“Mirror mirror on the wall” the host crooned in her sad attempt at a sultry voice, “who is the evilest of them all?”

This is what Kavya hated about reality television, nothing was real. The mirror was obviously not on a wall, it stood on a stand in the center of the set, and it wasn’t really a mirror it was a large screen display. Now, of course, she didn’t expect a real magic mirror but would it kill them to actually hang it up on a wall? Apparently, reality didn’t pay much attention to detail. Kavya rolled her eyes as she faced the camera.

She flared her nostrils and knitted her eyebrows. How had she made it to the finale of ‘Which witch will win?’ She did not know if she was mad at herself for being desperate enough to enter this stupid show or if she was mad at the viewers for keeping her in the show round after round. The managers of the show had told her that her resting witch face was a hit with the fans and that was an important reason why she had gotten so far. So she made her best resting witch face at the camera and cursed at it.

Madame Bovary, the host of the show smiled widely at the camera, looking like a witch’s caricature in her large pointed black hat and a black figure-hugging dress that barely crept beyond her groin. They waited for the magic mirror to tell them their scores. After a few minutes of tiring suspense music playing in the background, the mirror came to life.

The mirror had a simple innocent face that wore an eye patch to indicate it was ‘evil’.

The face smiled at the camera before squeezing itself into a more menacing look, “In the third position, we have Miss Kavya, our in-house expert in bitchcraft and badassery. Honestly, this is the last round, don’t you think you should tell us what branch of black magic you specialize in, at least now?” Kavya wanted to tell the mirror she specialized in whatever got her the money. But she simply turned to the mirror and gave it a glare, “Ok, ok, no need to give me the evil eye…So unless you literally have some tricks up your sleeve…you will soon be eliminated.”

“In second place we have our voodoo expert Lakeisha, the only woman who has ever made me glad I do not have a body.” The mirror laughed at its own joke. Lakeisha here is an audience favorite. And, no, we have not found voodoo dolls of all the world leaders in Lakeisha’s closet as has been rumored. But this is definitely a woman you don’t want to prick the wrong way.” There was thunderous applause from the audience and Lakeisha took a bow. Kavya thought she herself looked like a voodoo doll with her unkempt curly hair, ragged clothes, and sack-like skin. Kavya had been careful to collect all her hair ever since she had met Lakeisha.

“And leading the scoreboard at the moment is our ‘Vashikaran’ expert, Kameshwari. She has the highest scores but rumor has it that she has been manipulating the judges and the audience” the mirror said. Kameshwari the thin delicate girl in a white see-through sari turned around and gave the mirror a smoky look, “but what do I know, I am just a mirror.” The mirror seemed to blush “So those are the ranks right now…”

“Thank you, magic mirror…” Madam Bovary faced the camera, “ so this is it. The final round that we have waited all season for. Let’s find out who will be the winning witch for this season. May the best witch win.”

The spotlight fell on Kameshwari, who held her bosom and sighed seductively, “Good evening..” she said seductively, “I will now exhibit the extent of my Vashikaran. Can I have a few volunteers?” Her pallu slid across her shoulders as she swayed gently. All the hands in the audience shot into the air. “Oh, that’s great, so nice of you all…” Kameshwari crooned, “ why don’t we start with a song and a dance?” The whole of the audience broke out into a song, “Kameshwari…Kameshwari… Kameshwari” the audience sang in unison. Kameshwari nodded her head, then she tapped her foot and everyone began to dance. Kameshwari moved her hands faster and everyone in the audience danced faster and faster. She raised her hands and everyone jumped up, she swayed her hands and everyone swayed to the side. She twirled her fingers and everyone turned around like tops.

The judges rose to their feet and began to clap, “That will be enough, Miss Kameshwari…” one of the judges said.

Kameshwari smiled and the audience stopped dead in their tracks. Several of them fainted and some of them vomited, but everyone clapped loudly for Kameshwari.

“Thank you, Miss Kameshwari. That was a powerful performance and a great reminder to not cross you.” Madame Bovary smiled at Kameshwari, who smiled right back at her. “Let’s move on to our next contestant…”

The spotlight moved to Lakeisha. She pulled out several ragged dolls from the sack on her shoulder. She began to march the dolls in a row and moved them around. A line of young men walked onto the set, looking like they didn’t know what was happening to them. “Please stop this”, “I can’t stop myself”, “No, please, no”, they said as they marched on to the stage and stood in a line. “Ladies and gentlemen, all of my exes have a performance for you…”Lakeisha said.

The men began to climb the stage haphazardly and reached the rafters above the stage. The men did a little jig while balancing on the rafters. Lakeisha dropped the rag dolls and all the men fell down on the stage. “Ta-da,” Lakeisha said as the men squirmed on the floor groaning. The audience just stared at the twitching men. The judges took a while to move and clap for Lakeisha. “That was a..umm..jaw dropping performance!” Madame Bovary stepped gingerly between the men. Kavya found herself in awe of Lakeisha, “Now moving on to our last contestant. Miss Kavya, what great trick do you have for our finale.?”

Kavya groaned and stamped her foot. What did she do now? If it wasn’t for the prize money she would just have flipped them the bird and stormed off the stage. She needed that money, so she tried hard to think of what she could do. For her first trick, she had managed to make the price of bitcoin fall to half in just an hour. True she had just written a blog post starting a rumor that the fall would happen and there was no black magic involved, but it was definitely evil. People had lost millions in investments. For her second trick, she had just removed a few screws from a construction crane overlooking one of Bangalore’s busiest streets. The crane had crashed into the street, no lives lost…but the resulting traffic jam was one of the worst in Bangalore history. Again, no real black magic involved, but even the judges agreed that it was purely evil.

Now, what did she do to top that? If only she really had magic and could do something dramatic like setting fire to water.

Kavya smiled, “For my finale…I will set a lake on fire.” Several eyebrows were raised, the judges looked at each other. “Only a truly powerful witch could do something like that…” Madame Bovary said in surprise. Kavya rolled her eyes and moved off the stage, “Follow me….”

Kavya led the whole set and the audience to the Bellandur lake. She was not even anxious about it, if there was one thing she could count on in Bangalore, it was that the Bellandur lake would always be what it has always been.

Kavya stood at the edge of the lake. She spread her arms wide and mumbled some senseless mumbo jumbo. Everyone stared at her with bated breath. “Behold!” Kavya shouted as she subtly threw a lighter into the lake.

Kavya turned around in a dramatic fashion as the lake caught fire like a prop on a movie set.

“Behold my power” Kavya shouted as the contestants and the judges fell to their knees and she walked away with the prize money.

[Image courtesy:]

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