Once there was...
... a villain so vile, everything he touched turned bad. Even the grass withered where his unholy feet trod. In the same land there lived a princess so pure and precious, everyone's heart melted whenever they merely saw her on telly. Most of the land was in love with her. It wasn't her fault. And in the same land, there lived a hero so Herculean, the sunlight would glint off his well-oiled muscles and golden hair as he rode by, head held high, on his white steed. There also lived a heroine so heroic, she would... well, do all the policing and justice work the princess was too pure to perform. And deep, deep in the woods, in a magic cave lined with Persian mats and hidden behind a spell, there dwelled a magic being ... a being so magic, whenever she flexed her prettily manicured hand, something magic would happen. Her name was Nadisda. (That is pronounced "Na-DEESH-da". Ok?) The author couldn't decide whether she was a tree spirit, a wood nymph or simply a witch, but truly it matters not, because all that matters was that she was so imbued with magic, it was actually quite a problem. Because this being had an additional problem. She had a bit of ADD. That was on good days. On worse days, it was ADHD, and seeing that despite television in this land they did not have Ritalin, it was quite a thing.
One day Nadisda was peacefully trying to remember whether she was trying to remove the weeds she had inadvertently planted around her cave to replace them with ferns, or do laundry day (for even in magic lands, nothing washes cleaner than OMO), when she heard a soft step on the moss. She listened up instantly, because you're not supposed to hear anything that steps on moss, except this particular step went "crunch". By this she knew that her moss had died and she'd have to replant, and in an amazingly lucid moment she jumped to the conclusion that it was the Villain who had come to see her.
Nadisda was a peaceful soul, she didn't mind if good or evil paid her a visit (good was in fact harder to endure, in this particular land). She smiled sweetly.
"Hello, Valentine! How nice to see you... would you like some tea? - oh wait, you're the one who doesn't like tea, or is that Hugo..."
"Close that gap in your face and listen," replied Valentine the vile Villain. "You have magic. Too much for your own good, to my mind. But today you could do me a favour."
Nadisda had had conversations with the Villain before, and she knew that it was best to simply nod. Sometimes it was even better that all you did was blink. But today, she sensed Valentine was in a good mood, as good as it got, and she felt that nodding was safe. So she did. Overhead, a branch sprouted a wealth of white blossoms.
"Excellent," replied Valentine. "I'm so pleased you're the type who does favours. I need you to work out a curse for the Hero."
Nadisda's eyes went wide with surprise, but she nodded again. The Villain's red coat accidentally changed to green.
"You... you want me to kill him?" she asked, knowing that there would be implications - if she could only remember what they were.
The Villain laughed. "Oh no, not kill... that would be by far too kind for that pompous nit. I want a curse that will make him wish he were dead."
"A curse is black magic," Nadisda pointed out needlessly.
"Can't you do it?" asked Valentine, taken aback.
"Of course I can, but black magic always has repercussions."
"Ah, that," laughed Valentine. "It will probably only mean that Haley the perfect heroine will come after you and lock you in the clink. Surely that's no problem for you? You can magick yourself out of there faster than the blink of an eye, can't you?"
Nadisda pulled a doubtful face. (A little spring welled up out of the ground under the Villain's feet and he had to jump aside quite suddenly to keep his designer shoes from getting too soaked.) Yes, she could; but even prison breaks had consequences, she was sure of that. Besides she could never quite remember the whole sequence for her vanishing spell.
"Oh, don't worry," said the Villain impatiently, "I'll protect you. Good enough? You'll cast that curse?"
Nadisda nodded. A tangle of vines began to grow from overhead, encroaching on Valentine. Nadisda's mind was on gardening this morning.
"Excellent," said the Villain and made a hasty getaway.
"A curse," Nadisda repeated to herself. "A curse on Hugo. So he wishes he were dead." She sat down on a moss-covered log that had conveniently sprung out of the ground to accommodate her shapely hindquarters, and absently waved a hand in the direction of the withered moss which returned to life and burst into bloom. Or more specifically, into sporophytes.
She watched those strange little flowers that were not flowers, flower on the resurrected zombie moss, and carefully let her mind wander (keeping it on a rope however in case it got lost again). Sporophytes. Moss. Hero Hugo. Valentine. And suddenly she had it.
"Uranium!" she shouted, jumping up and causing several masked weaver nests to grow clusters of noses on a tree opposite, which duly started sneezing, scaring the baby birds. "No, wait, what was that word - Eu... Euphorbium... whatever, I have it!"