Writing Group: Season of the Witch

Hello, Hexen, Familiars and Satanic Dancers!

Why, you look lost, my dear! Come into my cottage! I’m just setting up a cauldron of, erm, soup! Don’t mind the cat, she does that sometimes, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

Season of the Witch

RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!

It most certainly is! As October begins, so do the festivities within our writing. Now is the time to bring out your most witchy of characters and stories. Bring out the cauldrons, the brooms, the ramshackle huts with the spires and strangely smoking. Give us full moons, black cats, magic mirrors, and stolen children’s souls…

What is the season of the witch, and why is it named as such? Do witches grow stronger as the days grow shorter, the air colder? 

Perhaps Autumn isn’t the season of the witch; perhaps a kind flower witch grows stronger in the spring. You don’t have to write about a literal season either. Solstices and equinoxes could be times of power for your witches. The time between three and four am is said to be the “Witching Hour” when supernatural creatures are at their most powerful. Walpurgis Night could also be a very fitting direction to take this prompt. The night is named after the Christian Saint Walpurga who is said to have fought against witchcraft. But the night is also said to be a time when witches gather on the Brocken to hold a sabbath. Whether you are for or against witches, it’s certainly a time for them. 

The story of Hansel and Gretel was inspired by a real and terrible famine. Perhaps the season of the witch is not necessarily one in which magic is stronger, but instead one in which the fear and desperation of the world at large leaves children vulnerable to witches, or the terrible things their mothers might do to them themselves…

A witch doesn’t have to be a pointy-hatted, warty-nosed old lady. You could write about a good witch. Perhaps your story takes place in a fantasy world where male magic users are also referred to as witches too. 

You could take this prompt in a more comedic and/or cute direction too. Perhaps the season of the witch is like hunting season for deer…except for witches. Maybe it’s the season of a tv show in which a witch features prominently. You could write about a teenager going through her “witch phase.” Or perhaps it is the season when the baby familiars are born, and it is time for a young witch to pick out a baby raven, or frog, or cat.

When things go wrong, people start to look for someone to blame. There have been many times in history when witches have been the wolf that angry mobs have cried. When someone—particularly a woman—has unorthodox views, or is outspoken, or simply seems a little off, their town often comes with torches. Perhaps this is not a season of power for witches, but instead one of fear and unrest in which they are persecuted. 

In our modern day, even if someone is not directly accused of being an actual witch, they still could serve as scapegoat, and be accused of doing something they didn’t do. After all, witch hunts can be held when there is no actual witch…

Yes, very good choice. One of my favorite dishes on the menu. And, how would you like your witch seasoned?

—Kaylie

Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.

Tune into the stream this Saturday at 3:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!

The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit! Get ready not just to share what you’ve got, but to give back to the other writers here as well.

Rules and Guidelines

We read at least five stories during each stream, two of which come from the public post, and three of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected by a bot, but likes on your post will improve your chances of selection, so be sure to share your submission on social media!

  1. Text and Formatting

    1. English only.
    2. Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
    3. Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
    4. Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
    5. Use two paragraph breaks between each paragraph so that they have a proper space between them (press “enter” or “return” twice).
    6. Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name). Do not include any additional symbols or flourishes in this part of your submission. Format them exactly as you see in this example, or your submission may not be eligible: Example Submission.
    7. No additional text styling (such as italics or bold text). Do not use asterisks, hyphens, or any other symbol to indicate whether text should be bold, italic, or styled in any other way. CAPS are okay, though.
  2. What to Submit

    1. Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
    2. Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
    3. Write something brand new; no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes
    4. No fan fiction whatsoever. Take inspiration from whatever you’d like, but be transformative and creative with it. By submitting, you also agree that your piece does not infringe on any existing copyrights or trademarks, and you have full license to use it.
    5. Submissions must be self-contained (everything essential to understanding the piece is contained within the context of the piece itself—no mandatory reading outside the piece required. e.g., if you want to write two different pieces in the same setting or larger narrative, you cannot rely on information from one piece to fill in for the other—they must both give that context independently).
  3. Submission Rules

    1. One submission per participant.
    2. Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
    3. Submissions close at 12:00pm CST each Friday.
    4. You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible. Your reviews must be at least 50 words long, and must be left directly on the submission you are reviewing, not on another comment. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review.
    5. Be constructive and uplifting. These submissions are not for a professional market, and shouldn’t be treated as such. We do this, first and foremost, for the joy of the craft. Help other writers to feel like their work is valuable, and be considerate and gentle with critique when you offer it. Authors who leave particularly abrasive or disheartening remarks on this post will be disqualified from selection for readings.
    6. Use the same e-mail for your posts, reviews, and likes, or you may be rendered ineligible (you may change your username or author name between posts without problem, however).
    7. You may submit to either or both the public/private groups if you have access, but if you decide to submit to both, only the private group submission will be eligible.
    8. Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.

Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.

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Lunabear
Lunabear
1 month ago

Silent Endurance (A Song for: Grant)
by Lunabear

Grant looked outside again. The moon was nearing her final phase this month, and he was nervous. He wished they would hurry.

The second he released the curtain, two pounding knocks sounded on the door.

His heart hopped into his throat like a frightened bunny. He looked heavenward and mouthed a silent prayer.

Grant’s mother, Irene, speed walked through the parlor. Stopping in front of a mirror, she curled a lock of her hair with one finger. She checked her teeth and popped open the top two buttons of her blouse so that her cleavage was visible.

Disgust rolled Grant’s stomach, but he stood and moved to stand in front of the door. His hand trembled around his rosary as he welcomed in the night.

The waiting visitor wore a cloak of violet trimmed in scarlet. A menacing aura pulsated from him.

Grant swallowed hard. Irene’s firm hands came to rest upon his thin, shaking shoulders.

“Please, Protector, won’t you come in?” There was a smoky flirtatiousness to her voice.

The being glided over the threshold, its hood swaying briefly.

“Thank you.” In the light, milky red eyes in a pallid, angular face were revealed. Pale, blond hair barely hid his pointed ears.

Grant sought his mother’s gaze, but she was observing their guest with a wide smile.

A glacial band secured around Grant’s wrist, and his breath halted. Grant locked eyes with the vampire.

Grant always hated this part.

Piercing fangs left Grant whimpering. The vampire pulled deeply from his veins. A neurotoxin was supposed to make the sensation pleasurable, but Grant never felt it. Instead, he lost himself within his mind, hoping it would end soon.

“I was unaware you smoked,” the creature chided as he moved away. His frowning mouth was tight.

Irene’s hands tightened painfully. Grant winced as his rosary dug deeply into his clenched palm.

“There’s formidable magic in your veins, child. I suggest you receive aid from the local coven to better strengthen it.” The vampire handed over a small stack of money.

Irene pocketed it greedily.

“Next time, there will be severe consequences.”

A.W. Blackstone
A.W. Blackstone
1 month ago

Aiden’s Nightmare Brew
By A. W. Blackstone

Aiden awoke shivering naked with manacles around his hands and feet. He raised his hands to his neck. A metal collar with a long chain was attached to the bars of the cage he was in. Aiden, bleary eyed, could only make out the table next to the cage with all his items strewn over it, just out of reach. His vision slowly adjusted to the dimly lit room. Where was he?

The walls were lined with bookshelves floor to ceiling all except the wall to his right. A six foot long alchemy table had flasks, crystals, and some pink and purple liquid bubbling in a beaker. Aiden hears rattling at a small desk in the farthest corner and a voice, “Where is it?” He sees someone stand up and stomp over to the alchemy table, dropping a bright red orb into the beaker. Smoke billows out, making Aiden cough. “You’re finally awake. Perfect timing. I just finished my concoction,” the mysterious man said with pride.

“Who are you? What am I doing here?” Aiden pleaded. He could remember nothing.

“Me? I’m no one of importance… just an anonymous witch. You? You’re my test subject for my experimental new potion.” The man pours the potion into a flask. “I call this Terran Brandy. Made from the finest fae souls.” He jerks the collar’s chain, pulling Aiden to the bars and forces the potion down his throat.

