The Task Force had found the coven by 3pm, so they had some time to wait. The Witches Three were nowhere to be seen, but they had given specific instructions to be at the coven at 7pm exactly.
“Better to be early than late” Psychic Sue said, although she hadn’t really wanted to be four hours early.
The fog had decided that it wasn’t going to clear. In fact, it had gotten thicker in the time they had been waiting. Darkness had descended at 6pm, although it hadn’t really been that much lighter throughout the afternoon. Firetop kept the foursome warm with his controlled heat, and he also provided light, so they could see each other, at least.
They heard a snap from the pathway that ran alongside the old cottage that the Witches referred to as their coven. The snap was followed by a cackle. Then a fizz, a pop and another cackle.
“Oh, do stop, Cheryl Olive!” a voice called out, swiftly followed by “Ooh lookkee! Our guests have arrived!” and yet another cackle.
The Task Force looked to where the voices were coming from, and in the same instant felt hands gripping their upper arms. Well, Lycralad, Firetop and Invisible Charlie did. Psychic Sue just looked on with a bemused smile.
“I’ll have this one…” said the blonde lady with her arms around Lycralad.
“And this one will be mine!” The brunette holding Invisible Charlie was very firm.
“So I’m left with this fiery one!” The curly-haired redhead said, with a very excited tone.
“Ah” Lycralad tried to move away but was held in a tight grip.
“Ladies! Ladies! It is good to see you again!” Psychic Sue decided to help her colleagues out of their predicaments. “Merrell… you must remember Invisible Charlie here?”
“This is Invisible Charlie?” she joked, “My, how you’ve grown since last we met. Please forgive my improper greeting. My word, your muscles really have grown – you must be forever working out”
“And Beryl… surely you know Lycralad?”
“I do remember him now,” Beryl cackled (it was her cackle from earlier!). She stroked Lycralad’s left cheek as she whispered “Such a sweet thing” into his ear. “But I’m not hungry right now, so you’re safe.” She slowly winked and looked over toward Psychic Sue.
“And Cheryl, you do realise that Firetop is a taken man?”
“A taken man? There’s no such thing!” Cheryl blew a gentle kiss onto Firetop’s right cheek. “Beside’s, who would know? There’s only us here…” she released Firetop and looked at Sue. “I’m Cheryl Olive now, by the way, I’ve started using both of my names. We all sounded a little too similar which was quirky to begin with, but we need a unique selling point. Beryl, Merrell and Cheryl was a marketer’s dream; Beryl, Merrell and Cheryl Olive is more of a challenge – and you know we love to offer challenges.”
“So,” Psychic Sue decided to get back to business. “Why did you want us here at 7pm exactly? We were here a little early.”
“You must be starving!” Cheryl Olive replied. “Perfect! 7pm is dinner time. Our brew is now ready, so you must come inside and eat. We will tell you why we need your help over dinner.
“Come in! Come in!”
Cheryl Olive led the way into the cottage through an old and creaky wooden door, which caused the green-coloured fog to swirl around as it opened.
Psychic Sue entered first, followed by Cheryl Olive and Merrell. Beryl ushered Firetop and Invisible Charlie through the door next, and then winked flirtatiously as Lycralad walked passed her. She patted him on the bottom, which caused him to stumble slightly and quickly look around as Beryl whispered “Nice.”
“What was that?” Lycralad managed to say, although his voice was now more of a whisper.
“Oh, it was an owl, dear.” Beryl said, closing the cottage door behind her, “they’re very forward, the owls around here.”