The Return of Winifred

By Jareth

Chapter Thirty-one: A glimpse of Winifred’s true power

Foxglove froze, utter terror striking her heart. In hearing Norman’s screams and rushing to save him, she had completely forgotten what else awaited her atop the Onyx Tower.

“What’s the matter sweetie?” Winifred asked gently. “You seem upset to see me.”

Foxglove said nothing.

“Why so silent?” Winfred continued, now beginning to slowly approach Foxglove. “Am I really that scary? So horrifyingly powerful, that it leaves you speechless?” Winifred stopped walking and aimed a hand at the city below. Suddenly, a large, red, glowing sphere exploded from her hand, and went sailing down towards the city below. Winifred grinned as the resulting explosion proceeded to take out four city blocks.

“STOP!” Foxglove shouted in distress. “Why are you doing this?! Why are you being so bad?!”

“I’m bad?!” Winifred said, sounding a bit surprised. “I’m afraid you’re a bit confused Foxglove. It is you, who has been bad. Remember this?”

The world surrounding Foxglove suddenly changed. She was her regular size again, sitting on a street corner. It was night, but no stars were out, due to the approaching blizzard. The only light source was the towering streetlamp directly overhead. She was cold, hungry, and tired. Snow was beginning to fall, the streetlamp illuminating the beginning flakes. Foxglove knew that there was no way out of this one. If she couldn’t find some kind of shelter soon, she was undoubtedly going to die. She placed her head in her wings and began to cry; sniffling softly; her sniffs, echoing through the wet, empty streets.

“What’s this?” Came a voice from behind her.

Foxglove turned around, only to see a large human dressed in a star-moon patterned cleaning outfit, towering over her. She knew she had to fly away, but simply didn’t have the strength, or the will. “I might as well just end it now.” Foxglove said to herself. “On the bottom of a shoe, where I belong.”

“On the contrary,” The woman said, bending down so her knees were touching the cold, wet, pavement. “When I look at you, I see potential.”

Foxglove was not sure what to be more surprised about. The fact that this human could understand her, or the fact that, for the first time in her life, she had received a complement. “R- *sniff- really?” She asked, her tears residing.

“Of course!” The woman replied as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. “It’s in your eyes my dear.”

Foxglove tried to stand, but could not summon the strength.

“What’s your name?” The woman asked curiously.

“F-Foxglove” Foxglove replied timidly.

“My name is Winifred.” The woman responded. “You must be chilled to the bone.” She added with a touch of concern. “Would you like to come with me? I have a warm place to stay.”

Foxglove tried to answer, but no longer had the strength to do that either.

Winifred proceeded to scoop the frozen bat up into her arms and began to carry her off. Her arms were so warm… so comforting… Foxglove began to drift off to sleep…

The world suddenly changed again. Foxglove and Winifred were both atop the Onyx Tower once more.

“We were such good friends,” Winifred said, resuming her menacingly slow pace towards Foxglove. “But then you betrayed me and aligned yourself with my enemies, after all that I had done for you! You turned on me as soon as it was in your best interest! You were right; you did belong on the bottom of a shoe! I can’t believe that I even trusted you!”

“I’m-I’m sorry.” Foxglove choked.

“If you really wanted to abandon me and join those rodents, I would have gladly let you… But instead, you sent me to jail; took away my freedom; forced me to endure unprovoked beatings from the prison guards and fellow cell members!”

“P- *sniff- please…” Foxglove sobbed, her head in her wings. “Forgive- *sniff- me-e”

Winifred grinned evilly.

“I didn- n’t *sniff mean for you-u to *sniff go to ja-ail. I- *sniff- I… I…” Foxglove suddenly stopped sobbing. “Wait a minute.” Foxglove said, having a sudden recollection. “I remember that night, when I first met you. The second I was better, you had me break into that store and steal that scouring brush!”

Winifred’s smile began to fade.

“And then there was the time you had me steal those batteries, and that flashlight, and all that soap…”

Winifred’s smile now completely vanished.

“…And that time you have me steal earwax from a sleeping elephant!” Foxglove stood. “You never wanted my friendship. You just wanted to use me, just like you used Bud and Lou!”

Winifred’s expression now became filled with anger. “That’s right!” Winifred angrily spat. “I did use you, and do you know what?! I’m not sorry! In fact, if it hadn’t been for your last little heist, I wouldn’t be standing here at all. I’d still be in jail…” Winifred’s evil smile returned once more. “…And the millions of people who’ve lost their lives today would still be alive.” Winifred pointed an accusing finger at foxglove. “This is all your doing!”


