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The following story was inspired by Dr. Bombay and Esmeralda from the TV sitcom Bewitched.
When A Witch’s Doctor Catches A Cold
M L Abbott
“Oh, no, what’s wrong with my throat?” Paige clamped one hand to her throat and the other over her mouth to hold back the sudden urge to cough. Swallowing twice settled the cough down. Her mind raced. She can’t be sick. A witch’s doctor never got ill. It was guaranteed when she drank a tablespoon of the millennia-old aquamarine gem elixir, which she did this morning. She did it every morning. The others needed her, counted on her, how could this happen? There must have been something wrong with the protection potion she drank this morning.
Opening the stained glass cupboard, Paige took the aquamarine protection water from the shelf and twirled the bottle in her hand. It had worked yesterday and the day before that. When was it that she’d made this batch? She looked to the wood-beamed ceiling and tried to remember and couldn’t. It was then that she checked her stamp on the bottom. The smiley face was frowning at her. “Ugh! It’s expired.”
A cough caught her off guard, and suddenly she was standing poolside beside witch Constance.
“Oh, hi, Paige. I didn’t call for you.”
“Oh, okay,” Paige fibbed. If anyone found out the witch’s doctor was sick, she’d get turned into the Board of Witch Doctors. She gasped which made her cough and disappear as she remembered the board members were coming to do their annual check of her practice today. Checking her watch, she realized they would be there in half an hour.
They both jumped when she appeared alongside wizard Franklin and his hearth.
“Hey, Paige, I didn’t…”
“Sorry, Franklin,” Paige interrupted, “I’m trying out a new potion. Didn’t work so well.” She finished with a cough, and suddenly, luckily she was back in her kitchen.
She had to think quick. She needed to make up another batch of the aquamarine elixir, but she could feel another cough coming on. Grabbing her water bottle, she soothed the urge to cough for a moment. Going to her altar of crystals, Paige removed the aquamarine. A glance at the clock told her the Board of Witch Doctors would be there in less than twenty minutes.
Slowly, she poured purified water from her stream out back over the aquamarine that she put in the bottom of her cold cauldron. With a double swallow, she began the words of intention hoping she could get through it without coughing. She stopped, swallowed a cough and a moment later sneezed, sending her with the pitcher in hand to the garden of the witch Felicity.
“Oh, I didn’t see you approach,” Felicity said and smiled with a nod, “and thank you for watering those.”
Paige looked down, and sure enough, she was pouring the last of her purified stream water into a wall-mounted planter of navy blue pansies. Ugh, she needed help fast. The Board was going to be at her place in less than fifteen minutes, and now more purified stream water was needed. Setting her mind intention on her assistant Cordelia, wherever she may be, Paige quickly said, “Well, gotta go,” and covered her cough as she disappeared.
She bumped right into Cordelia nearly knocking her over onto the worn forest path she was on.
“Well, geez, I’m on my way as you can see, but you could’ve just called out loud for me,” Cordelia said righting herself.
Massaging her throat to keep from coughing, Paige whispered, “I’m sorry, I’m sick. My aquamarine elixir expired, and I can’t stay in my place long enough to mix it up, and the Board of Witch Doctors are on their way, I’m sure.” Her throat was really getting scratchy. With a pained, desperate look and a cough she could no longer hold back, Paige departed.
And she landed behind the SUV of the Board of Witch Doctors as the two men and two women were climbing inside. Diving behind the bush next to the tailgate, Paige held her breath to keep a cough in until the last door shut and the vehicle pulled away. On a coughing fit, she focused her intentions on her kitchen with all her might.
Cordelia was rushing into the cottage with a pitcher of what Paige hoped was stream water.
“Sorry, boss, but, it’s for your own good and the only thing I could think of,” Cordelia flicked a freeze spell onto Paige.
Brilliant! Paige thought. You couldn’t cough if you were frozen. Now, all she could do was watch and be thankful her excellent assistant had thought to freeze her and that she had just taught her about the gem potion last week. But, the Board were on their way, and only Paige could do the last part of the incantation. She hoped she could do it or her life as a witch’s doctor was over.
Cordelia unfroze her. Rushing to the cauldron and swallowing twice, Paige recited the incantation loud and firm over the elixir while she stirred it clockwise with her index finger of her right hand imprinting it with her essence. Paige drowned the next cough with the protection potion. It worked immediately, the scratchy throat and cough were gone. Hurrying, Paige bottled the rest and was setting it on the shelf in the stained glass cupboard as the Board of Witch Doctors knocked on her front door.