Snolly Goster was a twelve-year old witch. Snolly Goster was out on this Halloween night walking her pet barking spider named Bumdinger. Snolly Goster held Bumdinger on a leash of gossamer thread.
Snolly Goster could mingle this night, without a spell, among all the happy young mortal trick-or-treaters and their parent escorts. This was Snolly Goster’s favorite night. It was every witch’s birthday.
Snolly Goster watched the orange Halloween Moon moving behind small dark clouds first as a crescent, then as a cat, then as a face, then as a number 3. Then the Halloween Moon peeked over the small dark clouds with orange rays like a sunburst.
Snolly Goster heard from behind herself, “Snolly! Hey, Snolly.”
It was Lob Lolly, her werewolf friend. It was very unusual for a witch and a werewolf to be friends but they were young and idealistic.
Lob Lolly came up to Snolly Goster and smiled shyly. Then Lob Lolly looked down at Snolly Goster’s pet barking spider, Bumdinger, and Lob Lolly said, “Hey, Bumdinger, you are gettin’ big, little buddy,” then he looked back up at Snolly Goster and asked, “Has Bumdinger woven a web of lies yet?”
Snolly Goster looked down at Bumdinger and said in baby-talk, “Yes you have, yes you have, haven’t you, that’s right, ’cause you are my sweet little Bumdinger, aren’t you, aren’t you?” and the gossamer leash twirled and vibrated.
Lob Lolly shyly asked Snolly Goster, “Can I walk with you?”
Snolly Goster replied, “Of course.”
So Lob Lolly and Snolly Goster strolled side-by-side along the festively bustling neighborhood sidewalks. Many young trick-or-treaters admired Lob Lolly’s werewolf costume and complimented Snolly Goster’s witch costume.
Several parents said that Lob Lolly and Snolly Goster were a cute couple. Lob Lolly silently agreed.
Lob Lolly whispered a wish upon the Halloween Moon that Snolly Goster could be his girlfriend. And more. It was a lot to ask of the Halloween Moon. Witches and werewolves almost never consorted. Lob Lolly was still amazed at his good fortune that Snolly Goster had ever even talked with him in the first place. Witches are so complicated and werewolves are so simple. But such good fortune had emboldened Lob Lolly and he was sure that the Halloween Moon had a further destiny for him.
Lob Lolly asked Snolly Goster, “Snolly, have you heard mortals speak of a ‘soul mate’?”
Snolly Goster stopped while Bumdinger barked at a cricket and she replied, “Sure, Lob.”
Lob Lolly continued casually, “I think it sounds nice.”
Snolly Goster replied thoughtfully, “Yes, I think I agree.”
Lob Lolly sighed, “It’s kind of a shame that we don’t have souls, don’t you think?”
Snolly Goster and Lob Lolly continued their stroll with Bumdinger. They passed a little girl in a princess costume who was crying into her mother’s knees. Snolly Goster said at last, “Lob, you know that souls don’t always get what they want. They aren’t governed by the Queendom of the Moon as we are.”
Lob Lolly nodded, “Sure, sure. But Snolly, don’t you think that Fate would be fun to try?”
Snolly Goster said, “Lob, ‘just say no’,” but then Snolly Goster leaned toward Lob Lolly and giggled and whispered, “I do have a spell…”
Lob Lolly trembled and asked, “A soul spell?”
Snolly Goster nodded and whispered, “The spell rents a soul.”
Lob Lolly said eagerly, “Snolly, I’ll try it if you will.”
Snolly Goster debated herself, “This would be the perfect time to try it, but…”
Lob Lolly asked, “But what?”
Snolly Goster said gravely, “Lob, there is one danger. If the rented soul encounters its soul mate then the..,”
Lob Lolly prodded, “Yes? If it encounters its soul mate… what?”
Snolly Goster continued, “Then the, say, werewolf or, say, witch keeps that soul and becomes mortal.”
Lob Lolly trembled but he asked nonchalantly, “Oh, what are the chances of that?” and then he silently beseeched the Halloween Moon.
Snolly Goster grinned and whispered, “Do you really want to? We could. Should we?” and Snolly Goster giggled nervously.
Lob Lolly smiled and said, “OK, sure. Let’s do it. I want to do it.”
Snolly Goster hesitated demurely, “Lob, this is my first time with this spell.”
Lob Lolly gently encouraged, “Well, it will be my first time, too, you know?”
Snolly Goster at last said, “OK, Lob, let’s do it,” and then she lifted Bumdinger up onto her shoulder.
Lob Lolly crossed his claws as Snolly Goster began to twerk and chant, “Our Moon, Who glides in the heavens, Halloween be thy name, my will be done. Give us this Fate, this nightly dread. Fore give us a trespass into those who trespass into us. Then lead us back from temptation and deliver us… a pizza,” and Snolly Goster said aside to Lob Lolly, “I’m hungry.”
Lob Lolly trembled and said, “Whoa, the colors! The colors of my fur! It is changing. I feel weird! I don’t feel werewolf any more. Whoa!”
And so Lob Lolly’s fur withdrew under his skin and he stood there a handsome mortal boy. He looked at Snolly Goster.
Snolly Goster’s skin became milky and radiant. Her eyes were no longer dark reflective whirlpools but they had become like lavender gems to Lob Lolly.
Lob Lolly said urgently to Snolly Goster, “I love you, Snolly Goster,” and then he suddenly doubled over in pain. His rented soul had taken root and Lob Lolly now belonged to that soul.
Indeed, Lob Lolly was in the presence of his soul mate as he had hoped and prayed. But he would be a werewolf no more, forever. Lob Lolly didn’t care.
Snolly Goster became frightened and reversed the spell upon herself, as was all she could do.
Lob Lolly then saw himself back in the whirlpools of Snolly Goster’s eyes.
Lob Lolly howled, “Snolly! You are my soul mate! What has happened!?”
Snolly Goster covered her mouth and said, “Oh, my Moon, Lob! Didn’t you realize that a soul mate can be solitary if the other soul doesn’t reciprocate?”
Lob Lolly howled louder, “Reciprocate?” then still louder, “Reciprocate?! I love you, Snolly Goster, and I know you love me! Why didn’t you admit it? Why?!”
Snolly Goster chattered, “Oh, my poor Lob! I am so sorry, but I really don’t think of you that way. I am so sorry. You are a friend, a good friend, but you are… you were a werewolf and I have so many other witch’s plans, so many.”
And Bumdinger, sitting on Snolly Goster’s shoulder, happily spun a great big web with that lie.
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