Three maybe witches traveled together.
They had witch stuff with them. Witch paraphernalia.
A tall, bent at the point hat.
Two small broooms.
A satchel of powdered hide of possibly cat, rhinoceros, and lip-toed lizard.
A pot. (cauldron)
Some might-be spell production books.
The King’s Men
The King has Representatives; His Men.
These Representatives lie in wait for opportune times to right wrongs and collect fees for doing so.
Taxation is just an aside, the King’s Men earnestly defend.
Their job is about justice. The King’s jiggly brand of Big-Pie Justice.
Anyway, they were lying in wait this day and who should happen upon them but these three maybe witches.
The maybees, unaware that they were being observed for other than tax purposes, traveled without worry.
Their meanderings brought them directly through a forest that the King and His Men had designed to be the perfect location to apprehend maybe witches and other neer-do-wells.
For redemption and correction.
And that’s what they did. Being good and caring adherents to the King’s words, they ensconced themselves behind shrubbery and ground vegetation so as to not have their gleaming suits of armor revealed by an awkward glint of moonlight.
There they hunkered down and waited, fingering holstered stainless steel blades while sipping robust blends of faraway bean juice and imbibing sweet powdered rings of fried bread.
The maybe witches were an easy snatch.
Employing a bewildering sparkle of stainless steel refracted moonlight, the King’s Men temporarily blinded their quarry in order to confuse and detain them.
Their ploy worked. The maybe witches were solid prey.
All witch stuff and sale-able loot was taken from the maybe witches and repatriated by the King’s Men whom knew quite well that the King originally owned everything anyway.
Each maybe witch was separated from their cohorts and threatened with Dungeon Time if they didn’t soon start squealing about where they conjured the witch supplies.
The King’s Men hoped that a little stress would encourage the maybe you’re all witches to start pointing accusatory broooms but, no such luck.
The maybe witches refused to play ball.
They had previously induced a spell on themselves which disallowed them from conversing honestly and openly with the King’s Men. Something that many maybe witches had done at their peril.
This was exactly the kind of collusive activity that the King’s Men despised.
Maybe witches working together to avert the King’s justice. . . ?!
Sickening, so very sickening to the King’s Men.
They then argued among themselves as to whether the broooms were impound-able on account of History revealing to the King’s Men that maybe witches will pay large for brooom reclamation.
Silly, cornered, maybe witches. . .
Backs were patted all around in the Men Of King’s camp.
They done good – the maybe witches were dungeonized, all assets had been forfeited to the King and a couple more maybe witch bodies had been added to those to be ransomed off to the highest bidder in a closed auction.
Sure the maybe witches could repurchase their freedom if they so chose but that opportunity seemed bleak to them now, given their current helpless predicament in the cold, dank bowels of King’s Castle.
Like all “guests” of King’s Castle, they were purposefully dehumanized and made vulnerable by shackles, cages and ignorant communication and were the next morning brought into the King’s Court where a Robed Representative of the King would reveal his pronouncement on their probable guilt or unlikely innocence.
(Sir Robed Representative was also paid by the King which made it nearly impossible to discount the noble efforts of his fellow Royal supporters, the grip happy blade wielding King’s Men)
The maybe witches were granted time to locate an Approved Representative who would argue on their behalf to Sir Robed Representative in the King’s Court, a place where only fools represent themselves.
It did not go entirely unnoticed by the maybe witches that Sir Robed and Approved Representatives seemed to be on a very cozy basis on account of Sir Robed Representative having been a partner in the same legal fictitious entity as their now Approved Representative.
It seemed the citizens of justice were related.
A second major challenge to their cause was that the Approved Representative was also anointed by, and beholding to, the King for a license to earn their keep from society’s scoundrels.
The maybe witches had a hunch that a fix had been in from the get-go.
The Approved Representative wanted payment in advance. Moar loot from the recently looted.
The maybe witches learned that the defense services offered by the Approved Representative were so valuable that many clients had refused to balance their accounts post conviction.
Hence the heavily suggested “retainer.”
Now the maybe witches waited while Approved Representative conspired with Sir Robed Representative to squeeze even more financial juice out of the trio.
All in the interest of keeping the Kingdom safe.
After a few delays for effect, the Approved Representative confirmed the maybe witches worst fears that there was little that could be done for them on account of it appearing that they would, without doubt, be found in King’s Court to in fact be Real Witches.
A major surprise for two of the maybe witches.
And, as all three of them knew, Real Witches were not allowed to roam about freely.
They would be housed in the King’s Dungeon where friends and family (and even some folks they didn’t know) would be forced to pay for not only their existence and torture expenses but also the costs of the King’s Men.
After the necessary bafflegab and as predicted by their Approved Representative, Sir Robed Representative coyly found that the King’s Men were absolutely right and good in pouncing on these damnable witches.
A scourge to society! Sir Robed Representative called them.
The stately adjudicator frowned down hard from on high and with eyebrows bushing wildly sentenced the maybe witches to a lifetime of indebted conformity and a prolonged stint as the King’s “obligatory guests.”
They had graduated to Real Witches.
Stirring the big pot now.
Two years blazed by.
The now Real Witches, while confined in physical freedom, had made new acquaintances in the King’s Dungeon.
With these contacts, the Real Witches assumed a brand new reality.
They learned in Dungeon School how to avoid the King’s Men and their ambushes and partnered up with other Real Witches to produce stronger and more potent hexes.
The Real Witches weren’t the only ones to notice that an unintentional favor had occurred.
A rope meant to hang them had been used for climbing and over a tall wall they all went.
Thanks to the King and King’s Men.
Thank you, friend.