This is an alternate ending to Fummy’s The Witch’s House. If you want to play the game and not get any spoilers, do not read any further. Reader’s discretion is advised.
Ellen already thinks that I’m gone. And that suits me just fine, really. She’s been a lot of fun, these past couple of years, centuries … Time makes no difference to me. Time is boring. But we’ve both got what we wanted, in the end.
The fact is: I couldn’t miss this for the world. She got out of the house that I crafted for her, that she built on with all that pain and suffering, mixing the potion in exactly the same way I taught her to destroy the wall of roses and thorns that Viola made for her. Ah, Viola. Poor Viola.
But look at her tenacity. Ellen did quite a job on her. It was easy, from I understand. Viola was a lonely girl, without a mother, with her fearfully overprotective father always hovering over her. She didn’t have any friends her age. There aren’t many little girls that live in the woods. In fact, there are no other little girls that live in these woods. Not anymore.
Ellen used everything I taught her to get one last new “friend.” The magicks keeping her alive, for far longer than her weak, diseased, frail, pale violet-haired little form should have even existed, were waning. She was practically bed-ridden by the time she lured beautiful, healthy, blonde-haired Viola to her side. And played Viola like her musical namesake: appealing to natural sense of pity, compassion, kindness and — more importantly — her sense of loneliness.
It’s funny. They were different from each other in so many other ways, but I’ll bet if they really had time to look at themselves in the cracked mirrors of my house they would have seen that loneliness was the only thing they ever had in common.
Oh, Ellen. I taught you far too well. Maybe I’ve just been in this form for far too long. I mean, you’ve won. You could have killed Viola many times over. You could have killed her from the very beginning. The body-switching spell that I taught you only required her initial consent: after that, you could have made her rat-food.
But there you are. You just have to gloat over her. You just have to remind her about how she agreed to let you borrow her sweet young body for just one day, how she trusted you, how you cut off your own legs with that knife, blinded yourself, and made her drink that potion that destroyed your old body’s voice to render her so helpless …
You thought of everything, my Ellen. But you just had to toy with her, didn’t you? And, I see … her father is coming. With his gun. I see exactly what you want to do. It’s brilliant. He will see you, in Viola’s body and see Viola trapped in the ruined horror of your old form and kill her.
I have to say, it didn’t take much to shape you into this. I mean, you already killed your own parents before you even knew I existed. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed eating their souls immensely, but I wanted more. You still had some regret then, some fear over your own death, but it didn’t take much to assuage those bad feelings away with promises.
And I did promise you, didn’t I? I promised to teach you how to write. And I did. I taught you to read all those stories. I instructed you in magic and how only equivalent exchange — instead of literal, physical keys — could unlock the secret places in my house. And I told you the secret of how to exchange your body for another’s. I even said I would help you do it: that my house and I would disappear once Viola was gone and you could start your new existence.
Of course, I also told you I would miss having this form.
Silly Ellen. You really should have cut off your own hands.
You still don’t get it. She’s not just uselessly twitching those fingers in your own blood in the soil down there. She has made her final decision. The thought never crossed your mind.
Just how was Viola able to use your own magic against you?
The thing about me, that you never questioned, is that as long as there are shadows I can be in more than one place at the same time. Remember, Ellen, time is boring to me. Most of it is filled with eating souls that I can’t hunt myself, because I can’t touch this world without one of you, or playing games with my prey in my own little way.
It wasn’t as easy as you might think it was. Viola truly was a really good girl. She, like your pet frog, really did love you. I’ve never understood unconditional love, the thing you’ve wanted badly: more than discarding that rotting corpse of a body. But it is an interesting bauble to play with.
The pain of being in that mutilated husk of yours got to Viola, my dear Ellen. It didn’t take much. She had already been desperate enough to drink that potion you gave her, to “make the pain go away.” And I promised her, just as I promised you so many years ago, that I could help her if she helped me, if she listened to me, if she … fed me.
But she resisted. She was on her way though. Just as you have fragments of her memory in your body, she had pieces of yours: just enough, with my gentle guidance, to use the house, to make illusions … to create that wall of roses. It was all just to stop you, though. She wasn’t there yet.
It wasn’t until I mentioned her father, being all alone, being alone with you, that she agreed to my terms.
And even then, all I gave her was the spell. Oh, there you are my sweet Ellen. Right back where you belong. Oh, look at her abuse you. She is angry. Kicking your ruined head. What is that look in your eyes, my friend? Betrayal?
Silly girl: what did you think witchcraft was all about? It is about equivalent exchange again, about substituting one thing for another. Actually, I lied Ellen. Witchcraft is about false equivalency. Did you really think you were getting anything close to an equal exchange in our dealings? Did you think that’s what you gave all those poor little boys and girls you experimented on all those years?
But more than that, I even told you: witchcraft is about giving your familiar, your tutor, a physical form: thus making you a witch. And even more than that, Ellen, it was all about keeping me fed … and entertained.
Oh, she’s stepped on your brittle little fingers. Viola’s already learning. In fact, she’s learned so much. She will make an excellent witch. Tell me, Ellen, though we will have more time to talk soon I see Viola’s father coming with his gun, do you know what is more delicious than eating innocent, murdered souls? Do you know what is more nutritious than dining on a soul tainted with centuries of bitterness, resentment, and cruelty?
What is more wonderful is taking an innocent soul, tempting it, destroying it, warping it in on itself, and turning it into another witch’s soul that — one day — I will eat with great relish. In the meantime, I will have a whole lot of appetizers.
Starting with you, Ellen.
Ah, you were attacking his poor daughter and got some gunshots to the head for your troubles. Still trying to get the happiness you never had, the joy you’ll never feel. I see the light fading from your bloody sockets. Now that is A Funny Story. Is that despair? I bet you didn’t expect that reward. But don’t worry, Ellen. I will take my time consuming you, just to let its flavor set in a little more.
In the meantime, yes, that’s right Viola. Thank your father for saving you. Introduce him to me. He is just relieved the witch didn’t get you and will give you anything now. And look at the new house, the new life, you’re going to build for each other.
But remember our agreement, young lady. You will feed me souls. And for the soul transference spell, you promised me the very first soul that came your way. It’s not like he really understood you anyway.
Yes, I just have to say: in the end it’s really easy being a little black cat.