Witch Service Do You Require? #writephoto

This week’s #writephoto prompt is

Witch Service Do You Require?

Dorian Pettimoron parked the van and lifted the clipboard from his colleague’s knees. As he checked the schedule he called behind him, ‘Prennie, your knees are fully charged. You want me to pass them back?’

Prendegast Semi-Braine held up an arm and studied it carefully. ‘My humorous is wearing out.’

‘You need some new material.’

‘It’s no joke, Dori.’ He squinted at the left knee; the little green light gleaned brightly in the gloom. He clipped the knee in place and picked up the second. ‘What’s next?’

‘Another disconnection. A Mrs Asgoode is behind with her potions. We’ve to cap off her mains magic until she meets her obligations.’

‘Poor old dear. This cost of spelling crisis is a right nightmare for the elderly.’

‘You don’t know her circs. She’s not necessarily a vulnerable witch. She might equally well be playing tricks.’

‘Isn’t that what witches do?’

‘Her status been verified. Though I’m not busting through an invisibility cloak only to find her lobbing hexes at my privates, so we better be prepared.’

Dorian checked the second page. ‘It says the blue door has untamperable magic stars on it. Touch any and the next thing you know, you’re in orbit.’

‘We could knock?’

‘Bit radical for a bailiff, don’t you think?’

Prendegast sniffed. ‘Does it say where the mains magic enters the house?’

‘The inspectors did a preliminary sweep and found it in the broom cupboard.’

‘Right ho. Well it looks like that’s the door. You grab the hexometer and I’ll…’ he swallowed, ‘knock.’ Dorian approached the quivering portal and rapped hard.

A rumbling noise rolled towards them, before the door fell forward, neatly missing a surprised Dorian.

The woman, cloaked and steaming held out a hand. ‘Sorry about that. The milkman cursed it last week when I didn’t pay my bill and its been unhinged ever since.’ She picked it up with a surprising alacrity.

Dorian nodded his approval. ‘Is that an Egyptian alacrity? What a surprise?’

The woman eyed him suspiciously. ‘Are you charming?’

The bailiff took a step back. ‘Merely precautionary madam. Our job isn’t straightforward.’

‘Why are you here?’

‘We need to cut off your magic supply, I’m afraid.’

The old woman sagged a little. ‘I suppose it’s understandable. I’ve not paid for my sourceries for weeks. Is there an alternative?’

‘Well, there have been a few scandals recently but if you’re willing we could instal something. It can be costly.’

‘Do I have a choice?’

‘Not really. I’ll ask my colleague to grab one from the van.’ Dorian nodded at Prendegast who turned back to the road.

‘So what is this gizmo?’

‘It’s called a spell-checker. Every time you plug in your wand or conjure up an abracadabra it checks to see if your spell is in the approved form and what it’s going to cost you.’

The old woman nodded her approval. ‘That might not be bad idea. I tried to curse my sister as a stupid witch last week, it came out as stupid bitch and she’s been on heat all week. Her husband’s had to buy some air conditioning and wants to charge me…’

Prendegast reappeared. ‘Where shall we put it?’

She pointed behind the door. ‘In the broom cupboard.’

While he fiddled with the installation, she asked Dorian, ‘Will you charge me anything?’

He smiled reassuringly. ‘We’ll brush the cost under the carpet. Now why don’t you show me your alacrity?’

She smiled. ‘This way. And do you want to stroke my familiar while you wait?’


‘Of course it is.’

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in #writephoto, creative writing, flash fiction, humour, miscellany and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Witch Service Do You Require? #writephoto

  1. tootlepedal says:

    The spell checker was the icing on the cake.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That was a stroke of genius and, if you have any left, I’d be only too happy to take a phew off your hands!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. willowdot21 says:

    I had some Egyptian alacrity once but Ruby ate it! Does the spell checker take shillings or half crowns?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. V.M.Sang says:

    I love the spell checker! Very clever.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. noelleg44 says:

    I could use a spell checker for the days when I am casting evil spells on certain people. Luckily not often!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. da-AL says:

    So glad I happened onto your site — I love anything to do with writing & would be thrilled if you’d write a guest blog post for my site! My blog is for anyone who loves writing, books, and all the arts. If you think it might be fun or helpful to have my followers (who total about 10k across my various social media) meet you, here’s the link for general guidelines: https://wp.me/p6OZAy-1eQ


  7. Jemima Pett says:

    You’ve outpunned yourself there! Great work.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jennie says:

    Creativity and humor at its best!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. KL Caley says:

    ‘This way. And do you want to stroke my familiar while you wait?’

    Well, if ever there was a way to perfectly end a hilarious, magical story, these last few lines were it. I feel like Sid James and Barbara Windsor could have played these roles perfectly 👌

    Thank you so much for a marvellous #Writephoto entry. KL ❤


Comments are closed.