Witch's Brew
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Witch's Brew
16th Jul 2018, 6:48 PM in Behold!
Average Rating: 5 (1 vote)
Author Notes:
Monroe Coyote, Bjorn Loki and Quinn Anansi, collectively known in various parallel realities as The Misfits of Mischief, had an odd habit of popping up where one would least expect... particularly if the place one would least suspect was a place that couldn't fit a grown man, muchless three. This was, what?, the second or THIRD time they'd entered a reality via a bubbling cauldron? They recognized the world they were in, immediately. Each reality had a certain taste, as well as a certain harmonic frequency that one could hear when one was part supernatural being. The Beholderverse, sounded like Leonard Cohen singing "Pop Goes the Weasel" and tasted like peppemint ice cream and wasabi. Fun, but spicy.
The trio fancied themselves as the good guys, and when they'd popped up in a cauldron full of barley soup that, honestly, was halfway to being beer, they didn't suspect anything. The room was dark and smelled of scented candles with just the tiniest hint of weed and arcane spices best forgotten, unless one practiced witchcraft.

Squinting his yellow eyes to get a better view of his surroundings, Monroe Coyote noted that the walls in this shady room were adorned with an erratic mix of what one could call 'dorm room chic' and 'voodoo cathedral'. There were posters on the wall. Pictures of musicians, like Linda Perry and Slash were hung next to nicknacks - tiny rodent and bird skulls on hemp tethers, held aloft by colored thumbtacks and scotch tape. A wooden shelf held vials of viscous liquids and ichors that seemed to bubble and seethe on their own with no visible heat source, as if they were alive.

Quinn could feel the magicks in the room. They weren't necessarily ancient or especially arcane, but they were potent! Just beyond the closed door that barred light from the windowless room, save for a long sliver from beneath it, the trio could hear humming and muted singing. It got closer. Whatever or whomever was on the other side of that door was coming this way. There was nowhere to hide in the cramped quarters. Sure, they, interlopers that they were, could transform themselves to blend in with the paraphernalia in the room - a toad, a spider, a bottle of potion, but, chances are, if they did that, they would simply wind up right back in the soup from which they'd just climbed out of. They decided to face the music.
That music, it turns out, was Oingo Boingo.
The pretty little woman flung open the door to her "Utility Room", with an armload of shakers from her kitchen spice rack, wiggling her curvy bottom and belting out a rather impressive refrain from "Pedestrian Wolves".
"I was left to fend for myself--" she sang with joyous abandon as she entered the room backward. The Misfits, who could never resist a good singalong, joined in, in unison, at the crest of the lyric - "I was left in a basket, just like Baby Moses! To float down that muddy riverrrrrrr--"

Startled, Wicked Witch Babs, as she called herself, dropped the myriad herbs and spices from her arms and immediately adopted a defensive posture, her fingertips crackling with magical energies. The candles in the room roared and spouted flame upwards toward the ceiling, illuminating the room in more light, but, still made the surroundings seem even more sinister, as the light had a bloody red hue to it. The small logs of wood beneath the cauldron that the boys were still sitting in exploded to life, setting the gigantic pot to boil.
"Whoa", Bjorn yelled, "No need to get all hot under the collar, lady.. by which, I mean US! Turn the heat down, willya?! It feels like I'm sitting in a giant pot of SOUP, or something!"
"I dunno", Quinn chimed in, "SHE looks pretty hot to me! Maybe we should ALL cool off. I suggest disrobing."
"Who the HELL are YOU idiots?!", Babs demanding, simultaneously shocked that there were men in her cauldron, and utterly dismayed as she realized somewhere in her subconscious mind that her soup was now completely ruined. A whole months' light lunches and quick dinners gone to waste! "What're you doing in my brew?!"
"Wouldja believe The Breast Stroke?", Monroe retorted, suddenly seeing Babs clearly in the slightly increased light. She was not what he was expecting. When he had been told by his Uncle Ray that he and his mates were to go to an alternate reality New York City and keep an eye on a "Wicked Witch", he'd honestly expected to run afoul of some green-skinned old crone with a hook nose and a wart collection being cultivated on her face. He also had no idea that the Earth he was being sent to was The BeholderVerse. This curvy, comely college co-ed and a familiar setting were a welcome, but surprising turn of events.

Bjorn dipped his finger in the rapidly warming liquid that he and his husbands were swimming in and put it to his lips. Having tasted his reluctant hostess's brew, he frowned slightly and declared that it "needs oregano".