Aiden’s muscles relax right before agonizing pain shoots through his entire body. He feels his arms and legs stretching out to abnormal lengths and a deep pressure against his tailbone. Aiden feels relief as a tail shoots out with a pop. His skin has become so pale, he appears translucent.

“So you became a Chitterbox? Not what I expected since I used a different fae for the brandy.” The witch puts his hand on his chin in contemplation. “Perhaps it has to do with the recipient and their resonance with the fae energy?” He rushes over to his desk, scribbling notes furiously as he talks to himself, completely ignoring Aiden’s screams for death.

Maxer4000
Maxer4000
1 month ago

Tale of the crimson witch

Have you heard a little tale known as the Crimson Witch? No? ‘Ight, strap yer arses in and grab a pint, let me tell ya how it goes.

Once upon a time there was a tavern, a dreadful place really, a gather of bandits and crooks alike, where all debaucheries of all kind took place, this is where our story starts. One day, a young girl, clad in a red hood comes by the tavern, tired and hungry, unfortunately there’s only the tavern willing to take her in. Now tell me, a young girl in the den of evil like that, how would ya bet she’d last? Three days, name an abuse, she went through it, I’d list out what they did but barman threatened to stop serving the last time I told the story. Anyway… Used and battered, the girl in her last breath cursed these crooks that they’ll never leave this place. It was good, they hardly ever want to leave… “hardly”. When the first left, they popped… into a cloud of red mist. More came in but hardly anyone wanted out.

Soon, food and drink began to run dry, they turned on each other, some decided to run, all joined the red mist outside. Eventually, there was no one left, the tavern soon crumbled to rubbles, only the mist remains. Some says that even now, the red mist would appears, and you can hear the sound of desperation of the criminal long past, begging for their sufferings to end.

Yeah nah, that’s a whole load of bollocks we made up in order to cover up the red mist incident that we caused. The real horror is when we done with spreading that tale, we didn’t have the money to pay the Labor Union. Ya would not believe the stress we suffered through when the people responsible for yer meal breathing down yer neck. What? Yes, the tavern was real, it just so happened crime syndicates and gangbangers like going there to discuss businesses. Ya know what the funniest thing bout all this? It was from a bet.

Last edited 1 month ago by Maxer4000
V3RU5
V3RU5
1 month ago

Why is it winter?
By Vera

The name of the Goddess isn’t known, everyone just calls her The Witch. What was done to her isn’t known, either, she was just angry. In her eternal anger, she declared
“Darkness shall rule the land, no light shall it see, no warmth shall it experience for eternity”

In this endless dark winter, the other gods wept for humanity, though they were powerless against one of their own. All they could do was to imbue an ordinary well with their power, thus creating the well of wishes. This power had to be used by humans, otherwise it couldn’t break the witch’s curse.

The Witch saw the gods’ work and got worried. While the ancient law of the gods protected her from meddling by her own kind, the law didn’t apply to humans using divine artefacts.

“The well of wishes will fulfill any of your wishes” she told the humans. “However, only one. Give away your wish for the gods’ pointless endeavor, and whatever you wish for will be denied. Riches, power, happiness, whatever you want, you can get. Don’t let them manipulate you into giving up your wishes”

The humans decided to stay out of the conflict of the gods. The well, however, wasn’t meant to fulfil human wishes.

Humans who wished for riches, lost their ability to appreciate anything that they didn’t consider valuable, instead they received an irresistible drive to accumulate more wealth.

Those who wished for power, became power-hungry, as if they were hollow without more power than there was in the world.

There was a small group of people who wished for light and warmth, for the witches curse to end. It wasn’t enough, though, with only a small number of humans, the well couldn’t end the curse, only weaken it for a while.

The witches curse of darkness and the wells magic have been fighting ever since. Once a year the curse strengthens, causing the sun to disappear for a whole season, the season of the witch. Then it weakens, the light reappears, until darkness and cold disappear for the season of the gods.

WriterOfThought
WriterOfThought
1 month ago

Ecclesiastes 3:1
By WriterOfThought

No one ever knows how long their season will be, or when it will happen, but we all have one. Some even have many seasons, but there is nobody who doesn’t have at least one season. Or at least, that is what Tabitha had always been told.

She both dreaded and eagerly awaited her sixteenth birthday for this very reason, sixteen being when one is typically called to serve a season, but there are always exceptions. Her older sister told stories of someone who had her season at age eight, and her brother tried to scare her with stories of someone whose season wasn’t until they were eighty, and at school several of her friends had already served a season as Town Witch, but rules forbade them from telling her what it was like to serve a season.

The midnight passed, and she went from 15 to 16, and no knock occurred at the door. No letter appeared under the gap between the frame and the floor. She didn’t feel any different, except perhaps for being a bundle of nerves about to erupt.

A tap occurred at the window, and she nearly screamed from the tension in her muscles. A small, black cat with a green collar stared at her from the other side, silently asking to be let in. Tabitha stared back, wondering if maybe he was a sign of her season. Cautiously she opened the window, and he walked in. There was a note tied to his collar.

“Formal announcement declaring the season of Tabitha Cunning to begin All Hallows Eve” is what it declared on the front side. The back side contained the town seal and a vague list of instructions, the oddest one being “listen to the cat”.

She looked at the sable colored feline and it stared back at her. Tabitha wasn’t sure what to make of the instruction, or the cat.

“If it helps,” the cat spoke, “I don’t know what to make of you, either.” Tabitha dropped the note, and she understood.

Last edited 1 month ago by WriterOfThought
MasaCur
MasaCur
1 month ago

Graduation
By MasaCur

Erykah paced along the backstage, looking over her notes. Nearby, Willow was playfully kicking her feet as she sat.

“Erykah, you look like you’re going to blow an artery or something.” Willow said. “You really should relax.”

“I can’t relax! This is a big deal!”

“You just have to make one speech. I’m the master of ceremonies. You’ll be fine.” Willow pulled out a pocket watch. “Speaking of which, I’m on.”

Erykah nodded and kept going over her notes, as her friend went on stage. As she recited what she wrote down, she heard Willow say her name.

“I’d like you to welcome our top graduating student and my good friend, Erykah Toadbarrow.”

Erykah winced at her last name. It was embarrassing. She should drop it. She walked meekly out on stage and adjusted the brim of her pointed hat.

“Hello students and faculty of Stromrose Academy of Magic, and honored guests.” Her dusky green skin darkened with embarrassment. “You may have noticed, I’m an orc. That probably doesn’t seem so weird now, but I was literally in the first class with female orcs to be admitted to this school. And a week after I attended, no one seemed to notice. Not once have I been treated differently than any of the other witches and warlocks attending class here. So, imagine my surprise that I am now the first Orc to graduate top of my class, and I was all, ‘Oh yeah, I guess that’s a thing.’”

Erykah was relieved that her comment was met with laughter.

“I have made some great friends here over the past few years. It’s been great. And now we close this chapter of our lives, and move on to the next one. Many of us have been admitted to advanced magic academies. Others will turn to finding employment as hedge witches or magical supply, or something along those lines. But I wish this class of new witches and warlocks the best in forging their way into the world. This is a big step for us, and I, for one, look forward to it.”

Norman Gray
Norman Gray
1 month ago

I, Malice
By Norman Gray

She was young. . . Perhaps too young to begin practicing witchcraft. But she was eager to learn.

The sisters of the coven recounted the night she had been brought in; having no choice but to flay the runes from her flesh to break her bonds, giving her back control of her mind.

Only after, did she scream. . . Seemingly not from the pain, but the sudden awakening, as the horrid realization started seeping in. They had expected sorrow, but there were no tears, only rage.

“Mirror,” she’d demanded, and they obliged.

The reflection confirmed her worst fear: The nightmare had been real. She was years older, and gone was the little girl she remembered.

They asked for her name.

“I’m. . . Alice.” She said hesitantly, as if she’d forgotten.

It wasn’t long before she became interested in the Coven, and the dark arts. The sisters feared for her well-being, worried that she’d put herself in danger if she began too soon, or progressed too quickly.

