Deborah Boydston Deborah Boydston
Recommendations: 45

I really like the humor you scatter throughout your story such as the "sand witch".

Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
Recommendations: 21

I had planned to use the Sand Witch in another short story, still time yet

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Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
Recommendations: 21

The Sand Witch of Te Horo Beach, AFM3 Part 4( Re write)

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Under the Double Star - Chapter One

This replaces the previous 3 part upload of Part 4 of And Fernardo Makes Three,  which I was not really that happy with. The Sand Witch of Te-Horo starts just after Levi has left the beach (refer Part 3) and is riding his bike back home again. It contains a dream sequence which like most dreams is hard to follow and jumbled but I hope you enjoy it all the same.

The wind picked up as Levi peddled through the empty streets, thinking about the endless cycle of the waves and how they never tired of the same routine. When he was a lot younger he would sometimes be sent to spend his holidays with his Grand Mother in Te-Horo. To dissuade him from wandering off without her supervision, she told a cautionary tale of a witch that dwelt somewhere on the beach who called herself “The Sand-Witch.” 2 comments

“The Sand Witch dwells in her underground cavern waiting for stray little boys and girls to trespass on her beach,” she would explain in an ominous tone. “When she sees them she casts an evil spell on them and they become tangled up in seaweed. She then drags them to her cavern and they are never seen again.”

“What happens to them in the cavern, Grandma?” he would ask, wide eyed and full of wonder.

“No one has ever escaped, so no one really knows…if you are really curious you could always wander down there alone and find out. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

“No Grandma, I don’t want the Sand-Witch to get me.”

“She won’t hurt you if I am there. So you must always ask me to go with you if you want to go to the beach, Levi.”

“I will, Grandma…I promise.”

Late one evening his curiosity got the better of him and he snuck out of his Grandma’s house without her seeing him and wandered down to the beach, which was less than three minutes away. No sooner had he got there than he noticed someone down on the shoreline. Fearing it was the infamous witch he had run back to the house vowing never to take such a chance again. Vows of course, like promises, were made to be broken, especially when you are at the mercy of a rebel like VOM (the voice of Mischief).

Katrina’s house was mostly in darkness by the time Levi got home. He quietly wheeled the bike back into the shed and carefully climbed back through the window. His light was still on and everything looked exactly as he had left it; soldier still lying in one corner and his crumpled and creased traffic-light suit laying to the left of it in a strewn pile.

Levi checked the door and found that it was still locked with no signs that anyone had bothered to force entry. He assumed that she had either forgotten about the punishment or perhaps had too much wine and could not be bothered going to the hassle of scolding and disciplining him. Either way he was pleased he had escaped the full extent of her wrath.

He quietly dressed into his pyjamas, then crawled into bed and laid his head on the pillow. Seconds later he started to feel drowsy and drifted into a relaxed status. The dark room seemed to brighten and all around he could hear the sound of shrilling cicadas. He blinked his eyes and found himself in the middle of a wide open field. The sun shone above him from a clear blue sky, free of clouds.  

A short distance to his west was a large metal cage. Inside sat Ricky, shackled securely to leather bound armchair. His raw eyes were dilated and skin a sickly wan complexion. A coffee table sat either side of him. The one on left housed a plate of mouldy bread, and on the other was a plastic bowl partly filled with some vial looking liquid and a filthy yellow sponge.

Levi suddenly realised he was no longer in bed. The bed had disappeared and he was now standing in the field inexplicably dressed back in his traffic light suit. Despite a strong southerly blowing he felt no chill. Deep within his subconscious he could hear VOR urging him to free his trapped cousin, but when he tried to walk he found his feet stuck firmly to the ground.

A loud thumping sounded from behind. He turned to see a giant rabbit hopping up towards him and recognised it immediately as the one he had seen in Alice and Wonderland. It glared at him intensely holding up a wanted poster with the words “enemy of the bunnies" under a photo of Levi.

He turned again and tired again to move. The ground abruptly released him, and he stumbled and fell face first onto the ground. He looked up and saw the field had somehow turned into the beach. The cage was now bobbing in the sea some distance away from the shoreline. Ricky was still inside, free from the shackles but rattling the cage door trying to get free, calling out for help.

Fearing the worst Levi raced forward to save him but the crashing waves kept shoving him back. He fought against them with all his might but it was no use, they would not let him get anywhere near the cage, which slowly sailed away over the horizon and was then gone. He fell to his knees exasperated and gave a loud cry.

The sand beneath him became liquefied and he sank helplessly until he was waste deep in it. Above him came the shrill cries of seagulls. He looked up and watched them circle like vultures then come swooping down. As they neared him he realized that instead of wings they had hands either side of them which they used to slap him with.
His attention was shifted yet again, to the rumbling coming from behind.

He twisted his neck awkwardly and cried out as a multitude of giant rabbits came bouncing towards him in three waves. The first made ready to stomp on him with their enormous paws, the second held dagger-like carrots at the ready, and the third were armed with bucktoothed fangs. Behind them marched Fernando dressed up in a matador’s costume with several vicious looking bulls walking beside him.

Levi felt himself slipping further into the sand and slowly disappeared beneath the ground all together he dropped down a long narrow shaft and landed hard. Pitch black nothing was all around and instead of shrilling cicadas he could now hear the sound of deep laboured breathing.

He could sense an ominous presence somewhere close by and became acutely aware that he was now in terrible danger. Far in the distance he saw the faint white silhouette of a cackling wicked witch stirring a bubbling cauldron. This was the dreaded Sand Witch. It had been a long time since she had featured in any of his nightmares, but now she was back with vengeance.  
Something heavy suddenly leaped onto his stomach. Levi gasped, jolted and woke up back in his bed with his heart racing, then stared down at Dezeneeze, the stray ginger tomcat that had adopted Katrina and himself by stealth. It had a habit of leaping on people when they least expected it, just because it could.  

“Naughty kitty,” whispered Levi, tapping the cat’s nose with his index finger. “You almost gave me a heart attack…never mind, you can sleep here if you want. Just don’t tell Mum I said you could.”

Dezeneeze yawned and then stomped around on Levi’s chest for a while and after several attempts to claim the pillow begrudgingly settled for a spot towards the foot of the bed and purred contently.

Best get some shut eye, advised VOR.

“Don’t wanna,” he affirmed, fearing he might return to the scary witch dream.

”A gentle breeze from Hushabye Mountain, softly blows o’er lullaby bay” crooned a soothing voice within his mind from long ago and he recognized it immediately as Katrina’s, singing him to sleep as had once done when he was very young “It fills the sails of boats that are waiting, waiting to take your worries away.

“It isn't far to Hushabye Mountain, and your boat waits down by the key. The winds of the night so softly are sighing…soon they’ll fly your troubles to sea. So close your eyes on Hushabye Mountain, wave good-bye to cares of the day, and watch your boat from Hushabye Mountain…sail far away from lullaby bay.”

Levi yawned and let his eyes close with Katrina’s lullaby looping over and over again until he was back in the land of nod, far from nightmare worlds and scary creatures of the netherworlds, while Dezeneeze dreamt of the land of milk, cream and mice.

Next part 5 Rendeveouz with Ricky

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Next: 'Sunglasses, Time-Travel, & Iced-Tea' Part 13