Read Hilda - Cats Online

Authors: Paul Kater

Tags: #hilda the wicked witch

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BOOK: Hilda - Cats
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"How interesting," Hilda said, "we were on
our way to see the girl ourselves. I guess we'll meet up with the
king there then." The brooms took to the skies again and their
riders started the journey to the kingdom where prince Jordan and
his beloved Snow White lived. On the way there, William tried to
coax Hilda into telling more about her previous encounter with Snow
White, but the witch said nothing.

As they landed for a break and a bite, in a
village that lay halfway, William grinned. "Look at that."

The black cat who had claimed the brushy part
of her broom was lying there, sleeping as if it was in the relative
safety of a lap. Hilda snickered as she saw it. Onyx Grimalkin then
awoke and looked up at the two people as if she wanted to know what
was so funny.

The magicals as well as the cats found
something very edible in the local tavern, and then they pursued
their journey, as the landscape beneath them slowly changed. The
trees became taller and darker, the roads became narrower and
twistier. Even the grass here did not seem as green as it was at
home.

"We're almost there, William," said Hilda. In
the distance a castle became visible. It's colour made it hard to
see from further away, as it blended in very well with the
mountains that it was close to.

"Hey, Obsi, wake up," William said, gently
prodding the black cat. "Look, there, that's where we're going!"
Obsi meowed, opened one eye for one moment and decided that more
was not worth the bother. He remained asleep until the two brooms
were almost over the wall that surrounded the castle. Then suddenly
he sat up and observed where they were going quite closely.

"I'll never understand that cat," William
remarked. Obsidian Shadow waved his tail, as if he was proud of
that compliment. The magicals waited over the wall, to see what
would happen. A few guards had seen them already and one had gone
inside the building.

"Ah, there is the welcoming committee," Hilda
observed.

A shape on a broom came up to where they were
floating. The shape was suspiciously pink, and as it came closer,
the reason was obvious: the witch wore a pink dress. And a pink hat
with ditto flowers. Even her broomstick was pink. "Hello," the
woman chimed with a high-pitched voice, "I am Esmee. I do the
witching around here. Who are you?"

Hilda stared at the blond hair of the mostly
pink apparition, and then at the blue eyes. "Hello, Esmee. I am
Grimhilda. This is William, and these are our cats. We got a note
from Snow White that there is some problem that she needs help
with."

"Oh! Yes! You are the witch and the wizard
she mentioned!"

Hilda looked at William for mental support.
He understood her reaction. Esmee seemed quite an airhead and
probably needed the hat to keep things together beneath the blond
curls.

"Yes," Hilda said, "we are the witch and the
wizard. I hope there were not more people on brooms coming over
this way lately."

"No, you are the first ones in years!" Esmee
cheered.

Through the bond William felt Hilda groan. He
knew so well why.

"I think you want to see the princess, yes?"
Esmee asked with a hopeful twinkle in her voice. Yes, a twinkle.
That was the only way Hilda and William could call it.

"Would be an idea, yeah, as we came all the
way over for her," Hilda said, not holding much hope for Esmee.

The pink witch nodded. "Come, follow me. I
know where to go!" She swooped her broom downwards.

"I hope so, really," Hilda muttered as they
followed the resident witch to the ground.

-=-=-

Hilda insisted on taking her broom with her
into the castle. With an airhead like that around, she thought, you
never know where magic might flutter about and do silly things.

Esmee took them to the wing of the castle
where the prince and princess had their chambers. As soon as they
reached the actual wing, the cats jumped up on the shoulders of the
magical couple, which they had learnt to interpret as an omen. A
few moments later a door was flung open and two children, a boy and
a girl, no older than four or five, came running from the room. The
boy swung a wooden sword and the girl had a collection of small
gold and silver crowns hanging from her arm.

"Dinna, I want my crown back!" the boy
screamed as he waved the wooden sword around. The girl did not
bother with his words. She just uttered a shrill laugh and ran
on.

"Dinna, Roderick, stop that!" Esmee really
did her best to sound convincing. It sounded rather pathetic
instead. "Sorry about that, they are very active children," she
apologised to Hilda. The pink witch led them on to the next room,
where she went in without knocking. "Nursery," she quickly
mentioned.

