The Witching Hour

Short Stories, Writing

This was a ten-minute writing prompt I did yesterday. I like it. although the style is very confrontational and direct, a departure from my usual style. It was written very late at night, so it is stranger than usual.

The Witching Hour

I can perform miracles and if you sit in my booth at the very back of this truck stop diner, I may grant you a wish. The wish will be of my choosing.

Between the hours of two and four AM, the bones of my spine fall out of their row, and my neck cracks every time I turn my head. I order two drinks. One for me and one for you. You’ll pay, but I’ll add a special ingredient to yours that will send clouds of purple smoke curling above your head, like a halo of dirt. The smoke will coat your teeth with a film, and it will stay that way long enough for you to not want to eat the fries you ordered. I am hungry this early in the morning.

My teeth are long and gray. They remind you of dried chewing gum. My nails are short and yellow. From now on, everyone’s nails will remind you of my nails. I double my height, and my dry knees, broken again and again and re-set at the wrong angles, scrape against the bottom of the table. You lean forward on the table for a kiss. You will want to kiss me again and again but I fill your mouth with a cigarette.

My hearing ears and seeing eyes can tell you are uncomfortable. Your ears cannot see and your eyes cannot hear, and they will fail you despite your scrambled instructions.

You bend over and I transform you into my cane. I lean on my cane, you silly thing, and grant your wish. We get a milkshake at the bar. The waitress admires me and scorns you. She knows you, but she pretends she only knew you. A grilled cheese to top it off.

You shoot sparks from your place leaned against the bar, and I allow you to become a cat. You perch yourself on a stool beside me and rub my knee in hopes of reciprocation of affection. I turn you back to a cane.

I am no genie and your one wish is almost over. I want you to enjoy it more and more. You do.

You do.

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