Sidey’s Weekend Theme is “the circle”…
The other four stared at Miriam in stunned silence. “You’re what?” said Orla eventually.
“I’m a white witch,” said Miriam. “I have been for a couple of years now.”
The five women had been friends since school, and met up every couple of months to drink wine, to catch up and to drink wine. Every now and then one of them would spill some secret, but this was the most surprising one since Claire had admitted that she’d had a fling with her gardener, who was 12 years younger than her (they weren’t surprised that she’d had a fling, they knew Claire well, they just hadn’t known that she had a gardener).
“Do you have a cauldron?” asked Kate.
“And what does ‘hubble bubble’ mean?” asked Claire.
“Do you have a broomstick?” asked Rachel.
“No,” snapped Miriam. “ Well, yes, actually, but that’s just to sweep the yard. We don’t do any of that stuff. We use herbs. We light candles and burn incense. It produces serenity and positive energy.”
“Isn’t that just Aromatherapy?” asked Kate. Miriam pretended she hadn’t heard that.
“Can we join?” said Rachel.
“You don’t just join,” said Miriam. “There’s an initiation. You have to dance in a circle under a full moon. And you have to take a Wiccan name.”
“What name did you take?” Orla asked.
Miriam went red, rather oddly for a white witch. “Hazel,” she said.
“Witch Hazel?” said Rachel.
“Yes,” sighed Miriam. “That’s the kind of thing that happens if you Google something in a hurry.”
Anyway, three nights later the moon was full and the five were gathered in the dark wood outside the town. Rachel was there because she wanted to turn her husband into a toad. Since she reckoned that he was a toad in every sense other than physically she felt that this would not be difficult. Claire was there because she was currently single and had nothing else to do. Orla was there because she’d secretly had a crush on Claire ever since school, and was hoping that they would all be naked. Kate was there because she thought it would be a laugh.
Now they stood there in white robes which Miriam had brought along, much to Orla’s disappointment.
“Ok,” said Miriam. “Let’s start the dance.”
“Which direction?” asked Claire.
“Anti-clockwise,” said Miriam. After a brief series of collisions they all went in the same direction. Each of them had to fight the urge to sing “ring-a-ring-a-rosy”, though none of them would admit it.
“When we finish the dance,” said Miriam, “we’ll be a coven.”
The word struck a chord in Kate’s head. “Bloody hell, I think I’ve left the oven on,” she said.
“Excellent, you’ve burned the steak,” said Rachel. “You’re practically a witch already.”
“Sorry,” said Kate, “but I’d better go.”
She left. The other four looked at each other. “So,” said Claire. “we’re doing Square Dancing now.”
They danced on for about half an hour. “Ok, we’re finished,” said Miriam eventually. “Now you’re supposed to be able to feel inner peace.”
“Are you supposed to be able to feel your toes?” asked Claire.
“Dear God,” said Miriam. “Er, Goddess, I mean.” She looked annoyed for a second, then shrugged and smiled. “I suppose it’s not for everyone,” she said.
“Actually it was kind of fun,” said Orla. “I hadn’t been too thrilled at the idea of being in a dark wood, and at first I was afraid-”
“Were you petrified?” asked Claire. “Sorry,” she said, “it’s just that it all reminded me of when we used to dance around our handbags to I Will Survive.”
Miriam laughed along with the rest of them. The four of them linked arms, friends as always, as they walked back to their cars.
“Well, it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped,” said Rachel. “My husband’s still a toad, he just won’t croak. In any meaning of that phrase.”
“And I’d hoped we’d meet a load of male witches,” said Claire.
“A load of warlocks,” corrected Miriam.
“It sure was,” sighed Claire.