Years ago I read the fantasy novel by Ray Bradbury “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” I was a teenager at the time so it wasn’t hard to remember back to the age of the 13-year old hero, Will Holloway. It’s a great age of alertness and awareness and Bradbury’s characters are always that. The story revolves around a father (Charles Holloway), his son Will, and Will’s best friend (Jim Nightshade), along with various villagers and lastly the ominous beings in a traveling carnival that comes to town headed by someone who seems to be the Devil himself (Mr. Dark). 

Though the father and the boys and Mr. Dark are the main characters in the story, another being who is almost no set character at all loomed large to me. Now that I look back on it that entity was pivotal to the whole message Bradbury was conveying.

The character was designated “The Dust Witch” and in depth of evil intent rivals the Ringmaster “Mr. Dark” himself. The Carnival characters are malevolent beings feeding on the life force of the inhabitants of the villages they visit while also pretending they will grant all their most secret needs and wishes. 

Cutting to the main point I gathered from this wonderful classic, the key moment of victory against the Satanic circus is when Charles Holloway, weakened by an injured hand and failing heart from a battle with Mr. Dark, is nearly finished off by the dust witch but suddenly revives when he realizes how ridiculous she is. He laughs at her and this laughter drives her back and away. He ultimately shoots her with a bullet from a carnival rifle carved with a smile, destroying all her evil completely.

This realization of the power of reflection and humor to overcome those things that frighten and weaken us is something we need to think about very seriously right now. 

Are we being frightened and cowed on a daily basis by the events of recent months? Are we acting like fools ourselves because we don’t know how to fight back against ongoing politically correct tainted shaming and manipulation? 

Are we on the verge of giving up altogether those freedoms and liberties that made our country a unique example of human idealism for the whole world to consider?

To quote Vachel Lindsay in the last line of his short poem “The Leaden Eyed,” “Not that they die, But that they die like sheep..” We must cease going that route of the Leaden Eyed. We are being held hostage by many lies and half truths right now. And we are being hurried in directions that only promise worse by those who already admit they will bear no responsibility for the health risks and losses in our freedom and personal autonomy we would face in the upcoming months and years.

We need to remember who we are, and remember it now! There are Dust Witches to vanquish! But I have total faith we are equal to the task of putting them in their place.

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