Friday, 16 September 2011

Friday Flash - Spell Check

Hetty Rae stacked the black leather bound volumes in the centre of the chalk-drawn circle. The candlelight glinted on their gold leaf titles. Advanced Spellcasting for Witchlings. Earth, Wind & Fire - A Musical Guide to Magic. 101 Essential Money $pells. Hex Appeal - A Guide to Love & Curses. They were just the volumes she could see. She pushed her hands through her tangled mass of curls and sighed. The black cat on the dresser tutted.

"It's no good, Ripley. There's no way I can learn all of this by tomorrow," said Hetty. She gestured to the small mountain of books.

The cat twitched its tail and wrinkled its nose.

"Don't look at me like that! I did try, but I just had too many distractions. Do you know how many Spellville game requests I get every day?"

Ripley jumped off the dresser and stalked out of the room. Hetty scowled at the retreating cat and returned her attention to the print out in her hand. The circle now drawn, she just needed to light the quarter candles.

“Iridio!” She flicked her wand at the Earth candle at the north point of the circle. Sparks sputtered and fizzed from the tip of the wand, spraying the floor with a shower of iridescent specks.

“Grotbags!”

Hetty threw her wand onto her bed and dropped to her hands and knees. She crawled around the circle, lighting each candle with a match. She glared at the wand, cursing the sticky tape holding both ends together.

“Good job I don’t need that useless thing for this spell,” she muttered.

The candles lit, Hetty snapped off the overhead light and stepped into the circle. She consulted the print-out once more and drew a symbol in the air above the books, careful to follow the design on the paper. Hetty cleared her throat and read the words.

“Avicus, avirum, libri gruder,
Toeticus, toetivum, libri ruber!”

The candles flared red, and went out. Hetty felt her way across the room, her foot connecting with both the pile of books and a candle. She fumbled on the wall for the switch. Light flooded the room.

Hetty gasped. One candle was on its side in a pool of rapidly hardening wax. The books lay in a tumble in the circle, their leather bound covers now scarlet. Hetty snatched up the top volume to find all of the pages were now crimson, their barely discernible text now maroon.

The door opened and Hetty’s roommate walked in. Sassy Fae cradled Ripley in her arms. Hetty pulled a face at the cat’s smug expression.

“Harriet! You’re supposed to be revising! What on earth happened?” asked Sassy. She surveyed the toppled pile of bright red books.

“I did a spell...it went a bit wrong.”

“Show me?”

Hetty handed over the print out. Sassy raised an eyebrow.

"Where did you get this spell?" she asked.

"Witchipedia." Hetty dropped her gaze to the floor.

"Oh you little idiot - I'm guessing you didn't run it through the spell checker?"

“No.”

“Ruder means red as in colour, not read as in ‘read the book and learned every word because she didn’t revise’!”

Hetty sighed and sat on the floor at the foot of her bed. She hauled the nearest book into her lap and flipped it open. She squinted to read the dark red text against the bright red page.

“What are you doing?” asked Sassy.

“I’ve got an exam tomorrow, don’t I? Seems these books aren’t going to be read by themselves.”

30 comments:

afullnessinbrevity said...

Love the mix of fantasy and pop culture. Brilliant.
Adam B @revhappiness

Michael A Tate said...

Never trust what you find on witchipedia!

Helen said...

Ha ha well wikipedia is all well and good as long as you understand what you're reading!

Fun piece Icy!

helen-scribbles

storytreasury said...

LOL witchipedia! This was fun to read.

W. J. Howard said...

Love what you did with this story, especially the play on spell checker.

Tony Noland said...

*snort* Witchipedia! *snort!*

FARfetched said...

Clever and humorous all down the line — loved this!

John Wiswell said...

This is what happens when magic goes mainstream! Oh, for shame, Witchipedia (although I thoroughly endorse the portmanteau).

Tim VanSant Writes said...

One must always check the primary sources referenced by Witchipedia.

Fun clash of cultures.

Gemz said...

Fantastic! I love how you've taken stuff like Farmville and Wikipedia and put a witchy spin on them. "Witchipedia" is just inspired!

Jen Brubacher said...

Ha! Any witch that uses Witchipedia deserves what she gets. ;)

Craig Smith said...

Brilliant Icy!

i think you should totally talk to Zynga about Spellville. Could be quite lucrative :).

pegjet said...

I hate it when witchepedia lets you down.
Fun and clever.

theothersideofdeanna said...

Ahahahaha! Witchepedia - that's just great Icy...hilarious!

Bev said...

Hysterical! Oh how technology messes with us :)

John Xero said...

hah =D

Packed full of puns, great book titles, thoroughly enjoyable read. =)

Karen from Mentor said...

"Grotbags!” is a wonderful swearword.

:0)

PS: This piece was adorable.

JC Rosen said...

Too funny, Icy. Just today, I used an Irish phrase from Wikipedia and a young Irish friend corrected the spelling. Especially loved the book titles. Really well done.

Take care,
JC

antisocialbutterflie said...

Very fun. I was waiting to see where it went wrong. In my opinion Hetty got off very easy. Like wikipedia I bet only the obscure spells on witchipedia are accurate. Great job.

Theres just life said...

HEE HEE HEE...love it. Great story, good modern culture references, and a know-it-all cat. What more could you ask for....

Pamela Jo

Icy Sedgwick said...

Glad everyone enjoyed it!

Steve Green said...

Haha, Witchipedia? Love it! Also the spell-checker, and the titles... 101 essential money $pells, Hmmm, maybe I could borrow that one for a day or two?n n :)

I love the name Ripley, is the cat named after Ripley from the Aliens films?

Stephen said...

The spell checker took the prize for me as well. What a wonderful play on words. Excellent job and a fun story indeed!

Ray said...

This was even better than a McD "Big Mac". Well satisfying. - I'm LUVIN' IT

brainhaze said...

Hahaha excellent - I love the little bits of added detail like Witchapedia! Great story Icy - this could easily have a sequel :)

Kemari said...

As a no-longer-practicing Wiccan (and word nerd), I loved this! The play on words, the nifty little moral hidden inside, and of course, Witchipedia! A more modern, female version of Harry Potter (but much more clever, if you ask me!).

Definitely want to read more about Hetty Rae (hint hint).

Icy Sedgwick said...

Steve - Coming up with the book titles was my favourite part! And yes, Ripley is named after Ripley in Alien!

Stephen - Glad you liked it!

Ray - Good!

Brainhaze - Maybe it will!

Kemari - Hetty Rae might yet have more adventures!

Emilia Quill said...

"Witchipedia" and "Spellville" cracked me up. Scary to think I almost missed this.

Liminal Fiction said...

Very entertaining. When it comes to witchcraft, I suppose it's best to dot the i's and cross the t's!

Stephen said...

That's what you get for trying to cheat on the revision! Witchipedia, indeed. I bet that spell wasn't quoted with enough original sources. Nice idea Icy. Also liked the disapproving cat. St.

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