The Witching Hour
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No. 9605. Collects "The Reluctant Witch" [from Galaxy, May 1953], "The Beautiful Brew" [from Beyond Fantasy Magazine, Sept. 1954], and "The Magicians" [from Beyond, May 1954; originally as "Sine of the Magus"].
beamed. “The woman who worked on it called it a ‘rinse.’ She said it was natural, but I should wash it every few days. Not with laundry soap, either.” She sighed. “I didn’t know there was so much a girl could do to her face. I’ve got so much to learn. Why, she — ” Abbie rattled on happily while Matt stared at her, incredulous. Had he been sleeping in the same small cabin with this girl? Had she been cooking his meals and darning the holes in his pockets? Had he really kissed her and held her in
appeared. Like an Arabian genie, with gifts upon a tray, streaming a mouth-watering incense through the air. Full-formed, she sprang into being, her cheeks glowing, her eyes shining. “Abbie!” Matt shouted joyfully. His heart gave a sudden bound, as if it had suddenly been released from an unbearable weight. “Where have you been?” “Springfield.” “Springfield!” Matt gasped. “But that’s over fifty miles.” Abbie lowered the tray to the table. She snapped her fingers. “Like that, I was there.”
manuscripts: The Burning and The Witching Hour. Then over the Labor Day weekend in 1969 I attended the World Science Fiction Convention in St. Louis. Since it was so close, I drove and took my two sons, Kit and Kevin, to whom The Witching Hour is dedicated, and a friend of Kit’s named Lance Williams (who later became a computer scientist specializing in computer animations who won an Oscar for technical merit). On the first day of the convention, we noticed a short, attractive young woman on the
put you away until tonight. I must get back to the meeting” — he turned to me — “but thank you for calling and letting me know you were on your way up.” I cursed my eternal stupidity. When would I learn? Never. It was too late to learn. But why, I groaned inwardly, did I have to involve Ariel as well? Night came like blindness. I had a moment to wonder if it was permanent before the light came back. I was in a bedroom. Ariel was nowhere in sight. She could have been behind me. I would never
universe, you must include all valid phenomena. If the accepted scheme of things cannot find a place for it, then the scheme must change. Matt shivered. It was a disturbing thought. The primitive mind believed that inanimate objects had spirits that must be propitiated, that could be influenced: trees and rocks, rivers and winds and rain. With a little sophistication came mythology and its personifications — nymphs and sprites, Poseidon and Aeolus; and folklore with its kobolds and