Beef Witch You

When A Witch Crosses A Line - Chapter 1

Short Story

Writing Prompt: The witch next door and I got beef. She refuses to stay on her side of the forest, and now I gotta cut her unless I figure out another way to make her stay on her side.


I wasn't born a witch.

The coveted practice of earth magic was learned and taught; a continuous cycle, like all of life, to women born of the Knighton name. My great-great-grandmother, Victoria Knighton, began teaching earth magic to the women in my family with or without magic in their veins.

Witch magic lives in our ancestry, traced back to the days of the Salem Trials. Unlike my older sisters, the twins, Matty and Meredith, I seemed to be on the branch that it didn't reach. Maybe the magic ran out by the third kid. Who knows? Well it sucked for me. I had to learn spells and casting the good old-fashioned way, like a person learning a foreign language before the days of Rosetta Stone and apps like Babbel. I didn't have the luxury of just learning how to call up my magic. I was forced to make magic my bitch.

Each Knighton woman would pass down her teachings to her daughters. I am the youngest of the Knighton witch line. I am not a natural at spell casting. I spent most of my lessons rolling my eyes and complaining. I was clumsy. It usually took a while for me to get the nuances of graceful wrist flicking and incantations just right. To be honest, I didn't want to touch most of the ingredients. I hated getting my fingers dirty or Goddess knows, getting stuff under my nails.


I have no desire to be a mother. What and ruin this perfectly proportioned hot body? Uh.. no way! I have an entrepreneur's spirit. I like making money.

Obviously, not wanting to be tied down and being independent wasn't the Knighton witch way of life.

Trust me; I carry the burden of that familial disappointment every day of my life. I did what any black sheep of the family does. I pulled up stakes, shortened my name to Savvy Knights, adopted a black cat named Midnight and went to live in the city. Life was good. It was fun. I wasn't constantly living in my sisters shadows being reminded that I was a Knighton witch, and not that great of one, every second of my life.

Doing spells became sort of a hobby in college, not a way of life. I was able to eek out a decent side hustle providing edible flowers, that immediately got rid of hangovers, mints that tasted like chocolate and relieved cramps and chewing gum that gave your brain cells a kick-start during exams.

Inspiration hit one night during a group study session when half the group wanted mushrooms on the pizza and the other half didn't. Sometime later that evening, we started discussing what we would wish for if we had three wishes. No we weren't doing drugs. It was after seeing an ad for yet, another version of Aladdin, coming soon to our favorite streaming apps.

Inspiration became thought, thought became action.

In my tiny off-campus apartment, I accidentally created a spell that became a secret goldmine. Magic suddenly became interesting when I figured out how to monetize it. Who knew knowing magic would be so good for making money?

After a lot of trial an error I finally had something successful and sustainable. Turns out I had something that I always thought was magic. A green thumb.

Also yes, for a while, my thumbs were literally green.

I started out by using pennies and small coins, but they were becoming increasingly hard to come by. They could also be dropped, lost or stolen. Besides, it was hard to ask for hundreds of dollars for a penny. Even if it was magical.

After finding just the right conduit for the spell, I was set.

When you can give people things they want in a consumable form, people keep coming back for more. Compelling people.

Desperate people.

Sometimes, dangerous people.

I couldn't make them fast enough for my clients. I soon realized I needed to expand, and that meant moving to a more secluded area. A place that I could make a sizeable garden for my magical harvest. It had to be safe for a single woman.

I, Savanah Knighton, need to be my own independent and fabulous self. I don't do slavery or tiny cells. If you haven't figured it out yet, mums the word.

I am only sharing this with you because, my dear reader, I believe you can keep a secret. Besides, everyone knows that readers aren't real.

This hidden haven in the forest was the perfect way to escape those that would seek to take advantage of my product, put me in jail or enslave me. Using magic to give people an unfair advantage is totally cheating the system and it's a tiny bit illegal. Of course, only super jealous people would make up such a ridiculous law. I am not a criminal. I am an entrepreneur. A person who sees a need, solves the problem and slaps a price on it.

