Double, Double, Toil and Tuesday

The Ghastling Submission # 1

Double, Double, Toil and Tuesday


Can you, or can you not help me? That’s really all I’m asking” I told the red haired Witch. Wendi had been beating around the bush, not quite stalling for time, but rather, stalling in hopes that I would stop asking her the same question. “Fine Tuesday, I’ll write down what you should do and need, but if that isn’t enough then that is far too bad.” Wendi Luster certainly wasn’t a bad Witch, but she also didn’t seem to be one of the good ones.

She fell on the in between everyone comfortably called Somber. I suppose I’m still finding myself, because I have no idea where I should be placed, I keep doing these awfully untrustworthy, tricky things, but they usually end up helping someone, somehow. “So, what you’re trying to tell me is that after you give me this scrap of paper you’re not going to hold my hand the rest of the way?” I asked her. Wendi gave me a look that was fueled with terrible exhaustion at my words “Its going to take an awful lot of magic to pull this sort of thing off, you know that, right?” she asked in return. “And just who was it that told you Gypsies cant do magic?” I fed her a question in response to her own. “I know you aren’t just a Gypsy, Tuesday” she accused in my direction. “When you know more about me, tell me. I’m dying to know.” I told her, snatching up the pink note book paper she had scribbled instructions on. She wasn’t wrong, as she had previously confessed that she couldn’t quite place that other half of me, and how it unnerved her. I knew, all too well what that other piece was, and having such an irritating secret made wicked shrieks of pure giddiness rise in my chest.

Riding the bus around town had become apart of my anatomy, the schedule, smells, the rumble in my feet as they nearly stuck to the disgusting sticky floors. I had become so accustomed though, that I could nap should my stops be far enough apart. This day, they were not. Ten minutes passed and I was at my destination. A small strip mall of unfortunately out of place stores in a part of town that was meant to be bustling but never found its calling. I walked into a grocery store and marched the isles, checking Wendi’s list as I did, adding extra things to my cart as I added her recommendations. Soaking salts, lots of them. There were three more items needed, of which I had at home. So the red wine, chips, chocolate and magazine were definitely not for what I had planned in the near future. “Can I see your identification?” a tall girl named Sue asked. I shrugged, unsure if anyone else asked to see an I.D. like that besides a police officer. “A pack of cigarettes too” I told her as she took the card from me, our fingers brushing before she drunkenly fumbled for a pack of cigarettes, her head bobbing like she were going to fall over. I reminded myself not to look around nervously, as to give myself away, and after she placed the cigarettes in the bag without ringing them up I smiled with relief.

Bus rides always make me feel grimy, like maybe I’m more on edge than I think and all of the nasty breath and drug doing, dealing and stealing dust of the other riders was going to stick to that nervous kind of clammy sweat that makes you shiver. Either way, a serious soaking in the tub was in my immediate future. Like only enough time to kick off my shoes as I popped the cork on my wine, take a long deep swig and strip down to my shirt and underwear. No need for nudity, this bath was not to be like the others. I flipped the handle in the bath tub and steaming water screamed from the old pipes. I poured the entire carton of soaking salts into the water and threw my head back with another swig of wine as I moseyed into the kitchen for my other ingredients. Lavender oil, dried rosemary and a crows foot. The last of the ingredients would come from myself, in the proper order when the time came. My wine bottle found a place on the floor next to the tub. A jar of yellow, thick syrup like liquid sat waiting for this moment. I emptied the contents of my lavender oil and dried rosemary into the swirling claw-foot water. Three white candles found their places around the tub on the floor, lit and waiting. I put on my ear phones and took a few deep breaths before I even submerged a toe, the second my skin touched that water I had to be ready, if I wasn’t, then what I desired may not come out of that tub. Something much worse might.

A few more swigs of wine, one deep long breath, his favorite song beating into my ear drums and I forced within myself the confidence to step into the near scalding water. My skin burned and tingled as I sat there, just sat there, thinking so deeply that it caused a dull aching where I imagined my soul might reside within my flesh. In my head I repeated his name and my lips sang the song I hoped would get his attention. A swirl rippled the water near the tubs drain, it was now that I should continue the steps required to not let the wrong thing through. I poured the slow, thick dripping jar of yellow goo into the water, and it reacted in such violent boiling that I was glad to have pulled my feet back beneath myself previously. I whispered to the darkening water, the yellow turning mud water brown at an increasing rate. My head swam with electric prickles, the hair on the back of my neck stood on end, and I heard clouds outside the bathroom window shatter with a storm unaccounted for during this hot summer night. I stuck my finger with a thick needle and placed the sticky red drop I produced onto the crows foot, kissed it, placed it against my chest and sank down until the water swallowed me whole. So very tempted to open my eyes, for just a peak into the other place. I squeezed them tighter than they have ever been closed, for merely a glimpse at the wrong being could cause me enough distraction to forget who I came to retrieve. I held the crown foot tightly in my hand, pressed to my chest, while I floated there, up from down unclear in the moment, the tub no where near my gently swaying hands. I whispered the words to draw him in which happened to be the same words I could use to send him back, I screamed his name and urged myself up toward fresh air, hoping I knew the way. I emerged in my own tub again, the water sloshing to a settle around me, now a black so deep I feared the door I had opened my not close in time. I stepped from the tub, pushing wet hair from my before my eyes and said his name aloud. Any fear that felt it should began to creep in vanished as a male figure sat up from the tub of water in the very place I had just been, as though he were merely submerged, bathing normally.

Are you mad?” he asked me, his ice blue eyes piercing mine. “As a hatter” I grinned at him in reply. It had worked, assuming the person I recognized on the outside, was indeed the same person he used to be on the inside. If you could call him a person at all. “Are you ready?” I questioned. “If I must be” he answered. “Good, now would you mind putting on a towel?” I demanded, trying so very hard to not actually sound demanding. “You do know what you’ve done?” he asked me, as I handed him a towel and grabbed one for himself, still dripping, shivering with cold and adrenaline. “I know exactly what I’ve done, what I’ve undone, and what I’ve begun” I smirked at him. I had just set the very world we knew into a severe unraveling, possibly worse than the one that had begun right before Rant died. As it so turned out, it didn’t matter what the consequences of pulling Rant from the un-living realm were, because currently, without him, we were all doomed anyhow. In all honesty, he could probably fix what ever hiccup in the system I had just caused by being brought back, so it would all even out, and in advance, you’re welcome.



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