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. 

38 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. LOL, I thought it felt like the beginning of something

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  2. Oh dear, generous dollops of sense are very scarce in the world, VERY scarce!

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  3. Replies
    1. I do kind of want to poke this and see if there's a novel in there. After I'm done with tinkering on the Yuuki novel that is.

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  4. I love this piece, Rommy, and the way the witches spend their time while waiting to start the trials. At least the waiting wasn’t a trial for them as they seem comfortable in each other’s company. The images conjured are amusing, especially: “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?” Witch Trials would make a great TV show.

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    1. LOL, Reality TV sort of inspired part of it, in that you always see some contestants where it's perfectly clear to everyone (but themselves) that they hadn't fully thought some things through.

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  5. Cool tale. I wonder what the overall acceptance rate is...

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    1. Rather low I imagine. But people keep trying.

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  6. Romney, this is 'to be continued?' I hope so. My demented mind was made to think about those poor katydids who follow the son spot cycle and must live underground four fourteen years waiting for cycle to begin again.
    ..

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    1. I hadn't intended it to be larger when I started, but there is something about it that makes me want to play around in that world some more.

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  7. Well, there's a full-fledged mystery to be investigated here! Skillful write.

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  8. I've always been taken by a sensible witch. The other kind is too much trouble for everyone, and not the good kind of trouble.

    I love how in these short words I can already see a world. The characters' voices and quirks are distinct, and that's hard to do in flash fiction--especially with this number of characters.

    The bear-hugger made me cackle.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, and if you don't give us more and just leave us hanging, I might have to strangle you.

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    2. I was pretty proud of getting a whole cast in under 369 words. But, yeah, I think this could be the start of something bigger.

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  9. hoping there is more on the bone you've stirred into this cauldron, Rommy ~

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  10. Interesting tale
    Happy Wednesday

    Muchđź’šlove

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  11. "grabbed their brooms or shapeshifted depending on their preference" ~ I love this line and shapeshifted is one of my favorite words ... I love using it whenever I can. Enjoying this tale.

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  12. It is always good when a short story makes you yearn for more and escape from our own doubtful world. Loved it!

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    Replies
    1. It's a bit of an escape writing it too!

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  13. Replies
    1. This does feel like it could be part of something bigger, though I didn't plan it that way.

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  14. Witches and brooms and a cauldron Great ingredients for a stew of entertainment Loved it WOuld love to see what happens next

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    1. I am delighted that people seem to like this bit!

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  15. Happy Sunday Rommy

    Muchđź’šlove

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  16. reading this initiation story is fun. seems like the start of a new adventure. :)

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    1. LOL, now I really think I should get an outline prepped from this -- after I finish the novel I'm working on right now.

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  17. A witch with a dollop of sense would be a powerful thing. Love the mystery emanating from the story.

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    1. It would indeed! I am so glad you enjoyed it.

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  18. Obviously, everyone wants MORE, PLEASE. Me, too.

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    Replies
    1. LOL, OK, I'll mark this one down as having some promise for bigger things. :)

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  19. Novel please!!! Truly a beginning to something! Big Hugs!

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