A horrid stench filled the air all once and Brent and Som looked at the garbage cans that lined one wall but they appeared to be empty. Just then an all too familiar hiss sounded behind them and then a loud screech. Brent whirled around and there stood the witch inches from his face. He jumped back in panic as she lifted her face and he saw her eyes for the first time.
They were gleaming yellow orbs with pupils as black as midnight. They seemed to be staring right into his soul and he felt his knees turn to jelly. A smile lifted the corners of her thin lips and the bird on her shoulder hissed again.
Som stood mesmerized by the scene and the witch turned her attention to him. She pointed at him and spoke in Thai. He shook his head and backed up a step. Brent wished he hadn’t agreed to let him be a part of things.
“What did she say Sam?”
“She says it’s all my fault. I shouldn’t have given you the crystal.”
“Tell her I have what she wants. Tell her she has to deal with me.”
Som spoke to the witch while Brent watched her face. At length she turned her attention back to Brent and pointed a bony finger at him. She spoke again, her voice deep and raspy with a menacing quality.
Som listened and then translated. “She says you must hand her the crystal and she will lift the hex.”
Brent knew that wasn’t all. “What else Sam?”
Som lowered his face and spoke in a soft voice. “She says if we try anything she will turn both of us into cockroaches.”
“Okay, listen, we’re gonna do this just like we discussed. I’ll get out the crystal and as soon as I drop it in her hand you tell her we just want to go. Try to distract her while I uncork the magic. Can you do that?”
“Yes mister Brent. I’m scared though.”
“Me too Sam. Okay, here we go.”
Brent took the crystal out of his pocket and held it in front of the witches face. She stared at it and then held her hand out in front of her. Brent slid his other hand into his pocket making sure her eyes were on the crystal. He reached out and dropped it into her hand and Som began speaking to her. Her eyes moved briefly from the crystal to Som and Brent whipped the vial out and poured the contents on the crystal.
What happened next would be forever etched on both his and Som’s mind. A bright purple flame radiated from her hand and engulfed her before anyone except the bird could react. It hissed and flew up over the rooftops. Brent and Som staggered backwards and stared in horror as the witch let out a scream and the flame flared and then disappeared.
All that remained was a pile of ashes on the ground in front of them. Brent looked at Som in shock.
“Did the old man say anything about this happening?”
Som shook his head and ran back out to the street. Brent followed suit. They walked to the park and sat down on a bench and stared into space for a long while. At last Brent spoke.
“I guess it’s over my friend. No more witch, no more hex. Thank you Som. Thank you so much for helping me through this.”
Som smiled and nodded then stood up. “I should go home now mister Brent. You go back to New Zealand now?”
“Yeah Som, I should get back to work. Listen, I’ll come back again soon and when I do I’ll buy you an ice cream, okay?”
The next morning he called the airline and booked a flight back. He picked up his car and headed home. As exhausted as he was from the ordeal he had been through he failed to notice the bird sitting n the lowest branch of the pohutukawa tree as he unlocked the front door.