Monday, October 1, 2012
Noitisnart ni Niahmas
Welcome to my Halloween story! As always, this is a first draft, and as such, some things may be just a touch wonky. But, it's going to be good wonky, trust me. Oh, and always, Copyright 2012, by Raymond Frazee. Enjoy.
Noitisnart ni Niahmas
“Hey, Witchbaby! Come here!”
The black cat leapt from Celeste’s arms and ran to Laurie, who bent down and scooped her up in his arms. He began scratching behind the cat’s left ear, making her purr with eyes half closed. “How you doin’, Celeste?”
“I’m doing well, thank you.” She held a slight smile, but it wasn’t for the greeting. No, it was her reaction to the Witchbaby always acted around Laurie. “You’re the only man she likes,” she said.
He continued petting the cat. “I know,” he said. He rubbed his cheek against the cat’s head. “She obviously recognizes that I’m a good person.”
She nodded slowly. “My last boyfriend was a good person. She was always hissing at him.”
“He must have not be good enough, then.”
“And she clawed the shit out of the guy who used to live next to me.”
“Wasn’t he the one who came over looking for sugar—” Laurie smirked broadly. “And tried to get a little something else?”
“See?” Celeste turned on her brightest smile. “He wasn’t good. Hence Witchbaby laid the claws into him.”
Laurie gently set the cat upon the floor. As she rubbed against his legs, Laurie said, “Anyway, enough of me. I’m glad you came over. Oh . . .” He put his hands together and bowed slightly. “Happy Samhain.”
Celeste bowed. “Thank you! You always do that for me.”
“Well, you are a witch.” Laurie one of the few people who knew Celeste was a “Seeker of the Old Ways,” as she’d once said. “And Samhain is an important day for you. Show respect where respect is due.”
“I appreciate that.” Celeste finally shut the door behind her and stepped into the living room. “So many people I know just give me funny looks when they hear I’m a witch . . .” She stopped about a foot from Laurie. “It’s very disappointing, you know, getting treated like a joke.”
He nodded. “Don’t pay them any mind. If they knew anything about you, they’d want to be more like you.”
“Well, thank you!” She’d always found Laurie so charming, so friendly. Oh, if only . . . Celeste smiled. “You know, I do wish I had more male friends like you.”
“Why?” He thought he knew the answer, but he felt he needed to ask. “Too many of them hitting on you?”
“That’s part of it—”
“Well . . .” He examined Celeste with an discerning eye. “I can see why.”
She didn’t need to ask what Laurie meant, because she’d deliberately went out of her way to appear as alluring at possible. And not just for my own self-esteem, she thought. Sometimes you just gotta rock an right outfit so you can set the mood . . .
There weren’t many times when Celeste would say she felt “sensual”, but tonight was one of those times. She’d wanted to do something different for Samhain, and after Laurie asked if she’d be interested in handing out candy while in costume before going to a party, she thought that it might be a good idea to bring out a little of the naughty witch in her.
She’d found a simple black dress to fit her curvy form, and though she knew some people might think it wrong for her body, she wasn’t listening to those people. It did a great job of showing off what bust she had, and hugged hips lusciously, so to hell with anyone who thought she should appear a bit more demurred.
She didn’t stop there, however. She’d found some pretty black lace gloves, and accessorized them with a couple of silver bracelets on each wrists. She’d pulled out her favorite fishnet stockings, and paired them with a new pair of just-over-the-knee boots that she’d had her eyes on for a couple of weeks. Lastly, there was her witch’s hat: black and pointy, setting perfectly upon her crown of brownish-black hair.
Now she wanted a second opinion. Striking a sexy pose, she asked Laurie, “So, what do you think? Am I a good witch? Or do you think I’m bad?”
He didn’t need to consider the questions for very long. “I think you’re perfect,” he said. “I love how the heels make you so much taller.”
“Yeah,” she said, laughing. “And even with them, I’m still shorter than you!”
“Only by an inch or two.” Laurie just cleared five-eight, so for Celeste to be almost eye-to-eye with him, he knew she was sporting five inch heels. I really don’t know how she can walk in those, he thought. “Wait . . .” Something was missing that would make the picture complete. “Doesn’t a witch need a wand?”
