The Leechdell Witchs’ Sircle met on the first Friday after every full moon. At this particular meeting, Elder Witch Grizzel had given a wonderful lesson on truly understanding your victim in order to match them with the perfect hex. After that, the sisters of the Sircle began their spell critique session.
Malinda kept her spell tucked inside the pocket of her cloak, patiently waiting her turn. She watched Cholerella perform a lovely wilting spell on a potted violet that had been brought for the demonstration. One by one, the other witches made remarks. Malinda sat on the edge of her seat, her mind in an excited twirl. She knew just what that spell needed.
“Have you tried adding a pinch of toadstool powder?” Malinda asked ever so demurely when it was her turn to speak.
“Why, no,” Cholerella said in surprise. She took a vial from her witch’s kit, and spoke the spell again, sprinkling the powder as she did so. The violet shriveled to dust, the nightshade flowers in Viperena’s hat dropped all their petals, and even the floral print of Ashen’s robes shriveled. The ladies applauded happily. Malinda smiled.
All through the evening, Malinda was able to help every sister improve her spell. She showed Trichsie how to take a spell for a single boil and make the victim instead break out all over. She helped Gastra transform a little thunderstorm spell into a terrible hurricane. When the sisters of the circle had all collected their hats, at last it was Malinda’s turn to share her spell.
It was a very complicated conjuration, and Malinda was a little nervous about it. She had brought a cow for demonstration purposes. The sisters had all watched that cow curiously throughout the night, and now they were about to see what its purpose had been.
Malinda brought the cow to the center of the circle. The cow seemed a bit sleepy, but that didn’t matter. As Malinda read the spell the cow shifted uneasily and bellowed a little. The ladies of the circle let out oohs and ahs as something began to sprout from the cow’s back and color began to spread unevenly over her body.
The admiring sounds stopped when the transformation was complete.
They were as polite as witches could be. “What the devil is that?” Trichsie squawked.
“It’s a dragocow,” Malinda said. The witches stared at her blankly. Malinda added apologetically, “She gives hot milk.”
The cow hadn’t changed much, but now she had short bat wings sprouting from her back, a snake-like scaly tail, and patches of shiny dragon skin raggedly among the coarse hairs of her coat.
On the way home Cholerella tried to comfort Malinda. “You’re just lovely when it comes to mending other’s spells, but you don’t seem to have much gift for writing your own. Why don’t you be content with what you can do? You’re a fine spellmender, and that’s a rare thing.”
“But why can’t I mend my own spells?” Malinda grumbled.
“And it might help if you give up this obsession with dragons, dear. They’re not real, you know.”
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