May 16, 2011

The Witches' Grove (Fiction Contest)

Moonlight spilled across the budding treetops, dappling the forest ground with waves of subdued light. The moist smell of fresh greenery was combined with the woody aroma of last years' fallen leaves. As Josh and Brian crept through the dense woods to the place of the "Witches", a dead branch would snap under the weight of their feet now and then.

"Oh my God, Josh! Really?", Brian whispered in a perturbed voice. "Can't you quit making noise!?". "Sorry", Josh replied in an even quieter whisper, as he adjusted his glasses and looked more closely at the ground in front of him before moving on. "We're almost there". The twelve year old boys felt their chests pounding. They tried to stifle the very sound of breathing as they walked on.

The crackling sound of a fire and the distant hum of voices reached them before they could see their source. In a small clearing beyond the grove of trees, the flickering light of a fire could be seen momentarily. Robed figures moved around it, blocking its' light every few seconds. Faintly, the boys could hear the rhythmic sounds, "Aaauummmm, Aaaauummmm".


Suddenly, their hearts beat so hard in their chests that they were sure to be heard. Their own ears were filled with the sound of drumming...how could they remain quiet and watch? Josh's dad had said that the evil Witches gather in the clearing near Willow Creek every full moon. He had said they had orgies there and sacrificed children to the devil. Mr. Proctor had even said that the recent drowning of Billy Williams was the work of those devil-worshippers as he spat on the floor and grabbed up his Bible.

Josh and Brian had it all figured out. They told their parents they were staying at each others' houses that night, but instead, they had sneaked out to the woods to walk the quarter mile to "the Witches Grove" and see for themselves!

"Damn, I shoulda brought a flashlight! It's dark in these woods, even with the full moon", Josh cursed. "Shhussh", whispered Brian, "they'll HEAR us!". Josh chuckled softly, "We're gonna see us some nekked women". "Yeah, and a kid get chopped up!", added Brian excitedly, "That little snot Penny Baker ain't been to school in three days, I bet THEY got her!". "Quiet fool!", Josh retorted.

Still thirty yards off into the cover of woods, the boys settled into a small ditch and watched the events unfold. The Witches were singing and dancing around the firelight. Now and then Josh and Brian caught the glimmer of a metal tool flash in the firelight. Was that a knife? Penny Baker WAS there! As the circle moved round, they caught sight of a much shorter robed-figure. Her long white-blond hair was not to be mistaken.

"Whadda we gonna do, Josh?" Brian's voice sounded desperate. "Just shut up and listen!", Josh was the strong-willed one of the two.

A slight breeze blew toward them now. They caught the smell of burning...was it lavender? sage? along with the woodsmoke. The words of the Witches were clearer now. They were saying blessings to the earth, to the moon, the river and the fields. The Witches raised their arms in unison and chanted, invoking the power of All to guide and protect Penny on her journey...her initiation.

"What the hell?", said Josh. The boys watched as the group passed a large cup around the circle, taking turns drinking from it. "Are they gonna kill her?", asked Brian, wide-eyed and confused. "LOOK, they're walking this way, SHIT!". Josh and Brian moved as fast as they could through the darkness of the woods.

Josh caught a low-hanging branch which stung and cut his left cheek. The hot blood pulsed, quickly covering his jaw. By the time the boys reached Brian's house, they couldn't hear the chanting any longer. Breathless, they crept into Brian's room. Josh wiped the blood away with one of Brian's dirty tee shirts. "You think Penny's a Witch?", he asked Brian. "Well they sure didn't kill her", replied Brian, his voice trailing off.

The next school day was two full days away...then, maybe, they would know...

Here's YOUR Challenge: Write the next installment of this bit of "witchy fiction". Three ways to enter: Submit your entry to me at My Email Address OR post HERE in the Pagan by Design Message boards, OR place your entry as a post on your OWN blog and notify me in the comments below with the URL by March 31st, 2011. The winning entry will receive a $10 gift certificate to Amazon.com and be published here! One entry per person please. Good luck my Pagan Pals!
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Inspired by her Native American roots and Bradbury lineage, Polly Taskey is a writer and grandmother in the northern USA.  She shares her wisdom and pagan interests through Pagan by Design and The Moonlit Grove.

16 Comments:

Just A Gal said...

Very cool!

Magaly Guerrero said...

You BETTER tell me what happens next! I was on the third to the last paragraph thinking "Is this going to have a rushed ending. Hm, hope not" I got my wish, the story continues, right?

I can't wait to read about the boys and Penny. Oh my! What happens next? I want to know more about the other witches too. Why did they take Penny in secret? Does Penny's family know? More, more, more!

Green Witch said...

Thank you Just A Gal and Magaly! You'll have to wait a few days and see. I've put this one out there as a contest for my witchy friends to contribute their imaginative writing skills to for the chance to win a $10 Amazon gift certificate. (wink)

Judy said...

I'm not a writer...just a reader...hurry...I want to read the next installment...

Magaly Guerrero said...

I'm feeling terribly slow today "witchy contest?"

Green Witch said...

Yep, you got it! Just looking for a great "continuation" of the story above by May 31st. Chosen winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate.

Not to be poetic but I think this is right up your alley, Magaly. :D

Magaly Guerrero said...

That is wonderful! Do we send it to you? Or do we post it on your our blogs? Details! Details! Mm, mm, my muse is doing her happy (mildly insane) dance!

Green Witch said...

Hmm, I hadn't thought about having people post entries on their own blogs! I like that idea so I will add it to the existing options of either emailing me or posting in my forums.

Thanks to Magaly there are now THREE ways to win!! :)

Post your "story" on your own blog and notify me in a message here with the link to it OR...

Email me at designing.life.net AT gmail DOT com with your entry OR...

Post your entry in the Pagan by Design forum here: http://paganbydesign.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=contests&thread=97&page=1

Magaly Guerrero said...

WoooHooo! Lovely! I'll spread the word too! I'll add a link to "The Witches' Grove" at the very beginning of my continuation story ;-)

Green Witch said...

Excellent! I can't wait to see the entries :)

Green Witch said...

Sorry all...my first "contest" and I forgot to request to have you limit your entries to one per person please.

Magaly Guerrero said...

I feel like I'm comment-jacking your blog. Oh well, just one more (for now). I just wanted to say that you, my versatile Witch, have an award waiting for you at Pagan Culture ;-)

http://pagan-culture.blogspot.com/2011/05/this-versatile-witch-loves-to-get.html

Green Witch said...

You're not comment-jacking at all and thank you so much! I'm truly honored my Magaly :)

Green Witch said...

Judy, if you love to read then I would bet you can also write! Give it a go (I'm no professional and there will be no criticism). I simply try and write things that I, myself would like to read. I bet you can do the same! ;)

Sunshineshelle said...

This is a wonderful start to an adventure... OMG, I am not a writer, but I love a good read... so come-on gals, I want more please :)

Magaly Guerrero said...

My submission is in! I hope you enjoy my "Witch by Design." Here is the link: http://pagan-culture.blogspot.com/2011/05/witch-by-design.html

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