But Celeste was ready for that. “Oh, but I do!” She reached up inside her left sleeve and pulled out a piece of wood about ten inches long and maybe the thickness of her pinkie. “See? A good witch always has her wand!” She crossed her arms. “But what about good wizards, hum?” Celeste looked Laurie, who was wearing a black robe, black pants, and white athletic shoes, up and down. “I don’t see your wand.”
He spread his arms wide. “That’s the one thing I forgot.”
“You forget a wand?”
She laughed. “You knew Halloween was coming; you were going to dress up as a wizard—and you forget your wand?”
Laurie bowed his head. “Okay . . . So I messed up.”
“Humm.” Celeste touched her cheek with her free hand. “Lucky for you I thought ahead.” She reached up her right sleeve and pulled out a wand almost identical to hers. “Here you go, Mister Wizard.” She handed the wand to her friend. “Wouldn’t want you to go without.”
Laurie looked sheepish as he took the gift. “Thanks,” he said softly. “There are times—”
“When you just don’t think?” Celeste shook her head. “Don’t worry about it. We all have those moments.”
“Thanks, anyway.” He knelt down to pet Witchbaby, who had been wrapping herself around his legs with a lot of playfulness. “Wow, she’s really friendly tonight.”
“We’re just past a full moon, and she’s always active during this time. Plus, she just likes you.” Or there could be another reason, she thought. Maybe she knows something I don’t.
He scratched the cat near her tale, making her arch her back. “Now we have a classic Halloween kitty.” Laurie looked up. “You know, dressed up like that, you remind me of me of someone.”
“Who is that?”
Laurie stood as Witchbaby returned to her mistress. “Zatanna.”
“Who?” Celeste had no idea who this person was.
“Comic character,” he said. “She’s suppose to be the greatest magician in the world, but she can work real magic.” He pointed at Celeste’s legs. “She’s known for her fishnet stockings.”
I wonder if that’s why he’s been giving me those looks? she wondered. “Boots, too?”
“From time to time.” He looked down for a moment. “She has nice legs, too. Like yours.”
“Oh?” Celeste was really surprised to hear Laurie say that. She’d always suspected that he liked her, but he’d never came out and said anything. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think he was flirting with me. So why not do a little in return? “You think I have nice legs?”
“I think you have very nice legs.” Laurie stared at something behind Celeste for a moment, then turned his attention back to her. “The rest of you is nice, too.”
“Well, my turn to thank you.” Celeste knew a real complement when she heard one, and Laurie was being very forthright with her. She didn’t know if she should press onward with this, or pull things back a little. She thought going a bit off-subject might do well . . . “So, this Santana—”
“Oh, sorry—Zatanna. How does she do magic?”
Laurie crossed his arms, his new wand gripped firmly in his left hand. “Well, when she wants something to happen, she’ll say a phrase backwards . . .”
Celeste found this rather interesting. “Like?”
“It’s like . . . There was one scene in a story where she wanted a friend to get dressed up for a party, and she said, ‘Get into a dress’, only when she said that backwards, did the magic work on her friend.”
“She said, ‘Dress a into get’?” Celeste asked, raising an eyebrow.
“No, not back wards like that . . .” He gave the matter a moment of thought. “Instead of saying ‘dress’, she said, ‘sserd’. She says the phrase completely backwards.”
“Oh.” The light went on in Celeste’s mind. “Oh! So she said something like . . .” She said it slowly, trying to see the words. “Sserd a otni teg?” She laughed at how funny the words sounded. “Wow, that’s a mouthful!”
“Yeah.” Not having ever heard someone speak like that, Laurie chuckled as well. “It sounds a lot different; when you read the spells, they don’t seem as complicated.”
“I would imagine. But the brain translates written words differently” She touched her cheek again. “Speaking backwards like that, it’s almost a whole new language.”
“Yep.” He turned towards the kitchen. “You want something to drink before the trick or treaters get here?”
Celeste was thirsty, and she was about to say, “Yes,” when she seized by the urge to do . . . Something. Something crazy; something naughty . . .
“You know,” she said softly, “there is something I really would like.”
Laurie stopped and turned slightly toward his guest. “What’s that?”
Pointing her wand in his direction, Celeste said, “Hctiw maerd ym eb.”
What happens next? Tune in next week and find out!
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