It was time to expand. A forest plot of land was what I needed.

Forestdale looked like a perfect spot, rumored to be a small community of witches and supernatural beings. This city was full of underachieving witches who either were outcasts or didn't subscribe to the whole coven lifestyle. I believed I had found my people. They had a few simple rules:

•Stay out of forests you weren't invited into

•Be a good witch

•Mind your own business

My neighbor to the west, a free spirit outcast witch like me, Beatriz Somers, was the first person I met. She was the person who informed me of the rules. I thought the rules were simple. They definitely suited my lifestyle.

Beatriz was kind and funny; we got along well. She was a feisty brunette and easy on the eye. Nothing at all like that green witch of the west from that far off place; although Beatriz did live in a cottage like the other naughty witch that ate children.

Eww, it sounds weird, and gross, now that I say it out loud. Who would let a child that close to their mouth?

Rest assured, I've been to her cottage and it's not made out of candy. Sad really, I like candy. It's a mini fortress.

Remember when I said that I wasn't a natural at spellcasting? It took over four years; not days, not months, YEARS, to perfect the three wish spell mushrooms. They were and still are my biggest seller. This year's crop was delivering huge red-hued portobello-shaped beauties. I season the water with tasty herbs and spices, so they are flavorful and delicious right out of the ground.

Why mushrooms, you ask?


They are a small, portable, profitable niche market.

You either like mushrooms or you don't. This makes them easy to purloin letter. Hide in plain sight.

Thank you author Edgar Allen Poe.

I make a nice donation to the city library every harvest.

A witch like me needs all the good karma I can get.

The profits I made in the city allowed me to buy this sizeable secluded piece of land and build the home of my dreams. The Knighton estate is a nice earth-friendly space that honors and combines nature and ingenuity. I know you expected me to live in a cottage, but that is such a passe traditional witch thing to do. For Earth Goddesses sake, I don't eat children. I don't even like children. They probably taste horrible with all their whiny little angst.

The witch, Beatriz, lives in the forest on the west side of my property. Like I said earlier she seemed like a wonderful neighbor and friend. We immediately got along. She was never interested in my gardening. Her thing was tinctures, love potions and crystals. She didn't enjoy playing in the dirt. Goddess forbid she break one of her perfectly manicured stepford wife nails.

That is, not until a few months ago...


Popping up unexpectedly was nothing new by now. A few months back, Beatriz, came to visit while I was working in the garden. While we were chatting, she casually picked and bit into one of my special magic mushrooms. It happened so quickly that I was stunned into immobility. She popped another bite in her mouth before I could stop her.


I know that the first time was innocent. I am rational, yet

I was still pissed. A person with manners would have, at least, uttered two teensy, tiny, little words...May I, before helping themself. I mean seriously, what if they had been poison. Besides, you are supposed to wash mushrooms before you eat them. We may be shitty witches, but witches we still are.

I bit my tongue to keep from freaking out and choking her.

I wanted to yell at her to spit it out but figured it would increase her interest in my garden...particularly the mushrooms.

I barely managed to keep my face stoic. I almost cracked a tooth clenching my jaw so hard. Inside, oh yeah, I was losing my shit.

She smacked her lips in loud appreciation and smiled brightly.

"Oooh, Savvy! Now you have got yourself something there! My goodness!"

This witch seemed oblivious of her crime. Five hundred dollars of magical product was sitting in her digestive tract. That is a misdemeanor.

Someone please dial 911, a horrible crime has just taken place.

Beatriz proceeded to inform me she was going to make a mushroom omelet with the remaining portion and thought the color was fantastic and the flavor was 'yummy' as she turned to make her way back home. She didn't see the steam coming out of my ears.

A little song played in my mind against the melody of Frozen's Do you wanna build a Snowman as she walked away.

I said do you want to fight me

Do you wanna catch these hands

Witch, I'll catch you in these streets

Come with that beef

Witch, I'll beat yo' ass...

I let out a breath I had not realized that I was holding. Ugh she was so annoying! It wasn't long after that incident that our friendship began to deteriorate.