So she began without them, sneaking away tomes from the library without their consent. She studied telepathic projection, and quickly harnessed this power, among others.

Once she was ready to face her fears, Alice displayed her memories for all of the sisters to see:

They witnessed as she was dragged kicking and screaming into a brothel by her captors, held down next to a fireplace as they extracted the branding iron from the flames, and pressed it to the back of her shoulders; the runes burning into her skin, silencing her screams. No longer could she rebel, only obey. . . And although she became compliant, inside her mind, Alice’s hatred grew.

Then she showed her sisters things that had not yet come to pass: The brothel in flames. Her captors, screaming as they burned. . .

They would all burn.

The sisters of the coven could deny her no longer. She was young. . . But they knew now that her anger would not subside, until her vengeance was fulfilled.

Gone was her innocence. Now, there was only Malice.

Last edited 1 month ago by Norman Gray
Mango Gravy
Mango Gravy
1 month ago

The Brightest of Nights
By Mango Gravy

In a lovely little cottage, far from any cities and villages, there lived a mother and daughter.

An adorable child with raven black hair, the daughter was mere minutes away from turning six. She knelt on the cushioned alcove by the cottage window, staring with wonderment at the outside world; the forest, the tulips, and the pond, all bathed in the silvery light of the full moon. The moon had been full for nearly a year now, shining brilliantly in the cloudless sky, and grew brighter every day. The little girl didn’t know why it was so, but somewhere in the depths of her heart and mind she knew it was her own doing. She smiled a most precious smile at the prospect.

The mother was a strikingly beautiful woman of middling years. Quite frighteningly beautiful, in fact, with billowing curls and elegantly freckled skin

None could doubt that they were mother and daughter, though the darkness of the child’s hair stood in stark contrast to her mother’s brilliant red. Should one look into their eyes, however, there would be no doubt. Both had eyes of crimson that shone like the moon reflected in a pool of blood, and both had a similar red eye set in each of their foreheads. Both had a strange wisdom about them, vague yet made clear by those red eyes.

The mother took her daughter in her arms and all of their eyes met in a wordless exchange. They smiled at each other for a while before they stepped out into the night.

There they saw a collection of eyes, three, and four, and five, and six, and seven, that glowed in the shadows of the forest. Then, out into the brilliant light of the moon came five women, some young and some old, and each more beautiful than the last. They met in an embrace with the mother and child, and together they bathed in the warmth of each other’s radiance. Then they laughed and danced as they sang songs of love and hope.

Because the night would never be dark again.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mango Gravy
Blinky
Blinky
1 month ago

The long night
By Blinky

Logan sharpened his axe as he watched a moonless night batter the last vestiges of daylight into a long sleep. He wouldn’t see it again for some days. If he ever saw it again.

He peered into the woods beyond his makeshift camp. In the past few months, the animals of his forest grew restless. The days grew cold, and fires no longer held the warmth they should.

“When the light falters and the night creeps ever longer, along the pale wind those touched by the strange hunt.” His father, Luther, once told him when he was just a boy. His large hands squeezed Logan’s shoulders far too tight, but something about the old man’s disposition made him swallow the pain. “You ever hear the woods sing. You run inside and lock the doors. Barricade them shut and permit no entry. Not even for me. Not until the day breaks over them trees.” Luther gave him a hard look. One he hardly recognized. “No witch may enter another’s home uninvited. Your mother protects us even now. Understand?”

“Yes, sir.” Logan managed to choke out. Not the slightest idea why his father was so afraid, but holding that fear all the same.

It had been some time since, but he never forgot that day. He never forgot the madness he now recognized in his father’s eyes. Eventually, the woods sang, and the pale winds came. He did as he was told and hated every bit of himself for it. Luther had it in his mind he’d take on a dozen covens himself. Just a man and an axe stood in front of his cabin. He died slow and terrible.

Logan had lived a lifetime since, but those days stuck with him. Sitting on the other side of that door listening to them torture the old man. Logan’s heart was branded with that weakness. So, he sharpened his axe and waited for the singing. A single man against the witches of the long night stood no chance. A bitter witch at the height of his powers? That might be a different story.

Last edited 1 month ago by Blinky
Matthew R. Wright
Matthew R. Wright
1 month ago

HEX and the City
By Matthew R. Wright

“Complete CHARMER profile questions, attach photo, click SUBMIT.”

Tabatha Runeheart stared at the yet to be filled-in sign up form for her yet untouched dating profile – despite installing it over a week ago. She stared and sighed a remarkably impressive sigh for a woman of her size and stature: 5’2 and neat.

She wasn’t ready. But three months had come and gone since she’d thrown out another one of her ‘Bewitched Boys’ and she was tired of the one-night abracadabra routine. “No more tricks or bewitchments,” she thought. The next person she’d date would find her instead and it would be for what they really saw, not what she could make them see.

She answered the ‘Name’ question, avoided ‘Age and ‘Build’ altogether, and went straight to ‘Likes’ and ‘Dislikes’. Tabatha knew next to nothing about dating apps, but she knew that whatever she brewed up would determine all future interactions, if any.

Out came another impressive sigh. Out there, she had beguiled every wizard, warlock, enchanter, and conjuror of cheap tricks within the kingdom, what else was out there beside the odd foul-smelling ghoul or potion-addicted occultist that she’d find on this app? Was this pointless?

She reflected on the reality that witches don’t tend to want relationships typically, comfortably spending centuries alone, only wanting another’s affection during those final few hundred-years of their extraordinarily long lives. Tabatha wasn’t like other witches, relatively young, being only 219, and yet she had as many relationships as she had birthdays. Why was she so different?

CLICK! Profile picture done. With the help of the app’s auto-fill function, she completed her profile, leaving the results to the disobedient hands of fate.

She put down her phone and went off to her cauldron to brew herself something nice and to feed her familiar. Summer had passed; the longest she’d been alone.

Thinking optimistically, maybe in the next few months, she’d meet a nice necromancer. Someone to share a cauldron with, maybe even raise the dead with. Maybe fall could be the season, her season, to finally get what she’s wanted.

Last edited 1 month ago by Matthew R. Wright
Sam C.
Sam C.
1 month ago

Wild, Once again.
By Sam C.

Ahhh, not long until the rest of The Sistership would be here she thought, leaning up against a log. The forest was thickest here, with a small clearing. Light was dimmed on all sides outside it, leaving the only way for those meddling humans to see them was from above.

She was a witch in every way but an ugly face, and her cauldron just as much so. She looked down at the glowing, bubbling teal substance in the cauldron, it casting its light on her face. The Sistership would be quite impressed at her new concoction.

Yes, They’d be here soon, and they’d meet for the one night they could.

*********************************************************************************

How long had she been asleep? The grey predawn was nearly upon her. She looked around, confused. The other sisters still weren’t here, and it was well past the meeting time.

The fire under her cauldron was nearly out, but when she went to restock it, she found a note on the cauldron. She picked it up, opening it with concern.

“Dear Azalea,” It read, “We have decided to eject you from The Sisterhood. We have nothing against you, but you are underskilled in the required fields to be part of our coven. We wish you the best luck in finding a new coven, and not be a wild witch for too long. Sincerely, The Sistership”

Tears welled in her eyes and her face went red. SO SHE WAS EJECTED? SO SHE WAS UNDERSKILLED? Ohh, she would make them realize that she was more than any of them. She would make them regret making her a wild witch, after years and years of loneliness searching for a coven.

She turned to her cauldron, and a tear from her cheek fell into the cauldron as she dipped her hand in, and began drinking. It went from teal to olive green in an instant. She drank down the whole cauldron, and when she finished, looked down at her reflection.

