What happens when witchcraft leads to the most terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day?

The alarm started blaring.  Ugh.  Kit rolled over and looked at the clock.  Crap!  It was already 8:45 and she needed to be at work at 9.  She was certain to be late. Why didn’t the alarm go off at 7 like it was supposed to?

Kit leapt out of bed and raced to the bathroom.  She rushed to the sink and splashed cold water on her face.  She didn’t have time to do anything else so that would have to do.  She glanced up at the bathroom mirror and was taken aback.  Her dark eyes rested upon a gaze she didn’t recognize, icy blue eyes staring back at her.  The pale reflection seemed as surprised as she was.  They stared and blinked at one another in silence.

Kit reached towards the mirror, left hand extended.  The mirror girl reached back with her right.  Both withdrew quickly and continued staring blankly.  They reached towards each other again, fingertips meeting beyond the surface of the cold still glass.

There was no time for this.

Kit hurriedly emerged from the bathroom shaking her head.  She must be imagining things or still partially dreaming somehow.  The clock smirked at her from its perch on the nightstand.  8:45.  The time didn’t fully register because of the sense of urgency. She reached in the closet, grabbed some clothes and slipped them on.  She ran into the main room, snatched the waiting purse from the table by the door, and slipped out into the hallway.

But wait.

This was not her apartment.  This was not even her apartment building.  The hallway was dingy and full of warm yellow light that reflected off of every dust particle drifting through the air.  Where were the overhead fluorescents?  Kit was immersed in heavy dark wood paneling, not the usual outdated blue and white striped wallpaper that typically greeted her.  She looked down at herself.

The clothes she wore were not her own, they were loose fitting hippie garb, flowing in an informal array of mismatched patterns and textures.  They were not at all professional by legal secretary work standards, and certainly nothing Kit would have owned.

Kit turned the key in the lock.  She eased her way back inside the apartment to stand beside the table.  She looked at her purse.  It was about the same size and weight as she might have expected but it was just a simple purple velvet tote bag with gold fringe and beads hanging down from the bottom.  It was not leather or imitation designer, and it bore a hand-embroidered star emblem.  She slid the bag back onto the small table.

What was going on?

Kit looked around.  The apartment was full of plants and crystals and candles.  An unassuming black cat sat in a far window surrounded by greenery, its amber eyes fixated on Kit.  The cat had a grumpy, impatient air about it.  It coughed, emitting a deep hollow sigh from the depths of its throat before it spoke.

“What the Hell?” it asked.

an eerie photo of a black cat engaged in witchcraft, eyes reflecting light
The black cat stared at Kit

Kit leapt backwards into the table by the door.  The cat meowed at her and jumped from its perch to circle her legs twice before trailing over to a small silver bowl.  The cat emphatically sat down beside the bowl as if to draw attention to the action itself.  It meowed again and looked at the nearly empty dish.  “Well, aren’t you going to feed me?” it exclaimed.

Kit looked around.  The cat idly washed its paw, still staring at her.  It meowed again and pawed at its food bowl.

Kit didn’t own a cat.  Or plants or crystals or candles for that matter.  Her apartment was very sparse.  But everything was otherwise where it should be.  The table by the door, the purse, even the layout of the apartment; if she closed her eyes and went on intuition, anything of importance was exactly where she expected it to be.  And yet nothing was the same.

Kit traced her steps back into the bedroom.  The cat followed, meowing insistently.  The bed, the nightstand, the clock, even the crooked closet door were perfectly matched to Kit’s own.  But otherwise everything about this place was different.

There were black lace curtains hung in sweeping motions reaching into the bedroom and not just in the window, which was lined with small ceramic birds.  The bedding was silk, like Kit’s own, but it was a dark burgundy wine color with a huge gold and green brocade comforter whereas Kit’s bedding was white and grey.  Yet, when Kit closed her eyes again, it all aligned perfectly with where she expected things to be.

“Seriously WTF?!” the cat shrieked.  “I’ve been waiting FOREVER.”

Kit plopped down on the corner of the bed.  She realized she was still clutching the small velvet bag.  She was sure she had put it back, and yet here she was holding it.  She rifled through its contents and came upon a student ID from a college she had never heard of.  It boasted a picture of a diminutive fair blonde woman labeled April Schlemiel, Witchcraft & Wizardry, University of Feyfaerie Pass.  The photograph was a perfect match to the woman that had stared back at Kit from the mirror.

Kit threw the bag and the ID to the floor.  She looked at the clock.  It was stuck at 8:45.  It was a standard digital clock just like hers, with the same blocky red numbers on a mirrored black background in a boxy black housing, the kind you could buy pretty much anywhere.  Kit fixed her gaze upon it, since it was the only familiar thing about this strange place.  She didn’t realize she had fallen back onto the bed and drifted off to sleep only to be greeted by a resounding howl.

Kit awoke with a start and looked around nervously.  As her focus returned, a pair of amber eyes came into heightened detail glaring down at her from above.  The black cat loomed overhead.

an eerie photo of a black cat engaged in witchcraft, eyes reflecting light
The black cat grew impatient.

