Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Hocus Pocus
Character/Pairing: Winifred, Sarah, Mary
Challenge/Prompt: beattheblackdog 130: Book, fffc r18.19: Click, and faerie_wish13: Fall/Autumn
Word Count: 1,705
Date Written: 12 October 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Disney, not the author, and are used without permission.
She watched the leaves swirl on the rising breeze outside the cabin. There were all shades of brown, yellow, and most greens as well. The world was changing, but so was the season. Soon, she thought to herself, caressing the old, leather bind of the treasured book that had belonged to her mother before it had passed to her, the oldest daughter of three, and, undoubtedly, the smartest. Things were soon going to change for all of them.
There would be no more loneliness, no more wondering from whence their next meal would come, and no more question of who was in charge not just of this family but of the entire world. She was going to rule them all: her sisters, the townspeople who had made fun of them and despised them out of fear since they had been born to a woman who had once helped nearly every damned one of their families, and all the men across the world. Control the men, Winifred knew, and she would have the women as well.
“It’s coming!” she whispered excitedly. “It’s coming, Book! I can feel it!” The volume opened its single eye and looked up at her. It didn’t have a mouth, only that one eye, but Winifred had been able to tell since she had been a little girl when the book was smiling, as it was now. “You know you’ve been my only friend my entire life,” she whispered in a smaller voice. The eye widened and then slowly winked as though agreeing with her.
There was a clicking sound behind her, and the door opened. Her sisters came skipping into the one-room cabin. “Winifred!” Sarah called out. Winifred could tell from her sister’s voice that a bright, disgusting smile was beaming all the way across her face. “Tell me you’re not spending the evening alone again!”
“Of course she is, Sarah. She always does.” Mary, as always, was headed straight for the cabinets and their small supply of food.
“That’s a fine thing to say,” Winifred said with disdain, “when your only companion is food.”
“It’s better than a musty, old book!”
Winifred’s eyes flashed, but she kept her back to her sisters. She caressed her book again, her long fingers sweeping over its thick leather in a comforting embrace. “Better a book and volumes of treasured, powerful information than just a means to gain another hundred pounds or so.” She felt the face that Mary made at her burn into the red hair on the back of her head.
“Now, Winnie,” Sarah chastised, “there’s no need to be mean.”
“There’s no need to be an idiot either, but you two succeed at doing so every day of our lives.”
There were tears in Sarah’s voice when she responded, but Winifred felt no remorse. She never did, no matter how thickly the jabs cut. It was her sisters’ fault, after all, that they were such idiots. They could have learned from their mother, as she had, instead of partying and eating all the time. Winifred had learned well, and had been the only one of Crone Sanderson’s powerful daughters interested in learning the Craft. That was why it was up to her not just to protect and save her family but to conquer this blasted world in which they were forced to live. She wished, with all her black heart, that they had gone to Hell with their mother. She’d learned being down there was a much better existence the one time her mother had allowed her to visit that dimension. There power was respected and never frowned upon or taken for granted, and you didn’t have to waste time on sniffling humans either.
“Winnie, come out with us!” Sarah coaxed. “You’d be in such a better mood if you had a little fun every now and then!”
“I’m not going to waste my life,” Winifred declared with a snarl, “or my powers! You two can frolic all you want! It’s not as though I can stop you. I promised Mother I would protect you.” What a fool she’d been to ever take that oath! But her mother had wanted her to do it, and she had always strove to please her. It was only through her determination to please her mother that she had been allowed to stay with her all the time before she’d died and learn everything she knew. Winifred was not only as powerful as her mother; with her Book in her command, she would soon eclipse even her power. All would bow down before her. “This Samhain,” she whispered, her hold on the magical volume’s spine unconsciously tightening.
“This Samhain,” Sarah informed her in a sing-song voice, “Billy’s going to build a huge campfire, and we’re all going to dance around it and then snuggle beside it when we get tired!” She spun around in a circle, lifting her hands out and up toward the ceiling. “It is going to be the most fun ever!”
