Short Stories

Short Stories

The Spelling Contest
First place winner in
The Bump In the Night Flash Fiction Contest hosted by WPRW

You are cordially invited to the ninety fifth annual Spelling contest. Please bring your most creative spell and compete against the nation’s most talented witches. The winners will receive medals and the prestige of holding the title. Please sign up early to ensure a spot. Sincerely, EWA. (Elemental Witches of America)

I sat on my porch and read the invitation four more times, then shook my head to rattle an idea free from my brain. Halloween was only a week away. I still didn’t have a spell.

“Hey, Vicky. Got any more Mike’s Hard Lemonades?”

I glanced over at my best friend Essie, who sat on the porch next to me. Her long golden hair reflected the sun and her eyes reminded me of the green ferns that were planted along the garage. “There’s a pack in the fridge. Want to grab one for me too?”

She disappeared into the little brick ranch I call my home.

I needed a spectacular entry for the contest this year. There was no way Misty McGillan was going to steal the gold medal away from me again. Every year she’s managed to sabotage my entry and win. Not this year.

Essie barreled out the front door armed with more drinks and an iPod dock. She placed the six pack next to the four empty bottles and turned on my playlist. “Hungry Like a Wolf” blared out of the speakers. She sat down and started piecing together her rifle with bag of Skittles next to her.

“What the heck are you doing to that gun, and what’s with the Candy?” I popped a red one into my mouth. The tart cherry flavor awakened my taste buds.

“Hey, don’t eat those,” she smacked my hand away. “You know those teenagers that keep smashing Mrs. Pinkle’s pumpkins?”

I nodded.

“Well, I’m going to Skittle their asses this year if they go anywhere near her Jack O’lanterns.” She loaded the rainbow of flavor candies into the hopper, not one dropped.

“You’re going to shoot them?” Did she loose her sanity when she fought in the war overseas?

A bright orange Skittle shot out the end of the gun and hit the tree with a ping. She adjusted a little knob on the side and shot one more. “It won’t kill them, but they’ll have big red welts on their butts.”

A synthesizer blared a few cords from the speakers. “Thriller!” My body responded to the rhythmic pounding of the beat. I stood. My head and shoulder ticked to each pulse.

Essie laughed. “Oh no, not the zombie dance.”

I waved her to join me. She refused; it didn’t matter. The vibrations flowed through my body and the ground fed me with power. My nerve endings tickled, my adrenaline spiked. I loved the feeling of magic.

An earthworm crawled through the grass by me. I projected my energy down to the worm and it stood up on end. His little head bobbed and his middle part thrust back and forth. I realized it mimicked my movements.

“Holy crap, Vicky, you got that worm doing the dance, too.”

Looking down, I noticed a few more, then poured more magic into them. A whole crew surrounded me.

“You have thirty-two so far. What’s the record?” She yelled over the music.

I clapped my hands over my head, two worms slapped their heads together to match. “I don’t have a record. This is a first.”

Prince Fred II, my black cat, jumped from his bed and smacked into a tree. He ran around in a circle, then stood beside to me. He was my familiar. My mind pulled the power through him and it amplified the strength. More worms rose from the dirt to join us. I was up to fifty now.

“Those on the ends are twisting weird.” She pointed with her bottle to the right.
I looked over. “They’re mating. Earthworms are always horny.” I needed control before it turned into a worm orgy. I focused on the procreating ones, they snapped apart and returned to the line.

The song finished and Essie started to clap. This would be my entry, now all I had to do was nail it for the contest.

The Spelling Contest was held Halloween evening in the middle of a forest preserve. The witches were divided according to the elements of their power. I was in the earth category. Air, wind, fire, and spirit witches formed separate groups.

Misty was called before me. She lifted her arms and chanted something in Latin as her eyes rolled back into her head.The dark mud moved in front of her and piled up to form into boxed shapes. She twirled to create turrets and a drawbridge for the mud castle. Two chipmunks scampered up the miniature stairs to the balcony. Everyone laughed and applauded as the rodents peered over the edge then kissed. I clapped and wished I had a skittle gun.

My turn was next. My coven stood behind me for support as the High Priestess hit play on the iPod. I looked around to see Prince Fred, my familiar, was missing. My stomach clenched and felt as if I swallowed a beehive while my gaze combed through the crowd. The beat started, no time to come up with an alternate plan. I had to wing it. My body soaked up the power from the earth as I expelled it out to all the worms. It tingled up and down my arms. Only about three quarters stood at attention in front of me. They wiggled to the beat, the others were coiled around each other.

A small mew came from behind me. Thank heavenly peas, I will get through this. Prince Fred licked his paw as I pulled the magical current through him. The rest of the worms sprang up and danced. The witches joined us in the zombie dance under the moon. Misty stomped away.

I had won the gold.