Authors: Paul Kater
Tags: #hilda the wicked witch
by Paul Kater
Published by the author at Smashwords -
Copyright 2011 Paul Kater
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Upon their return from William's wonky world,
the magical couple had found the big wooden pole near the house
littered with arrows carrying messages for the honourable witch and
wizard. The two honourables had collected all the messages and
dropped the arrows in a basket outside the door. That way the
message archers could fetch their arrows without disturbing the
peace of the magical ones.
The messages had remained untouched on the
table for a considerable time, while Hilda and William took long
baths, slept, ate and got reacquainted in the relative tranquility
of their own many walls.
When finally they returned to the living
room, the house was very much displeased. "I know that it is not my
position to complain," it said, "but these two black animals you
have brought back... are they going to stay here?"
Hilda stared at the two cats who had found
their home in the home on the highest bookshelf. "Seems so. And
you're right. You are here to be a house, not to complain." Then
she turned to William, who had arranged for a few cups of tea and a
plate of cookies. "What do we do with these beasts?"
As William came close to the table, both cats
jumped to the ground and calmly trotted over to him. It looked as
if they owned the place. It made him grin. He put the tea and the
cookies on the table. "I think it is neat to have a few cats
around. As long as they don't make a mess I'd say we keep them
"I'm still not convinced," said Hilda. She
reached down and picked up the cat nearest to her. She put it in
her lap and started stroking the soft fur. "I mean, we don't do a
thing with them. We don't know what they're good for, and if all
they do is sit on the shelf..."
William watched his witch for a few moments.
Then he shook his head. "Here's your tea. And don't drop your cat
while you drink it."
"Drop my- oh..." Hilda looked a bit lost as
she noticed what she was doing.
William smiled. He sat down and the other cat
jumped, landing in the wizard's lap. "So what's your peeve with the
"They are hairy. Cats are hairy, and they
shed their hair everywhere," the house announced.
"And what is your problem with that?" William
asked. The cats had not left any hair lying around since they had
gotten home. He just had gathered something for them so they could
eat and drink, and that was all. Hilda had arranged for a magical
litter box that cleaned itself, so that was also taken care of.
The house was silent, as if it was thinking
about a good answer. "There is no problem. Yet. I just want to draw
your attention to this before a problem does arise," it said.
"I doubt there will be a problem, house,"
Hilda said as she picked up her tea.
Her cat calmly got onto the table and
carefully walked over to the stack of messages. She sat down with
it and sniffed the papers one by one. The magical couple watched
the animal as she took her time to inspect each and every snippet.
Then, apparently satisfied, she walked back over the table and
reclaimed her position on Hilda again.
"We still don't know where they came from, do
we?" William did not expect an answer on that question. The cats
had appeared from nowhere as they had gone in for the final
confrontation with Zelda the witch, and the two had not left them
after that. "I like them."
Hilda slowly nodded as she tried to feed her
cat a piece of her cookie. The cat was not set on cookies though.
"Meowwww..." the animal complained after Hilda's second attempt.
Easily she slipped from under the witch's arm, and soon she was on
the top bookshelf again, from where she had a perfect view over the
William's cat peacefully stayed where he was.
The wizard's hand made him purr gently.
Hilda looked at the scene and smiled.
"They're beautiful, aren't they? I wonder if they have names."
William grinned. "If they do, they are not
going to tell us, sweetwitch." The cat in his lap looked up at him,
the two bright yellow eyes shining as if they came from a- "Shadow.
That's it. I'm going to call this cat Shadow."
"How do you mean that? Shadow what?"
"Cats of people like us have a double name,
William. They also have a short, simple name for when we're alone
with them. So you pick Shadow, but something has to go with it.
Before or after, but just Shadow won't do." Hilda reached for
A soft purr came from the bookshelf. The
couple looked up at the cat that had taken up station there. "Black
as Onyx," William remarked.
"Yes, you are right. Her fur shines like
onyx, indeed. How good of you, William." Hilda got up, touched the
wizard's hand and then slowly walked to the bookshelves, her eyes
on the cat. "Would you like to be called Onyx, black cat?" she
asked, calmly reaching up and waiting. "Onyx?"
The cat on the shelf seemed to contemplate
the waiting hand. Then lazily she reached out a paw and touched
Hilda's hand a few times. "Mworrr..." was the cattish comment.
"Yes. You are an Onyx cat, aren't you? Come
here, Onyx cat," Hilda said. She held up both her hands. The cat
got up, looked around the room from her high post once more time
and then lightly jumped from the shelf, full of trust. She landed
in Hilda's hands. "I think you and I will be good friends, Onyx,"
said the witch as she turned and beamed a smile at the wizard.
