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The Word Witch

The Word Witch

by Bayveen O'Connell

I was walking up Grafton St. alone after drinks with friends in the Stag’s Head. As I’d left, the stag over the bar winked at me. It was quiet near the top of Grafton St. and I took a glance in the window of Dubray Books with a yearning pull, a driven resolve that whatever volume was stacked up on the Christmas display this year would be mine next year. The Black Friday poster in the window caught my eye, boasting 15% off, and suddenly a streak of dark cloud charged, shrieking, through the display from the inside and broke out through the glass. A bloody creature burst towards me: a mass of billowing hair, cape and wounds. It reached for me but I couldn’t move, my feet were anchors and my muscles frayed rope. What the absolute? And nearly a month too late for Halloween!

I’m going to die, I thought, in front of my church and place of worship. The creature opened her cape and swallowed me. She pressed my head against her bare breast and I listened to her heart. Her skin was layers of pages and soft wrinkled covers of old books. Her heart beats were fingers tapping on typewriters, her belly swam with words and images and voices. All the while, in her womb, my novel was swelling. Then, with a shard of glass from the broken window, she sliced my wrist and let my blood run into her.


Bayveen O'Connell lives in Dublin and loves travelling and all things dark. Her short stories and flash have appeared in Underground Writers, The Cabinet of Heed, Molotov Cocktail, Rag Queen Periodical, The Bohemyth, Nilvx and Retreat West amongst others.

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