Green? A longer nose? freckles? All the better to terrify them. She grinned and laughed maniacally.

jgjgj
jgjgj
1 month ago

Imperial Inspector by jgjgj Water was sloshing around in my boots, making my bare feet numb & cold. Each step I took was like playing tug-of-war with the ground beneath me, it poured like this every day, and I was sick of it. Squinted eyes found a smear of gray-tan color in the shape of a triangle. I put my wet hand in my pocket to preemptively check the imperial code and prayed I didn’t just smear the correlated numbers. I took it out at once when I reached the entrance and bowed my head to the paper, looked up, and climbed to the door. People always knew what day it was, so there was always chatter in these tiny huts. The village didn’t try to collectively remember the day, everyone remembered the day no matter how dull or stupid they were. Even though water poured from the house into thundering puddles, I could still hear little pieces of dialogue through the door; “…chance… …day… …suspicion…”. Nostalgic, I crumpled the piece of paper and let it fall onto the ground. And slammed my fist into the door, four times. I shot my head up to the door and listened inside. No one moved for 5 seconds until *whisper, whisper*, and 6 feet authoritatively thudded on the floor. The door knocked back four times, I massaged my face in preparation and opened. The warm glow of a home flooded the contrasting dark & dreary landscape by me, and I entered– almost putting my arm over me instinctually to shelter my eyes from the bright light. The 3 villagers lined up on an immediate wall parallel to the door. Their hands tensed out to their sides, shoulders aligned themselves on the wall with their boots, and their eyes gravely watched the architrave surrounding the opened door; as if blind to the person immediately in front of them. A mother, father, and daughter. The daughter and mother both had black hair, while the father had dirty blond. It was just too easy. It’s a shame most of these Moffettes were out at the corner of the Empire, they needed a little education. I turned my eyes to the father; his face stood out among his wife and daughter as a person who knew imperial protocol– and who didn’t just learn it, but was immersed in it at one point. His daughter & wife were just amateurs. I bit the fat at the sides of my cheeks to control my smile. “Imperial Inspection, I was tipped off by a concerned citizen in this area about your wife & daughters… …features.” The father gave a flicker of reaction from his dull eyes; acknowledgment. “I will just need to see your wife & daughter’s Imperial Citizenry Papers, and then we will be done here.” He didn’t move for a second, as if processing the information presented to him, and finally smartly turned and walked out of the scene. I waited until his footsteps weren’t accompanying the… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by jgjgj
Aracnarquista
Aracnarquista
1 month ago

Seasons go by
by Aracnarquista

The girl had been walking through the deep woods for hours. She was tired, she was lost, she was hungry, and her bare feet bled. She was so tired, she couldn’t even remember what she was fleeing from. And she didn’t know where she was going as well. Knowing it or not, what she was walking towards was her future.

Night in the woods was dark, but she was keen sighted and the moon shone bright. She found a lone cottage in a clearing, from which the smells of dried herbs and freshly-disturbed soil came.

Walking towards the cottage door, the girl saw two graves by the cottage – none marked, one of them open. She was afraid, but she was more tired than afraid, so she knocked on the door.

A woman with kind eyes opened it, and invited her in. The girl didn’t just stay the night; she became the woman’s apprentice. In time, she learned the secrets of herbs and mushrooms, of dreams and of hexes, the ways of curing and the ways of bringing harm. Most of all, she learned the secrets of the seasons: she learned how to be patient, how to cultivate her attention like a garden, how to listen to plants growing, and how to recognize novelty in repetition, and familiarity in what’s new. She learned how to see the world with the eyes and heart of a witch.

But witch training is a long process, and by this time, the woman had become an old crone, and the girl had become a woman. The old lady then taught the woman of how age brings the understanding of even greater cycles than the seasons she was attuned to, and advised the girl-now-woman to be cognizant of them.

That night, with the moon shining bright, the old lady died, and the woman buried her by the cottage. With surprise, she noticed there was another grave there, open. The woman then knew she had to prepare for a visitor, and soon she was opening her door for a lost girl who left bloody footprints behind her.

Iosef Paramonov
Iosef Paramonov
1 month ago

Mrs.Chapman’s April Fools’
by Iosef Paramonov

“Number #1, please repeat the sentence on the card you’ve been given.” said Inspector Jones through the microphone.

Through the glass, three women lifted up their pieces of card. Each was dressed in black, flowing garments, with a multitude of bangles and beads clattering from their arms and necks.

Number #1, a tall, slender girl with gorgeous looks, stepped forward and read out loud “Good Sir, may I interest you in an apple on this fine morning?”

Inspector Jones turned around. “Mr. Ericsson?” he inquired.

Behind him, a crumpled grey suit lay on a wooden chair. Atop it sat a disgruntled, murky brown newt with a long blue tie knotted around its little neck.

The newt shook its head and replied, “No, it wasn’t her.”

Inspector Jones turned back to the microphone. “Number #2, your card.”

Number #2, a short, plump lady with rosy cheeks, held up her card and read aloud “It’ll only cost ya a pretty penny.”

Again, the newt shook its head. “No. Not her either.” it said.

“Number #3.” said Inspector Jones.

Number #3 was mass of wrinkles with a single buck-tooth protruding from a broad grin. “Haha, April Fools’!” she cackled.

The newt began jumping up and down indignantly upon its besuited perch. “That’s her!” it cried, “That’s the one who turned me into this!”

Inspector Jones sighed. “Mrs. Chapman, you cannot turn people into amphibians without their consent. That’s a violation of § 10 of the Transmutation Of Creatures and Persons Act 1978.”

“Come on Inspector,” cried Mrs. Chapman, “‘Twas only a bit of fun.”

Inspector Jones rubbed the bridge of his nose. He was getting to old for this nonsense. “If you turn him back to normal, we’ll let you off.” he said.

“‘Course! Easy!” chortled Mrs. Chapman, snapping her fingers.

Where once there was a bouncing newt clattered a cursing, naked, middle-aged man over the chair onto the floor. A blue tie was knotted around his neck.

Inspector Jones rolled his eyes. “Alright, be off with you.” he said.

Still chuckling from her practical joke, Mrs. Chapman shuffled out of the room.

Ahlam
Ahlam
1 month ago

Heavy skys threatened lighting and pelting rain. People scattered into their homes to the warm fire and a pot of warm soup. Doors shut. Pets pulled in. Boats were tied to the wharfs. The streets emptied. All but one went inside. Standing on the cobbled streets, his head tipped to the sky, a gleeful smile on his face. He turned as another man approached him. “They say that when the sky gets dark and rain falls down it’s our goddess telling us how sorry she is to leave us on such a sinful land, so sorry that she sends down her tears to wash our pain away.”

“If that were true then it would never stop raining.” He leaned against a wooden post outside the skys reach.

He sighed. “Brother you never saw much hope in anything.”

“What’s there to hope for? I hope for sun and then wish there was rain and then when there’s rain I hope for sun, it’s always a never ending loop, I got sick of it years ago.” The other man retorted, sticking his hands into his pockets.

“You forget that we can do things other people can’t, Rebby.”

Reb instantly tensed “you know you can’t say that kind of thing out loud” He hissed between clenched teeth. His eyes darted around the empty windows and closed doors.

“What’s the matter my dear brother, scared of men with pitchforks and fire?”

Reb closed his eyes and took a deep breath “we need to leave, we have stayed here longer than we should have already, pack your bags and ready your horse Ande” Quickly he turned around and strided up the street with fisted hands.

Ande shook his head “such a temper” he muttered. Turning to the sky once more he called out “well great mother of humanity, are you satisfied? After tomorrow you will have a lot more to cry about than just our pain.” Shooting a look over his shoulder Ande walked under shelter as it started to rain.

Sniperaxiom
Sniperaxiom
1 month ago

So much for love!

By Sniperaxiom

Around Valentine’s Day every year there always tends to be a spike in bad luck. It’s become expected. Just like flower shops and bakeries are busy this time of year, back alley merchants of spell material can barely keep up with demand. I would say they are even MORE popular than the flower shops and bakeries!

It’s no mystery why the places usually reserved for the superstitious and strange are jumping with customers. It’s a simple fact that around Valentine’s day people have a hard time being alone without becoming vindictive.

Any person with mischievous intent will be sure to keep their identity secret as they collect their jinxing materials. Obviously, though the bad luck comes in a petty form that is unharmful long term, it’s illegal to jinx someone. Not to say it isn’t obvious who did it.

