The Weakest Witch

By on Sep 12, 2011 in Fiction

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Weakest witch graphic

Reverend Dawkins stands, his voice taking on the commanding tone of a man used to convincing his audience. “Her master. Through dreams, and then later through your presence, you have controlled and commanded her. She is guilty only insofar as a child may be guilty of blindly following the dictates of a cruel parent. Only at the last minute, despite being faced with her tormentor, has she found the courage and strength to speak out. Whether your influence has extended to these other women remains to be seen, but I state that Goody Radcliff is no witch, only the unwilling thrall of a warlock — and that warlock is you!”

“What? You would believe the ravings of a near-condemned woman over that of a state-appointed judge?”

“Oh, it is not merely the word of Goody Radcliffe which condemns you. Your housekeeper has heard you muttering to yourself, and you have been witnessed by the townsfolk addressing an unseen presence.”

“That is preposterous. I am no warlock! I am an ac … a magistrate. How dare you accuse me!”

“There is evidence, sir. Material evidence. Specifically, this!”

Reverend Dawkins holds up the black cube which we have seen previously when the “judge” has been alone — the monitor which displays viewing figures and statistics.  People around are stirring and pointing, their faces showing a mixture of fear, anger and anticipation.

“Where did you get that?”

“Ah, so you recognize this device of Satan.”

“Not at all —”

“I found it here, in this very building. Goody Radcliff stated that you kept this vile artifact close to you at all times. She spoke truly. We found it in the anteroom behind you, a room occupied by noone other than yourself this day. What say you now “judge”?

“I… this a misunderstanding, which I am sure can be cleared up. As for that object I have never —”

“This is what I think of your devil”s tools. I shall stamp upon them and grind them into the dirt.” The Reverend throws the monitor to the ground and stamps on it. Plastic casings pop, and delicate electronics shatter.

“Oh, God.”

“Now you call upon the Lord! He will not save you!”

“No, looks like no-one will. Oh, shit.”

“Cease your foul utterances! Goody Radcliff alleges that you have on your person further demonic devices whose minute size makes them easy to hide from god-fearing folk but which are, nonetheless, instruments of the devil. I say that you shall be seized and searched, and if such items be found, then we shall have found our witch.”

“Come on. You can’t really think I’m a witch. I know things aren”t entirely what they seem, but I can explain —”

The noise in the courtroom ramps up as muttering turns to cries and demands for justice. Reverend Dawkins screams out, “People of Martinstown, seize him!”

People stand up and advance, hatred on their faces. Through a gap in the crowd, Rebecca Radcliff can be seen, smiling triumphantly. She taps one finger briefly to the side of her head, then cups her hand to her mouth to shout. Her voice can only just be heard over the mob.

“Shoulda stuck to implants, buddy. My network did.”

<Cut to black.>

Passion Contents

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Jaine Fenn is a British science-fiction writer. Her short stories have appeared in various 'zines including Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, On Spec and GUD. She is the author of the Hidden Empire series of books, the first two of which, Principles of Angels and Consorts of Heaven, are published in the UK by Gollancz. She has no time for reality TV shows, because they combine two things she dislikes. Her Web site can be found at

One Comment

  1. Keep this going please, grea job!