Original post to Darkwind’s Garou Board as "Wolf Tales (11) on Monday, 29 SEP 2003 16:17

Revised 10.10.2021


The Witch

The Elf pushes thoughts of the girl out of his mind and concentrates on the reason for coming to town in the first place -- pack business. He mentally breaks it down into two categories -- the "OK" part and the "not-OK" part. For now, he concentrates on the former.

He leaves the marketplace with his pack full of provisions and goes to see Taylor, the proprieter of the main shoppe in the city, to pick up his older sister's weapon. The Elf is mighty curious about it. His sister always brings back the most exotic gear imaginable after defeating Gaea-knows-what, Gaea-knows-where. So it's with some anticipation that the Elf tells Taylor what he's there for. But the thing Taylor hands him is wrapped up in layers of thick cloth and bound -- all he can see is that it's some sort of polearm, a little more than two meters in length. "Good as new for your sister," says Taylor, as he hands it over. "Tell her I'm sorry the restoration took longer than usual, but can't help that with these exotic, imported weapons, you know."

The next stop is Moon Silver's, the "jewelry lady", to hand over Shamaness' broken necklace. After that, the Post Office, where there is indeed a letter for Leader and, judging by the strange characters on the return address, which the Elf can't read, it appears to be from over the sea.

And that concludes the "OK" part. The Elf sighs. All right, then. Let's get on with it. And so he makes his way toward the docks, where the Witch lives.

It's easy to call this witch "The Witch", because she's the only one that Darkwind City allows to practice her craft more-or-less openly. What exactly she "practices", the Elf isn't sure. But whatever it is, it's so important to the more influential members of the community that they prevailed upon the City Council to turn a blind eye to her activities and allow her a known residence.

The Elf stands before her door and hesitates. For all her influence with the land's prominent ones, her dwelling place is, at least from the outside, nothing special. The Elf wonders why she doesn't have a better one if she's so important. And above all, he wonders how in all the world she'll help him with ... exotic ladies undergarments, for the Love of Gaea!

That thought makes him simmer. He bites down on a curse for his young sister for putting him through this. Why during his turn? Why couldn't she do this? He raises his hand to knock on the door and suddenly realizes how nervous he is. Come on! Pull yourself together. A moment's courage and it is done.

As his knuckles are about to strike the wood, the door creaks open...

The face that peers out is deeply wrinkled. With warts. The Witch herself, of course, that's obvious. She looks about 90. Maybe more. But ... how strange ... he takes a slightly stronger sniff -- her scent does not indicate advanced age. More like 30 or even younger. And yet his eyes see an old hag. She opens the door a bit wider and he can see that she's hunched over. She wears a simple black skirt and a matching black blouse. Her silver hair is tied up in a bun.

She says nothing, merely sizes him up, her eyes alert and intense despite her physical appearance. The Elf bears her scrutiny and waits.

"Well," she says finally, in a voice barely above a whisper. "You'd better come in." She opens the door completely, turns and goes back into the room. The Elf follows. A strong smell of incense strikes him and he coughs. With his sensitive nose, he should have noticed it outside, but he must have concentrated so much on the Witch that it hadn't registered. He quickly composes himself.

"Lie down there," she says, gesturing with a hand toward a somewhat crude, but sturdy-looking bench. On top of it is a lumpy cloth pad, stuffed with straw by the look of it. The Elf swallows, again wondering what kind of "service" the Witch provides. Not sex, though -- given her age and appearance, that would be ... best not considered! Aside from that, he would detect a sex scent and here, there is -- to his great relief -- none.

"I, uh--," he begins.

The Witch turns slowly and regards him with those piercing eyes. Again the Elf is struck by the two things he noted outside: how how old she looks, but how young she smells. It puzzles him mightily.

The Witch frowns and tilts her head, as if something here is Not Quite Right. "Young Elf," she says, in a voice a few decibels louder than her previous whisper. "If you're wasting my time..." Her eyes take on a dangerous glint.

The Elf tries to speak but his throat is suddenly tight.

