Issuu on Google+

48


The Voodoo Doll

Meanwhile back in London... The

temperature

across

the

city

was

unpleasantly hot with the revolting, rotting stench of dead rats and raw sewage choking in the stale air like a disgustingly blended perfume. Madame Belladonna Divitan pulled up the window to her carriage, grimacing at the foul smell. The sorceress glanced at her vague reflection in the glass, her face deathly white and unusually gaunt, her long black hair roughly scraped back and pinned in an untidy bun. She lounged back against the creaking 49


leather of the seat, lost in thought as she smoothed down the purple silk of her dress and delicately placed a rose scented lace handkerchief over her nose. She always loathed having to come to this part of the city. Whitechapel was so uncouth in her opinion what with all the grimy hustlers and garish harlots that infected the streets with their poisonous ways. She could feel the dirt of the area soaking into her skin like a foul sponge, the heat biting at her flesh like red ants. If it wasn’t for the old Chinaman she would never set foot in the area at all, but as he had insisted she come to meet him there then she had had no choice. “We’re

almost

there,”

commented

Bradshaw, her butler, who had set up the meeting. 50


“Well I hope for your sake that he is as good as you seem to believe he is,” she snapped, tapping her long fingernails against the window frame, something she always did when she was agitated.

“You know the

lengths I went to obtain some of the girl’s blood - that wretched concubine Aysun drove a hard bargain and this will cost me an awful lot more before the day is out – so it better be worth it!” “I know, but I’m assured that his reputation in these matters is excellent,” nodded Bradshaw, glancing at his mistress with a quiet measure of concern. He had been in her service for more than twenty years and he had never seen her act in such a way. Indeed it had to be said that her behaviour had become increasingly erratic over recent months. Her mental health had 51


deteriorated with an alarming speed the closer the children got to completing the twelve quests she had set them. What had started out as a game to amuse her had turned into an all consuming obsession and his mistress seemed to think of very little else. “I still don’t understand why you don’t just call in the favour from that smuggler – I mean he has the items they have collected. Why are you going to so much trouble when you could simply put an end to it now?” “That is not your concern and I don’t appreciate you questioning my motives. Remember your place Bradshaw,” she snarled irritably, her expression so sour it could have curdled milk. The carriage finally drew to a halt by a most dubious looking establishment. Madame Divitan waited for Bradshaw to open the door 52


for her and then stepped down onto the dirty cobbled street awash with the ceaseless stumbling of drunken footsteps and cackling catcalls. The witch stalked over to the shabby entrance. Bradshaw followed her down a grubby flight of stairs into a smoke filled opium den. “Let’s get this over and done with,” she muttered. It took a few moments for their eyesight to adjust to the dimly lit space, taking in a variety of scruffy men that were slumped in private berths sucking on long stemmed pipes or seemingly asleep. A few of the occupants turned

towards

them

looking

at

the

newcomers with lack lustre deadened eyes before losing interest and returning to their half hearted conversations. “Would you like a private area?” asked a wiry young teenager with a pock marked face 53


and curly ginger hair as he hastened over to Madame Divitan and her butler. “Don’t be so ridiculous!” she hissed, looking at him as if he were a wasp that needed crushing beneath her expensive shoe. “Then what is your business here?” he countered suspiciously. “We are here to meet with Mr. Chan. Can you show us where he is?” “Who wants to know?” “That is none of your concern!” “Then I don’t know who you are talking about,” he replied curtly, turning his back. “Perhaps you might check for us,” said Bradshaw, grabbing the boy roughly by his shoulder and thrusting a couple of coins at him. “It is very dark in here after all.” “The fifth berth on the left hand side, but I don’t want any trouble. I’ve a business 54


to run here,” muttered the lad, as he quickly pocketed the money and slipped back into the second hand shadows. Belladonna Divitan slowly made her way along the murky line of open rooms until she found the old Chinaman reclining on a pile of tatty velvet cushions. He was an unpleasant looking fellow, with a pinched up life worn face and shifty blood shot eyes that looked up at them slyly. “Mr. Chan I presume?” “You’re late,” replied the man. “I do not like people who think their time is more important than mine.” “I’m not interested in social etiquette. Just tell me if you can give me what I need.” The Chinaman studied the witch for a moment, as he sucked on his pipe and exhaled a vile smelling serpent of choking smoke. 55


“Naturally I know the nature of your visit, but it depends on exactly what you want.” “I wish someone harm...a great deal of harm and I want to be able to inflict it upon them whenever I desire without anybody being able to connect the crime to me.” “Well that would be stating the obvious considering my line of work...but you are a renowned sorceress in your own right or at least that was my understanding, so why would you need my help?” enquired Mr. Chan, as he stretched his arms and cricked his neck.

“Surely you must be capable of a

similar magic to create the desired affect?” “Indeed, but the situation I find myself in is a delicate one and I can’t be seen to be involved in any form of meddling or misconduct – the potency of the spell I 56


require would not go unnoticed by my peers if I were to concoct it myself.” “Have you brought what I asked for? Do you have the necessary items?” “Of course,” replied Madame Divitan, a cruel smile slithering across her scarlet lips, as she reached into her purse and pulled out what appeared to be a wax doll fashioned into the shape of a young girl, which had a strand of hair wrapped around it. “It has been used before though.” “I understand,” nodded Mr. Chan, stroking his long white beard. “However, I informed your associate that if you could provide anything else belonging to your intended victim then it would greatly help the potency of the spell.” “My butler Bradshaw conveyed this to me and I managed to obtain something that 57


will add immense strength to what you are about to do,” replied the witch, producing a stained handkerchief. “It has her blood on it. I think that should be powerful enough – don’t you?” “Indeed, this is perfect,” he agreed, wrapping the rag around the wax figurine. “So how much pain do you wish to inflict on this person?” “Oh, a considerable amount...death would be preferable.” “Death...I see. Well there is a way to ensure that the desired outcome is guaranteed, but it will cost you a lot more money,” he said, scratching his nose. “You will have what you want though.” “How much are we talking about?” “Double,” said the Chinaman picking up a pipe and carefully relighting it. “Take it 58


or leave it, but this spell will satisfy your requirements without a doubt. The girl will die – mark my words.” “Alright, you shall have the price you ask for, but I expect no come back on me and the results must be exacting and finite.” Madame Divitan nodded to her butler to count out the money for the old man. “It will be,” Mr. Chan grinned, as he greedily checked the number of coins. Once he was satisfied the correct amount lay in his palm he brought out several tiny glass bottles and a long sharp needle. “What are you doing?” “You will see,” he replied, casting off his smirk as he dripped a few drops from each of the bottles onto the wax figurine muttering some sort of incantation in a foreign language. A putrid green light momentarily surrounded 59


the figurine and then dispersed. “It is done,” he announced, handing the voodoo doll and needle to Madame Divitan. “Wherever you pierce it the person you intend to hurt will suffer an unimaginable pain, as if you were stabbing them yourself.” “But I asked for her death.” “I assumed you wished to play with your victim first before you struck the final blow. This type of spell is very personal and usually implies a committed level of hatred.” “Indeed so. What do I do when I want to kill her?” hissed the witch, snatching the wax effigy from his hands. “It’s simple,” shrugged the Chinaman. “You simply burn it on a good hot fire and your problems will become ash.” “Good,” the witch sneered, as she looked at the voodoo doll of Florrie. 60


61


The Twelve Quests Rumplestiltskin's Gold