The redneck witch


I was looking at my ring today and noticing how it seemed like something a wizard would wear. Look at the color and the shape. Doesn't it look magical? That reminded me of a witch we once knew.


A witch stayed across the street from us in the house we used to live in. His name was Orville. He was a large redneck with wild hair who spoke in a thick redneck drawl. Every other day, he tried to convince my mother to join his coven. Mom was a deeply superstitious woman. She believed in magic and the supernatural. She also feared and respected it. The bookshelves in our house had many volumes on the occult. I remember there was one book about magic which I began to read until it scared the crap out of me. It talked how magic was rooted in darkness. The author claimed he could cast a spell on someone just by using his words. That was the thing that scared me, reading that book and not knowing how it was influencing me or whether the author was somehow possessing me with a dark spell.


I am also deeply superstitious, as I have been taught to be by my mom. I do believe there are forces greater than what we can see or explain. I'm quite certain there are other dimensions and planes of reality. But I cannot specifically say those planes are inhabited by demons or spirits. That would be the same as me saying there definitely is a God. How the hell am I supposed to know. I've never seen or talked to any of them. Because the mind is such a strange and powerful thing, I don't even know if I would believe it if I had.


My cousins once told me, with a straight face, that they were in a music studio when they had a supernatural experience. Both of them are musicians. My father’s sister’s daughter is a singer and her husband is a keyboard player. Apparently the two of them had seen a demon walking in the studio. They said it was an ominous force that carried a shadow of evil around it. They said it looked like a horned beast. When one person sees something like that, I have to wonder if that person is suffering from hallucinations or some sort of psychotic event. When two people see something like that, I have to admit that they did see something. Unfortunately, I'll never know if it was someone’s prank or if my cousins were pranking me.


When Orville, the redneck sorcerer, came to the house it scared me. Once when I was walking to the supermarket at night, there was a dog that followed me. It looked like a mutt. It trailed me for several blocks. I had never seen the dog before. I had not given it food. It continued to follow me. Because Orville had been coming to the house, I wondered if the dog might be his familiar. Yes, it sounds crazy. The world is full of crazy things. Around that same time, my very good friend Jeff and I was sitting at the edge of a wood in the dead of night talking about whatever it is we were talking about. Suddenly we heard a demonic, blood curdling howl come from the trees. It was not a dog or human. It sounded otherworldly and strange. Unlike those fools in horror movies who venture into the woods to see what made the sound, we ran to the car and got the hell out of there. To this day, we have no idea what made that sound. Perhaps Orville and his coven of witches we're in the woods and had successfully summoned a demon.


In college, when I worked at a summer camp that gave passes to children who were from broken and abusive homes, there was a kid who told us his mother was a witch. He did not like being at the camp. He used to tell us his mother was coming for him and that she would arrive sometime after midnight to cast a spell on all of us for keeping him there. The night I heard the loud mating cries of bullfrogs for the first time, I nearly crapped my pants. I thought the witch woman had come to curse us all.


Although those kinds of things do give me the chills, as I mentioned, I wouldn't go so far as to say I totally believe in the occult. I just believe in the possibility that the occult could exist. I think I might have even had a supernatural experience or two in my lifetime. Maybe it was all a dream.


I do wish magic was real. I wish we could say some words or make some incantations to have the things we most wish for come true. I want to fly or transport my mind to other places. Of course, I would never trade that kind of power for my soul. If magic is truly rooted in darkness, I'm better off without it. All in all, it's best that magic is not so common in our corner of the universe. There's enough chaos already without humans having the power to defy the laws of physics at will.

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