Friday, January 16, 2009
the witches of claymore court
I blame Sr. Marie for any interest I have ever shown in all matters of the occult. For grades 6 through 8, Sister was in charge of my artistic, literary and religious instruction, and although she was a very sweet, often silly old lady who looked a bit like a garden gnome when she smiled, she had a real bug up her ass about Satan. She didn't see him everywhere, but she did see him in many of the things that I loved. Bart Simpson was his lap dog and our gateway drug to all things demonic. Satan tempted us with lurid visions and music on MTV. He polluted our minds with MAD Magazine, teaching us violence and sarcasm and disrespect for authority through secret messages found on the back page fold-ins. And once he had managed to get his claws in us via one of the aforementioned vehicles, he would make us play with Ouija boards, which are, apparently, Satan's portal to the world of the living. According to Sr. Marie, Ouija boards housed demons, and tossing one into an open fire would send myriad Incubi and Succubi screeching into the black sky of night. Is it any wonder then why I loved playing with the Ouija board as a kid? I mean, how could I resist when she made it sound so freaking cool?

So, the way I see it, Sister Marie led to the Ouija board, which led to the Tarot cards, which led to the palmistry, which led to the book of spells, which led to me being cried out as a witch, which made it hella hard for me to get a date, which was really all Sister's fault. This Catholic school girl never stood a chance.

It was several years and one move later when I had finally built up to casting spells. Jenny, who lived in the house behind mine, was my BFF as well as my partner in the occult, and although our witchcraft stage was both brief and benign, it made a lasting impression on the other kids in our neighborhood. I was the new kid in town and Jenny's parents were suffocatingly strict, so neither one of us had much of a social circle beyond each other. Furthermore, we were both incredibly passive when it came to matters of the opposite sex, so when we finally admitted our crushes to one another (hers, a skater named John; mine, a crazy-haired boy named Ben), casting secret spells on them somehow seemed much more logical than doing something completely crazy like... I don't know... JUST TALKING TO THEM. So, we pooled our allowance money and begged a ride to the mall, where we mustered up the courage to buy a small book of spells from Waldenbooks.

Armed with our book, we headed back to my house to try out some of the love spells. Standing in my mother's kitchen, we melted crayons down in a pot on her stove, which we then formed into wax sculptures. We carved the names of our loves three time into our separate dolls, and then headed outside where we then cast a spell over them before melting them in the street, creating a purple puddle where (hopefully) their hardened hearts had melted along with the crayons. I realize how ridiculous this all sounds in the retelling, but understand that we took this very seriously at the time. We were powerful ladies, and we would take what we deserved.

Since we were in the street we were also in full view of the neighbors, and while we were otherwise distracted several neighborhood boys rode past on their BMX bikes. Curious, they stopped in front of our tiny conflagration to ask what we were doing, and not having enough sense to lie, we told them. Their eyes went wide as they looked at each other, then back at us, then back at each other, then cried "WITCHES!" before kicking up their kickstands to ride screaming down the street.

From that moment on, Jenny and I became known amongst the neighbor boys as the witches of Claymore Court, never mind that neither one of us ever cast another spell. It was a reputation I never thought I'd have, but I suppose it really wasn't so bad. They were sort of scared of us, and since we had always been sort of scared of them thanks to their penchant for wearing White Zombie t-shirts, we rather enjoyed feeling as if we had the upper hand. Of course, our brief foray into witchcraft totally backfired in its intended purpose. Ben and John somehow caught wind of our voodoo doll spell, and it (understandably) proved to be a massive turn-off.

So, if there's a lesson to be learned from all this, I suppose it would be that men don't dig witches, ladies. (Also, beware Bart Simpson/a.k.a. the Devil's familiar, kiddies.)


Post a Comment

<< Home