"Toil and Trouble"
In a matter of minutes, Ashley began to come to from the effects of the herbal solution she had been coerced to ingest by the haggard old woman who invited her into the small hut in which she dwelled, deep within the dark forest outside of Hollow Ridge cemetery. As Ashley began to regain her consciousness, she felt the warm embrace of a steaming liquid surrounding her lower body and part of her torso. Ashley began to stir to find out what had happened in the moments while she was unconscious. Ashley could hear the old woman mumbling something in a sing-song manner behind her while she regained more and more awareness.
“Shadows of the night, creatures of the dark, guide the light from this soul so pure, to dwell within this vessel immured.” The old woman recited as she sprinkled a dose of a fine powder into the large cast iron pot in front of the fireplace. A pot that Ashley had been placed in while she lay unconscious. Ashley began to panic as she started to attempt to get herself out of the cast iron cauldron, but quickly found that somehow she’d been tightly bound and gagged by the frail old woman. The old woman grabbed a large wooden stick and began to stir the liquid inside the cauldron as it bubbled and boiled around Ashley. The liquid began to steam over the edge of the cauldron and Ashley felt weaker and weaker with each passing second. The old woman began to cackle while continuing to stir the cauldron and in only a few seconds time, her hair began to transform from a raggedy grey to a long flowing black. The discoloration of her greenish skin began to turn a flushed pink color while the wrinkles in her skin tightened all around her body and face. The once old looking woman began to grow younger and more powerful. Her raspy cackle morphed into a feminine laughter while Ashley sat helpless inside the large cast iron cauldron, growing weaker and more powerless with each passing second.