by Lisa McCourt Hollar
“Trick or treat!”
“Oh my,” Thelma said, looking over the trio of costumed children standing outside her door. “Don’t you look frightening. What are you supposed to be? Witches?”
“Yes ma’am,” snarled one of the hags, “and if you don’t give us a treat, I’ll turn you into a toad.”
"Oh my!" Thelma chuckled, “A toad! Well that would be a neat trick. And the three of you certainly look scary enough. Is that a wart on your nose?”
“Yes ma’am," the bigger of the three said. "All witches have warts.”
“Because they’re ugly, old hags,” another of the witches said. This one had a wart on both her nose and chin, making her truly hideous.
“I see. Well, I will have to remember that.”
The three witches giggled.
“Hmmm,” Thelma mused, “Trick OR Treat? Let's see ... I think I will go with ... trick. Turn me into a toad.”
“The first little witch laughed, “I can’t really do that.”
"You can’t?” Thelma sounded disappointed. Looking at the second witch she asked, “How about you?”
Shaking her head, the second witch giggled. Thelma looked to the third, a green faced hag with nary a wart, but long stringy hair and a long, crooked nose. The poser gave a nervous laugh and ducked her head.
“No? Too bad. I can though.” Thelma pointed a finger at the faux witches and chanted, “Skin of green with warts and all, eyes that bug, croaking call, hop you will instead of stand, become a toad at my command.”
“When the incantation was finished, three frightened toads sat outside her door. Before they could hop off, Thelma bent and scooped them into her hands. Closing the front door, she hummed, carrying them into the kitchen and depositing the toads into a cage.
“Let’s see,” she said, looking into a bucket that contained a handful of newts, “all I need now are a few lizards and rat tails. Then I will have everything I need for my skin lotion spell.”
Looking into the mirror, the witch shuddered. A wart was just beginning to pop, marring her previously unblemished skin. “If only this spell could be cast any time of the year, instead of All Hallows Eve.” Thelma sighed. “If only there were more beggars without their parents. Then I might be able to make more and I wouldn’t cut it so close every year.”
Thelma looked in the mirror again. Egads, another one was popping up and this one had a long black hair sticking out of the middle. She grabbed a small tube and squeezed out a thick cream. It was the last of her stash. Thelma spread the anti wart potion on her skin. It also served to make her coloring less green and a little more pink.
“All witches have warts,” Thelma mimicked. “Witches are ugly old hags. Bah, I’ll show them ugly, the little brats!”
The witch smiled at her reflection. The warts had receded and she looked young and beautiful once again. “Just in time,” she cackled, turning to answer the door.
“Trick or treat,” sang a gang of werewolves and vampires.”
Word Count: 522