A tsunami of guilt hit Foxglove right in the chest. It was her fault! No one else could’ve possibly gotten that earwax for her! It was entirely her fault! “It IS all my fault!” Foxglove wailed, beginning to sob again. “If I had ne-ever *sniff hel-elped you *sniff I… I… …” Foxglove suddenly stopped sobbing again. “I never would have met Dale.”

Winifred’s smile began to fade again. “Is your love life really worth today’s causalities?”

“You would have gotten the earwax some other way.” Foxglove said, standing up. “The only difference in me helping you, is that I finally found true love!”

Winifred’s smile had now completely disappeared again, a look of suppressed anger taking its place. “Well,” She said stiffly. “It seems that you are much less susceptible to guilt than I thought you were. No matter,” she continued, extending her open hands slightly outwards and crossing her legs. “None of this will matter soon.”

“What are you going to do?” Foxglove asked, a touch of fear in her voice.

Winifred smiled “Do you remember the power you felt when Jamba transformed?” She asked slyly. “Weren’t you wondering why you felt no power from me?”

Now that Winifred mentioned it, that had struck Foxglove as a bit odd.

Winifred’s smile broadened “Allow me to give you a small glimpse of my power.” With that, Winifred let out an echoing scream as a blinding radiance of red energy exploded around her, her eyes becoming a burning red. Then, as suddenly as it had started, it ended. Winifred’s eyes returned to their normal shade of green, and the aura disappeared. “Well?” Winifred asked slyly, “What do you think?”

Foxglove froze. She had never felt anything remotely like it from neither Jamba nor Darien. Both Jamba and Darien’s power had felt like icy hands, griping her heart. Winifred’s however, was vastly different. Negative energy surged from her; it felt as though Foxglove’s heart had turned to ice and shattered. Never before in her entire life had she felt so empty.

“What’s the matter Foxglove?” Winifred asked with mock concern. “You look rather pale.” She began to slowly approach Foxglove again. This time however, as she drew closer, Foxglove backed away. “Are you afraid I’m going to hurt you?” Winifred stopped walking. “Are you afraid I’m going to kill you?”

“Please,” Foxglove blurted out. “I don’t want to fight you!”

Winifred raised an eyebrow. “After all I’ve done?? You still don’t want to see me dead?!

She didn’t answer. Perhaps her reluctance to attack was out of fear, or perhaps it was her non-violent nature; either way, Foxglove found herself unable to reply.

“Hm,” Winifred frowned. “Looks like you need some incentive. Akkanka tatsumaki!” she yelled, throwing her hands towards the overcast sky.

“What did you do?” Foxglove asked in horror.

Suddenly as if to answer her question, the white skies began to blacken; thunder could be heard, echoing in the distance. A rotating bulge in the clouds began to form far away. Its rotation continued to gain velocity, as its funnel-like form began to take shape. The tornado touched down in the middle of the city with a thunderous roar, and began tearing into the road; sucking up anybody who happened to be nearby.

“Nooo!” Foxglove cried in horror. “You said you wouldn’t attack the city!”

“Why does a funnel cloud in the road bother you so much?” Winifred asked with false curiosity. “I’ve done so much worse.”

“Please!” Foxglove begged, “Please get rid of it!”

“Oh, now I see,” Winifred continued, ignoring Foxglove’s pleas. “It’s because you feel in someway responsible for this particular slaughtering.” Winifred paused to savor the horrified look on Foxglove’s face. “I’ll get rid of it,” She continued, “If you can manage to land one hit on me, I’ll dispel the funnel cloud.”

That was it. Foxglove knew she had no other options left. Gingerly, she reached behind her ear, and removed the Purple Power Pill that she had so hastily stuck there. She stared at the pill for a moment, gathering her courage. Then, in one fluid motion, Foxglove popped the pill into her mouth and swallowed.

It was an odd sensation; Foxglove had never swallowed a pill before. She could feel it traveling down, as if she had swallowed a small rock. Then suddenly, it was gone. She waited anxiously, knowing the mind numbing pain that would soon follow.
She waited… and waited… for at least one minute, but nothing was happening. “Why isn’t it working?” Foxglove asked aloud.

