Witch Trials

The moon had moved as far as the second highest branch of the oak tree. Melli sighed as she ruffled Gorgon’s fur.

“Soon, baby,” she cooed at the beast.

“Not soon enough,” fretted Gladys as she stirred the cauldron. “I want to know now if any make it through. Last year we didn’t have any.”

Cara set several bundles of herbs on the table. “None’s fine by me. I’d rather be sure they’re suitable than let just anyone in.” Several of the other women in the room nodded.

Melli laughed. “I can’t decide which ones are worse, those who faint at the first twig they step on or the ones who try to snuggle a bear?”

“That only happened once,” said Gladys. “Gorgon and I were able to whisk her off before anything bad happened.  It didn’t take much effort working the charm of forgetting on her.”

“It’s always easy on the daft ones,” Cara said. The room exploded in cackles.

Melli agreed with both Cara and Gladys. It was always a happy day when they welcomed a new witch to their ranks, but she didn’t know what was in the minds of some of the applicants. The forgetfulness charm meant some had tried more than once, but if they weren’t just the right sort of bold mixed with a generous dollop of sense, they would never be happy living this life.

“Still, I think we’ll have at least two new ones to welcome,” Gladys said.

This time Cara smiled. “The two chatterboxes? Yes. I heard them discussing how they might deal with some of the things they might encounter. They sounded sensible at least. I’ve never seen two that decided to team up before.”

The moon was just touching that top branch now. “It’s time to check on them,” Melli said.

The ladies grabbed their brooms or shapeshifted depending on their preference. The local dryads hadn’t raised an alarm, so no candidate was in danger of anything greater than embarrassment. Melli did hope those two girls did make it through. They were spirited enough not to shiver in the dark and sharp enough to know it’d be helpful to go together. Those seemed like promising signs to her.

Song Choice: Which Witch by Florence and the Machine

This flash fiction was inspired by the Weekly Scribblings prompt at Poets and Storytellers United, Waiting. 

Why is That Crazy Woman Out Walking in the Rain?

  1. Because though her boots and umbrella don’t match, they’re both cute in their own way and should be seen and used for splashing.
  2. Because even though yesterday was a wash day, she’s got an interesting hat (that also doesn’t match) to protect her hair.
  3. Because spreadsheets will still be there when she gets back, but rainstorms are now.
  4. Because there’s nothing like a good shower to get over a block. It works for writing, why not this? 
  5. Because she can imagine she’s attending a cherry blossom funeral, watching yesterday’s petals get swept along the roadways, and out to the drains that lead to something bigger somewhere else.
  6. Because no one stops to make small talk in the rain.
  7. Because the rain doesn’t care if you leak water too.
  8. Because there has to be a rainbow at the end of all this, dammit. I haven’t been out here all this time just to go inside without seeing a rainbow.
  9. Because angry-splashing so hard that rainwater makes it up and inside my boot makes me laugh.
  10. Because I feel there’s something mad and lovely about laughing in the rain too.
  11. Because I see a neighbor giving me an odd look out the window, and that makes me laugh harder until the rain slows down.
  12. Because petrichor.
  13. Because it might be little, but, finally, there’s that rainbow I needed.

Song Choice: I Like to Walk in the Rain by Shirley Temple

Liner Notes For This Groove: This poem was created for Poets and Storyteller United's Weekly Scribblings prompt, Listmania.

The Usual Place

The creek at Peace Valley Park

Meet me at our usual place.
You know, 
the one we found together.
The sun is bright enough
today to paint glitter on the creek.

Let’s both bring our lunch.
We can eat it after we go wading.
If the creek isn’t too high,
I might cross to the other side
just to see what the view is like from there.

We’ll walk as we go talking, taking in all the scents of the woods,
from honeysuckle to loamy earth. You always did like
the way it smelled like the sea where the streams met.

I’ll bring an Inca Cola. You bring a Jarrito.
We’ll crack them open by the shade of the hollow tree.
You can point out all the plants you know by name.
Me, I am still learning where to find mugwort.
Maybe I’ll be successful growing my own this year.

We’ll talk about all the boys
who did us wrong.
We’ll talk about the ones who did us
right and the creek will laugh
as it flows right over the rocky parts.

We’ll talk about places away
from this creek, the honeysuckle and the woods.
You'll talk about England. I'll talk about Japan.
And we really will mean it
when we say we wanted to see them together.

Meet me at our favorite spot.
I’ll be there even when the sun has set,
when the water’s laughter is whisper above a hush,
when the honeysuckle's scent is spent,

and the moon paints mourning silver on the creek.

Song Choice: The Space Between from Disney's Descendants

The Liner Notes for This Groove: This poem was created for the Weekly Scribblings prompt at Poets and Storytellers United, Where Are You Placed?