TO MY DISOBEDIENT STUDENT, IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER:

First, the unusual result of the spell was your own fault, for not casting it correctly, and even then, for modifying said spell ineffectually. I told you to kill a lamb, and not a common household spider. And certainly I told you to cut its throat, as well, not to spray it from a distance with DEET. But you chose Renfield’s path, and now all you’ll ever have is that – this common household magic.

Have you even considered what you have lost in your squeamishness? I gave you a rite and recipe for true power. You could have given your very whisper the strength and weight of natural inclination, awoken the long-since sleeping. You could have untwisted the threads of space and time, reordered the cruel hierarchies of man and nature, acquainted yourself with, or even interrogated, this world’s errant and most ancient gods.

Before you start to draft your reply, recall that I’m aware of your thoughts on the matter. You think it’s wonderful, how the laundry folds itself, how you always know just when the soup will boil. You love the way spices taste richer, the way the mist lingers in your garden in the morning as though waiting for you to arrive, the way your singing, though to your ears no more melodious, can make your infant sleep softly in your arms. Perhaps most shameful of all, you have boasted to me – with no shred of irony or even remorse – that after twenty years, you have finally managed to keep an orchid alive. A miracle, indeed. Had you heeded my teachings, you could’ve brought it back from the dead.

You have always been, at best, a tolerable student – painfully slow, and all too keen to tangents and to scruples. This last incident is almost enough to make me discontinue our lessons entirely. The proverbial straw on the camel’s back, so to speak. HOWEVER, given the fact that I have not, as yet, received a more promising student, in spite of frequent advertisement, I have, below, attached your homework for our next monthly session. Perhaps, in the course of my efforts to turn you into a more admirable sort of sorceress, I have neglected your penchant for, if not proficiency in, Green Magic. Don’t disappoint me again, Viola.

Please read the introductory sections in the Green Magic Grimoire on both Herbology and Potions, and prepare the supplies recommended for the first two spells in each. I am attaching a vegan-substitution guide for witchcraft, given your recent, unfortunate quibbles.

Regards,

THE GREAT AND POWERFUL WIZARD, NECROMANCER, ETC., MR. ALBERTSON