It had been passed down from mother-to-daughter for generations. So the story goes.
I had never used it before. But then, I had no need to. Until now.
Yesterday I had rummaged through the spare room where it had been carefully stowed away since I had inherited it some ten years ago. I knew I had found the right box as soon as I laid my eyes upon it. Unlike all the other dusty cardboard boxes clogging up the room, the cauldron was stored in its own dusty wooden box, complete with iron clasps and lock, painted black.
But that was as far as I had dared to go. Finding the box. When the box was in my hands, I talk myself out of needing to open it, out of needing to get out the cauldron, out of using magic to fix my current predicament. I told myself I would sleep on it and make the decision in the morning.
But I didn’t sleep. Couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about the cauldron. I kept thinking that the answer to my problem was only a matter of few feet away, in the room next door.
Getting out of bed, I was drawn to the wooden box, to the cauldron. I walked out of my bedroom, and along the landing. I heard the clock at the bottom of the stairs chime the hour. It was midnight. I recalled my Grandmother had always called it the ‘witching hour’, which was apt, given what I was about to do.
I took a deep breath and pushed open the door to the spare room. The box was sitting on the floor, just inside. I had forgotten to close the curtains in the empty room, and now the moon was shining through the window, bathing the box in silver light.
It looked magical. It looked powerful. Yet I felt safe as I approached it. Like I was supposed to use it.
Crouching on the floor, I lifted the lid and carefully pulled out the cauldron. Sitting in the bottom were two items: an ornately decorated wooden spoon and a little old book. There was no writing on its cover. I turned to the first page where in a spidery script words announced what was apparently the most important rule when using the cauldron. Stir clockwise to attract. Stir anticlockwise to banish.
It sounded simple enough.
I took up the spoon and held it suspended in the space inside the cauldron. I closed my eyes and concentrated on what I needed to do. Then I began to stir…
This piece of flash fiction was inspired by the writing prompt ‘Cauldron’, from this month’s theme, ‘Witchcraft’. For more information, visit this page…