Before we start I would like to say that this is the first instalment in what will be an series of short stories about Eliza Belmont. She's a witch, and she hates everything. As regular readers will know, she has previously appeared in Eliza is a Witch and I Can't Be Any Clearer. I liked her so much I wanted to write more things for her, so this is the first in what will be a series of stories under the heading Witch's Bile. I hope you enjoy reading her as much as I enjoyed writing her.
WITCH'S BILE PART ONE: ELIZA SAYS HI.
I moved to America because I hate it here. I never feel any inclination to go outside, to talk to anyone, to find out how anyone’s day has been. Yes, it’s big enough to get lost in, but anyone who knows me, or knew me, would know me well enough to know that I’d never hide out here.
I haven’t been hiding. Scratch that. Hiding implies…fear. I’ve been avoiding. Avoiding, yes. Fuck hiding.
And if I’m being honest I can’t say that I hate America too much, at least not anymore. I suppose it’s grown on me. I mean, I’ve held onto my accent, as you can tell. I’ve held onto it like a whore to a headboard. Which makes them more curious. All these welcoming little towns, all these welcoming little people (not all of them little, mind you) so inquisitive about their new neighbours. Well, the welcome stops once they find out what I am and that’s fine by me.
I’m a witch. But you know that. I’ve been told that the purpose of these tapes is to account for my actions over the past few years and to keep you informed as to what my actions continue to be. Clunky wording. Anyway, it sounded like a stupid idea. I was going to say “Why didn’t you just punish me?” but then this is punishment, isn’t it, Émilie Étienne? Clever bitch. Full name appropriate. You earn the full version. Spat.
So what am I doing here? That’s question one, right? I ran away. I wanted to be left alone. I felt that the coven was getting a little too…rigid and I wanted to be free to do whatever I wanted. You were telling us when and where we could do what we do and I had no interest in that. Still don’t. Of course, one of the disadvantages of running away from an oppressive regime like yours is that you sacrifice most of your freedom just to keep your head down. Can’t have anyone noticing me fixing the telly or killing somebody.
And yes, I’ve killed. I’ve killed quite a lot but this is only because people are too inquisitive for their own good. Like I said: small towns. People wondering what exactly that strange middle aged woman with the mad hair is doing behind those closed curtains. Finally, a neighbourhood kid breaks in to prove he’s not scared, and so I give him something to be scared about. The first child I sent back outside with all the skin removed from his face provoked the biggest scream I’ve ever heard, so big I found the name of the boy responsible and wrote it down. Edgar Fortham. Big kid. Big lungs.
Anyway, I moved, didn’t I? I couldn’t stay there. And in the next town I told everyone exactly what I was, and made it clear what would happen if I wasn’t left alone. And what happened? Exactly the same thing. Except this time I didn’t stop at the face, I took his heart too. I stopped the half-measures. But people, and I’ve learned this is especially true of children, never do what you tell them to.
Was I practising magic in the meantime, killing aside? Of course. But never too much, always keeping it quiet enough that you people wouldn’t notice. I know how it works. As long as you keep it small, insignificant, things get past you, Émilie, queen bee, even if you pretend they don’t. But then there was the incident last week. Four bodies in one night. I didn’t have time to clean up properly; apparently they found teeth in the carpet. Teeth. I’m getting sloppy.
But I’d already left and found a new home. I’m there not two days before your lackey comes knocking on my door. Dressed formally. A card announcing who she is. Blonde hair down to her skinny waist. Tight little smile. So pleased to be on official business. And she had that telephone with her. She gave it to me and before I could think, I took it. And there was your voice.
“Eliza, how lovely to hear from you,” you said, before I’d said a word. And I knew I was fucked.
And you explained how you’d found me. How you’d decided to send this little blonde girl to tell me. How you want her to be my protégé. Then you hung up before I could really get going on my protest so I took it out on the girl. Jo, she said her name was. Yeah, Jo got an earful.
I know you like this system, this mentoring the next generation thing, but I don’t see what she’s going to learn from me. I can teach her how to be a reclusive freak who kills small children, is that what you wanted? I can teach her to hate you. I’ve certainly got that down. Or I could set her on fire. But you’ve got me trapped now, you’ve got me cornered. So I suppose I’m stuck with her. She told me she couldn’t wait to work with me. What exactly did you tell her about me?
So, this is Eliza, telling you to go fuck yourself, and thanks for the assistant. I’m sure she’s in constant contact with you and you’ll be telling her what to do, so let’s see how long she lasts.
One thing that has made my day: The look on her face when I told her that I was your daughter. I take it you’ve still got the body of a twenty nine year old, you old bitch. Ha. Whatever I slithered out of was at least a hundred.
Eliza and Jo will return in Witch's Bile Two: Getting to Know You.
I hope you enjoyed it, please let me know what you thought!