“Hm.” Winifred said grudgingly. “I was curious as to the effect of those things on bats. However, it seems to have had none whatsoever.” Winifred paused to watch Foxglove flap her wings, testing herself to see if she had sped up as Dale had. “My offer still stands.” Winifred continued, her evil smile returning. “Land one hit on me, and your funnel cloud will be removed.”

‘YOUR funnel cloud’ the words echoed in her head. She couldn’t let it go on any longer. In a rush of determination, her wing clenched like a fist, Foxglove charged Winifred. As she neared her, she brought her fist forward, preparing to strike her in the stomach. This failed however, as Foxglove’s fist was only millimeters away from it’s target, when the target suddenly became as white and clear as smoke, allowing her fist to pass right through it as though it wasn’t even there. She watched as Winifred’s vaporous form dissipated, an evil grin forming on its face before the smoke completely blew away. Foxglove stared for a moment, trying to comprehend what had just happened.
“Did I beat her?” She asked herself, looking left, right, up, and down for any sign of the sorceress. If only Foxglove had turned around, she would have noticed the pillar of smoke beginning to form behind her. Foxglove let out a squeak of pain as she felt a foot strike her hard in the back, sending her flying forwards and rolling to a halt.

“Ha ha haaaaa!” Winifred cackled, lowering her foot. “Is that the best you can do?!”

Foxglove sprung back onto her feet, ignoring the pain in her spine.

“Come on,” Winifred said, motioning towards herself “let’s see what can really do.”

Foxglove charged again, using the same ‘battering ram’ strategy she had used before. Again, Winifred used her vapor apparition technique, drifting away into invisibility. This time, Foxglove made sure to look in every direction; in front, behind, left, right… However, she had forgotten to look up.

With incredible grace, the sadistic sorceress dropped out of the sky, kicking Foxglove in the stomach as she landed, and sending the poor bat flying backwards, rolling until her wings propped her up into a sitting position. This time however, she did not get back on her feet

Winifred smiled evilly at the fallen bat. “You see my dear.” She said, speaking in the same tone an adult would use on a small child, “you’re nothing but a worthless traitor…”

Foxglove attempted to stand again, trying as hard as she could to ignore the searing pain in her stomach and lower back.

“…And traitors deserve to be punished.” Winifred finished, aiming her hand directly at Foxglove.

Foxglove cringed, dreading what she knew was bound to come.

“Here,” Came Winifred’s voice, which had now become unusually gentle. “This is for you.”

Foxglove opened one eye, only to see Winifred, her hand still aimed at her; only instead of containing a red sphere of energy, it contained a small, pink flower. It was a foxglove.

Foxglove was not quite sure what was going on. Only seconds ago, Winifred had been speaking of punishment, so why was she offering her flowers?

“Don’t you want it?” Winifred asked, smelling the small, pink flower. “It smells lovely.”

Foxglove didn’t respond. It had to be a trap.

“Well,” Winifred began, pointing the stem of the flower at Foxglove’s head, “if you can’t get up to take it, then I’ll just toss it over to you.

Foxglove suddenly realized what was going on. She began to roll out of the way, but there wasn’t enough time. With a flick of her wrist, Winifred threw the foxglove at her like a dart; traveling so fast that it almost appeared to disappear from Winifred’s hand, and reappear, embedded into the floor.

Foxglove gasped as she felt a sharp pain on the side of her face. Gingerly, she placed her hand on her cheek and removed it. Blood.

“My goodness!” Winifred said with false concern, putting her hands on her face. “That could have impaled you!” Winifred removed her hands from her face and placed them on her hips. “Better hope next time my aim is true.”

“Stop it!” Foxglove cried. “Why are you doing this?! What are you trying to prove?!”

Winifred lowered her hand. “I’m doing this,” she began; her gentle expression becoming a bitter scowl, “because of them.” She said, pointing an accusing finger at the city. “I’m doing this because of their ignorance! I’m doing this because of their blatant disregard for anything and everything but themselves! I’m doing this because they all had it coming…!” Winifred paused, focusing her burning electric green eyes directly at Foxglove’s. “…But my main reason, is because I loathe you deeply for what you did to me, and I want the satisfaction of watching you suffer. I want to see you shed tears of dispair and defeat.”

Foxglove gaped open mouthed, and shook her head; mouthing out the word “no.”, as if she were fearfully disagreeing.

“You’re right.” Winifred continued, “There’s no need for me to toy with you like this any longer.” A small, red glow flashed around Winifred’s body. “I’m going to make you feel so much pain, that by the time this is over… You’ll be begging for death.”

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