Quinn, never at a loss for a silly joke, exclaimed "Waiter! There's a FLY in my soup!" It was an old joke - positively ancient - but, whenever the trio of trickster godlings found themselves sitting in a bath of broth (which, for some reason, happened WAY more often than one would think) at least ONE of them was all but guaranteed to make a variation on the old "Fly in my soup" joke.
"I ordered BEES!", the dredlocked demigod finished. Babs was not amused.

She crooked her fingers into claws, drew in a deep breath as she brought her hands close to her chest, then, with an exhale and a growl, thrust her hands forward, releasing a blast of energy at the pot and the men in it. The blast struck home, but the inhabitants of the now ruined soup were already gone, having teleported away. The pot, the barley brew and the fire which warmed it, had all been turned into what looked to be an ice sculpture.
What the"?!--
'Of COURSE', Babs thought to herself. How else could three guys sit comfortably in a cauldron of boiling soup - they must be magical!
Were they warlocks? Perhaps some oddball classmates in NYU's Witchcraft Studies Program that she hadn't noticed before? Nah. There were few enough people in that course, let alone GUYS, that she would have noticed. Whoever they were, they'd invaded the wrong girl's sanctum!
She searched the small space that she called her own. She found them in the kitchen. They'd actually stopped to raid the fridge!
"I'm gonna give you three weirdoes ONE chance to explain yourselves before I turn you all into frogs!", Babs spat. The temerity of these three! first ruining the food she was making, then having the unmitigated gall to eat the little bit of food that she had in her refrigerator? Unacceptable!
"Like this?", Monroe asked, as he and his mates each clapped their hands, patted their laps, then snapped their fingers twice, transforming into frogs before Babs' very eyes.
"Frogs are nice," Bjorn croaked, shooting a side glance at Monroe with his bulbous yellow frog eyes, "But, all things considered, I prefer ducks".
With that, the trio transformed into talking mallards and waddled across Babs' kitchen table toward her. She had never seen such effortless transformation!
"You're Desssthpicable", Quinn, now a literal Little Black Duck, spat in Bjorn's general direction, doing his best Daffy Duck impression, saliva flying everywhere. He gazed at the aghast witch, noting that in all this time, she hadn't really said or done anything... "wicked". Not even in defense of her home, save an exasperated threat to transform them. Of course, she was annoyed and frustrated at the time, but then, The Misfits tended to have that effect on most people.
Quinn disappeared from the table and reappeared on Babs' left shoulder, sporting a red tuxedo, tiny horns atop his cranium that seemed to be growing right out of the goggles that always adorned his head, and a thin, serpentine spade tail.
"You're... not evil, are you?, He asked sheepishly.
"That's... none of your business, is it?", she retorted, growing even more annoyed, not only at the trio's antics, but also at the fact that she STILL had no idea what was going on.
Bjorn, following Quinn's example shrank himself and teleported to Babs' right shoulder as a pshychomachian angel, complete with white, fluffy wings and a glowing halo.
"That just means you're not 'GOOD', either!"

Babs grabbed the little gremlins off her shoulders and threatened to squish them if they didn't explain themselves immediately. The two tiny terrors made overexaggerated gurgling noises as their yellow eyeballs bulged forth from their sockets like stress relief toys in her tightening grip.
"Please don't squish my husbands", Monroe whispered in Babs' ear from just behind her, "my bed would be awfully cold without them."
Whirling, the witch dropped her captives and swung on the green suited invader of her personal space. Landing a devastating haymaker across Monroe's jaw, the cunning coyote demigod shattered into a million pieces as though he was made of very fragile stained glass, and covered Babs' floor with his debris. This took her by utter surprise, and she let out a piercing shriek!
"I ain't cleanin' that up!" shouted Bjorn, now full sized and back at the witch's kitchen table, noshing on a rather large bowl of hummus and wheat crackers.
"Tsk tsk tsk... You'll never get the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval with a mess like that!", Quinn chimed in, having found the tub of fudge ripple ice cream Babs kept in the back of her freezer, gobbling it down with a gigantic blue novelty spoon with the face of The Tick on it, that he'd conjured out of thin air.

"Alright! I GIVE UP!", Babs screamed. All this nonsense was just too much for her. "Whatever you... THINGS want, it's yours, just... leave me alone!!"
"WhatEVER we want?", Monroe asked, having instantly reformed and situated himself atop the witch's kitchen countertop, popping hot pizza rolls into his gob between words as though they were Skittles.
"Babygirl, all we want is THE TRUTH", Monroe smirked, the last two words producing a spooky reverb.
"Are you evil?", Bjorn demanded, suddenly dressed as Basil Rathbone's version of Sherlock Holmes.
"Are you planning to take over the world?", Monroe chimed in, dolled up in his finest green "Riddler" three piece suit, complete with bowler hat and domino mask.
"What? NO!!", she answered, "Why the hell do you think THAT?!"
"Why the hell do you call yourself 'Wicked Witch'?" Quinn demanded, point blank.

