The writing of A. F. Waddell has been characterized by culinary bikers,
literary ghosts, women on the road, New Orleans detectives, Marilyn & JFK,
California screenwriters, nineteen-fifties culture parody and more.


The Blancshire Witch Projects

.... They begged for Prescriptions of Medicines: she oft’ substituted Cannabis. It was believed that the Weed improved Appetite and Mood and was good for the Treatment of Pain. The Sick improved. The Others became less worrisome....

 
one. expectation 

"Bring good luck!"
"Bring forth rain!"
"Kill my neighbour!" 

The Demands could be great; Clients could be mean-spirited and unethical; being a Witch was no small Undertaking. For her Amusement and for the Amusement of Others, she oft’ rode a Broomstick. Such was the Expectation; she had an Image to maintain whilst handling the Challenges of the Day: Townsfolk and Farmers in need of Spell Craft; greedy Merchants in Want of Alchemist Magick; the Sick in Need of herbal Preparations. 

Many spoke not of their personal Problems and Concerns, as in the Grand Scheme of Things many Concerns seemed to be of an indeed trivial Nature. Problems of Romance or social Climbing paled when compared with Issues of basic Survival: crop Yield, the Provision of good Water, Fodder for Fire and the Avoidance of Accidents and Death.

Many Persons were obsessed with the Possibility of Illness; some imagined Illness; some imagined evil Force caused their Sickness. It was true that many used Illness, real or imagined, to achieve Ends. Zilla dreaded such Clients: it took much Energy to allay their Fears. They had many Queries and referred to a writ List of vast Disorders. They begged for Prescriptions of Medicines: she oft’ substituted Cannabis. It was believed that the Weed improved Appetite and Mood and was good for the Treatment of Pain. The Sick improved. Others became less worrisome.


two. maida  
Maida was a Farmer and Shepherd who’d come to inquire of Spells for her Sheep and Crops. She sought a more efficient growth Process for Wool and Cotton.  
"I want Pre-colouration. Please make the Wool and Cotton naturally grow in sundry Colours. Is this possible, Zilla?"  
"This seems probable and likely. At what Rate do you wish Growth? Which Colours are of Interest to you? Please be specific of Want and Need lest we have unusual Results. And this Spell shall cost you."  

Thus began their Friendship and Zilla's Work.

‘O Hair of Lamb
‘O cotton Tuft
Be not White
But Red as Cherry
Yellow as Sun
Blue as Sea . . .
Beast and Plant
Of many Colours be!

 Maida's Flocks and Crops soon brightly flourished. Her Competitors and Neighbours were outraged and proclaimed her evil. She’d become uneasy; Zilla provided Companionship.

As Zilla bathed in Anticipation of Company with Maida, she took Pride in the Fact that she need share her bathing Water with no Others. Oft’ entire Families used the same Tub of Water: first the Man of the House; all the other Men and Sons; the Women; the other Children; last of all, the Babes. The Water would become filthy and thick. It was sadly rumoured that many a Babe was lost: thrown out with the bath Water! 

In many Homes, Baths were quite infrequent. Zilla shuddered at the Thought. Had she not Access to Water and Magick, then she too might go dirty. Had she political Power, she might have promised "Water in every Tub!"  "A Tub in every Home!" 

She loved her bathing Tub; she oft flew in it. She’d acquired a Shell from the Sea: a Mollusk. She’d cast a Spell and made it large. It would now accommodate a Grown Human Being! It had a beautiful Inside: Mother of Pearl sparkled and reflected in the Water. Plant Life sometimes grew from its Crevices. Laying her Head against its Side, she could hear a gentle Roar. Her Tub held a large Measure of Water but was unstable due to its curved and irregular Bottom: she soaked and floated in her rocking Tub. Soaking in Water, Eyes closed, caused her to Mind-Fly.  Note: Practickal Magicks indeed! Create Comfort Magick for average Folk: easy Access to good Water and Food and Dwelling! Make it affordable: decrease Costs! Easily offset Costs by selectively overcharging rich and irritating Clients. 

Zilla and Maida walked the Pastures. They sometimes closely sat and watched the Lambs: spotted and striped Creatures of pink and yellow and blue.
"Zilla, my Neighbours do so over-react! You’d think I’d changed a Church Father into a Toad!" her Friend fretted. "I fear for my Well-Being."
"Changing Man into Frog? That's my Work! Don't worry so. I can cast a Spell to protect you. Though it shall cost you."
"Very well. Though your spell Poetry needs Craft, Zilla!"


three. osi  
Maintenance and Improvement on Zilla's Dwelling could be a Challenge, though she could perform some Work. Her bathing Tub she could plug if it sprang a Leak. Certain Projects however were impossible or distasteful for her to handle - must she use her magicks on domesticities after all? In this Instance Zilla might choose being dependent upon the good Graces and working Schedule of a Builder. A local Man by the name of Osi was highly regarded. 