Once fully cooked, the spell weaved into the mushrooms dissipated. The majority of the mushrooms in my garden were your standard run-of-the-mill portobellos and bought by local restaurants and grocers in the small town of Forestdale. The unusual color was a big draw. The color was the secret. It was what bound the spell to the mushroom in that precise manner. I tried other colors: blues, pinks, greens. Did you know there are almost three hundred shades of green and those are just the ones we can see.

Why are there soo many greens?

The only green I enjoy seeing is the colors on cash. I also take credit and digital currency donations if you were wondering.

My unique magical mushrooms are for winners.

Let me back up.

That's not entirely true. My magical beauties exist for losers with money who need a W.

I cast for the underdog, the least among us. That's my story and I am sticking to it. I do not need influential people gaining even more power. They would use it to subjugate the less fortunate like they already do. In the wrong hands, my magical beauties could be dangerous.

An uncooked or lightly steamed consumed mushroom cut into three pieces gives you three wishes. The effect is immediate and temporary. You have to make the most of the opportunity as it presents itself.

Passed over for a plum job position, suddenly a spot would be available. Had low sales numbers last month, guess who was going to break this month's record? Have you lost an acting gig to a more voluptuous, less talented actress? Guess who suddenly gets explosive diarrhea on set? They don't work for making people like you or fall in love with you. See Beatriz for that messy emotional stuff. I don't do messy or emotional. I am a practical application sort of person.

You get the point.

After that, it was up to you to see your wish through. I guess it was more like fast-tracking than actual wish-granting. Tomato, tom-ah-to.

In this case, my frigging mushrooms.

Smart people only needed one. Fortunately, most people weren't that smart and wished for finite things. Others expected the mushroom to do all the work. I wasn't selling genies in a bottle. My 'shrooms were a goldmine operation that kept on giving-the cash cow for my quiet, simple life.

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. She stopped asking and began helping herself. Beatriz became 'That Witch.'

I wasn't aware of her deception until I would harvest them, and some would be missing. This was a problem. It was only going to be a matter of time before she discovered my secret. I had to stop her from coming into my garden, perhaps even my plot of forest.

I went to her cottage and kindly asked her to stop stealing my mushrooms. I explained that I sold them at the farmer's market along with my other vegetables. I even brought her over a small basket of fresh vegetables and a few mushrooms from my regular garden. I depended on the income, I didn't want to work a traditional job. Because the mushrooms were large, they were my most prized and profitable vegetable. To my credit, I asked nicely twice.

The rules were simple. Stay off my property and stop stealing my shit.

The third time was not one of my more delicate moments.

She seemed a little put off initially but said she wouldn't take anymore. She didn't stop. It got worse. Beatriz enjoyed the fact that a simple act of taking something of mine annoyed me. Well, most people I know don't like their stuff stolen.

Fucking klepto-narcissistic witch.

Oh wow, did I just say that out loud? Excuse my American.

"Stay off my property, and I don't want to see even one of your witchy feet in my forest," I screamed as I chased her off my land for what seemed like the 100th time. This was getting ridiculous. I was getting in more cardio than at the gym.

Over the last few months, things have escalated. We have moved on from screams and threats to no longer speaking. To answer your question, yes, I have beef with this witch. It's not a cute little succulent tenderloin-sized beef; I am talking a Fred Flinstone brontosaurus size beef.

She has tried every trick in the book to get her hands on my mushrooms. Beatriz acts like this is a game. It's not a game or cute or funny anymore. She is breaking three of the 'don't mess with my...' fundamental rules. The rules were simple.

1. Don't mess with my money

2. Don't mess with my food

3. Don't mess with my children

Technically the third doesn't apply to me, but in general just DON'T.

We ended up destroying a few trees as we flung spells at each other. I whipped one out so fast and hard that you would have thought I was playing in MLB. I ended up with a sprained wrist. Stupid witch had me wearing a brace for three weeks.

If I am going to sprain my wrist, I better be getting something pleasurable for my trouble.

