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Rings and Fings: Episode 16
Farmer Spike sat across the table from the witch and recounted Spam’s tale of having the shag kicked out of him by the mysterious man in black. He finished his tale and looked at the witch for a reaction, she gave none. He was not a man of patience especially in stressful situations like this. His eyes darted around the small room looking for something, and then finally blurted out, “Well?”
“Well, what?” she returned with a half-smile.
“Oh, she is infuriating,” he thought.
“Well, what do you think is going on? What should we do now?”
Two wooden goblets floated from the fireplace towards the table and landed between them. She picked up one and her eyes insisted that the farmer do the same. He picked up the goblet and eyed the strange orange liquid that swirled in it. The witch took a large sip, and then with a voice as smooth as flame, “Well,” she said emphasizing the word, “It would seem as if she has a protector. He entered the valley just after her car mishap.”
Farmer Spike had just taken a wary sip of the strange drink, but promptly spat it out. “You know about him?”
“Of course, there isn’t much comings and goings in this valley that I don’t know about,” she sipped her drink, smiling at the incredulous man. “In fact he came around here the other morning to buy some herbs, said he was making breakfast.”
If the farmer had taken another swig he would have spat it out again. “What? He was here! How did he find you?”
“He seems to know his way around the valley. Handsome devil, too.”
“Why didn’t you warn us?”
“Warn you about what? A stranger comes to buy herbs from me? There is a lot that happens in this valley that you don’t know about. Would you have me produce a woodland paper so that you and the other yokels can keep up?”
“But he could be a danger to us and our goal. He obviously has powers. Why didn’t you destroy him?”
The white cat jumped onto the table followed by a floating wooden bowl that landed near her.
“I can’t go destroying everything that wanders into the valley and happens across my door, even if I could, and anyway he was buying my herbs.”
Farmer Spike was well aware that her powers were diminished for now. She probably wouldn’t need him quite as much if she was at her full strength.
“And he could have just been passing through, but mainly I thought he might be useful to us.”
“Well, he wasn’t very useful to poor Spam”
The cat began to lap at the liquid in the bowl.
“Yes indeed it would seem you and your son’s clumsy tactics have just encountered a new challenge.”
Sometimes he just wanted to pick her up and throw her in the fire. Was she trying to scare him with these little tricks? He wanted to tell her that folk had changed since the dark ages, but he knew she would just smugly rebuke him, or worse, mentioning that particular time in history always got her back up.
He stood up angrily drinking the liquid down in one gulp as an expression of his ire and immediately regretted it.
Forcing himself to swallow, he leant forward and placed his large hands flat on the table.
“Just tell me this, what is it and how do I kill it?”
The witch raised an eyebrow and smiled at him. The cat began to purr.