Builders indeed worked great Magicks, but tended to be arrogant and fickle. Their Projects oft’ remained unfinished for many a Moon! The Job would be an Addition, a Room to be used for working and lounging and sleeping.

"Osi, please arrange it so that it gets much Light! It should be round in Shape. Make it transparent, of Glass! With Patches of  Mother-Of-Pearl Inlay! With a solid Mother-Of-Pearl Door to the Outside. Might you be able to do such?"
"Not a problem . . . " Osi promised. "We must first take down the east Wall."
"Well . . . if you must. But how long until it's built? How long?"
"A Moon or two, depending . . .  will be a large Job for my glass Man." Builder Variables tended to be vague.
The Wall came down. Osi disappeared. It rained. A Magick Spell seemed in Order to bid Osi's Return!

‘O Workman, Workman
Of Wood and Stone
Hammer and Nail
Dust and Earth . . .
‘O Workman, Workman
What you've left
In your Wake!
The Leakage, the Mess! . . .
Return!
We've an Agreement
Comply . . . comply!

Osi returned the following Day. "I apologise for the Delay. I was seeking Materials."I see."

When finished, the round Room was indeed magickal: of Glass and Mother of Pearl, filled with Prisms of Light. Its Appearance was however askew: the sparkling Dome-like Structure sprouting from the Side of a square-ish Building!

Her Light Room faced Gardens and Forest. Greenery draped it; Dapples of Light shone through. In the Center of the Room she placed Bedding. A specially made four-poster Frame supported Feather Mattresses; a night Table to the Right; a Table and Chair to the Left. Zilla enjoyed  working and lounging Naked in the Light. As she gazed out towards the Trees, she oft’ imagined human Faces intertwined therein. Acorns fell and bounced atop her LightRoom. Inking her Notepaper and daydreaming, she lie upon her Bed, almost dozing, Sunlight and Shadow playing upon her.

A Knocking at her Door brought her to Awareness.  She stood and put on a Robe. At the Door she slightly opened it and peered out, to see Osi standing there.
"Why such Modesty? Your Walls are Glass."
"I have a Crack in my Wall. Will you look at it?"
"I'll tend to it."


four. inspiration  
Practickal Magicks indeed! Zilla wrote in her Notebook of Projects. She tended to be excited by new Ideas.
I.  Create a non-stick Caldron for easier Cookery and Magicks and Cleanliness. Create a special Coating for cast Iron, or create new Material. Make it Light of Weight.
II. Create Weed-Free Crops: Bless the bountiful Edibles; curse the persistent Parasiticals! Alternate Plan: Create Market for pesky Weeds: promote as tasty and healthy. Open an eatery Establishment. Put weed Greens upon Menu.
III. Create a new and improved Broomstick: add a soft Fiber Padding and cover with animal Skin. Create elaborately carved safety Handles upon either End, for flying side Saddle.
IV. Create a Man Caller: The Man-Flute would be carved of special Wood and unique Form. As Air would be blown through it, its Shape and Dimensions would produce strange and unusual Sounds to attract the Man-Creature. Note: refine Product to attract specific Types of Men.
V. Create a Love Glove for the Male. If Need be, use the Psyche Pharmacopeia to induce him to put it on before Relations.
VI. Create a babe Sitter: a soft and warm Form which would emit a Calming Soundbeat.


Five. birthing babes  
Zilla  considered the Act of Childbirth. Having attended Births, she was shocked by its bloody Violence and Physicality yet seeming Lack of physical Logic and Law: she'ed  seen a Babe born; it had powerfully come forth as the Body opened, stretching the Mother's Opening to alarming Proportions. How could this be? How was this possible? She wondered. It had been a new and extraordinary Act to her. She determined that God, as Such, was likely a Male: I shall give Woman certain Powers. She shall bring forth Life in Pain. She shall pass large and squalling Babes through a small bodily Portal. Ether won't be concocted until the 19th century. The Association of Suffering and carnal Pleasure shall be a Form of social Control. In Fairness I shall also give her Eyes in the Back of her Head and great intuitive Ability.