That was truly sad. Earth witches respect nature and I appreciate my precious hands to weave my magic.

I am beginning to think Beatriz unintentionally figured out what they were. No one loves mushrooms enough to go through the effort to steal them unless they get you high or are magic, like mine. Maybe Beatriz can sense the enchantment. Maybe she is smoking them and getting high.

If I know Beatriz, she is probably trying to figure out how to reverse engineer the spell to make her own. I can't let that happen. Having a monopoly on my mushrooms allows me to get a ridiculous sum of money. Remember, it took me four years of literal blood, sweat, and side effects to perfect them. She can't be allowed to figure it out. I'll cut a witch if I have too.


Forest Haven, a type of woodland suburb, in the city of Forestdale was home to a laid-back atmosphere. Beautiful homes of all shapes, and sizes were surrounded by lush, thick forests and two lane streets. It was well-kept idyllic town and country living. Forestdale was sort of like a Southern Living meets Martha Stewart Magazine come to life. It wasn't like the creepy, this is how all horror movies start, kind of place. Most of the Forest Haven residents were friendly earth witches like myself. Lots of witches had families or partners but most importantly they left each other to their own devices.

You are probably wondering why I didn't enchant my garden or my property forest line. I have lived here for three happy years.

Except when mom comes to visit.

We have paranormals in all sectors of Forestdale.

Forest Crest is vampire territory

Forest Grove has it's fair share of lycans, and werewolves

Forest Lake Island is home to Mermaids and Fae folk.

Forest Haven has witches and warlocks living together in peace. Some even work on the police force. Crime was almost non-existent. Magic was commonly used out in the open. Witches could make what they needed. If they couldn't they would trade or buy it. They were normal in the way of being human, with jobs, marriages, mortgages, children and pets with a side of magic thrown in for good measure. I didn't feel like I needed to enchant my property with a protection spell. That would have stirred the other witches curiosity immediately.

You would think there would be some solidarity-honor among witches. We are from different covens, sure, but that didn't matter much these days. All she had to do was keep her hands out of my garden. She could have asked for a mushroom. Of course, it would not have been magical. She could have eaten mushroom omelets until her cholesterol spiked for all I cared. Beatriz was not well acquainted with boundaries, subtle warnings, or common manners.


"Seriously! Again? This witch doesn't seem to learn."

I saw the branches suddenly sway at the edge of my property near my magical mushroom garden as I passed by the kitchen window. My footsteps slowed. There was no breeze. That freaking witch next door can't keep her witchy little hands to herself! I fumed.

Her invisibility spell was almost on point. However, she had yet to tangle with my transformation spell. I watched as several of my fattest mushrooms were plucked and floated in the air out of my garden. It was all I could do to remain indoors instead of rushing out and punching her in her currently invisible face. That's ok. Two can play this game. This act of trickery was the last straw.

I recite an incantation that will turn those three mushrooms into golems who will torment her for 48 hours straight as soon as she steps foot off my property. Any witch worth her salt could deal with a golem. They were just troublesome.

I need a break from being constantly on edge. Beatriz was causing me to have anxiety.

If she survives, at this point, I could give a flying broomstick; that should teach that thieving daughter of a ...well, you know.

I laugh happily to myself. Beatriz would never expect a simple earth witch like me to know dark magic spells. People tended to underestimate witches that looked like me. Satisfied, I settle down for a peaceful evening spent reading my latest alien book boyfriend.

My preemptive strike using the golems should end the property battles and Beatriz's theft of my prized mushrooms. If this creative measure doesn't work, I may have to cut a witch! Honestly, I would hate for it to come to that.

I admit to myself as I settle into bed, I'm a little worried that she may be what I feared most. The whole reason for moving to Forest Haven was to be discreet and hidden from power-hungry people. She may be the herald of a bigger problem to come.

Resigned to not lose any sleep over her tonight, I close my eyes and drift off. I will deal with whatever comes next.

Nobody crosses this witch. 🍄

~ ©️Venis Nytes

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