Image: © Mara Eastern (Used with Permission)
Trica headed off down the path in what she thought was a reasonable direction. The vegetation was stunning and she was distracted at one point by a rustling in the grass to her left. Looking down she saw a giant snake winding its way into the thick foliage.
The sight of such a huge reptile did unnerve her but she was determined to reach the far side of the park and there find the witches group and Maunchy Munchinson. Turning back Trica stopped in her tracks. The path she was following had disappeared and before her was a wall of lantana vines and a tropical forest that was going to be almost impossible to get through.
This was what she feared about the park. The stories were true that things changed in the park. Usually when you weren’t looking which was a nuisance when you thought you had the direction you needed to be going in firmly set in your mind.
It was then she heard a voice. Voices she had concluded were not unusual in the park and this was another who seemed to be talking to her.
“Hey what are you doing here?”
“I’m on my way to see the witches,” answered Trica.
“Foolish girl,” came the answer, “you’ll not find them here. They live way over to the north.”
“Everyone knows that,” came another voice.
“You’re wasting your time, might as well go back,” came the first voice.
“No,” replied Trica, “I’m going to see Maunchy Munchinson and I’m sure the path was right here in front of me.”
“Deceptive, this park,” came another voice.
“Maunchy Munchinson? She’s a witch, isn’t she?” asked a voice. Trica was getting confused by all the voices who seemed to have their own agendas and who seem to speak at once.
“Yes,” answered Trica now feeling more determined than ever.
“Salt of the earth,” came a voice she hadn’t heard before, but one that was laced with an air of authority. “Give her my regards when you see her. Lovely woman, you’ll like her.”
“And who might you be?” asked Trica
“Adolphus Crapstick, at your service.”
“But where are you?” asked Trica looking everywhere for the source of the voice, the first positive one she’d heard in the garden.
“Here there and everywhere to be honest. You can’t see me. If you could you’d be horrified to be sure. Best it’s this way. Even my wife likes me most when she can’t see me.”
Trica was growing more and more intrigued by the happenings in the park. Voices with no bodies and paths that disappeared.
“So where should I go Adolphus? I do want to reach the witches group.”
“Got to hand it to you for determination. You are going to need it my dear. You see the gap in the bushes to your left?”
“Yes,” said Trica looking about and seeing a small gap and dirt track leading off into the undergrowth.
“Well take that path and stay on it, don’t deviate or you may encounter things you don’t want to encounter. Do you understand?”
“Yes,” said Trica her interest further piqued by this last statement. “Thank you, Adolphus, for your assistance.”
“My pleasure, it’s nice to meet someone who values my advice. Not everyone around here thinks I have anything worthwhile to say.”
At that a chorus of voices broke out in: “Don’t listen to him.” “Go back.” “Cut and run.” They sounded all around her and she was frightened by the intensity of the chorus.
“Don’t pay them any attention. Jealousy is such a curse don’t you agree? Most of them wouldn’t know a witch if they saw one. Then again most of them are here because of the witches, but maybe I shouldn’t have said that?”
Feeling somewhat unnerved again Trica decided to take the dirt track and see what lay in store for her.