Reprisal by Gregory Harvey

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The early light of dawn was just beginning to flood onto the earth as Angela set out on the task she had set for herself. Slung over her dark clothing was a small backpack which contained the various implements she would be required to utilize. That is, if she wanted the spell to be cast successfully. And you better believe she wanted the spell, needed the spell, to be cast successfully. She couldn’t possibly settle for anything less.

Angela the witch! The voices chanted, Is a dirty bitch! Her mother, after birthing her, left her in a ditch! Angela the witch...

She stumbled recklessly through the woods just behind her school, paying no attention to the possums scurrying and screeching (taunting?) above her. The light, trying to poke through the thick greenery, seemed almost pointless. All it accomplished was to cast eerie shadows over the ground, over Angela.

Angela the witch! Is a dirty bitch!

A girl named Ellen had started the chanting last Thursday. She always started it. Ellen was one of those girls who, because they were just so damn beautiful (and what a crock that was!), thought that the entire world owed them a favour. Tonight, however, Angela, who had skipped school that Friday, was going to give her a real favour. The only one she deserved...

Angela stopped in the greenery for a moment. She was following a small dirt track, and only God knew what it was there for, which should eventually take her out into a clearing. The road forked off, however, and Angela could never precisely remember which path to take. Right... no... left. Yeah. It was left. She turned.

But the chanting hadn’t been the worst thing about Thursday. Who had been chanting was the biggest problem. Christine... the girl she had taught magic. Even that girl... that BITCH, had been chanting. After all Angela had done for her! How exactly was it that people were so stupid? Didn’t they know who they were dealing with?

Angela the witch! Is a dirty bitch! Her mother, after birthing her...

And who the hell had started that? Left in a ditch... whatever. Angela lived in a nice, stable, normal family. Two parents, two kids. Not that her brother was normal... but what was a girl going to do? Left in a ditch... that was probably Ellen’s work. No, it was definately Ellen’s work... Even Laurie, the drug-messed, mother of one, seventeen year-old was chanting! What friggin’ right did she have? What friggin’ right did any of them have!

Angela often wondered what was being said behind her back when she took days off, like last Friday. Did Ellen fell like she had won a battle? Did she feel accomplished? What achievment it was to make another girl mad, and what pleasure could possibly be attained from it, defied Angela’s logic. Like... how could people actually be so STUPID! They were forcing her to do this... she had no part in it whatsoever. There was simply no other choice. Nope. Not one.

As the woods began to thin out the light became stronger. In fact, now it was almost useful.

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