She came to with a jump. She was aware of a heavy weight pressing down on her chest, two golden orbs of light shone in the darkness, musty breathe brushed her cheeks.
"It is time Mistress" a voice whispered in her ear.
"Thank you for waking me Simpkins" she replied pushing the black cat away and sitting up in her bed. She shivered as she threw back the quilt and dressed slowly in the dark. A small sip of potion in a little bottle on her bedside cabinet helped to ease the aches and pains she felt. The guise of an old lady wasn't an easy one.
She hobbled down the tiny narrow staircase to her Kitchen. She felt the comforting warmth from the range. The clock ticked softly on the mantle reminding her it was nearly time. Simpkins purred and weaved his way around her ankles in anticipation. The hour was almost come. Her cloak around her shoulders, she slowly opened the door and listened intently. You could never be too sure who might be about even at this late hour. She knew nosey Mrs Brown next door was sitting behind her curtains waiting, she sensed the movement and smelled the woodsmoke from her fire. So, she intended to stay up then, intended to try and catch her out...
Cautiously she slipped into the garden. Clouds over the moon helped her stay hidden. She could sense the anticipation in the air, the magick of this special night of nights. Her kind were gathering in their secret places, waiting for the moment....
She stroked the besom leaning against the porch.
"Not long now my pretty" she whispered.
Hidden in the dark, she cast her shadow into the night, and sure enough, Betty's curtains twiched slightly, the lights went out and soon she could see her scurrying along the lane muttering to herself along the way. That Martha Goodbody was up to something and she, Betty Brown was determind to find out what it was.
Now the coast was clear, she moved quickly down the garden path and into the meadow beyond, closely followed by Simpkins, his tail swishing back and forth in excitement. There before her lay the lake, black and forbidding, mirror smooth. She stepped onto the surface and turned towards the moon. She bowed deeply in deference to the Goddess and began to chant her incantation....
"Lady, Goddess of the night, cast your golden magick lite, renew my lifeforce, set me free, make me young, so mote it be!.
She felt the familiar tingle as the moonbeams shone down on her wizened form. The light reflected in the water and all around her. She heard a beautiful song and felt her veins warming. Skin became smooth as alabaster, white hair now cascaded down her back, black as the raven's wing, hands became supply, fingers unbent. She gave a girlish laugh and spun around on her tiptoes, as light as feather down.
"Come besom, come Simpkins, let us fly, fly, fly"! She cried.
Jumping onto the broom, she whispered her magick word and into the air she rose, higher and higher, faster and faster. She flew round and round giddy with the excitement of being free from her earthly form. Clothing was no longer a hindrance, being skyclad was such fun, the feel of the wind in her hair. Soon she was aware of others like her and heard their laughter and felt their joy. She heard her name being called, her secret name. She joined in their songs and felt herself being renewed. If only, it could be like this for ever....
But, there was always a price to pay, a balance in the natural laws of witchcraft and dawn was all too soon approaching. The Goddess had crossed the black velvet sky, she too bound by the same laws, destined to follow the same pathway until infinity. Never ending, never changing.
Now they joined hands and sang to the Goddess a song of thanks and then one by one flew this way and that, down to the ground, back to their secret places.
The sky became softer, tinged with blue. She landed softly once more in the meadow. Simpkins jumped off and ran back towards the cottage. As the moon disappeared behind a cloud and the light with it, Martha resumed her familiar guise. She hobbled up the pathway and felt the first rays of the morning sun on her back.
As she reached the cottage, in the garden opposite, Betty was sat on her bench fast asleep and snoring gently. Martha's shadow was none to pleased to have missed all the fun and refused to come when called. Eventually though with promises of next time, it yawned and agreed it was time for a sleep.
Bettys woke some time later with no recollection of why she was in the garden, fully dressed. If she didn't know better she would have sworn that she had been on her feet all night!!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL!!!