Walking down the street in the month of February, bad luck runs rampant and rabbits’ feet are hard to find. I see some people fumbling with coffee cups and spilling the molten content on themselves. It’s all too common to see a phone slip out of a pocket only to smash on the ground.

This whole spike in bad luck spawned an interesting new tradition. Now on Valentine’s Day or in early February, people send gifts to their Ex’s too! Comedically, even after a terrible breakup you can still expect to receive a little offering.

The month of February has effectively become the season of witches and bad luck.

DaLeen
DaLeen
1 month ago

Spiralling
By Taja DaLeen

This is supposed to be the “season of witches”. So, it should be my time to shine. I should have fun, be powerful.

Be happy.

But I am not.

Instead, I sit here, all alone, no friends to talk to, no one to help me out of this. This… feeling of being too much, and too little at once. Just not good enough.

I can hardly do anything lately. Sure, there’s a reason for that; it’s difficult to perform rituals when you’re hurt and in pain.

Your magic won’t flow the way it’s supposed to.

After all, a witch’s magic is highly tied to her emotions. When those are all jumbled and messed up, of course it would hinder the magic from working.

Or worse, it might go ways it shouldn’t.

Currently I am afraid of my own magic. With the way my emotions are right now, I can’t tell what will happen if I try to use it.

Worst case scenario, someone gets hurt.

I might curse someone by accident, with the amount of hatred I’m trying to bottle up. It’s mainly aimed at my mother right now, she was the one to screw me up like this after all, telling me that I can’t do anything, that I don’t know anything, making me feel worthless…

But there’s a few others I kinda do wanna curse right now.

It’s all just getting too much.

I just… want to let go. Leave. I don’t know how much longer I can take all this.

I don’t want to harm anyone. I couldn’t…

You believe me, don’t you? Or are you just like all the others? Telling me what I have to do, what I have to be?

What I can’t do?

I knew it. You’re all the same! All of you! You all just want me to fit into your frame! Want me to be what I’m not! I hate you, all of you!!

Why don’t you just fucking…!

It’s the season of witches. I am more powerful than ever. And it scares me.

VTRwriter
1 month ago

A Hollow Oak Short
by VTRwriter

The tenth month was at the end. That meant one important thing: She needed to bake as many goods for Hollow Oak Celebrations as possible! All of Ituante would celebrate, which meant festivals, food, and sales! Lucina wasn’t an adventurer, a hero or anyone special, but she could cook well, and in a festival full of fascinating foods, she would shine!

One big problem, though: the peanut butter ended the day before. Like, all of it. And Lucina didn’t notice until it was too late. She couldn’t buy more since all stores were closed due to the three days festivity recess. She couldn’t borrow, since no one would have the amount she needed at home. What to do?

“Just do it”, the voice insisted once more. There was always a voice, specially when she was tense…

“I told you no”, Lucina replied.

“You don’t have much choice.”

“No one will buy that!”

“What you have to lose?”

“Reputation? Money? Time?”

“Doing nothing will be worse.”

“Ugh, fine!”

It was a crazy idea. She didn’t want to obey the voice, but it was necessary. Time for the craziest idea she ever had:

Pumpkin Seed Butter!

“You know?” Vera said after munching the cake. “I normally wouldn’t eat swamp green food, but it makes a nice contrast with the orange-colored pumpkin cake. And i’ll admit, it is delicious!”

“I’m so happy that people liked it. It was a weird idea, but I had to try”, Lucina breathed in relief.

“This will be the festival’s success, I’m sure of it. It could be a tradition, even!”

“Thank you!”

“By the way, now that I think about it, There was an old lady who did green butter like this one a long time ago, when we were kids.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. She’s probably dead now, and I never tried it, since it looked yucky, but I was a picky eater back then. I wonder if that butter tasted liked this one…”

Lucina smiled. Sales were good, reviews were good, all was well. Sometimes it was nice to have voices in her head.

BOB
BOB
1 month ago

Baes Loaded
By: BOB

Union was up by three runs in the ninth inning against Green Brooks’ team. In the crowd was a lady who seemed to have a greenish hue to her face and her hair resembled algae on a rock in a lake and a big protruding wart on her face. She also had a long black coat and she was cheering for Green Brook. There were two outs and no one on base. There was a fast ball for a strike straight down the middle of home plate. Then the pitcher from Union threw a slider that the batter hit to the outfield. Green Brook had one man on base two outs. Then there was a high curveball for a ball. The next pitch was a changeup and the ball was hit to center field for a base hit. Then three balls came to the batter, he got a base from a hit on a changeup. There were three balls then there were two fast balls for two strikes. It came down to the batter, it was the bottom of the ninth inning Green Brook down by three, bases loaded with a full count. The peculiar lady was standing. She reached into her long black coat which seemed to be like a suitcase inside. She rummaged and pulled out a wand. She began murdering into a wand. Everyone looked at her and thought she was a witch. The batter for Green Brook swung the bat and hit the ball into deep left center. He ran to first base then rounded to second he stopped and looked at the ball that went over the fence! He ran to home plate! Green Brook had won the game against Union; All thanks to the witch in the crowd.

Charlie Ford
Charlie Ford
1 month ago

Watch Your Kids and Lock Your Doors
By Charlie Ford

The Salem News
October Witch Scare
By Clara Judice
10/14/06
——————————————————————————————————
An unnatural rise in child abductions in our town has occurred during this spooky month. Over the last fourteen days, a total of 46 kids have gone missing. According to police chief Miles Walker, “We are doing everything that we can to track the kidnapper. Even though we have a lack of evidence now, this person will soon mess up and we will catch them.” Other residents have something else in mind, storming newspaper offices and police stations with pictures of witches. Yesterday, Friday the 13th, has had the highest number of abductions all month so far, but how bad will it be on Halloween. From a conversation with local cultist, Cat Vandran, she has told us that, “This is the witch’s way of getting back at us from the trials in 1692. They want revenge for what we did to them so now they will steal our children. This is the ‘Mevsimi o cre Traaldi’, or in English, the ‘Season of the Witch’.” So, is it now, the ‘Season of the Witch’? A new disease has been spreading through our town and other towns near us due to rising black cat populations. This disease transmitted from fleas on the cats is dubbed the “Witch Plague” by many medical experts. Some common symptoms include a green hue in your skin, large hairy warts, rapid nail growth, violent vomiting, and in rare cases seizures and death. Back to the abductions, as reported by local public safety officer, Ann Prescott, “We may be forced to introduce a new curfew on the town and possibly cancel our long anticipated Halloween celebrations.” So watch your kids and lock your doors because it is now the ‘Season of the Witch’.

Coffee
Coffee
1 month ago

Trick or Treat?
By Mildly Warmed Coffee

The rapid knocking against her door has Shyee hurrying towards it in a rush.

“Aster, keep stirring it!” she says, ignoring the protests of her partner. “Coming!”

When she opens the door, she is greeted by a handful of children dressed in the most peculiar of manners.

“Trick or treat!” they cry in chorus.

Shyee blinks.

“Trick or treat?”

Her confusion is met with groans.

“Not this again,” one of the taller children wrapped in excessive bandages complains. “How’s it possible to meet three clueless adults in a row? You’ve even dressed the part!”

“Lady, we are here to trick or treat.” Her attention is drawn to what appears to be the youngest of them with two red horns taped to his head. “The normal response would be to give us candy or play a trick on us. But you should just give us candy. No one plays tricks anymore.”

“Um, how about your friend there.” Shyee gawks at the child on the ground wearing a white sheet. “He’s been tripping over the same rock for a good minute now.”

“Eh, don’t mind him.” The sole girl flicks her hair over her shoulder, nearly knocking off the crown on her head. “We told him the bedsheets as a costume would be a terrible idea. Serves him right.”

“Arr!” A boy with one eye covered brandishes his sword at her menacingly, the effect largely ruined by how it wobbles with the motion. “All your candy, in my basket now!”

“…”

After she manages to shoo them away with some cookies, Shyee trudges back to the kitchen utterly defeated. Aster stares at her pointedly while stirring their dinner with a vengeance.

“Why so quiet? What, cat got your tongue?”