Babs sighed. She knew that stupid nickname would come back to haunt her someday. She'd expected to have trouble with superheroes over that, but not these--- demons(?). Her two friends and fellow "Wicked Witches", Jesse and Alicia, thought the name was cool, the same way they thought witchcraft was cool. Fresh out of high school and studying witchcraft in college, with a minor in supervillainy, the girls, at first, thought it was a cool way to rebel against the older generation, or, conversely, make their parents proud, depending on which witch you asked.

Jesse's dad was a supervillain. Alicia just liked to make trouble. Babs herself figured that she could go either way. She had no real horse in the 'Good vs. Evil' race, she just wanted to hang out and keep up with her two best friends.
Nowadays, Jesse and Alicia were at odds with each other. Jesse's been keeping company with a superhero. Not just any hero - her dad's archenemy, even! Alicia has been keeping company with Jesse's own father! It caused a rift in the triumvirate of Wicked Witches, and Babs, who still loved her besties, was unofficially caught in the middle. The thing is, she, over time, developed a real love and aptitude for the arcane arts. Out of what's left of her sense of solidarity and sisterhood, she still calls herself "Wicked Witch Babs", even though her best friends aren't really best friends anymore.

Bjorn explained to the exasperated girl that he and his mates were sent here to stop a Wicked Witch from using an eldritch spell from an ancient Lemurian tome to sap the souls of everyone in New York, which, at first, would make them all willing slaves, but, eventually cause them to literally leak soul energy into the atmosphere, opening a rift which would allow this world's version of the Titans of Myth to return to Earth.
Though this reality, unoffically called The Beholderverse, seems a bit more jovial than most that house superheroes, magic, aliens and such, The Titans of Old were hardcore evil and demonically deviant. If they were released from the imprisonment in Tartarus, today, they would decimate the planet and then find their way to other planes. They had to put a stop to it.

Everyone involved agreed that now that she knew the score, Babs would NEVER be a party to that. Wicked Witch Jesse seemed to be well on her way to reforming, and Wicked Witch Alicia was, well, just kind of a bitch with no more ambition than to cause trouble for those foolish enough to let her get close to them. It was all a game, and she had neither the desire nor the ability to bring about the apocalypse. At least, not ALONE.
All three of them together might have the mojo, but, the way things were going, all three of them probably wouldn't be working spells together anytime soon.
The Misfits of Mischief apologized to the miffed magician and promised to make it up to her for all the headache they'd caused that day.
They promised Wicked Witch Babs one wish. Anything that she wanted that was within their considerable powers. They gave her what looked like a shiny yellow poker chip, and told her that all she had to do was clutch it in her left hand, close her eyes and say "I wish, I wish, I wish--" and say out loud what she wanted, and it would be granted to her.
With that, the boys thanked her for the food that they took without asking, clapped their hands in unison and disappeared in a puff of billowy white smoke with an audible "POOF".
-Babs awoke with a start! She was in her bedroom. It was midday, and the sun shone through the open window of her room.
Was it all some bizarre nightmare? She trotted off to her kitchen to check. No mess. All her food was right where she left it, from the pizza rolls to the fudge ripple ice cream.
Her barely soup was still simmering in the cauldron, and there were no wet, soupy footprints or spillage around the pot. The pot wasn't covered in ice. Maybe she had imagined it all.

Three annoying guys in suits that looked like they'd raided a circus ringmaster's yard sale popping up in her cauldron and accusing her, thinking that she was going to help destroy the world? It HAD to be a dream! Maybe those "recrational herbs" were a bit stronger than she'd thought.
It was REALLY crazy thinking that Alicia and Jesse could stand to be in the same room together these days, muchless cooperate on something BIG enough to do that much damage, with or without her help.
"Eff Emm Ell", she mused aloud, "I'm taking my butt back to bed!"
As the exhausted enchantress flopped down, face first onto her dishevelled bed, to return to blissful slumber, she saw it sitting there on her dresser, between her alarm clock and her favorite 'plastic playmate'...
A golden yellow poker chip with the word "MARKER" printed twice on its face, in rounded letters, above and below the center, which had printed on it, the faces of the three bizarre magical men who'd just turned her world upside down.
Wicked Witch Babs (as well as the other two Wicked Witches and other characters mentioned) are creations of TheCosmicBeholder
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