Hilda and William followed the resident pink
cloud.

Snow White looked up at the visitors.
"Grimhilda!" Her face lit up as she quickly walked over to the grey
haired witch. She nearly thrust the baby she carried in Esmee's
arms ("hold her please") and hugged the witch that had saved her
from the wrath of her evil stepmother. "I am so glad to see
you!"

"Hello Snow White. You look... healthy."
Hilda had already noticed the swollen belly of the princess.
"Another royal bun in the oven?"

Snow White nodded as she looked at William.
"I am not sure if we ever had the pleasure..."

William introduced himself, staring at the
woman as little as possible. He had seen and accepted a terrible
lot here already, but the fact that he was now face to face with
Snow White was a bit more than he could handle out of the pink.
Blue.

"Oh, a witch and a wizard, married and all,
how beautiful," said Snow White, who took the baby-bundle back from
Esmee.

"Looks like your prince is making sure that
you stay round, doesn't he?" Hilda remarked, pointing at Snow
White's belly.

The princess looked very sad and unhappy for
a moment. "Indeed. All he can think of is... that. Well, that what
causes it, really."

"Well, that is a good reason to call for
help," Hilda nodded, "where is he?"

Snow White looked surprise. "Jordan is out
riding with Billy and Dicky. But that is not why I sent you the
note, Hilda, no. There is something else."

Hilda looked at the princess in disbelief.
"Billy. Dicky. There were two kids out there. You have one in your
arms, and one in there?"

"Yes. Billy and Dicky are twins, they are
very cute," Snow White said. She seemed proud of her children. "Let
me put Sandy in bed, then we can go and talk. And I can pretend to
be a proper hostess."

Hilda and William were taken to what
originally must have been a magnificent room. Now it was full with
play pens, boxes with children's toys and other doubtful joys of
parental life. Hilda gasped when she saw all the objects.

Snow White herself cleared out a couch, so
the two could sit. Esmee helped to make some seating space for the
princess and herself. Then a servant was sent to bring tea and
cookies. Finally things were so far in order that Snow White could
speak.

"There are strange things going on," she
started to say. Her face became serious. "All kinds of small
animals are going missing. All we find back are the bones."

"And that is a problem?" Hilda asked. She
really failed to understand the urgency.

"It is a problem when there are four or five
missing a day, and we've retrieved over one hundred and fifty sets
of bones so far. Chickens, rabbits, geese and ducks, animals like
that."

"Oh. Right." Hilda looked at the pink witch.
"Have you found out anything about that yet? Esmee?"

"Yes, yes, I did my homework," the blond
said, "the animals were all eaten."

"Eaten. Right. And how were they eaten?"
Hilda hoped that she asked the right thing.

"Dead. I think." Esmee became a bit pale as
she thought of the alternative.

Hilda sighed. Not the right question. As
William took her hand and squeezed it, she tried it again. "I mean,
were the animals raw? Roasted? And were they eaten by an animal? A
human?"

Esmee thought hard. Hilda imagined she could
hear it. "They were eaten raw. I am quite sure of that. But I don't
know what ate them. Nobody knows."

Then the door flew open. Hilda and William
were on their feet, wands in hand. Two black cats stood with arched
backs, eyes large and nails in the couch. Their tails were puffed
up and ready to dust things.

"Mamma,
mamma, Dinna hit me!"
Roderick ran into Snow White's arms
while her daughter came in carrying the wooden sword.

"Children." Hilda just said the word as she
made her wand disappear and sat down, picking up Grimalkin. As
William sat down, Esmee looked at them. "How did you do that?"

"Do what?" Hilda wasn't sure what the pink
woman meant.

"The wand thingy?"

"The.. wand... thingy?" Hilda raised her
eyebrows. "This?" She popped up her wand, as Snow White performed
her maternal privileges in a very skilled manner.

"Yes, that." The pink witch reached in her
pouch and took her own wand. "I do it this way. Your way looks a
lot better. Can you teach me?"

Hilda's wand disappeared. "Tell me, Esmee.
Did you work with flowers before coming to the castle?"