The black cat snickers at his joke as Shyee groans.

“Humans are scary.”

“… You just realised that?”

She sighs, looking him in the eye.

“Do you think they know I’m a witch?”

“Nah,” Aster scoffs. “No witch dresses like you these days with the hat, dress and all.”

“True.” She nods. “By the way, I gave them your cookies.”

“YOU DID WHAT?!”

Lee Strangely
Lee Strangely
1 month ago

Wand Way Or Another
by Lee Strangely

Under the shadows of the thick dark clouds, the old church’s bell echoed across the foggy fields, reverberating past the gnarled trees and weathered tombstones. It called to the men below as they trudged through wet leaves and mud, with only their lanterns to see. Amory could hear their voices as they passed by. Occasionally she peeked out of the hole to check their progress.

When it seemed safe, her attention returned to the coffin below. She was easily able to tear apart the rotten wood. Dozens of tiny creatures slithered and crawled away once they were exposed, their absence revealing the intended occupant. All but bones remained, still clutching at a wrinkly black book. Amory wrestled it out of its brittle grasp.

Books like this one are known by many titles depending on their author. In common tongue, they are simply called Grimoires, an invaluable tool for younger, inexperienced witches such as herself. Unfortunately, such tomes are as hard to come by as willing teachers, if not harder. Most are often burned along with their captured authors, or buried with the few who went unnoticed up to their deaths.

The sound of the mob soon grew too close for comfort. Instinctively, Amory reached for the side of her leg, only for her blood to run cold. Early on, the mob had caught her by surprise, leaving only enough time to grab her shoes. Her wand was left behind in the flight. You see, casting a spell without a wand is essentially firing a gun without a barrel: it’s unfocused, and volatile.

Up above, the mob surrounded her. One man, who was either quite brave or dimwitted, approached. A loud snap came from the hole as he pointed his rifle down it. Instantly, everyone heard something akin to thunder, as a blinding blast shot up, knocking the man and several yards away. They all turned to the hole.

“Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble,” Amory muttered, stepping out with the book in hand, “Something wicked this way comes…”

Her other hand then pointed a skeletal arm in their direction, “IT’S HERE!”

Sarah Herbison
1 month ago

The Seasoning of the Witch
by
Sarah J. Herbison

I watched the oven as the skin crackled, the fragrant scent of meat and spices lingering in the kitchen. I stacked more wood into the stove. The heat must be even for the roast to be tender and delicate.

A messenger knocked upon my door, calling me away from my duties. I implored my maid to watch over the roast while I went to the town square. But I tripped over the cobblestone path. The air clung with the stench of burning flesh; shrieks of a burning woman cut through the massive crowd.

The woman’s name was Goody Porter. The town priest accused her of witchcraft after the children went missing. Her screams filled the air as the townspeople gathered, the priest glaring over them. They kneeled in abject silence, waiting for the screams to stop, for the priest to say it was safe to go home.

I was smiling as I watched her burn, her charred flesh peeling from her skin and the stench of her torment rising to the heavens. I had always hated Goody and her simplistic ways. She was only a milkmaid; she had the intelligence of a child. There was no way she could be a threat to children. But she would stop by the path to collect flowers and pray to the old gods. So many villagers prayed to the old gods and would teach their children to do so. I would not have it! God would damn them from salvation.

By accusing Goody, I was saving the town’s future. The True God would consume everything, including the next generation. It would savor their souls in heaven. Goody’s screams stopped, and the priest cried. He went on his usual sermon of thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. The same tiresome prattle he gave every Sunday, with a dose of fire and brimstone. I would suffer none of these witches, these pagans, to live. And the priest would give me all the children who misbehaved.

With that said, I must return home. I have a roast to attend.

Makokam
1 month ago

“Oh. Right.” (Chronicles Of The Dragon)
By Makokam

The air had become chilly quite suddenly. None of the team really acknowledged it until Jostica came into the kitchen to make her morning tea wearing a bathrobe and slippers. Everyone seemed to suddenly stop holding back the shivers.

“Yeah, it can get pretty cold down here,” Thomas said. “It’ll stay warm though, once we get the heaters up and running. It’s just the transition period that’s rough.”

“I do like Fall though,” Blaise said, “Spooky season. The Season of The Witch.”

The kettle clanged onto the stove as Jostica stood rigid, then quickly turned and walked out of the room.

Over the next few days, Jostica was more secluded than usual. Coming and going frequently, and talking to anyone little if at all. Even blowing off Uncle Sam when he tried to speak to her about how she’d been missing training.

The most she talked to anyone was when she knocked on the door to Thomas’ workshop asking if she could take some iron scraps.

Eventually Thomas, Trojan Tea in hand, entered her room and asked, “So, what’s got you so uptight lately?”

“It’s the Season of The Witch.”

“Okay. Shouldn’t that be good for you? Weakened reality barriers or whatever making you more powerful?”

Jostica sighed, picked up what she was working on, and turned to him. “First of all, I’m not a Witch. I am a Wizard. Witches rely on spirits and other entities to do the work for them. I do the work myself.

“Secondly, yes the boundary between our material plane and the spiritual one makes it easier for spirits to come through, which makes witches more powerful.

“And thirdly,” she said, handing him the thing, “that’s why I’m going to need you all to wear these talismans and help me draw some protective circles. I wasn’t particularly worried before, but now I’m on a super team and I don’t doubt some villain is or could hire a witch to try and hurt us.”

Last edited 1 month ago by Makokam
Donovan
Donovan
1 month ago

Season of the Witch
By Donovan

It was the season of the first frost, when trees forget their green and leaves give up the canopy to rest on open ground. A girl was out in the woods, gathering the fruits of the forest into her wicker basket. Keeping her eyes on the ground she wandered deeper into the woods than she was accustomed to. When the gray light of day began to change, matching the deep oranges and purples of the forest, she looked for her way back. Believing she was headed home she wandered farther into the tangles of the forest.

Now, as the light around her dimmed and the shadows of the trees grew and lengthened something seemed to change. She became suspicious of every tree, as though something was watching her from just behind each trunk, keeping exactly opposite to her as she moved. She stopped on a hill, looking for a landmark. The only familiar sight was her breath misting the air in front of her.

“Are you lost?” creaked a voice from behind an old elm.

A chill washed over the girl, and she began to shiver.

“What is your name, child?” rasped the elm, gnarled and leafless. It was in a small valley before her, but its wide trunk supported black branches that twisted high and far into the canopy overhead.

“I don’t know the way back to town” the girl said, in nearly a whisper.

“That’s very unfortunate, I know these woods well, and I can set you on your way. Only, what name may I call you by?”

The girl said nothing, every nerve tingled with a sense of danger, but she knew that if she ran she would only become more lost, and something from the back of her mind whispered that she shouldn’t lie.

“Some call me daughter, and some call me friend. Today though, I am lost.” The girl said carefully.

“Lost girl, follow this valley until you are stopped by a fallen oak, from the hill there you can see your town.”

“Thank you.” The girl whispered, hurrying back towards home.

Reinkarnitor
Reinkarnitor
1 month ago

Catching another Witch

by Reinkarnitor

The young woman could not run anymore. The people have finally caught up to her and her back was against the wall. What did she do to deserve this? All she ever wanted was to help people with her powers, her knowledge.

Still…every city she came to was the same. As soon as she tried to use her skills, the people would turn against her. And even though it never changed, not even once did she consider to stop helping people.

Now she was caught. The people took her by the hands and lead her to the big house in the middle of the town, where the lord of the city resided in. They cheered all the while, and the woman could only think of was that they must be very happy to have caught her. Perhaps they hoped for a reward. After all, catching witches is very good for one’s reputation.

After a while, they finally arrived. The people called for their Lord to open the gates and take a look at the witch. And finally…he did.

“Lord, we found another witch!” one of the people shouted.

The Lord looked at her and the gestured to let go of her hands.
“Welcome!”

The woman though she misheard and looked at him with big eyes.

“Welcome to my city! Please stay as long as you like!”

“You…why?” she managed to stammer.

