Elenore couldn’t handle it anymore. Her spells just didn’t work out the way she wanted them to and she could scarcely come to terms with the fact that she was a failed ‘correspondence course’ witch. The Wimp had also been rather down in the dumps of late – probably, she thought, because he so looked forward to the change in their appearances and her promises to him that she would make them both gorgeous, never looked even remotely like manifesting. He still babbled meaningless platitudes occasionally without appearing to realize that he did, but his previous complacent ‘gung-ho, go for it’, attitude had subsided into a more ‘don’t really care anymore’ one, and there he was – seemingly in a whole different space. To make matters worse, some of his hangers-on had lost interest in his ‘guru-dom’ and his regular virtual court meetings were hardly the exciting, stimulating sessions they had experienced in the not too distant past. Edgar the Raven was also ailing, being still in its ‘backward recitation’ mode and this, along with the corrosive shit it would dump where it pleased, was also driving them both around the bend.

Steeped in this depressing atmosphere, it looked like doom and gloom had engulfed them forever when she got the call from her virtual ‘Witchcraft and Magick Spells’ instructor that dispelled the darkness and enabled the faint glow of light to brighten up their dismal lives. It was news of a ‘ready-made’ spell – one that she would have absolutely no chance of botching up, and her instructor would let her have it for the arm and a leg she couldn’t really afford. But the thought of what she could get into once everything went according to her previously carefully laid out plans, made her determined to come up with the required goods. And this she did – by hook and by crook.

The spell was cast and now they had to wait – the instructor had guaranteed that changes would start to take place within two or three days – gradually at first, but speeding up over the next few weeks as it started to activate the forces governing the two of them. And then they both noticed that Edgar was back to reciting the Nevermore poem perfectly in order and with an added mellifluous tone that was difficult to resist. In addition to that, its feathers had taken on a lovely sheen and they had never seen it look so beautifully glossy. But what was best of all, Edgar no longer dumped his shit all over the apartment – instead, it took to flying out of the open window and dropping its load outdoors.

Both Elenore and The Wimp were elated – for the first time in many weeks – and in anticipation of the developments to come, she set about making the best pope’s nose curried in garlic she had ever done for The Wimp. They gorged on it with wild rice and mushrooms in sauce and lightly steamed greens, and had a dessert of gooseberries in cream, topped off with chopped elfin nuts and a caramelled sauce. The Wimp, who loved his food, couldn’t remember having a better meal – as simple as it was, and thought perhaps it was all part of the spell. They knew that the mouth-watering recipes and photographs of all those scrumptious looking dishes and desserts they often drooled over were nothing in comparison to Elenore’s recent effort, so things were definitely looking up.

In the weeks that followed they noticed the changes that were taking place – almost imperceptible at first, and then faster, until after around six weeks from the day of the casting they had changed into two quite beautiful creatures. The Wimp had grown a bit taller, had filled out and the arms and legs that had had looked like sticks were now well defined and almost muscular. The nerdy features were also changed into a handsome visage and the stringy hair now had body and looked great. Elenore couldn’t believe her eyes – about them both. If The Wimp looked great, she thought, she looked stunning – a ravishing beauty, with the perfectly proportioned curves and bumps and mounds in all the right places. Her hair, formerly a bird’s nest at best, was now flowing down to her shoulders in raven-black tresses and her face had changed beyond recognition from that racoonish look to something that was so sensual it guaranteed to turn heads and ensure lustful thoughts.

They were both ecstatic – transported from the depths of their depression to some euphoric state that must have been close to the bliss that has been described in attempts to express the sensation of nirvana. She thought about being a model – one of those special ones who would have no problem whatsoever naming her price – and about being in the movies. She knew she could easily get herself one of the top agents and blow everybody away with her new-found sexuality and irresistible magnetism. And then she thought about all the hunks that she had lusted for in her earlier incarnation and all the futile attempts she made to get into their pants, only to be met with cruel rebuffs and insulting innuendo. She would get back at them – play them like fish at the end of a line. Oh, she thought, how she would get back at all those assholes that had spurned her.

The Wimp too had his ideas of how he would exploit his recent transformation. No more would he have to settle for chicken-shit and with his newly acquired overpowering energy and debonair good looks, he knew he could play the field at will. He also experienced a transformation in his head, and knew that he would be able to come up with all sorts of new innovations to his cyber-based antics. His little group of ass-lickers that had forsaken him would be taught a lesson of course, and he would band together a formidable team of geeks to play disciples and hang onto his every proclamation.

How sweet it was for them both. All their persistence and efforts that had borne no results had finally been rewarded and the sky was the limit.

It wasn’t until she heard Edgar recite the Nevermore poem the morning after – his raucous screech penetrating her beauty sleep – that she felt a tinge of apprehension. He was doing it backwards again.

And then she woke up – and they both lived happily ever after.