Esmee nodded, smiling happily. "Yes. I still
do, by the way."

"Flower witch. I should have known." Hilda
fell back against the backrest of the couch and stared at the
ceiling for a while and for help that wasn't there.

"Ouch! Dinna, put down the sword!" Snow
White's maternal objectives did not seem to connect with her
daughter's mischief. Before the little girl could hit her mother
again, Hilda had changed the wooden sword into a lead one. Dinna
promptly was more than happy to put it down.

"That's how we handle things like that," the
wicked witch nodded.

5. Reading the
bones

Dinna stared at Hilda. "Did you do that?" She
stuck her tiny fists in her side and looked angry.

"Dinna, that is a guest," Snow White
tried.

The girl was not even halfway impressed by
that. "I am a princess, Mum!"

"And she is a witch, Dinna."

"Hah. Esmee is a witch too, and she doesn't
scare me." Dinna stomped her foot on the ground and looked at Hilda
again.

The witch was not impressed. She looked at
Esmee who clearly was very impressed by the little girl. "So, we
should have a look at these bones you found. Do you have some
around?" Hilda asked.

Esmee nodded, not taking her eyes off the
angry little princess. "There are some outside now, I am sure."

"Good. Let's go and have a look then." Hilda
wanted to get up when she found Dinna standing in front of her.
"Step aside, kid."

"NO!"

Snow White had calmed down Roderick and tried
to get to her daughter, but she could save herself the trouble.

Hilda popped up her wand, waved it, and a few
moments later Dinna stuck to the ceiling. "If you have it high up
in the head, stay up there for a while." She got up. "Come. Let's
see some bones," the witch announced as she picked up Grim and
draped the cat over her shoulders.

Snow White looked up at the squirming and
screaming girl at the ceiling. "How do I get her down again?"

"Are you in a hurry?" Hilda asked.

"Not really," Snow White admitted.

"Good. I'll get her down after looking at the
bones. Give her some time to cool off. She's not going anywhere." A
snip of her fingers later Dinna was silently squirming. "Much
better, don't you agree?"

Esmee's eyes almost popped out of her head as
she got up, staring at Dinna. William took Obsi and got up also,
following Esmee and Hilda out the door.

Snow White kept telling Dinna how everything
would be alright, while Roderick tried to lift the lead sword.

-=-=-

Esmee seemed frightened of Hilda as they
walked through the castle, and through a side door into a small
garden. The pink witch kept William between herself and the grey
haired witch.

"Something wrong with me?" Hilda asked. "Do I
smell bad?"

"No, no... it's just..." Esmee tried to find
the right words.

"Oh. You're scared of me. Why don't you say
so." Hilda shrugged. "Now stop being scared for a while and show us
some bones."

That proved to be very easy. As Esmee walked
them along a hedge, they found two carcasses close to it. Bare to
the literal bone. "It's getting closer," the flower witch
mumbled.

"What's that?"

Esmee pointed at the bones. "We've never
found bones so close to the castle. So it gets closer."

Obsi and Grim jumped down and sniffed the
remains of a chicken. Hilda picked up one of the larger bones and
looked. "Yup. Eaten raw. And here..." She pointed at clear scratch
marks. "Someone with a good set of teeth. Weird teeth too." Not
clarifying her words, she picked up Grimalkin and looked at the
cat's teeth. Then she nodded, putting her cat down again.

"Say sweetwitch, what are you doing?" William
asked.

"Look." She almost shoved the chicken bone in
his face. "See these scratches? They're fresh. And they look like
the marks of cat teeth."

William then understood what was troubling
her. The markings did indeed look like cat teeth marks, but they
were too large. Hilda picked up a bone from the other carcass, it
had been a rabbit. That carried the same scratch marks.

William noticed that some of the larger
chicken bones had been snapped in two. "Wow. Must have been some
cat to do that..." He looked at the ground for marks of a large
cat, but the floor was laid in with tiles. Tiles did not hold
marks.

Esmee turned pale. "Do you mean there is a
really big cat out there somewhere?" She clutched her pink pouch at
the risk of breaking her wand.

"Are you going to wet yourself, Esmee?" Hilda
asked.

BOOK: Hilda - Cats
10.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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