You Put A Spell On Me


Sheen says: This post was going to be written by Soraya, as promised in the agreement we reached with Heen a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, for reasons which will become clear later, she is barely in a fit state to write anything.


I’d known for some time that Soraya’s mother was a bit on the weird side. When we were kids, she was the kind of person our mother used to steer us away from. We were told to spurn her gifts and politely turn down invitations to her house. We knew she had a daughter, a few years younger than Heen and me, but we rarely saw her. We knew her name was Soraya, and she went to a different school, on the other side of the city. It was only when we had left school and started going out to bars and other places that we got to know Soraya, and she soon became a close friend of mine. Heen has always thought she’s deranged, but I know he has a soft spot for her, and they get on well together when he’s not in one of his moods.


Soraya’s mother disappeared in mysterious circumstances a few years ago, shortly after our parents died. From then onwards, Soraya has become almost a “third twin”, and I see her most days. The three of us meet up at least once a week, to go out for a drink, or see a film or something. It’s true that Heen and I sometimes make fun of her (she has the kind of personality that almost deliberately invites it) but it’s more frequent for Soraya and I to gang up on Heen (in a nice way, usually). Before long, I’m sure Heen and Soraya will join forces against me, but that’s OK.


A few weeks ago, Soraya revealed to us that her mother was a witch. She went to great lengths to explain that she was a “blue witch”, a term that I’d never heard of. It turns out that “blue” witches are neither evil nor good. They don’t go round killing children or helping people recover their loved ones; they’re more interested in their own lives, finding out what they can do with their powers, performing pointless experiments, creating dubious works of art, interfering with the weather, etc., just for the hell of it. I asked Soraya if her mother had ever cast a spell on her and she replied that her mother had occasionally helped her pass her exams at school, but had also got her expelled. Heen wanted to know if her mother had left her any spell books and that’s when we got our hands on “The Book of Blue Shadows”…


The book is written in a strange language we haven’t been able to identify. It took Heen several years to begin to decipher it, mostly by trial and error, and there is still an awful of which seems to make no sense at all.


One of the spells that most caught Heen’s imagination was entitled “Being Pamela Anderson” and seemed to involve a method to convert a normal human being into Pamela Anderson. After many months’ hard work, Heen declared a few days ago that he had cracked the code, and knew how to carry out the spell. All we needed now was a human guinea pig, and, needless to say, Soraya volunteered, anxious as ever to get into Heen’s good books.



Obviously, the spell called for a full moon, so we had to wait a bit. We took advantage of the few days left to assemble all the ingredients necessary for Soraya’s transformation. The toad’s spleen and lyophilised bat’s vomit was easy enough to get hold of (it’s amazing what you can get at Carrefour these days) but we had a hell of a time finding extract of Cleopatra’s gall bladder (thanks, Abdullah!) and had to improvise a few bits and pieces.


Eventually, the right night arrived, and at about 9 pm, the three of us made our way to the municipal cemetery. Getting in was no problem – we climbed the wall with ease, and then searched for a suitable tombstone. It was smooth and flat, and we laid a blanket on it, and opened a bottle of cava to celebrate (Anna de Codorniu, Heen’s favourite). An eerie heaviness descended on the graveyard as we sipped the silent bubbles.


Soraya burped. “That might be my last burp”, she remarked quietly. Heen and I didn’t know what to say.


I started to empty the contents of my rucksack onto the blanket. Heen opened the Book at the right page and got to work.


The first thing to do was to bind Soraya in pink wool. We used acrylic four-ply “Istanbul  Rose” by Sirdar, but I’m sure you could use anything. Then we had to brew a kind of tea using the bits of bat, toad and gall bladder, with thyme, tapioca and cardamom and then add a good splash of cava. According to the “recipe”, we had to swill this around in our mouths and then spit it out into Soraya’s face. The taste was foul, as you can imagine, but it was kind of fun spraying it at Soraya.


Phase two was to bury Soraya in a heap of rotting maple leaves. We made do with the leaves from the branches that hung over the tombs because, as Heen pointed out, “maple” was probably a generic term and anyway, Soraya’s mother had probably never seen a maple tree in her life. Soraya gasped uncomfortably, but on the whole took it well, knowing that her Pamelization was inexorably underway.


“I can’t breathe!”, she complained.


“Hold your breath and think of Tommy Lee”, said Heen.


“That’s not nice”, I said.


When Soraya was well and truly buried, we had to perform a sort of Apache war dance, trampling her underfoot and chanting “Wachapacha – magachumpa” which was how Heen transliterated the bizarre hieroglyphics in the Blue Witch manual.


The final phase involved a unicorn but we had to waive that.


“Right. That’s it. Now we just have sit hear and wait for something to happen”, announced Heen. “It should take about twenty minutes.” He coolly switched his iPod on and started drumming his fingers on an adjacent tombstone. I thought I recognised “Starless” by King Crimson – quite fitting for an evening in the cemetery.


I could see that Soraya was writhing unpleasantly under the leaves and thought I heard her groan once or twice but I couldn’t make out what she was saying. I nervously went for a little walk, wanting and not wanting to look at my friend. I discovered that the grave to my left was occupied by Gervasio Pérez Torres, born 1923, died 1971. I wondered what kind of life he’d had on earth and what he was up to these days.  On my left there was a very elaborate mini-mausoleum in memory of Asunción Fernández Miralles. A bunch of plastic gladioli had been deposited by the side of a grimacing cherub. 


“What if the spell goes horribly wrong?”, I turned to ask Heen.


He shrugged. “What’s the worst thing that could happen? Soraya will have a few aches and pains and will need a shower, that’s all. We’ve got nothing to lose and a lot to gain. And just think…” He turned off his music and I could see a wild glow in his eyes. “We could manufacture a whole colony of Pamela Andersons.”


“But you’ve never liked Pamela Anderson!”, I protested. “What is the matter with you? Maybe it’s you that’s been transformed – into Borat!”


Heen grinned. “Aw, come on, you know it’d be fun to turn Soraya into Pamela Anderson. Let’s just wait and see what happens with this Blue Witch Project.”


The heap of leaves was churning, and there was a strange squeaking noise coming from underneath.


“Something’s happened all right”, I muttered.


“Shall we have a look?”, said Heen, clearing away the leaves.


The first thing we noticed was that Soraya had shrunk. The shape of her body was very different. We picked off the last of the leaves. Something blue emerged.


“Oh my God”, I gasped.


“Hmmm… this doesn’t remind me of Baywatch”, observed Heen.


“What are these… thorny things??”


“They look like spines.”


” Oh my God”, I repeated, “What have we done?”


“I think the experiment has gone a bit wrong”, admitted Heen. “Instead of Pamela Anderson, I think we’ve turned her into …SONIC THE HEDGEHOG!”




(to be continued….)



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