She considered Motherhood. Information seemed scant and did not seem to reveal Facts about the Carrying of a Child, but seemed only to advise many Strictures upon the Mother's Behavior. The Gist of the Matter: Motherhood was a large Responsibility and in a Way of Thinking, an arrogant Act; Childbirth was dangerous and could lead to the Boneyard. It was no small Task to have and raise a Child in this Day and age.  Note: Create palatable herbal Blend as Preventative. 


six. enhancement 
Zilla and Maida developed a rich History of Work Collaboration. The Results of their first Project had proven quite popular: Wool and Cotton that grew in myriad Colours provided Inventory for Maida's Garment Shoppe, Flocks and Frocks.

They soon put their Heads together in Creation of more Colour Spell Magick! Women came from afar and dearly paid to alter the Colour of their Locks. Colour played upon Women's Hair and Skin. Dramatic female Locks flowed over Skin and Silk. Pale Women manifested Pink Hues upon their Cheeks and Lips. Their nether Parts and Fluff shone with Colours. Red Indent and Delta covered by pink Curls seemed Candy-like. Blue Cleft sprouting white Fluff seemed a Triangular Sky. Purple Slash adorned by Lavender Fur seemed a beckoning Bloom. 

Men too liked to decorate and enhance their Bodies: red and white Swirls wrapped their Appendages. Instead of simply Colours, many requested battle and sporting Scenes. Art came to Life and Action as Bodies rose and grew. 

For Leather Enthusiasts, they imagined many-hued Skins. A special double-skinned Bovine might be created, which would sport diversely coloured and patterned outer Skins. It was a Conundrum, Persons' Relationship to Leather. Skins in their Practicality made good Saddles and Shields and Whips and Such, yet there existed a frivolous Need for its Texture and Smell. A Puzzlement indeed: that Persons should have an Attraction to the cured Skin of a dead Beast! 

In their Workbooks were Notes of Projects; neither Zilla nor Maida were Gossips nor Braggarts. The Bovine Leather Project: into the Beast's outer Skin incorporate a Fastener with Teeth on Strips of Tape and a Sliding Piece that draws the Opening together. Use it to painlessly harvest the Beast's Skin. Note: Use same Opener/Closer to deliver Babes! 

Create a Toy Shoppe and Play Rooms for the Adult Person! Create Forms of Paraphernalia for Stimulation and Satisfaction. From smooth to rough, from diminutive to biggish. Note: What Sensiform might be best-enjoyed? They wondered. Provide Entertainment for Females and Males and Others. Offer Scenarios for Sale. Create Imagery and Literature . . .


seven. visitor  
Zilla rose and stood in her bathing Tub, in which she sometimes flew. Its Inside sparkled and contrasted with her flushed Skin. Looking down, her Point of View showed Breasts and biggish Feet poking forth, as if there was no Middle Ground of Belly and Legs. The Form seemed indeed a strange Sight, draped Globes from which pointed digited Appendages. She chuckled. Having smoked the Weed, she wondered if this was a false Perception, a Hallucination! She loved smoking Cannabis and Soaking in the Tub, as it seemed to dissolve bad Magicks of Reality, to take away the Residue of negative Occurrences, as if Memories of Happenings were trapped upon her Skin. A Knocking on the Door took her from her Trance. She put on her Robe and rushed to the Door and opened it.
Osi stood at her Threshold. "What Knockers!"
"Thank you. I had them especially made."
"Zilla, you're looking healthy."
She laughed. "Why, thank you, Osi. I'm very well. Come inside."
He passed through the Door and perused her Home: Wooden Tables and Chairs adorned a front Room. Touches of Fabrick and Candles and Greenery softened hard Lines.
"`Tis a lovely Room you've made. I should work on my Home. What a Dump!"
"Thank you. I could help you make your Home more pleasing and comfortable. Though it would cost you."  

Zilla and Maida performed home Beautification as a Sideline; their Products however tended to change Form: a Table and four Chairs might transmogrify into four Tables and a Chair!
"Now, please come back and tend to my Wall."


eight. rumours  
Zilla and Maida sat on a Hill near Maida's Pastures, the Lambs' multi-coloured Droppings decorating the Grass. As Maida gazed into the Distance, Zilla read The Blancshire Gazette headline. Disorders of Bodily Alterations and Discolourations Disquiet Community - Be The Devil Amongst Us? 
"I have an Idea! Might we use Colour Magick on the Earth, Plants and Trees?"
"Maida, I think not. Not now. It wouldn't be prudent. Why don't you sew us new Garments instead?" 

 Next:
The Maunderers
. . . . Dream-life and Reality plague her - yet again. Vampires! Demons! Organised Religion! Would the Horrors never cease?  . . . .