“My breakfast, April!  What about my breakfast?” the cat yowled.  Under its breath it murmured, “How’d I wind up a fool’s familiar, anyway?  I should have paid way more attention in class instead of just reading Witchcraft for Dummies.”

The burgundy sheets, the green and gold comforter, the black lace curtains… all came back into clarity.  The cat encompassed much of Kit’s field of vision, seemingly larger than before, now almost cougar-sized.  Its head was as big as Kit’s.  It spoke again, “April, you are testing my patience.  My kibble chalice is nearly empty…”

The cat had arranged several candles in a star around Kit and was lighting them one at a time by flicking its tail from one candle to the next.  It seemed unperturbed at the tail tip of its fur being singed.  As it lit the last candle, it flicked its tail into a cup of water sitting beside the bed.  “Now, April!” it screeched.

Kit rose and stood beside the bed, not of her volition.  Her body willingly traipsed through the bedroom and into the main room where it stopped to stoop over a large metal canister.  Her hands acted on their own accord, prying open the lid from atop the bin and using the small silver ladle inside to scoop cat food into the silver bowl.

“That’s better,” the black cat spoke as it sidled up beside her and began eating.  Kit fell to the floor in a puddle as she again regained consciousness over her body.  “Seriously, do we have to do this EVERY morning?” the cat remarked between bites.  “It gets tiresome, you know.”

“Where am I?” Kit asked the creature.

“Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten…  Again!…” the cat snapped, stealing a sideways glance at Kit.  “Wait, you’re not April.”

Kit shook her head ‘No’ and stared at the creature.

The cat gazed at her.  “Not again.  Crap, this happens every year at this time.  Is it that day already?”  The cat leapt onto the table by the door and rummaged through the velvet bag, which had somehow returned to its proper perch.  It pulled out a small calendar.  “Sure enough, it is,” the cat exclaimed.

“Damn it, April, every single year since you screwed up that…  Oh, never mind,” it sighed.  “Alright, we can set things right again.”

an eerie photo of a black cat engaged in witchcraft, eyes reflecting light
The black cat settled in on the bed and waited.

The cat turned to Kit and studied her intently.  “I don’t care who you are or where you came from, but do exactly as I say and we can get you home.  If you botch this, you could wind up in limbo forever.”

Kit nodded ‘Yes’. Her eyes grew wide.

The cat led her back into the bedroom and nosed the candles into a wider star pentagram centered on the bed.  “Now, sit in the middle of the circle,” it directed.

Kit climbed into the bed and perched herself atop her knees in the middle of the circle.

“Not like that!” the cat remarked, “Cross-legged.”

Kit corrected.

“Now focus on the clock and close your eyes.  Keep focusing on the clock.”

Kit looked at the clock, still locked at 8:45, shut her eyes, and chirped, “How am I supposed to focus on the clock with my eyes cl—“

“Silence!” the cat growled.  “You just see it in your mind.  You know it’s there. It hasn’t changed.”

“Now, place your hands palm up on your knees.  Keep focusing on the clock.”

Kit had no idea what the cat was doing.  She could hear it slipping around and every once in awhile felt its fur brush past.  The room began to smell of lavender, burnt cloves and patchouli, among other scents that she couldn’t recognize at all.  The cat was wailing some low throaty growl as it circled her.  Kit began to raise an eyelid.

“I told you to keep your eyes shut!” the cat snapped.  “Seriously, just keep focusing on the clock.”

Kit saw the clock in her mind, the red blocky numbers stuck at 8:45 when the alarm had gone off.  It hadn’t seemed to move at all from she had first gotten up to rush to work.  It was always and still 8:45.  The numbers etched themselves into her mind.

Kit woke with a start.  She was back in her apartment, clutching her grey silk sheets and grey and white striped comforter.  There were no black lace curtains or ceramic birds or plants or crystals or candles.  And there was no sign of a cat anywhere to be found.  The clock read 8:45.

Kit abruptly got dressed to leave, grabbed her actual purse in its faux designer glory from the table by the door, and called in to let them know she would be running a bit late.  She breathed a sigh of relief as she made her way down the wallpapered corridor to the leasing office where she put in her month’s notice that she was going to move as soon as possible and that she would forfeit whatever remained of the month after she got out, before she hurriedly headed off to work.  Her landlord shook his head as he watched her drive off, “Why can’t I keep anyone in that unit after the start of April?” he muttered to himself.

an eerie photo of a black cat engaged in witchcraft, eyes reflecting light
The black cat poses with a toy mouse on its head..

Please check out another of Jennifer Weigel’s witchy works from a previous figure modeling session on Haunted MTL here.

You can read more of Jennifer Weigel’s writing here on Jennifer Weigel Words.

portrait of the writer with dark makeup and crow headdress
Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

About the Author

Jennifer Weigel is a multi-disciplinary mixed media conceptual artist residing in Kansas USA. Weigel utilizes a wide range of media to convey her ideas, including assemblage, drawing, fibers, installation, jewelry, painting, performance, photography, sculpture, video and writing. You can find more of her work at: https://www.jenniferweigelart.com/ https://www.jenniferweigelprojects.com/ https://jenniferweigelwords.wordpress.com/

View Articles