Through Time and Space - first chapter
1046 days ago
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It was initially the Seer who would be aware of the Witch´s presence. She wasn´t too hard to locate through the all-seeing crystal ball that the Seer treasured oh-so-dearly. But watching her was easy; capturing her would be the hard part. She sometimes would disappear from the Seer´s analyzing gaze, much to her irritation. However, the Witch seemed to have no interest in causing havoc to the townspeople. Her spells and hexes were never malicious, so there was no cause for alarm that the Seer could find.
The problem would be alerting the next king. He was the heir to the throne, but seemingly lacked any desire to rule. He would constantly try to convince the Circle of Elders to choose another heir, but their decision was always final. He would become King.
The Heir was always an approachable and kind person, however, his actions were sometimes unpredictable and rash. So the Seer withheld the existence of the Witch until she could be certain of everything.
The Witch skipped lightly trough the stream. Her eyes were closed, but she sensed the outlines of each rock to stand on. Her arms were spread out beside her, her long hair the colour of crows billowing out with each bound. Flowers were delicately arranged to entwine within vines and they decorated the crown of her head. Her muslin hood had fallen from her head, and had gathered around her shoulders, hanging from her neck and secured with a knot. A pendant that she had had for as long as she could remember lay hidden under layers of cloth, the chain poking through on her shoulders. The dress that she was wearing was wet around the hem, as were her bare feet.
The Witch reached the bank and opened her eyes. The grass seemed flatter than it usually was. A herd of deer must have been here recently, she thought and smiled. The woods that she lived in belonged to nobody, and everybody, at once. She frowned suddenly at the thought of being controlled, where she couldn´t be wild and untamed. She hitched the hood up onto her head, covering the flowers crowning her.
Her steps were brisk as she watched the grass beneath her toes, aware of each blade´s edge. The colour of the leaves overhead matched her observant eyes; a vibrant but soothing green. They flitted to the treetops, where birds sang, trying to attract a mate. The Witch exhaled in amusement. It was the start of spring, so all of the animals she lived among would be seeking one another so that their children would be born into a peaceful summer. She wondered if she would ever meet another human, but quickly scolded herself. They´re all the same, she thought, and you can´t trust them. They hate you.
The Witch slowed by a hazelnut tree, and stood up on tiptoe and pulled a branch toward her to see if their produce was ready to harvest. To her disappointment, the nuts were still green. She took one anyway, dug into the leafy film covering the nut, and exposed its greenish-yellow shell. She quickly popped it into her mouth and chewed. She never could tell exactly when her next meal would be, especially since she lived off the plants around her.
Her home was nearby, the map in her head told her. The outline of the tree that supported her living quarters was steadily growing sharp until it was right in front of her.
She hitched her skirts up and climbed up into the hollow midway in the trunk of the ancient oak tree. It was a pity that a chunk of the tree was missing, but at least it was still alive, and it wasn´t the Witch who defaced it.
The Witch slipped through the trunk and began to climb upwards, the bark surrounding her. Her feet knew exactly where the footholds were, and she saw them in her mind, sharp and precise; exactly where they needed to be.
She climbed up into the branches, where she had taken twigs, branches and leaves and made a room big enough to support her, plus a little bit more. The Witch was always proud of the job she had done, flattening out quite a large area to stand on, propping branches up to form walls, weaving twigs into the gaps and sewing layers of then green leaves into the walls to break the wind. And she had done it in a way that it did not hurt the tree, and was completely invisible from the outside. If she couldn´t see the edges so well and didn´t know where everything was, she wouldn´t even be able to find it after a day away from her home.
The Witch sat on a large pillow that she had stuffed with leaves, flower petals and bird feathers. It usually served as her bed, but it would be used as a seat during the day. Above her hung the treasures that she had found: A button with a fair amount of thread that she had seen snagged on a bush, a nice-looking rock with a hole in the middle of it, a few trinkets that the crows would bring her (the rest were in a box somewhere on the other side of the room where her possessions were kept), and a bone that the forest´s guardian, an ancient wolf-dog-something, had given her in exchange for a game of fetch. Looking up at these small treasures filled the Witch with happy memories. Especially the bone, even though she hated the thought of killing a living creature. Playing with the Guardian was always quite an adventure. He could zap them into new places , or make things appear from thin air using his god-like abilities. Abilities of which he had shared with the Witch, causing her to carry such a title. He was a very good and loyal dog, as well as her best friend. If he was a dog, that is.
The sky outside had been growing darker, and the Witch was aware that soon, bad things would start crawling around the woods. She was thankful for her shelter, and that she had somehow gotten them to leave her alone. She had offered them a coin she found, and in return, they would not enter her home.
The Witch sighed and fell backwards, making puffs of dust and woodchips swell up around her. She closed her eyes and lay her left hand over her heart, over the pendant.
The day was good, and she would probably have another good one, and another and another. But as soon as the embrace of sleep held her, her dreams were those of yearning and unrest.