noticed, in a vaguely unaware fashion, that the ground was starting to curve upwards. They were nearing the hill with the large tree...

What they didn't know was that they were being carefully observed the hole time. A high ranking malevolent witch from Pendle Hill had been perched near the top of the tree for quite some time. She was sent by the highest coven to gather new recruits. Now after writing down a few notes she was merrily drumming her pointy shoes against the tree and blowing out huge smoke tendrils out of her pipe.