"Why ... are ... you ... here?" She waves her hand in the air once.

Suddenly, the Elf feels his throat loosen, but his voice is a mere squeak as he replies, "Under ... wear."

The Witch blinks. "What?!" she snaps, with a scowl.

Right now, the Elf would sell his soul to be anywhere else in the physical or spiritual worlds than where he is. If the Wyrm would, at that very moment, rise from Malfeas in physical form and offer the Elf a way out of there in exchange for his promise to join the Black Spiral Dancers, he would gladly accept.

But not even the Wyrm is here to help. Panic takes him. What in the name of Gaea is he doing here? It's all just too silly and shameful! OK, his young sister wants underwear, but why is he looking for such a thing here?

Keeper.

Suddenly, he remembers what he must do for Keeper. His hand goes inside his tunic and pulls out the scroll. He holds it between himself and The Witch, as one might hold a crucifix before a vampire.

The Witch's eyes widen. "I know that seal!" she whispers. Her mouth falls open and her hand goes to her heart. The hard look in her eyes is gone -- in its place is something like ... wonder, joy, anticipation. But the strangest thing is her face -- her wrinkles slowly fade and the warts recede. She no longer looks 90. Now she looks ... maybe 70. 60. 50.

Suddenly, with a movement so fast that the Elf can't follow it, she snatches the scroll out of his hand and stares intently at the seal. Now she looks 40. Her eyes harden again. With another lightning move that the Elf, despite Garou reflexes, again fails to see coming, she strikes his cheek >>>CRACK!<<< with her open hand. Hard.

And shouts, "YOU GIVE THAT BASTARD THAT WHEN YOU SEE HIM!" She whirls away from him, strides to her worktable and flings the unopened scroll upon it. She stands with her back to him, breathes hard, hands grasp her head. Her hair is fuller and has lost much of its greyness -- it's now almost completely black. In fact, it's so full that the pins holding it up give way and the mass of it cascades down around her head, bounces off her shoulders and flows down her back to meet a shapely derriere.

She whirls and faces the Elf who, at this point, doesn't believe he can handle any more strangeness, but is compelled to do exactly that -- for the woman who now stands before him can be no more than 25. The thick, indigo waves also cascade down her front, where the fabric of her blouse stretches tautly over a formidable bosom. The breasts are desperately trying to break free while the blouse desperately tries to hang onto them. And that face ...! She is the most alluring, ravishing, desirable creature he's ever seen.

And she's thoroughly pissed off.

The Witch comes closer and stares up at him with those exquisitely dangerous eyes, so full of anger he fears he might catch fire just from her glance. The luscious mouth opens. "He sent you here, did he?"

The wide-eyed Elf nods.

"To deliver that, yes?" Without taking her eyes off him, she points to the still-unopened scroll on her work desk.

Again the Elf nods, eyes still wide.

"You give him what I gave you," she says through clenched teeth. "Understand?"

Another terrified nod.

"And you give him this!" She cracks him on the other cheek. Hard. Again, that uncanny speed which fools even garou senses. Then she punches him in the solar plexus, such a perfectly-targeted strike that the Elf can no longer keep his composure -- he doubles over and falls to the floor, struggling for oxygen. It amazes him that, despite his agony, two thoughts jump into his head. The first is how awfully undignified this all is. The second is: what in the name of all that is Holy and Right in the World did Keeper do to this woman?!

"OH, SO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT THAT SHIT-FOR-BRAINS PACK KEEPER OF YOURS DID TO ME, DO YOU?" she screams.

Oh, Gaea help me, she reads minds, too, he thinks, as he lies on the floor coughing.

"Oh-Gaea-help-me-she-reads-minds-too!" she mimics. "I'M A WITCH, YOU IDIOT!" She makes like she'll kick him as he lies there. The Elf cringes like a child ... but this time, the blow doesn't come.

