Black Magic Woman
There she was: admiring herself in front of the irregular and broken mirror. The Witch was feeling good, dressed up and almost ready to go. The dark glowing dress was a bargain bought in a supermarket. It was not an especially fashionable feature, but sufficient for the night ahead.
The butterflies in her tummy were going mad while the radio was playing the song 'Black Magic Woman' by Carlos Santana, making her anxiety levels seem visible from miles away.
The overpacked room, in a shared house with eight other people, had glitter all over it. The Witch knew that her flatmate, a sexist man in his 30's would be annoyed about the mess, but tonight was her night of fun and pleasure! His bad humour would have to wait until the following day.
The final adjustments were made: hat on, black eye makeup, purple lipstick, black curly hair, and a black spot on her nose. The high heel boots made her legs even more sexy and curved. She was feeling good and comfortable in her own skin.
One of her flatmates, a woman in her 40's, had just arrived from work. When she first saw the Witch, she started laughing loudly and uncontrollably. “You look ridiculous!” she said laughing, a pungent smell of beer and cigarettes wafting from her. “And you smell like shit,” the Witch responded.
The drunk woman didn't stop. She took out her smartphone and started taking photos of the Witch. They had never been friends, and had never socialised when the woman was sober. The Witch was sick of being friends with people at afterparties. Ignoring the inconvenient phone in her face, the Witch believed that nothing could stop her from enjoying her night. She was feeling good, looking even better, and nobody could take that feeling away.
The Witch worked as a cleaner during the day. She moved to the country which had given birth to Halloween three years before, on a wet and cold October. Before moving to Ireland, she had learned about the celebration at school, but had no real interest in it as a festival. Firstly, the date was not supposed to be celebrated in a country like her homeland because of the weather. Secondly, traditions like this could be viewed in a post-colonial way, and thus opposed. “We don't really need to import other countries' cultures. We have our own traditions and folklore celebrations here,” she said to her friends back home a few years before, when they asked her to go to a Halloween party.
However, as she had been living in Ireland for the last three years, the excitement around Halloween was hard to ignore. Working as a cleaner in different places and businesses, she noticed its impact on people. When the Witch first comprehended the commercial part of Halloween, it disturbed her deeply. In her first year following the Halloween season, she couldn't help stop thinking it's just about sales and costumes, and she ignored all parties and celebrations.
Her second year on the island post-Halloween was kind of cute. Once, she was cycling to work late at night when she saw gangs of children going door to door with bags full of candies. Their families were together, and the atmosphere was festive. When she was parking to go to her job, one sweet little Ghost walked in her direction and said, “trick or treat.” which was hard not to like.
The Witch became more flexible, and the buzz and interest generated by the season changed her feelings. After working hard for the previous two years nonstop, she decided to give herself a chance. “I will have my first Halloween, and I will be dressed as a Witch,” she told her best friend in the country.
After controlling her flatmate and escaping from the photo session, she finally walked through the door towards her big night. The weather was mild, and she had to put her jacket on, covering her lovely costume. She decided to spend the night in a popular Pub near her house. Her home was close to the Guinness brewery, which had loads of places to drink. One in particular, had signs on the door inviting people to come to a Halloween party that day. “The best customer will have free pints,” they said.
The light of the city and the noise of parties and celebrations blowing with the wind was an excellent start. The roads were busy, and people were happily celebrating.
There is something very odd about Irish Pubs: the closed windows. You never know what is inside. You can hear the laughs, tingling glasses and cutlery, the loud voices and conversation, but you can’t see what is happening.
The Witch arrived at the place, which wasn't as busy as she had expected. A few people were smoking outside. For one second, she regretted being there. But she decided: I will have my first Halloween! and that is that!
One of the men smoking looked at her and asked: “Are you coming for drinks?” She timidly answered, “Yes, it is Halloween!” The man gently opened the door, and when she entered the room, taking off her long jacket, all the eyes were on her. It was like every single person in the place turned their head and saw her...
The bartender was wearing a hat, just like hers. The Witch stood, looked down and walked. She crossed the space with as little movements as possible, but she could feel the hit of those eyes on her burning like flames. She was a real Witch! And she was the only person wearing Halloween clothes that night.
After covering the few metres from the door to the bar, she raised her head and said to the only person there dressed up for a Halloween: “Could I have a pint of Guinness, please?” The song 'Black Magic Woman' started playing on the jukebox. The bartender, with his beautiful hat, answered: “My pleasure, and tonight, you can have as much as you wish! You deserve it!”