When I was a little kid, my sisters and I had a baby-sitter after school. She wasn’t very interested in us; stuck pretty much to reading her romance novels. And to get the peace and quiet required to read, she’d plonk us down in front of a lot of Walt Disney films.

My favourite? Sleeping Beauty. Maleficent the witch queen reminded me of the women in the magazines my father kept hidden in his study. Brazen and powerful, they stared down the camera and into me with a mixture of desire and contempt.

Every time I jerked off I’d close my eyes and Maleficent would leap into my head, like when she appears in the king’s throne room and curses the princess. Under those flowing black robes, I imagined Maleficent was wearing suspenders and stockings.

It’s no accident that the word ‘glamour’ comes from witchcraft. And you know why Walt Disney always drew Maleficent in those long robes? Because he was scared of her.

As I would have been, if I had half a brain. But then, if I had half a brain, I probably wouldn’t have anything to tell you about. And so this is the tale of the Maleficent I met. No green skin; that would have been a dead giveaway. But to be honest, it probably wouldn’t have put me off, either.

The first time I met her, she was really rude. And this was before I knew that Tracey worked in the same store. There is a row of checkouts at J.B. Hi Fi – it works kind of like a cattle race. I saw this girl, so I joined the end of her line. She was not exactly pretty, but she had that sexual tractor-beam thing going.

I think she was Egyptian or Turkish or something. She looked at me and smirked. She processed my purchase, stuck the album in a bag and practically threw it at me. As I walked away, she said something I didn’t quite catch. But it sounded derogatory.

Later on I started going out with Tracey. Tracey was more the sort of girl I should be with. My mum loves her. Anyway. She asked me out some time ago. It calls to mind the saying, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”.

I was going to get married to a girl last year. We got engaged and everything. To begin with, we got along fantastically. I mean, how often do you meet a gym instructor who is an avid reader, loves to write and you can have great sex with? I thought that she was ‘the one’, so I asked her to marry me. This had a similar effect to the moon on werewolves.

She got pathologically jealous and started to break everything in my flat. Generally by throwing, generally at me, so I called it off. I got hysterical phone calls for a couple of weeks which gradually petered out and I haven’t heard from her since.

And I didn’t see anyone after that. It’s like after you’ve had a broken relationship, you secrete a smell, like decaying flowers. My ex-fiancee used to hang and dry all the flowers I gave her. But anyway. That’s beside the point.

One day I went into JB and I bought a Motorhead and a Black Sabbath album and Tracey was there behind the counter. Tracey was an extra in a film I made years ago, so she asked if I’d like to catch up.

At this point I was wearing tracksuit pants and getting around on crutches because I’d broken my leg. You can imagine it; hadn’t had a shave in weeks, tracksuit pants, couldn’t even walk, not the most attractive individual. You don’t get too many offers when you look like that.

She turned out to be a really interesting young woman. She was a sound-mixer for bands. And she actually liked the same sort of music I do. The more time I spent with her, the more attractive she became.

When Tracey came over, she’d talk to mum for ages. Sometimes I used to go into the kitchen in an effort to get my mother away from her and I could end up sitting out there alone for twenty minutes.

Afterwards, my mother’s appraisal was always the same; ‘This was the sort of young woman you should be looking to settle down with.’ One day I had just been to the headshrinker and was feeling pretty depressed about it, so I decided to go into JB and buy a C.D. Tracey was there, and so was the other girl.

She was wearing a black mid-riff jumper and those Bettina Liano jeans that are cut so low on the hips chicks can’t even wear underwear with them. She had this very large tattoo of a Chinese dragon that kind of wound down from under her shirt. I ignored her, bitch that she was. Tracey had told me she didn’t like her, either.

Anyway. This other girl, Madeline, was looking at me askance. Then she started walking past me, lifting up her long black hair and exposing the back of her neck. At the age of 26, I have come to recognise this is a sign.

She was tall, probably coming up to about six feet. And height is something in a woman that I find very impressive. She was what my mother would describe as ‘hard’. But she wore those jeans with precision.

I have to tell you about a girl a met about two years ago, Marylou. Fucking stupid name; made me think of the Dukes of Hazard. I was 24, she was 29. And deathly sexy, an opinion all of my workmates quietly shared. Except for Luigi, but he didn’t like her because she called him Super Mario. But anyway.

The whole time we were working with her, the boys were all scheming ways to get into her Levi’s. Except for me. I felt that sort of thinking was disrespectful. One Christmas Eve the club was open, so she and I were working the door together.

All that week I was trying to think of ways to ask her out, and even the thought of it made me nervous. I tried to put it out of my head; over-rehearsal will kill a man stone-dead. Then, the next week she asked me.