“I do not see why we should turn away people, just because they have talents. I believe that we would be able to learn a lot from each other.” the Lord explained.

“Consider yourself to be my guest. I am sure that you will find many like you, when you look carefully in my city.”

The people cheered and welcomed her, while the woman was still unable to fully comprehend what just happened.

The Lord then walked back into his house but turned one last time to smile at her.

“Don’t worry. You are safe here. After all…” he chuckled “…this city celebrates the season of the witch all year long.”

Joe
Joe
1 month ago

Which Season?

By Joe

Sturgill grabbed his coat and scarf off the the hanger by the door. “Alright. I gotta run to the forest to get some seasoning.”

Gary looked up from his book with concern. “Please tell me you read up on your spices. The last time you brought some home that were ‘in season’ we found out you picked up marijuana, grounded it up and put it in the spaghetti.”

“Hey! I told you I thought it was oregano, alright. And it wasn’t that bad. You found something out about yourself after a deeply induced trip of self reflection.”

“I don’t think people eat marijuana to self-reflect. Whatever that was still haunts me to this day.”

“Well, regardless I’m getting a new seasoning that I hear is,” he touched his forefingers to his thumbs, “pretty preem.”

“Which seasoning is it?”

“Which.”

Gary sat silently waiting. “Well! Which one?”

“Which.”

“Which?”

“Yeah, Which?”

“What is Which?”

“You know, like, they cackle, stir things in a cauldron, and ride on brooms into the night.”

Gary looked at Sturgill condescendingly. “Go back to marijuana.”

“What?! Come on, dude! There’s guaranteed to be a new experience!” Sturgill said with a cheeky smile.

“You’re about to go out and get a full grown witch so we can eat her. I-I don’t know how this sounds sane to you.”

“Oh no! It’s not a full grown witch. They’re tiny witches in a jar. There’s like ten in there.”

More silence follwed.

“How’re you going to work them into a recipe?” Gary stressed.

“The jar is like a pepper shaker. You shake it and pour out magic onto the food.”

“How do you know it’s magic? How do you shake magic out of tiny witches?”

“Magic.”

Gary hated that answer, and sighed. “Where’d you even buy these?”

“From a goblin.”

“SINCE WHEN WERE THERE GOBLINS?!” Gary yelled.

“I know right.” Sturgill chuckled. “They’re sneaky little suckers. Haha.”

Gary was seething while he waited for an explanation.

Sturgill clapped his hands together and sucked air through his teeth. “So I ran into a unicorn…”

“AAAUUUUGGGHH!!!!”

J. J. Peterson
J. J. Peterson
1 month ago

The Witches Seasoning
J. J. Peterson

While most people know of Fifth Avenue, few know of the street that turns off, just between 47th and 48th street. Street 47th and a half is hardly worth being called a street, for the cracked and jagged pieces of pavement run straight, directly off Fifth Avenue, no more than a metre wide and end abruptly.

This alley is home to a wild, formerly domesticated, house cat, an abandoned sandwich bar, the faded sign reading “Scott’s Sandwitches”, and at the end of the street, a holey wooden door, which often stands ajar. If someone were to squeeze through ever, and that would only be to escape the rain, they would find a scene similar to what now unravelles.

A fire burns on the packed dirt floor, and a woman on a two legged stool slowly stirs the contents of a large iron pot which stands on three legs above the fire. The woman would be quite beautiful if she took the time to take care of herself, but she doesn’t, though her jet black hair is very striking. Her young son, no more than a toddler, pushes a decrepit wooden car back and forth on a shelf set against one of the walls of the small room.

The woman, inevitably, after seeing one enter soaked to the bone, turns to her son and says, “Pass the thyme, will you? The soup is almost done.”

The boy grabs one of the many jars littering his place space, seemingly at random, and sitting on the edge of the shelf, drops to the ground, and, tottling over to his mother, hands her the thyme. After sprinkling the dried green plant into the pot, she’d turn to that someone, shivering and cold in the doorway and say, “Oh sweety, you look so cold! Please, have a bowl of soup.”

One, being quite cold and wet, would be inclined to accept the small wooden bowl full of the warm soup. And, shakingly raising it to their lips, that would be the last thing they ever do.

Faustini
Faustini
1 month ago

Do not forget seasoning
by Spawn of Faust

First of all, we have to get our meat. Make sure that specimen that you choose is young and its flesh is tender.

We put our cauldron over the high heat and fill it up with vegetables of your choice. I always go with carrots and parsley.

Once vegetables go soft, we have to lower the heat and introduce the source of our meat to the broth. If the source is throwing fit over the temperature or lack of seasoning, feel free to use some of your hypnotic skills. Do not worry, It will have very little impact on the final flavor.

After introducing the specimen to the stew, slowly raise the heat. Heavy iron lid should muffle any unwanted noise that can be heard. Do not worry after a few minutes of boiling any struggle and you can with a clear conscience remove the lid. Your neighbors won’t be disturbed anymore by your latest cooking masterpiece.

Continue to boil the stew for over twenty hours. Now thanks to some special TV magic we have stew that has already gone through a long boiling process.

Pick a wooden ladle and fish out any unwanted residues that were left by our meat provider. In my case, it will be clothes and bones, of which we will use later.

Now for the penultimate part. Seasoning.

Break the fished out bones and scoop out the marrow. You should mix the marrow with salt, pepper and crushed juniper berries in a separate bowl and then slowly stir into the soup.

Now for the final part. Serving the meal.

Thanks to the volume of the cauldron you should have enough soup to invite your close friends and neighbors. (You owe them at least that much.) Soup should be served in a small bowl with crumbs of bread.

Enjoy your meal and see you next week on the next episode of “Cooking with Armollinen“.

Galer
Galer
1 month ago

Witchcraft

by Galer.

“So what do you want to know about witchcraft?” asked Luisa to her new protege

“You use broons, a pointy hat, and a cauldron?” Travis asked sardonically making his teacher snort while he was preparing his gun” sorry for the joke but that is marketable right now”

“Ja! aren’t you a cheeky one hu?” Luisa Jovially responded “no we never did that, we use the new things, and witchcraft is another way to refer to magic”

“So… rune-ladened motorcycles, modern chemistry, and sensible fashion sense?” Travis asked while he was focusing his aether on the gun taking aim towards the target “and here I thought you were old here”

“Pah! just because I am an elf doesn’t mean I cannot modernize with the new world,” Luisa said ” also you forgot, the magical guns, forged in dragons fire”

A bam! reverberated through the firing range and some of Travis’s aether pool, was dispensed along with the bullet when it collided with the target it twisted to the form of a wooden bird, the bullet also splashed the second one this time it let out a black haze.

“And the shapeshifting bullets filled with my personal favorite the liquified aiming hex,” The woman with the Title of the bullet witch of Norway said with pride “reshoot it and don’t line up”

Travis obeyed his gun nut mentor and shot, the projectile went wide, but all of a sudden the bullet corrected its direction in the middle of the air, successfully hitting the target and turning it into a wooden toad.

“Hu? well that’s useful,” Travis said, only for a box labeled dragon’s breath with Crayola to be shoved on his face, he raised an eyebrow at them “did you make them? aren’t those dangerously explosive?”

“Bah!, it is my place,” Louisa said lackadaisically “I also have a license so we are not going to be in trouble”

Travis just made a face and let out a sight ” well here is hoping that a forest fire doesn’t happen…again”

She only smiled in return.

How reassuring.

Last edited 1 month ago by Galer
Alex
Alex
1 month ago

Threading the Needle (Darkspell Universe)
By Alex Nightingale (aka Spectre)

Valerie had never been so focused in her entire life. She sat cross-legged on the floor, her tongue between her teeth, the tip of it extending out of her mouth. On her lap lay various layers of cloth in black and purple.

“Needle down, switch, up, switch…”

She didn’t even check the clock.

Finally, she made the last stroke and raised the witch costume in front of her, examining her work. It turned out that her ‘costume’ had become an eldritch abomination of cloth and thread, with a needle hanging out and way too many sleeves, all of which stitched to the torso.

There was a knock on the door and Daniel walked in.