"Well, I'll tell you!" And she does. As he lies on the floor, in the fetal position, still struggling to breathe properly, she tells him exactly what Keeper did, why it was so stupid and why he should never do it again. And she makes him swear to pass it on to him (in addition to the "physical messages", of course). Makes him repeat it back to her, to make sure he gets it right and will deliver it properly.

But he's not good enough. So she bends down and jabs her finger in his forehead, looks in his eyes and commands, "Remember!" The Elf feels something powerful flow into his head and he gasps, "I will!"

She stands. After a minute, she sighs happily. The Elf dares to look up. Her face is the picture of happiness. And how radiant she looks! Twice as beautiful as before, if that's possible.

"Ahhhhhhhh," she sighs again and that wonderful smile grows wider. "How much better I feel now! Lovely!"

She looks down, meets the Elf's gaze and frowns, as if not sure why an elf is on her floor. And then recognition and concern. "Oh my goodness! Poor little Elf! Why, you're hurt!"

She waves her hand at him -- and he suddenly feels better! She takes his hand, helps him up, dusts him off, straightens his hair, croons over him and repeatedly asks if he's alright. Despite some lingering pain, he assures her that he's OK.

She nods, satisifed. "Now, then, my good Elf," she says -- totally the voice of reason and civility -- "tell me what I may do for you, please."

The Elf hesitates, then dares to say the word a second time. "Underwear...?"

"Lady's or men's?" she asks in a crisp, business-like tone.

Her mood swings are really starting to rattle him, but he goes with it. "Lady's."

"What does the lady look like?"

"Well, she --" he starts ... and then stops, because as soon as the image of his pack sister forms in his mind, the Witch begins to change. Her indigo locks lighten to red-brown, the shoulders widen slightly, the curve of the hips decreases a bit and she grows a few centimeters. And the face! A moment later, the Witch wears the face of his pack sister.

"Am I on?" she asks.

The Elf just stares, mouth hanging open.

Witch/Pack-Sister nods. "Good. Now describe the undergarments the lady requires."

"Uhm, well it's a --" and again he stops, because as soon as the image of his pack sister in her brassiere and thong forms in his mind, the Witch twirls completely around and faces him again. And there is a copy of his Pack Sister -- in only her underwear ... sexy as ever. But not as sexy as the Witch.

"Why, thank you!" she exclaims, beaming. The Elf blushes.

"But how about a change of color this time? Perhaps cyan?" Brassiere and thong change color even as she says it. "It's cooler. Might be a good change of mood for your Pack Sister, eh?" she smirks. Yes, that's for sure! he thinks. And what a nice contrast with the red-brown hair!

"I think so, too!" she smiles. She twirls again and, when she faces him, she's no longer his Pack Sister -- she's again the Beautiful Witch, wearing her own clothing and holding a small leather bag out to him.

The Elf accepts the bag and bows his head. "Thank you, My Lady," he says. "Please tell me what I owe you."

She chuckles and it sounds like delicate chimes. "No charge, Elf. You've paid enough already, you poor Dear. You just be sure to deliver my -- messages -- to that poor excuse of a wolf that you call 'Pack Keeper'," she says with a snarl ... but then quickly smiles again.

The Elf gulps, but replies, "You have my word, My Lady."

She nods. "A pleasure doing business with you, Elf! Do come again!"

The Elf bows and turns to go. "Oh, wait a bit," she says. She moves to her workbench. The unopened scroll is still there. She picks it up, stares at it for a moment, then breaks the seal, unrolls it and reads.

The Elf waits and feels like he's intruding on something, but she had so commanded. He watchs her eyes fly back and forth over what she's reading. She begins to smile. She flutters her eyes. Giggles. Reads some more, raptly focused. Her breathing picks up, bosom rises and falls. A hand flutters to heart. Her smile widens. She finishes, throws her head back, closes her eyes, presses the parchment to her chest and twists from side to side while smiling.

She brings her head forward and opens her eyes. "My Dear Elf, there is one more message I want you to deliver to your Pack Keeper," she says as she comes toward him. Close. Very close.

The Elf's eyes widen and he swallows. Hard.