"You need to add something to that name,
Hilda. Just Onyx doesn't do it."
"Oh, hush you. What do you know?" Hilda
walked to the table and sat down. "Only the things that I tell
you." She frowned. "Hmm. Those are good things. Hmm." The witch
sipped some tea. Then she looked at the cat in her lap. "Do you
think you are a Grimalkin?"
Immediately the black head turned and the
yellow eyes stared at Hilda.
"Crappedy crap, she really reacts to that
name. Grimalkin." As she said the name, the cat's stare intensified
for a moment.
William watched the scene and noticed the
reaction of Onyx cat as Hilda said the name. "She does, Hilda. She
reacts to Grimalkin." He had barely said it when Onyx's head turned
to him. "I think you found her name."
Hilda picked up the cat with both hands and
looked at the small face. "Very good, you. And your familiar name
will be Grim. Like mine. Grimhilda. Grimalkin. You are Grim."
William, watching her, had stopped stroking
his cat. Shadow did not seem to like that, it jumped up, knocking
William's chin with his head. "Ouch, that hurt!" the wizard
muttered. "That animal has a head hard as rock."
"Obsidian," Hilda said. "He's black, so it
should be obsidian. Obsidian is hard as well."
"Obsidian, eh?" William said, as he rubbed
his chin. "That sounds pretty nice. Obsidian Shadow." It was more
his hand touching the cat than the name, that made Shadow lie down
and relax again, but the name had a good ring to it. "And the short
name will be... Obsi?"
"Obsi?" Hilda stared at her wizard. "What
kind of name is that? Obsi. Obsi."
"Now, then explain Grim to me. Sounds grim
enough, you know." Obsidian Shadow looked up at William. "Muwhhh,"
he said. "See? He agrees. Obsi agrees." William grinned.
Then Grim and Obsi both looked away, to the
same spot. A moment later, Hilda's large crystal ball started
making its pinging noise, which told them that someone was trying
to talk to them.
Hilda frowned. Onyx jumped on the ground as
the witch got up to walk to the ball. "It's Babs!" She waved over
the ball. "Hello Babsi baby!"
"Hilda!! You are there, finally! Where have
you and your wizard been for so long? I heard all kinds of rumours
about that strange person Griselda having disappeared, and that you
are somehow involved in that?" The ugly witch sounded concerned
about the wellbeing of her friend.
"You would not believe what we have been
through, Babs," Hilda said. She told her friend all the things that
had happened, what they had endured, and how glad they were to
finally be back home again. As Hilda was talking, William was
walking around, cleaning some things up.
Babs kept peeking as she saw the wizard walk
along and suddenly had to interrupt Hilda's flow of words. "Hilly
baby, now you have to tell me something. I see your wizard walking
around, but what is that dark thing on his neck?"
"Huh?" Hilda looked at William, who had
Obsidian Shadow draped over his shoulders. The cat lay there are
calmly as if it was on a cushion in front of a fireplace. "Oh.
Baba Yaga frowned. "Obsi? What's an
"It's William's cat. We ended up bringing two
black cats back here," Hilda explained. "His cat is Obsidian
Shadow. And mine is called Onyx Grimalkin. Grim, come here, girl,
and say hello to Babs."
Grim leapt up into Hilda's arms and was
presented to the ugly witch, who stared at the black animal for a
while. "Grimhilda has a cat. Now that is scary," Baba Yaga finally
"There is nothing scary about having a cat,
Babs," Hilda lectured, "cats are very nice and clean animals, and
they are a witch's best familiar."
"Yeah, sure. I've come along without one fine
for all my life," Babs cackled, "but you go be happy with your
cats, Hilda. But now that Zelda has ended up somewhere in the hands
of a strange creature that took her into a mirror, what are you
going to do about her house?"
"Her house?" Hilda wondered what she had to
do with Zelda's house.
"Yes. Someone has to release the magic from
the house and dissipate it. Or take it in. If you leave it there,
anything can happen. Do you want to take the risk that some lone
wizard or magician comes along, assimilates the magic from the
place and turns into a second Lamador?"
Hilda swallowed. That name still gave her a
shiver. The powerful sorcerer that once had served King Herald was
dead and gone now, but the fight she and William had had to put up
for that was etched in her memory. "You're right. We have to do
something about that. Quickly."
"Good girl," Baba Yaga said with a nod. "Stay
in touch, Hilda. No running off and making your oldest and bestest
friend worry where you are, can we agree on that?"
"I promise," said Hilda. "Unless there is an
"If there is an emergency, you have to let me
know. Don't keep all the fun for yourself!" With that, Baba Yaga's
face disappeared from the crystal ball.
"Does this sound like we are going out?"