A Portrait of the Witch Doctor as a Young Man, Wayne Kyle Spitzer
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Wayne Kyle Spitzer

A Portrait of the Witch Doctor as a Young Man

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He pauses, looking at the glass tubes, at the embryos floating in fluid. “Are you telling me that … those are all my daughters?”

Again she just smiles. “What else? Yes, of course, every single one. Not just clones, mind you, but daughters, each with their own genetic makeup and individual traits—which will in time give rise to language and syntax, to dance and to art, to rhyme and verse and expression in a thousand forms. Indeed, they are, all of them, in a very real sense, our children. An entirely new generation born of both witch and Witch-Doctor, perchance to evolve into something neither of us could have imagined. Think of it, Patrobus! In the end that is all I ask of you; all that I ask in return for your life. Think of it … and sleep.”

And then he does sleep, and it is good, at least until he awakens near New Salem and finds himself stumbling into it like a ghost; where he is greeted by civilian men and assisted to the Station House, and told by the few Doctors present that everyone else to a man has joined the raiding party, and that it is on its way to rescue him right now.

On its way to something called Blair Coven.

Where they will kill everything in sight.
21 printed pages
Original publication
2019

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