In a quaint little cottage in the middle of the woods lived Margery, and Margery was a witch. She was an old crone, like most witches, but she preferred to dye her dark hair strawberry blonde and wear it up in sweet curls. She wore flowery dresses of red begonias and carnations. Her cottage was full of springtime daffodils and snowdrops and the sun shone through the windows just right. It was altogether very pleasant and you’d be forgiven for thinking Margery wasn’t a witch at all.
Today was a day like most others. The birds twittered outside. The daisies grew tall in the warm light. And inside, Margery began her chores. Like most witches, she owned a rather large cauldron, the centre piece of her cottage. But, unlike her sisters and aunts, who used their magicks for ill will, Margery cooked delightful recipes instead of potions of doom. Indeed, her favourite recipes were fruit pies and cakes. Her strawberry and vanilla cupcakes were the delight of the cute little urchins that would skip past her cottage. Every morning, she whipped up a batch and left them to cool on the windowsill. And every afternoon they were gone, snatched by tiny little fingers.
Margery loved this, because she loved sweet children, but she also grew tired of the same routine. She wasn’t getting any younger so it was time to perfect the ultimate culinary spell.
A lemon meringue pie.
Sadly, the climate of her perfect woods did not produce lemon trees. Instead, Margery rummaged through her bookshelf and found the Tiny Little Book of Unholy Summoning. Being a witch had its uses when it came to ingredient shopping.
Margery adjusted her half-moon spectacles and traced over the correct summoning spell. Clearing her throat, she spoke the words.
“Bippity boppity bee, summon a lemon just for me.”
The sky outside turned dark and a storm gathered. Lightning struck a tree and rain lashed the fragile cottage windows, rattling them with gusto. Smoke gathered inside and Margery coughed.
Red eyes glowed from inside the ominous smoke. A giant claw-like foot slammed into the patterned rug, followed by another. Margery blinked as a giant demon filled her cottage. It’s giant bat wings spread the entire length and the horns of its bulbous head scraped the thatched roof.
“YOU SUMMON ME WITCH?”
Margery wiped her spectacles. “Oh my.” She wafted the smoke away and studied her spell book. “Well this is no good. I was trying to summon a lemon, dear, for my pie. Well, my eyesight isn’t as good as it used to be—”
The demon snatched the book. It looked miniscule in his claws. “YOU SUMMONED A DEMON, WITCH. LOOK HERE, ON PAGE FIFTY-TWO, IT SAYS DEMON.”
“Oh, I am so sorry my dear, I didn’t mean to disturb you. Can you get back home safely?”
The demon considered her. “I AM NOW BOUND TO THIS MORTAL REALM TO FULFIL YOUR DESIRE. WHAT IS YOUR DESIRE?”
“I’m half-way through this lemon meringue. Can you be a dear and summon some lemons?”
“I AM THE DESTROYER OF ALL THINGS. THIS TASK IS TRIFLING TO—”
“No, dear, we’re not baking a trifle today,” Margery chuckled and strode into the kitchen. She picked up a spare apron and handed it to the demon. “You summon the lemons and I’ll prepare the pie crust, dear.”
The demon stared with its bloodshot eyes and held up the apron. It shrugged, and wrapped it around its neck. Together they worked through the recipe. The demon used its fire breath to boil the cauldron to the correct heat, and used its superior strength to whip the egg whites.
“LOOK AT HOW STIFF THESE PEAKS ARE, MARGERY, I THINK IT’S READY NOW.”
Margery hummed as she pottered around the kitchen. “Just one final ingredient, I think.”
The demon examined the recipe book. “HRM, NO MARGERY, I DON’T THINK WE’RE MISSING ANYTHING. DID YOU NEED MORE SUGAR?”
Margery tapped her nose. She stepped into her pantry and returned with a small box full of fingers. Small little fingers belonging to thieving little children. “These are sweet enough, dear.”
The demon peered over her shoulder and nodded his approval. “I THINK YOU’RE MY FAVOURITE, MARGERY.”
Margery smiled. She was a witch, after all.