I watched them from the scrub line at the top of the desert ridge. The long black robes and pointed hats stood out sharply in silhouette as they danced around the high flames of the fire.
I watched as they discarded their clothes and continued to hop, pirouette, and gyrate around the flames. The pitch of their voices rising and falling, chanting.
I watched as the coven joined hands, completing the circle of sisterhood.
I watched as the circling ceased, and the coven stood and swayed, deep in entrancement.
Then I made my move.
I set off at a sprint, raising the axe high above my head as my feet pounded the soft sand.
The coven, alerted by the rapid footfalls sprang to motion and scattered in alarm, I splintered the skull of the nearest one, as I wrenched the axe free she fell face first onto the scorching fire. I immediately looked for a second target.
After several minutes of futilely chasing flitting shadows I gave up, I had lost the element of surprise, and these witches of the sand were nimble and agile. No matter, one would be enough.
Returning to the fire I dragged the by now well burnt body out of the flames. After leaving her to cool for several minutes I ripped one leg off and took a huge mouthful of meat from the thigh.
I had eaten witchmeat from just about everywhere at some time in my life.
Juicy casserole made from the sinuous tree witches who lived in the eastern forests. They were a bit tough, but made a succulent meal if cooked slowly on a low light, and with plenty of fresh vegetables.
The northern ice witches from the glacial slopes, roasted, then served covered in melted butter with side salad, followed by ice cream and syrup.
The west coast sea witches were a bit salty, and had to be marinated in sauce for a few days first, then mixed with plenty of peppers and spices and curried overnight, served with naan bread and hummus... Mmmmm!
But sitting by a roaring fire gazing up at the star-filled desert night sky, nothing hits the spot quite like a hot toasted sand witch.
©2011 Stephen. J. Green.