The island birds squawked of an intruder, and the Witch of Gull Rock creaked up out of her chair with a sigh.
“It’ll be another seal,” she muttered aloud as she wrenched the door of her lonely shanty open and hobbled carefully down the stone stairs to the rocky beach below. “Or perhaps a beached whale, hm?” A child, after all, would be too much to hope for, but she always checked, in case the gods chose to smile upon her just this once.
She found, when she reached the bottom, that she was half-right; there was something beached, but it was a worn little boat with a broken mast, and within, a shivering young woman.
“Help!” she cried.
“Why should I?” the Witch muttered. The woman was alone and an adult. But… perhaps she could find another way.
So she shuffled over and eyed the woman, and her flat stomach in particular. “You aren’t pregnant, are you?”
“N… No?” the woman answered. The Witch huffed.
“Well, come out of there anyway. That boat’s not going anywhere anytime soon.”
The woman did so, but then hesitated, one hand on the boat’s hull.
“Aren’t you a witch?” she asked. “Can’t you fix it?”
“Why should I?” the Witch countered. “You’ve done nothing for me yet.”
“Then you don’t deny you’re a witch?”
“Why should I?”
The woman’s eyes narrowed, and suddenly the broken boat was a gnarled wand. The Witch barely pulled her own wand out in time to counter the woman’s hex. As always, when the Witch wondered why she should do something, the answer was that she shouldn’t. Still, this woman would go the way of the rest.
“Witch of Gull Rock,” the woman said, “I’ve come to rid the world of you.”
“Well, that won’t do,” said the Witch, and waved her wand. It hit the woman’s next hex in midair and exploded, sending them both tumbling back along the rocks.
The Witch sat up with a groan. Strange; she didn’t ache as much as she ought to. But never mind that, she had a battle to win. She started to get up, only to see that her hands weren’t as gnarled as they had been just moments before.
And, then, from down the beach, came a baby’s cry.
“It seems the gods do smile on me today,” said the Witch, cackling to herself as she stood easily to retrieve her new daughter.
Check out the other blog hop participants, too!
Why Should I?, by Gina Fabio (You are here!)
Reaper, by Juneta Key
Snow White Tabloid Style, by Fannie Suto
Starving Artist, by Samantha Bryant
The Halloween Dance, by Barbara Lund
The Ghost In My Yard, by Elizabeth McCleary
Her Majesty, by Katharina Gerlach
Chris Bridges Posting Storytime Blog Hop. Give her shout out and say Hello!
Black Moon, by Lauren M. Catherine
Poe’s Heart, by J. Q. Rose
Hanks A Lot, by Joe Bouchard
In The Gray Lake, by Karen Lynn
The Right Honorable Brotherhood of Spirits, Poltergeists and Ghosts, by Vanessa Wells
Life of a Pumpkin, by Bill Bush