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Thing-A-Day #5

Oso and the Witch


Once upon a time, there was a robot named Oso. Now, Oso was a well-doing citizen of a kingdom named Countricitistatadonia, and he was respected by all. He didn't have his own family; sure, he had parents and cousins and uncles and the like, but he had no wife or children of his own. He was fairly young for a robot, about 27 years old, and he was neither rich nor poor. He was always very curious and was willing to help the greater good, even through self-sacrifice.

Like many robots in Countricitistatadonia, he was a farmer, and lived in a small village. Because he was not rich, he could not afford a car to drive to the larger cities, like Aluminia or Kimberton. However, like nearly everyone in the small village of Jabarti, where he lived, he was also not poor. Thus, he could afford other methods of transportation, like roller skates, or a cow. Oso specifically owned a horse, whom he named Lorem. Oso loved Lorem very much.

One day, the mayor of Jabarti, named Jove Remaldi, received fascinating news! There were several citizens that came up to him and told him of a new citizen. Normally, Jove knew all of the citizens in Jabarti, due to the fact that it was such a small town. There was usually a lot of talk whenever a new citizen arrived, and he would go to meet them. However, he was made aware that this citizen had been here for a few weeks, and no one had mentioned it. He found this very odd.

He investigated deeper and found that the new citizen's name was Decima Attick, and she lived in the forest surrounding the east side of town. She was a witch, which, in some other cities in other cultures or countries, would be frowned upon. However, Jove (and all of Jabarti) knew that witches were very helpful, friendly, and brought many things to the table in a healthy and diverse community. He made it a point to meet Decima as soon as possible, and properly welcome her to the village.

Jove went about his daily business, and soon forgot of meeting Decima. Around noon, he was visiting the farmers on the southern portion of Jabarti, and he arrived at the dwelling of Oso. The two engaged in conversation, and Oso mentioned how he had heard of the new citizen in the town.

"I've heard talk of a new witch in our village. I haven't gotten around to meeting her, but I've heard that she mainly sticks to herself," said Oso to the mayor.

"I also have heard of her. I haven't met her yet either, but I would assume she's nice, as no one says anything negative of her," replied the mayor.

Jove looked at his watch casually, and noticed that it was nearing 2 PM. He had a meeting at City Hall at 2:30, and he didn't want to be late for it. He wrapped up his conversation with Oso.

"I don't have time today to meet her, but if you could go over to the forest and talk with her for me, I would really appreciate it," the mayor concluded.

"Sure thing!", promised Oso.

After the mayor had left Oso's house, Oso decided that he was going to go and meet the town's new witch. He saddled up Lorem, and departed, heading first north into the main village, then east to the forest.

When Oso and Lorem arrived at the forest, they were astounded by how dark the forest was. Usually, on a bright and sunny day like that day, light would stream down through the leaves, and illuminate the green moss and brown-gray trees that inhabited the forest. However, no light was shining down through the leaves. Also, the normal soft mossy smell was replaced by a damp, musky smell.

"Wow, things sure have gotten dark around here," Oso said to Lorem.

"Neigh," responded the horse, which in all actuality approximately came out to, "Why, yes dear master. It is quite dark! And I am fearful for what lurks in these woods. I advise you to not enter, for both of our lives' sake!" But Oso, of course, did not understand him.

Oso led Lorem further into the forest, and the two of them passed several shadows that scared Lorem and would have scared Oso, had he been paying attention to them. They passed large spiders and rotten tree stumps.

"Gee whiz, things sure have changed since the new witch moved in," Oso remarked.

"I have a feeling that she is the cause behind this, and we should heed any signs that suggest we turn back. I will say once again that we need to preserve our lives by leaving this vicinity!", Lorem would have said if he could speak, which of course, he could not.

"Look up there! Light!", Oso remarked. Up ahead, there was a clearing in the woods, which let out to a lake, Lake Wagamongotongo. He could make out the frame of a house along the shore of the lake. "We're almost there, Lorem!"

Oso kept on for a bit, but noticed something on the ground in front of him. It was a cauldron, with a lid slightly ajar. This intrigued him, and he got closer. What captivated Lorem's attention, however, was the bear guarding the cauldron. He tried to bring this to Oso's attention, but failed due to his condition as a horse. Luckily though, Oso noticed before he could do anything to wake the bear.

"Do you think we should open the pot with that bear over there, Lorem?", Oso asked, not expecting a response.

"ARE YOU ACTUALLY INSANE?", Lorem tried to say, but it came out as a weird mix of stammers and grunts.

"Should we go back?", he inquired to no one he expected an answer from.

"Did the bear not bring this to your attention," the horse approximated, but which ended up sounding like "neigh".

"Nay? Well, aren't you fancy!", Oso joked. "I'm glad to see you're as curious as I am."

Lorem screamed inside, but just breathed heavily on the outside.

Unfortunately, this somewhat one-way conversation woke up the bear. He stared at Lorem and Oso, and, realizing the job he had to perform, jumped into action. He began a deep, guttural growl, emanating first from his chest, then his mouth.

"Gee willikers! This is really bad," Oso noticed.

"Why did I even stay?", Lorem wondered.

Just then, a whistle called out. The bear stood his ground, and no one moved. A figure started approaching, and after a minute or two, it became clear that this was the witch.

"You're lucky that you didn't touch the cauldron, or you would be very dead right now," said the witch. "There is literally no way you could have survived the mauling that Henri would have given you."

"wow, I'm sorry your witchiness," replied Oso.

"Do you talk like this all the time, or are you just acting dumb?" asked the witch.

Oso completely missed the insult, as he was oblivious to most things. Lorem tried to respond, "The latter," but did and could not.

"Regardless, why are you here in my neck of the woods?", the witch queried. Secretly, she was very proud of the pun she just made. "Yes, that was brilliant," she thought.

"Well, the mayor asked me to talk to you," said the one in the duo who could speak. The other one would have given a very different answer.

"What did he want you to talk to me about?"

"Well, I dunno. I suppose, just to talk?"

"I suppose you have talked to me. Your mission is complete," she said, turning away.

"Wait!", Oso called out. "What's in the cauldron?"

"Look if you want. I am not worried if you see it." She walked away, back into her perfectly suburban house.

Oso turned to the cauldron. His photosensors widened in curiosity. His hand grabbed the lid and slowly lifted it. And, inside, was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. Lorem trotted over to the cauldron and looked in as well. He was also amazed. It was a beauty that neither of them could describe, but for completely different reasons.

The two went back home. They felt different, enlightened. Oso was about to fall asleep, and start dreaming of the item in the cauldron, when he realized that he forgot to tell the mayor about the witch! He jumped out of bed and ran to the mayor's house on the southwest corner of the village. He knocked on the door, but the mayor was asleep, and did not hear him. Oso was very tuckered out from his day, and fell asleep on the mayor's porch.

The end.

tags: writing wednesday, oso and the witch, writing, bad short stories, robots, witches, thing a day, 1 to 200