Once upon a time in the deep dark forest of Shannon County, Missouri, in America there lived a witch. Not an evil, pea-green, toddler-roasting witch and not a squeaky-voiced, insulin-depleted, do-gooder witch, just an everyday herb-growing, cat-loving, candle-making, moon-watching, tree-hugging sort of witch.
The witch loved her house and her yard and her garden. One of her favorite things about the deep dark forest of Shannon County, Missouri, in America was that hardly anybody else lived there. She could go about her cat-loving, moon-watching business with no annoying interference. Grass grew on the road to her tall, witch-friendly house since she seldom went anywhere and no one ever came to visit.
One day, as she was watering her basil and contemplating the meaning of parsley, she heard a rustling in the trees. The rustling became a rumble and the rumble became a roar. Very soon, she saw that someone was cutting trees and clearing land in the deep dark forest of Shannon County Missouri. She was horrified.
By the next full moon, many trees were gone. In their place sat a rusty, green trailer, not fancy enough to be called a mobile home. Before the rising of the second full moon, the trailer was inhabited by the worst kind of four-wheeler-riding, dog-having, dirty-necked, witch-hating people imaginable. The dogs didn’t bother her so much as did the shrieking, snotty-nosed offspring of the people who lived in the trailer.
The witch decided to make the best of it so she baked a loaf of bread and went to visit her new neighbors. That was a mistake. They called her names and fed her bread to the dogs. Fleas nibbled at the tender parts of her legs and the sight of all the tree stumps and trash depressed her so she went home.
“Being a witch has its perks,” she told her round-eyed cats.
The next day, she drove down the grass-covered road to town. As she drove, she passed a new shopping center and a nice park where several ladies were involved in a yoga class. While she was out, she planned to stop by the candle maker’s shop but only a deserted shack stood where the old store had been.
“When did all this happen?” wondered the witch, but she kept driving because she was on a mission.
She wanted to visit two witches she hadn’t seen in years. They were toddler-basting kinds of witches, and she needed to ask some very specific questions. The three witches had a lovely visit. Her baby-baking sisters were very glad to see her since they thought she had died years ago. They shared their most malevolent spells with her and sent her home with green jars of evil potions and black candles. They told her that no one made candles anymore so they bought theirs from Amazon.com.
As the moon rose that night, she lit the candles and drew her circle. She said the words nine times and pulled the elements from their hiding places. The wind blew. The lightning flashed. The thunder crashed. The rain fell. Magic writhed in her hands like a snake and she hurled it into the void. She went to bed feeling rather impressed with herself.
The next morning she peered at the ugly green trailer across the valley. She watched all day, waiting for it to dissolve into a gooey mass and disappear. It may have been because of the Amazon.com candles or it may have been because of something else, but nothing happened to the trailer or the people in it. By afternoon, however, the witch developed a fever blister and diarrhea and found an extra five pounds around her middle.
“Dammit.” said the witch.
That night, the witch was sitting on her porch watching the moonrise. The lights from her neighbor’s yard were bright, the music they played was loud, and the smell of gasoline from their four-wheelers permeated the forest. Beside her, the cats scratched at the fleas from the neighbor’s dogs.
“Screw this,” said the witch.
She dug up her herbs and comforted them with vermiculite. She loaded the cats into cat carriers despite the horrible names they called her.
“Get over it,” she told them.
She cried as she said goodbye to her tall, witch-friendly house and she eloquently extended her middle finger towards her new neighbors when she drove past the ugly green trailer. They didn’t see it, but it made her feel better.
After a long search and many adventures, she discovered a cozy cottage surrounded by trees far away from the deep dark forest of Shannon County, Missouri, in America. A river glimmered and rippled past her back porch and emptied into the ocean not far away. She planted her herbs along the front walk and set the cats loose in the garden. They glowered and hissed and scampered into the dark recesses of the blue hydrangea bush beside the back door. Later, she lit a fire in the fireplace. Very soon, the cats crept out from under the blue hydrangea bush and curled up beside her on her new comfy green chair.
The next day, she explored the neighborhood. During her adventures, she learned how to use a GPS which helped tremendously. She found a natural food store, a yoga class, and twelve other witches with cats and herbs and interesting conversation. She volunteered to teach a moon watching class to little Wiccans and put away all baby-baking inclinations once and for all.
She even found a very nice-looking candle maker named Bob who told her he liked nothing better than making candles for pretty witches. She giggled in a decidedly unwitch-like manner and invited Bob over for dinner. During her adventures, she had also learned how to make interesting conversation of her own. In the following weeks, Bob often stopped by her neat, riverside cottage for an evening of molding soy globes and dipping wicks—a very satisfactory arrangement for both Bob and the witch.
On the night of the thirteenth full moon, the witch stepped onto her porch to listen to the burbling river and to feel the fresh ocean breeze. The cats prowled in the garden and the smell of fresh herbs mingled with the mist. Inside the cozy cottage, Bob, who often kissed her neck and always tickled her fancy, poured another glass of wine.
She thought of the horrible neighbors back in deepest darkest Shannon County Missouri in America and she wished them well.