Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

A witch walks into a bar. Heads turn and phlegm is conjured from the depths of throats and spat from pursed lips to the floor. The sight of her simultaneously repulses and excites, and the rooms huddled patrons collectively decide that the air has thickened and suddenly tastes of rot.

Hair, blacker than the pit of a raven’s pupil. Skin, a creamy brown the tint of souring milk. Her eyes are hazel, which is fitting and so profoundly beautiful that none can help but be pulled into the sticky reeds that reach up out from their depths.

Her lips stick at the edges as they open and now let spill the lull of her fishnet whisper.

“Whiskey”, she purrs and the room squeals in silent agreement, this is no drink for a woman. But more evidence of the wickedness that bubbles and pops at her core.

The barman is a lean and wistful fellow and he pours the smooth folds of her drink.

Her breasts are firm, and the waste who leans slumped into a beer at her side thinks they point at him through the tightness of her goat-leather vest. He imagines them scarred from a multi-tongued lash and that her groin is malodorous and cold.

“They burn whores. Sweet flame to peel their filthy rind and send it down unto ash”, snarls the fester-toothed woman at her back and slightly off to the right.

“Strapped to a plank, rocks layered atop their bodies until the evil is crushed, seeping from every last pore”, chimes in the accountant, two-metres behind her left shoulder.

“My son drowned. Tempted to drink and possessed to strip naked and dance to the moon, then cast to the midnight surf. Poisoned by a harlot hag”, says a gun slinger, adjusting the sling of his guns.

“I seen it happen…”, snaps the wistful barman. “… drink”, and she gulps down a mouthful of fiery malt and thinks about angle and distance.

“Not witch. I’m Lellis, daughter of the House of Lilith. I know well the crimes of this plain. For the nameless legions of women; the herb pickers, the healers and those who found solace in allegiance to deities outside of your own, those you burnt and gouged and branded, I take from you and offer to them your pathetic and nescient lives.”

There’s but a blur as she draws the weapons that line the inside of her cloak. Blackened bolts of iron pin the barman’s hands to the bar. Pivoting, they then fly as bullets from the tips of her outstretched hands, punching into the ignorance that lumps in the deep of their throats.

“You’ll like this part”, she says, leaning into the barman.

“My knives have no need of point. A dull flat end makes for much more theatre. I’m told that upon mortal flesh they crackle. Any minute now. Any minute… Well, this is embarrassing.”

Then, bodies that lay clutching the gurgle suck in their necks, begin to bloat. Their skin stretches and renders apart and splatters across the room in a vomit of smouldering flesh.

“There you go”, says the daemon, frowning as she turns to the barman.

“Bastard, you’re one of us. You rile these humans against the unprotected, you pull the strings of their prejudice and hate as you sit amongst them and pour out their drinks. How very human!”

A daemon walks out of a bar. For all of her bravado, she thinks she may not enjoy this killing, and she licks the wistful crunch of soot at her lips.