For eighty-two years old "Auld Mrs Mackenzie" as everyone called her was a canny soul, no matter what came her way she tackled it. Born in the early twenties she was renowned for her tales and brought many people good luck. Wherever she went, whomever she bumped into, the person she met either won something or found happiness, she had a certain aura about her which no one could explain.
It was believed she was able to heal the sick, no one in the village sent for a Doctor they sent for Mrs Mackenzie because no medicine could have the power her potions had, within a few days the sick person was up and about as if they were not sick in the first place, people sent for her within a three mile radius and beyond and she always came.
Many people tried in vain to get her magic potions formula but were never successful. She kept dark bottles in her vestibule on shelves only she knew the contents as she marked them with a code, so even if someone did get their hands on them they would be no good unless they were able to identify the contents, and what they were for... she took whatever she needed and packed them into a black bag similar to a doctors but hers had her initials in gold at the top beside the handle.
If you ever met Mrs Mackenzie you would not think she was Eighty Two Years old. A face with a fine complexion that looked so smooth, no wrinkles were evident, some folks thought she may have been using a potion to keep young, even the way she moved did not indicate her age.
Darren Oswarth was the local village idiot, he was always getting into scrapes, he wasn't a dangerous guy but he would try anything "just for a laugh" This particular evening he was with his mates in the village gardens, they had just left the pub, it was a fine summers evening and too hot to go straight home, so they always stopped at the park for a seat with the smuggled half empty glasses they carried from outside the pub.
This particular evening Darren was in the mood to annoy someone, his usual prank was either tap someone's door and run, start singing in the middle of the village square or torment passers by who were walking their dogs in the park.
Tonight Darren was goaded by the guys to attempt to break into Auld Mrs Mackenzies house just to see what goes on there, no one knew, the guys felt if they knew then it would end the rumours.
Rumour had it that Mrs M was a witch or was practising Black magic behind her old oaken door.
The only person Darren feared in the village was Mrs M, an earlier incident he got involved with Mrs M did not turn out good for him, he was jesting as usual and started to tease the old lady, she turned around glared at him and he was in utter agony for two days, it may have been a coincidence but he put it down to her putting a spell on him.
His face turned grey when the guys dared him to do it, one of Darren's weaknesses was that if he was goaded enough he would do anything and that included breaking into Mrs Mackenzies home, after a lot of banter and kidology he agreed to do it, tonight.
It was a full moon, not the best of starts Darren thought, they all headed out to the old lady's house making enough noise to be heard three miles away.
The house was covered with thick conifers it looked as if the trees were protecting the home the thickness was so that no one could slip through them however there was gaps at the bottom were the foxes or badgers probably got through, there were no lights on the place looked really errie.
Darren was having second thoughts, trying to get out of it but the guys were not having it, they pushed and pushed until Darren decided to get it over with and headed to check the windows.
The first window Darren checked was locked, he couldn't even see in, it was as if it was mirrored like those sunglasses you buy, still no evidence of light or a sound coming from the house.
The amount of noise the guys were making would have woken anyone up but still there was no sign of anyone being there or lights evident, Darren thought to himself just as well as he would have been caught red handed.
He slowly paced to the back of the house, he tried another window, locked and again he couldn't see inside, he then went to the back door which was as thick or maybe even thicker than the front door, he knew there was no way he could ever get in that way.The final window bar one was the window leading to the basement, this was a clear window but despite that he still couldn't see a thing, he reached into his pocket for his small pocket torch before trying the window, deep down he hoped it was locked, however it was open.
Tripping over what appeared to be an old painting, Darren finally got into the house, all he could see was a small spot coming from the torch, he could hear the guys screaming in the background and was tempted to go join them as it was only a matter of time he was going to get caught.
He saw a small light switch on the wall and wondered if he should switch it on, he gambled that no one was in as they would have heard all the din coming from outside, he pressed the switch on in the basement.
Littered all over on sturdy shelves were large bottles, similar to the bottles old Mrs M used but these were bigger, Darren confessed he had never saw bottles as huge as these anywhere ever.
Concentrating on his footing he reached the shelf to examine what was in the bottle...They were corked just like wine, but these bottles never contained wine, Darren was hopeful they did.
He began to try and uncork one of the bottles, they were pretty tight as if not opened for years, he had a lot of difficulty but Darren had a lot of strength.
At the last pull Darren hesitated he was wary of what was in the bottle so he took it easy, the cork finally came off with a "pop" sound just like a champagne bottle, some kind of gas was omitted as he smelled the top, a heavy gas that made him feel sleepy, the next thing he knew he was being sucked into the bottle, his body was breaking up into minute atoms and being sucked into the bottle at a speed, he couldn't scream, the gas was making him dozy, all he could do was stand there watching his body being swallowed up, there was no pain just a sense of sleepiness.
After his body was swallowed up, the cork was replaced, that's the last time anyone saw Darren.
The next day the daily Newspaper had its Headline, Five boys go missing after night at village pub, with a telephone number for anyone who might know their whereabouts.
Back in Mrs Mackenzie s house she was preparing her next concoction and humming away to herself, she then headed for the basement were five new jars sat on the shelf, new because there was no dust or cobwebs on them, she labelled each of them before humming her way back to the vestibule to continue her mixing.
Sometimes you bite off more than you can chew........
William Manson (c) 2010