The Poppet Maker, part 2

The first page. The contents page.

Witchcraft runs in families, usually, so I wondered if the the girl’s late mother had been a practitioner. Of course there are male witches (they’re called witches and not any other word you might be thinking of) but her dad just didn’t have that look. I can’t tell you what that look is except that I know it when I see it.

The girl had an excellent poker face,as most witches do, and apart from a very slight flicker when I showed her the poppet and another when I said the ‘w’ word she managed to keep her expression to grumpy and slightly hormonal teenager. Which is fairly impressive for an eight-year-old.

“You’d better come up to my room.” She said.

Her room looked like a normal girls room. The decoration had clearly been done before her mother died as I couldn’t imagine her picking out the pink princess wallpaper now. She’d covered most of the wall with posters and pages torn from magazines. She was clearly a huge fan of Doctor who, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Merlin, and Lord of the Rings.

“So… You looking forward to The Hobit?” I said.

“I thought you wanted to talk about the Voodoo Doll.”. She said.

“It’s not a Voodoo Doll and what you are doing is not Voodoo. It’s witchcraft. The doll is a poppet. The doll was also a really bad idea.” I said.

The girl went pale but looked defiant. “Did I kill her? I didn’t mean to… I’m not sorry.”

“I don’t think so but that’s not why it was a bad idea.” I said. Time for a change of tack. “Do you know why witches don’t rule the world.”

She had a good long think before answering. “Because magic
isn’t real?”

“Ooh good answer but no. There’s an old principal of magic. I’ve heard it called the threefold law or Karmic backlash. Basically whatever you send out comes back to you three times over. Which is why curses and hexes are really, really dumb. Binding is not so bad as long as you’re careful with the wording. So what exactly did you use the poppet for?” I said.


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