And the Evil Shall Continue . . .

They lived in the forest. Two offspring of Elsinora, the Witch of Evildore. They’d been learning her trade for many years. Memorized spells, chopped beetle wings, boiled cat’s blood. Now the time had come. Elsinora smiled through blistered purple lips. They were ready. They’d consumed all her ancient books; syphoned memory strands from her pustule covered head.

“Rest now, my dearies. Come to me and bring no book. For this one day we’ll give to idleness. Let’s take your measurements as you rest. Boot size for broom stirrups. Breath velocity for hexes. Quickly now, my loves, as the spirits have ruled. I shall disappear when the moon ebbs and you shall rule the lands. Control those naive two-legged creatures who assume they are the dominant strain. Come sit with me and I shall gift you reign over all, on this my dying day.”

Written for the prosery prompt at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Ingrid hosts and asks us to include the line “And bring no book for this one day we’ll give to idleness” within our work of fiction that is 144 words or less in length, sans title. The line must be used word for word, but the punctuation may be changed. The line is from Wordsworth’s Lines Written at a small distance from my house which is included in the collection Lyrical Ballads. Image from

19 thoughts on “And the Evil Shall Continue . . .

  1. Ingrid January 17, 2022 / 1:31 pm

    Wow, Lillian, I love what you’ve done with the prompt! So witchily wonderful 🧙‍♀️


  2. msjadeli January 17, 2022 / 3:13 pm

    Chilling as the arctic breeze blowing about outside. It takes a lot of concentrated effort to be that evil from the sounds of it.


  3. rothpoetry January 17, 2022 / 3:14 pm

    Very nicely done Lillian! Great use of the prompt.


  4. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) January 17, 2022 / 3:14 pm

    I think this makes me want to avoid the forest for a while… it sounds like the spells will continue to spill the land with its lies.


  5. merrildsmith January 17, 2022 / 3:56 pm

    I’ll keep far away–though I imagine they can find you wherever you are!


  6. Ain January 17, 2022 / 3:59 pm

    Ha! So wonderfully interegrated, and your tale, well, wonderful, in sound, in narrative, and description…through this you’ve made me rediscover the power of stories, and storytelling, that mystical, beautiful magic…I really wanted to be there, to listen to the story!


  7. Glenn A. Buttkus January 17, 2022 / 4:19 pm

    Like the witches in MACBETH, tis something evil that they brew neath the mantle of night. A clever and fun way to rock the prompt.


  8. ben Alexander January 17, 2022 / 4:28 pm

    Boot size for broom stirrups. Breath velocity for hexes.

    I just laughed aloud at this! I love it, Lillian!



  9. Gillena Cox January 17, 2022 / 5:45 pm

    Scary like a covid 19 virus. However i had a good giggle at these particulars
    “Boot size for broom stirrups. Breath velocity for hexes.”
    And i do so luv a good fairy tale scary or happily ever after.

    Much love


  10. Tricia Sankey January 17, 2022 / 7:38 pm

    I can hear this witch talking in the second part, what a fun character, I want more! 👏👏


  11. M Jay Dixit January 18, 2022 / 1:23 am

    Awesome and such a clever use of the prompt line.


  12. Quaranjavirus January 18, 2022 / 4:11 am

    A beautiful tale of fantasy. Surely the witches would find it hard ruling a forest full of naive two legged creatures? 😉


  13. pvcann January 18, 2022 / 8:13 am

    Wooo … that eerie feel comes through, wonderful.


  14. SelmaMartin January 18, 2022 / 9:57 am

    That witch. Witchy to a T. Wow. Lovely. Thanks for sharing.


  15. sanaarizvi January 18, 2022 / 5:26 pm

    This is gorgeously rendered, Lillian 😀 I especially like; “Boot size for broom stirrups. Breath velocity for hexes.”


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