Three Line Tales: By the pricking of my thumbs

a cathedral ruin

The battle was over. Mab didn’t know which side was the victor, which the loser and she cared even less. Static fizzed through her wrists, conducted along the nerve endings to settle beneath her thumbnails – the familiar signal evil was approaching.

‘Sorry I’m late,’ said Moll, dusting ash from her sleeve. ‘I was watching the firestorm. Beautiful, the way it cleanses a city.’ She looked round her, at the fallen masonry, the ivy snaking over graffitied walls. ‘Nice. Oh, by the way, Cass won’t be joining us.’

Mab sighed. The two witches just didn’t have the same ring.


Written for Three Line Tales.

Despite loving the photo, I wasn’t going to take part in this challenge after reading Jane Dougherty’s TLT – Jane had done such a good job, there could be no better interpretation.

Then for some reason, the Macbeth witches sprung to mind. I thought the derelict cloister would be an appropriate meeting place for their modern counterparts – slightly more sheltered than a ‘blasted heath’.

There’s an interesting analysis of the witches here.

The title is, of course a quote, from the play.

16 thoughts on “Three Line Tales: By the pricking of my thumbs

    1. Thank you Jane. Glad it came through clearly. I seem to be a bit obsessed by witches at the moment, ghosts too. I would say it’s with Halloween looming, but to be honest, I’m always slightly fixated on both πŸ™‚


      1. I’ve a version of it by Steeleye Span, and parts of it is included in a track by Damf the Bard, but I don’t remember what it’s called. If I find it, I’ll email the link, cos it also references the Welsh goddess Ceridwen.


  1. I echo what the other comments say, Lynn, and add this observation about names: while Moll is not, as far as I’m aware, a traditional witch name, Mab has of course more supernatural overtones, being associated with a particular fairy. Cass, I assume, is from Cassandra, first borne by the classical sybil. Ironic, then, that she didn’t see this coming!


    1. Ha! I hoped someone might pick up on these names. Yes, Mab is, of course the fairy Queen Mab and Cassandra is the sybil. Moll was Moll Dyer, a supposed witch from 19th century Maryland who froze to death after being accused of witchcraft and being hounded from her home.
      I almost called one of them Alice after one of the Pendle witches, but as her surname was Nutter … πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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