Free Flash Fiction:
Mrs. Wordswhittle - Part 02
By: Jae El Foster
September 1, 2019
The next morning, Mrs. Wordswhittle dressed in her loveliest sundress and hat. The dress was blue and pink floral, and the hat added to the outfit’s perfection, with its wide brim and the blue floral scarf that was tied around it at the back. Her white hair was pulled underneath into a tight bun. She wore tiny spectacles on the bridge of her nose, and her lips were painted pale pink. All together, Mrs. Wordswhittle was the ideal example of the perfect little old lady. Grabbing her handbag and a shawl, she started out the door.
It was rather sunny outside, and the birds sang their sweet melodies of spring. Across the street, Mr. Davis checked his mail. Mrs. Wordswhittle gave him a pleasant wave, but he hurried back inside.
“Humph!” the old woman sneered. “What makes him better than anyone else, I wonder?”
As she stepped onto the usually pleasant sidewalk of Sundale Street, she saw Betty Joe Richardson pushing her newborn son in the stroller. Mrs. Wordswhittle remembered being at the boy’s birth just last week and she was eager to see if he had grown any. In a rush, she hurried up to her neighbor and extended both arms.
“Betty Joe,” she squealed. “How is the little one?”
“Get away from us, you… you beast of the devil!” Betty Joe blasted, pushing the old woman away. Hurriedly, she rushed on ahead, never once looking back.
“I’ve never…!” Mrs. Wordswhittle complained, feeling outraged… simply outraged! “I feel outraged!” she even said.
Recomposing herself, she washed all nasty thoughts away and started again on her venture to see this – this Reverend Lovegood. Much to her disdain, she greeted five more friends and neighbors along her way, and each of them had offered her the same vile treatment as Betty Joe had. One little boy even screamed in a high pitch and ran away shouting, “It’s the witch! It’s the witch!”
That had caused others to stare, and their stares had not been friendly. At one point, a dog chased after her, with its owner yelling encouragements to it. Mrs. Wordswhittle barely escaped him, and even though she had wanted to turn the beast into a stone version of itself, she restrained and brushed the insolence off, just as she had done all morning long.
However under control she seemed to be, her patience was running just a tad bit thin.
It seemed to take a short eternity for her to reach the Founding Love Ministries Church. The tight, brick building was located at the very edge of town, where the mountains met with the clouds in the skyline. The sign atop the building was the most unholy she had ever seen. It depicted Reverend Lovegood donning a halo and wings while smiling and giving a thumbs up with one hand. Resting on his other hand was a large red heart with the name of the church written in white inside. It seemed like something from a cartoon – a cartoon with poor, poor taste.
Gently, she rapped on the front door, but it opened without effort. When she stepped inside, she entered into the echoing chambers of a church-hall. Many pews were stacked in rows, lined up along either side of center walkway. They stopped at an altar near the front with a giant cross dangling from high above. The windows were stained-glass, but they were not decorative and seemed cheap. Everything, in fact, felt rather static and cold.
“Can I help you?” a voice called from beyond the altar, near a back door. The man from the pamphlet slowly approached. “Are you looking for something, Ma’am? Salvation, perhaps? You can always find it here, for God is in this building. God is in me, and if you will let me take your hand, God can be inside of you too!” His smile was robotic and uncannily fake.
“I can do without having the Lord invade my insides, thank you very much,” Mrs. Wordswhittle said in her most elderly of voices. “I’m looking for Reverend Lovegood.”
“See now, you’ve already found what you’re looking for,” the man said, elegantly. “And you are…?”
“I,” she said, taking a sweet step forward, “am Mrs. Wordswhittle.”
“So,” the Reverend said in contemplation, “you are the witch… filled to the brim with the devil’s juices, I imagine.”
Mrs. Wordswhittle could see the black in his eyes – she could feel the darkness in his soul. It slithered off his tongue with each word that he spoke. He was not here to bring the gospel to Chariot. He was here to control it.
“You shouldn’t speak with such a forked tongue, Reverend,” she replied, offering him a wink of her twinkling eye. “It makes for most unpleasant conversations.”
Much to the Reverend’s dismay, his next words were, in fact, spoken with a forked tongue. His tongue was now split straight up the center. When he looked back at the kindly old witch – his expression growing in a panic – Mrs. Wordswhittle was red eyed and angry. “What have you done?” his voice slithered like a snake.
“Chariot is my town,” she explained to him in the most terrifying tone that had ever been whispered through the breezes of Chariot. “There is no place here for evil like you.”
The Reverend fell to his knees, his eyes wide with fright. Sweat poured from his shaky body. He stared at the old witch, who transformed before him. Two spiked horns glistened from atop Mrs. Wordswhittle’s forehead, and a twisted, red tail curled around her legs.
“If you’re going to preach God’s stories,” she told him, her tone menacingly grim, “then your heart must be cleansed.”
Her smile grew wide as she reached to Lovegood’s chest and dug into it, ripping his beating heart from his body. She held it before him and forced him to watch as she bit into it and devoured it – blood gushing between her fingers and lips down to the wooden floor below. Her smile widened further and her horns retreated into her skull as the Reverend fell dead to her feet.
When the sun rose the next morning, the birds chirped more loudly than they had in a long, long time. Mrs. Wordswhittle dressed for the day, fed Prunella her morning tuna and cream, and ventured out for a walk. Stepping out onto the sidewalk, she breathed the fresh air into her and sighed happily.
Across the street, Mr. Davis checked his mail. Mrs. Wordswhittle offered him a kindly wave, and unlike yesterday, he returned the wave with one that was just as sweet.
When she began her walk, she came upon Betty Joe Richardson, once again with her new son. With the same enthusiasm as she had offered yesterday, Mrs. Wordswhittle rushed upon them with open arms.
“How is the baby,” she screamed, hugging Betty Joe with nothing but warmth.
“Look at how he’s grown,” Betty Joe said with a smile all of her own, showing off her child in his stroller.
Parting pleasantries, Mrs. Wordswhittle continued along her way. She waved at and greeted so many people that she felt hoarse and her wrist grew a bit sore, but she felt loved, as every person had greeted her in return. And when she reached the far end of town and she could see the mountains as their tips touched against the clouds, she came to a vacated brick building with a “For Sale” sign attached to the door.
Sighing once more, old Mrs. Wordswhittle smiled her toothy grin, tucked her handbag under her arm, and carried on into her adventures for the day. The first stop – the grocery store!
Copyright Jae El Foster, 2019