On the Fourth day of Christmas the Witches gave to me…Four Weird Looks.
Anne tripped down the stairs and looked around the crowded tables for an empty spot. The workers of the Duck were bustling about with pitchers of ale and platters of food.
Frobisher was sitting in a corner with Chastity. Anne didn’t think he’d want to be disturbed. The Towne Criers were trying to get Harold drunk enough that he’d sing Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and while that looked like fun, Anne wanted a few calm moments before charging into the chaos. Hawkyns was arguing with Drake about who was more important, and Maggie Pie the pickpocket was moving about making a living. Just to be sure, Anne checked her own purse making sure nothing was missing. Taking another look around, she spotted a seat by the large fireplace and raced to take it before anyone else.
Taking a seat on a bench across from two of the three witches of Bristol known as the Normyl Sisters, Anne earned herself an odd glare from Beatrix, the younger of the witches. “What’re you doing here?” Beatrix dragged out the vowels of her words and bugged out her eyes. Most of the time this slightly deranged witch simply made strange noises and clacked her spoons together. Right now Beatrix’s spoons were busy ladling soup out of a bowl onto the floor.
“Good Day Anne Drew.” Came a much more proper greeting from Gertrude, the elder Normyl Sister. “How fare you this...festive den?” Gertrude's eye twitched at the mention of the holiday.
“Better now.” Anne snatched a mug of small beer from a passing Duck and downed half of it in one gulp. “Fire feels nice.”
“Quite.” Gertrude agreed. “Almost hot enough to burn someone.”
“They tried to burn me once!” Beatrix cackled. Anne raised an eyebrow, Beatrix had spent a good amount of time in Bethlehem Hospital and her stories couldn’t always be trusted. “I just played dead and twitched a lot.”
Gertrude blinked at her younger sister. “Yes dear.” She patted Beatrix on her head. “And it’s a shame they didn’t succeed.”
“I see you dressed up Conrad with a sprig of Holly.”
“It’s Hemlock.” Gertrude corrected, looking fondly at the small fish skeleton hanging from Beatrix’s hat. “Very festive for the Winter Solstice.”
“Plannin’ anything special?”Anne inquired, trying to make polite conversation.
“I might turn the Lord Mayor into a toad!” Beatrix gazed at her spoons, now licked clean of soup and started to beat out a rhythm. “Turn ‘im into a toad! Turn ‘im into a toad!” She roared in a singsong way.
“Now you’ve got her started!” Gertrude whined and shrank from her sister. “She was doing so well and now I’ll have to dose her with chamomile.”
“Does that calm her down?”
Gertrude shook her head. “No, it makes her break out in puss filled warts.”
Anne stopped drinking her beer in mid-sip, nearly performing a perfect spit-take. “Then why give it to her?”
This earned Anne looks of astonishment from both Normyl sisters. “I love warts!” Beatrix crooned and clacked the spoons right in Anne’s face, sending her backwards over the bench and making her spill her beer all over herself.
“Great, now I’m all wet again.” Anne muttered and went off in search of another seat before she could offend the witches again.
Well I hope the few of you that are still reading my rubbish are liking how the story is developing. I'm not even sure where it will go next, but hopefully it won't end in tears!