“Hey, just checking on your progress.”

“Well…” Valerie stood up and revealed her finished work. “Define progress.”

Daniel blinked.

“What are you, the ineffable cloth demon?”

“Oh, shut up.”

She threw a pillow at her friend. Daniel caught it with one hand.

“I still don’t get, why you just couldn’t wear your Nightguard costume.”

“Because one, that is not some costume, it is the original Nightguard suit and I don’t want people to recognize me as their second-favourite vigilante. Second, I don’t want to go as myself. That’s boring. Do you plan on going as the demigod of mortal vengeance?”

“It would beat Lord Pumpkinhead,” he held up a jack-o-lantern mask.

Valerie blew a strand of pitch-black hair out of her face.

“Well, the only other things I have are fake spider webs and a few dried leaves.”

“Spider silk and the autumn dryad… Not the worst idea.”

“Daniel, this is your first ever Fall Moon Party. I want your costume to be good. Better than wearing a name badge that says ‘Son of the Woman in Carmine’. We can’t just go as something we already are, where’s the fun in that?”

“Mia said the same thing. She’s over in the other room, trying to persuade Konrad to go as a witch, if she goes as a crow.”

Valerie blinked. Mia was a witch, Konrad her crow familiar.

“Show me. This instant.”

Chuckling, Daniel obliged.

The Missing Link
The Missing Link
1 month ago

Double Double Toil and… What?
By The Missing Link

“Double double, toil and trouble, fire burn, and cauldron…”

“Mom, get away from my pot,” the young girl of seventeen ran over to the stove, hat flying off her head, “After last time.”

The old witch gave her a surprised look, almost hurt by her daughter’s remark, “Last time? What are you talking about Hilda?”

“You poisoned my boyfriend’s lunch,” Hilda shouted.

“He didn’t like newt eyes?”

“It turned him into one,” Hilda responded, exasperated.

“Oh, I’m sure it wore off.”

“That’s not the point.”

“If he can’t handle a little transformation, how is he supposed to date my daughter? Now here, put this in.”

She held up a jar of… chicken claws? Did she get those from granny’s hut? Surely enough, its toes were sheared clean. Another thing she’d have to smooth out…

“Mom, for the love of God.”

“Young lady,” said the witch shortly.

“Sorry… for the love of Satan,” Hilda sighed.

Mother really just did what she pleased… striding over without a care to taste the concoction, “Needs more paprika, Dearie.”

“I didn’t ask, mom.”

“And how many times do I need to tell you to put your cauldrons over the fire? Stoves just don’t get you that nice smoky tang to your potions.”

“Mom.”

“No, no, this simply won’t do.”

Hilda pulled her retrieved hat down over her face in frustration. Thank Go… any divine thing that would listen no one from school was there to see this.

“These chunks here, Dearie, I’ve told you you don’t cube potion solids.”

Fed up, Hilda snatched back the pot, and slammed it back on the stove. “Would you stop and listen?”

“Now that’s no way to speak to your mother.”

“I’m trying to make dinner for my date tonight, would you please go away?”

“Oh why didn’t you say so? You definitely want this dog tongue then.”

Marx
Marx
1 month ago

You Know Nothing
By Marx

Murphy looked skeptically at the woman before him. “You’re Lilith? THE Lilith? The first woman? Mother of monsters?”

Lilith smiled back. “Yes, yes… Mother of dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, so on and so forth.”

Murphy just blankly stared at her.

Lilith chuckled. “You are a secluded little thing aren’t you, child? Nevermind. The important thing is that while it may be quite a few generations removed, I do sense my blood in you… in the most unfortunate way I’ve ever seen…”

Murphy began to speak, but quickly discovered that he couldn’t. A muffled sound of alarm didn’t quite escape his lips when he saw Lilith’s glowing eyes.

“Hush child. Now is when you listen. Magic is real. Demons are real. Hell is real. And with things as they currently are, the borders of Hell have broken down to the point that demons who used to be stuck there are now free to roam this world. Which makes it especially unsafe for you.

“Think of yourself as an angler fish. Only the lure… the light, is in your very blood. Demons will be drawn to you. That you are unaware of this leads me to believe you’ve lived quite the sheltered life until now. Doing so was wise. But you are now in the open at the worst possible time. You have three options.

“One, you go back where you came from and pray they don’t find you. Or two, you find the biggest, baddest demon and you seduce the fuck out of them. You’re part incubus. It won’t be as hard as you’d think. If they die, find the next biggest demon, rinse and repeat. That is my advice. Do with it as you will.”

“Wait…” Murphy said, realizing he could speak again. “You said there’s a third option…”

Murphy could see the genuine pity in Lilith’s eyes as she answered, “Yes. There is. But I’m sure you’ll figure that one out on your own.”

“If it’s so bad, why can’t you help me yourself?” Murphy asked, before realizing he was now alone.

Tamela Redfin
Tamela Redfin
1 month ago

Sorry, wrong number (Web of Reagan)

By Tamela Redfin

How dare that crotch creature betray me! I saw Sapphira talking to Jeremy. He was never supposed to return and that… Sapphira. Why, she ruined my life. Edison wanted me to be a mother thanks to her. She didn’t even listen to me!

I went to my room and looked through my belongings. Wait, was that Alois’s number? I chuckled to myself. How much could I bet the lowlife would call back if I whipped up some tears?
I quickly dialed the number. “Hallo? Cora, this isn’t a funny joke! I told you not to call this number.”

“I’m NOT your bitch.” I snapped back. “Wait, who is this?”

“Feldspar Augen Vene. And this?”

“Reagan Rio.” I answered.

“So a cypha? Ugh, my brother’s such an idiot.”

“Before you hang up, I could maybe help you. Yes, YES, YES! I have an idea.”

“Whoa calm your undersides. I’m listening.”

I nodded, “Okay. I know Grey Rose. Pay me your rod, as well as forgiveness for my bloodline and I will expose my location. You know which rod I mean.”

“Ah, an easy job.” Augen cackled, “How do I know you aren’t lying? I thought cyphas hated me.”

“Sweet lips, I want to get my revenge on your brother. He led me down a dark path. And you? How are things with Cora?” I smirked.

“Terrible! She’s staying with her sister because I protected her daughter and her from ridicule. I hate it.”

“See? We could help each other. Seems fair?”

“Deal! I’ll give you three days. And I’ll send the clone army. But if you’re lying, I will cut off your head and as for the body…”

“No need. We’re in Western Rolt. Southern Western Rolt by the Wild River. Got that?”

“Very good.” Sure, I was a witch, but sometimes to reach your goals, you need to screw someone.

Skeleton
Skeleton
1 month ago

Soulbound (The Will)
By Skeleton

Eymir,

I know you can read this: you were so excited when you finally understood the letters that had eluded your understanding for so long. You wouldn’t forget them, even after these twenty years.

You’ve been gone for a long time, and I’m left to wonder if you know what’s happening in the world. Have you seen the turmoil caused by your choice to give in to destruction, or have you been blinded by it? It doesn’t really matter now. Soon, the door will give way and the crowd will get inside. Their chants of “burn the witch” don’t leave much to the imagination. My time left here is short. Perhaps I’ll feel a modicum of your suffering.

The truth is that I miss you. I want to see you again.

I’ve been thinking of a moment a few weeks after our wedding; I was reading a dictation on the transmutation of mana into obscure magic in bed by the candlelight, and you sat in the corner of the room just watching me. I had offered you a spot next to me, but you had said “it would ruin the view.”

I had thought then that you were being corny, since this had taken place after eight days of continual work, sleeping only about six hours a night. I had been less than appealing physically, so the comment caught me off guard since it came from you. But the more I think about it, the more I realize how much I miss your voice. Because it wasn’t my sunken eyes you were appreciating, it was how much I loved reading that stupid book.

I don’t understand how it’s taken me this long to realize this, but you really only wanted for me to be happy, didn’t you? For everyone that you love to be happy?

I happily burn for you: the demon I sold my soul to. I would do so one thousand times if it meant that I could feel your eyes on me one more time.

And I just want you to know:

I love you.

-Remianna