I had school the next day, but we went out for dinner and drinks after. We walked into this bar and she was so fucking good looking it was like the light that came off her reflected onto me.

I could hear the other guys thinking. Some thought, “Lucky son of a bitch”, while others felt, “What’s he got that I haven’t?” I knew that I didn’t have a damn thing. But anyway. Marylou had way too much to drink and asked me if she could stay over.

She put on one of my t-shirts and a pair of shorts, which looked like a tent. She had pretty knees. I sort of understood that this was my cue to take off my clothes, which I did, down to my boxers. She looked at me, and a big smile spread across her face.

I was pretty fit at the time; frustration is a sensational motivator. Anyway, we got into bed. And then I lay next to her in the dark, like a fucking rabbit.

She kissed my shoulder and then my mouth. Then I was all over her, like poison ivy. But I started shaking – I couldn’t stop it. I kept saying, “Marylou, you’re so beautiful, you’re so beautiful” and I felt like I was unraveling. She gave this disgusted snort, like I had offended her.

All the next week I was the man living in lukewarm water. I floated everywhere. But that week end, she ignored me. Except to say that she didn’t want me telling anyone what had happened. I rang a couple of days later and asked if she wanted to go out again. She said no. I left it at that.

I learned that women don’t actually want a prince charming. They don’t want you to be respectful and polite. In fact, you stand a better chance of picking up with a broken leg and wearing trackie pants.

But I did dress up for Tracey’s work Christmas Party. She wore this beautiful dress her mother made for her (she picked me up – I didn’t have a car at the time).

After I tore her away from my mother, we went to the party. I settled down with a beer and a handful of egg and curry sandwiches in the corner. Tracey was doing the rounds and I felt good. She was proud to have me on her arm.

Madeline turned up late. She was wearing a skirt and strapless top held up by the shelf effect of the push-up bra. Her dragon leering out at everyone. She did the rounds, pointedly ignoring me. I did what any reasonable man does under that sort of pressure; I drank.

The spirits ran out pretty quickly and then I was onto the white wine. Poisonous cask stuff that always gives you a splitting headache, but tomorrow was the least of my worries.

When Madeline went to the bathroom I was struck by a bolt of inspiration. I put my last two sandwiches down next to my promptly-drained glass and followed her.

I kicked the bathroom door open John Wayne-style and the girl in front of the mirror got a terrible shock when the metal handle of the door broke some of the tiles off the wall.

Madeline turned at the noise and cracked a smile. “Show me the rest of that tattoo,” I demanded as I picked her up, carried her into a cubicle and slammed the door.

She pushed her mouth down onto mine. My hands were all over her and I was as hard as a rock. Exhilaration coursed through me. Thank Christ, I’d finally figured it out. She got down on her knees, unzipped my rented trousers and swallowed me whole.

An old Irish guy I used to work with once said to me that the two greatest lies known to man were, ‘The cheque is in the mail and I won’t come in your mouth.’ I didn’t say a damn thing. This was the most truthful experience of my life.

After she swallowed she zipped up my fly, grinned and left the room without so much as a kiss goodbye. Later, I realised that was a smile of victory. I stood in the cubicle for a while; I suppose I was waiting for her to come back.

I began to get nervous; what if some girls came in and I couldn’t get out? I slunk out quick as I could. When I got back to the party, Madeline was talking to Tracey. I crawled back to my chair, but someone had cleared away my glass and sandwiches.

Madeline didn’t tell Tracey about it. I did. Tracey liked me so much, but I wasn’t anything to be proud of. She didn’t cry. She called me a cunt, walked out and slammed the door behind her.

I don’t know where my mother is tonight. I think she might have snuck off to see my father. Which she never says anything to us kids about because we get very disapproving.

I didn’t know what to do. So I bought a big bottle of Jim Beam, a two-litre bottle of coke and rented Sleeping Beauty. I watched it for a while, but it made me so angry that I turned it off and lay down on the floor in the dark. I mean, that film is so unrealistic. Like a sword that small is going to have any effect on a dragon that big.

Is this Tracey’s fault? Is it Madeline’s fault? No. I’ll tell you whose fault it is; fucking Walt Disney. He can shove his dwarves – all seven of them. After I turned the movie off, I lay down on the floor and started re-writing the film in my head, but I finished it early.

When the Prince goes into the thorns, he sticks his sword into the ground, sits down on a log and refuses to come out.


3 Responses to “Witchophiliac”

  1. Fantastic insight into your life, thank you. Would love to hear the backstory behind your father.

  2. AvidReader Says:

    some of your best work

  3. Jarrod, this is so powerful, making me short of breath.

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