Winifred glowered, but she kept her glare turned on the outside world. Not even her sisters would know exactly what she was planning until it was too late. “You do that,” she whispered. I’ll be busy conquering the world, and then you two will be slaves as well.
She turned suddenly from the window and walked over to where Mary was eating their last slice of apple pie. She laid a hand on its crust. “Hey! I’m eating this!”
“You eat everything,” she shot back, but then her eyes rolled up into her head, her irises turning white as she chanted words in an old tongue. She was the only one in this new world who knew the old tongue, but it would live through her. Magic would live through her; her mother would live through her. And these imbeciles would be along for the ride.
“Wow!” Mary exclaimed suddenly, watching as the pie pan filled with more pie. The pie was quickly made whole again. She stuck a finger in one of the new slices and tasted it. “It tastes as good as the real thing!”
“That’s because it is the real thing, you fool,” Winifred snapped, her eyes returning to normal but glowering with hatred and anger down at her fat sister. “Magic is real. It’s real power, not the likes of you two would ever understand it!” She moved from Mary and her pie toward Sarah. “As for you and your precious Billy, I could make him fall in love with me an instant!”
“No, you couldn’t!” Sarah cried out in denial, her blonde head held proudly up. She thrust her breasts outward and made sure that the bodice of her dress was showing as much skin as possible. “This is what controls him! I don’t need any magic!”
Winifred took one look at her sister and then threw her back in riotous laughter. Mary and Sarah looked at each other and then back to Winifred. Chills ran down their spines. The shutters banged open, and the chilly, October wind rushed into the room. It nipped at Sarah and Mary but blew circles around Winifred as though it was there to obey her every command.
“You’ll see,” Winifred said, marching over to the corner of their cabin and retrieving their mother’s old broom. “You’ll all see when I rule the world!” She walked over to the door, broom in hand, threw open their front door, mounted their mother’s broom, and took off into the late afternoon sky where all the townspeople could see her flying high and proud.
They had tried to kill her mother, punishing her for using the Devil’s black arts even when she’d often times used her magic to give them exactly what they’d wanted. Although the Puritans had not succeeded in killing her mother through all the ways they had tried, she had still lost her. That was as it should be, however, she knew. It was time to rise now, her time to rule, and she never would have had the power she now possessed if their mother had lived.
She cackled as she rode high above the town. Looking down, she vowed again, “You will all soon bow down to me, your rightful ruler!” Laughing, she rose higher as darkness settled in until she was playing tag with the stars themselves and riding high above the waxing moon.
Left alone in the cabin, Mary watched her sister’s silhouette as she flew. She took another bite of apple pie. Winifred was scary and mean, but if magic allowed food to replenish itself as the pie had been doing ever since Winifred had cast her spell over it, perhaps it was worth learning after all.
Sarah, out in the village again, looked up from her young lover’s arms. “What’s wrong?” Billy asked her as a cold chill ran down both their spines.
“I have a feeling,” she said, pouting, “that our whole world is about to change, and not necessarily, despite what Winnie says, for the better.” She frowned.
“No matter what happens,” he vowed, cupping her beautiful face in his hands and lifting her gaze to meet his, “I promise you there is one thing that will not change: I will love you forever, Sarah Sanderson.”
She smiled. “Tell me that again, Billy,” she said and kissed him. He did so, kissing her and beginning to lay her down on a cool carpet of grass and leaves.
Winifred rode high above them, still sneering at her sisters. She would free Sarah of Billy and Mary of her food addiction. She would free them and protect them as she had promised their mother she would, but she would rule over them as well. She would rule over the whole world, Winifred promised herself again. With Book safely nestled into the crook of her arm and her hands holding fast to her mother’s broomstick, everything seemed possible. Everything was possible with the magic she’d learned from her mother and expanded on. She would rule, and all those who had come against her and her mother would regret the days they and their ancestors had been born. It was just a matter of time.