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Adventure Fantasy

“Hey, Cass, did you hear about Henry and Jessica? They were kissing behind the stables. A guard and a servant girl? Unbelievable, right,” Lilith exclaimed as she let fire snake through her fingers, and her red hair nearly matched the color of the flames. I smirked. Only someone blind and deaf could have missed Henry and Jessica.

“Yeah, of course, I did,” I replied, letting a bit of the water I was levitating splash on her head. Lily growled in response and set a little ball of fire my way, but I dodged it easily. 

“Ugh, really? Jessica does not deserve Henry,” Jade agreed. Her gaze was concentrated on a potted plant as she sped up its growth, and those green eyes started to glow. Lily mimed throwing a fireball at the plant. Jade just swatted her off. Lily sighed, the closest thing to admitting defeat. 

The three of us were sitting in a circle like good little witches as we practiced our respective magic. We were the latest group of elemental witches, one of us from each of the four countries. Well, technically speaking, no one had found the air witch yet, but they were looking. Until then, it was just the three of us under the instruction of my grandmother. We’d been training together in the palace for three years now, so we were pretty tight-knit. The four of us were supposed to be protectors of the kingdom, our own little coven. There was a lot of training to do. 

At once, Jade stood, her concentration broken. She dug her heels into the floor, sensing every movement in the castle, as she let the earth speak to her. Granted, it was a pretty helpful ability, and I could do the same when we were surrounded by water. I always wondered whether the air witch would have a similar power. Lily just had a fireball at the ready. 

“What is it, Jade,” I inquired. Jade’s eyes narrowed, and I stiffened. I didn’t not like that look. No, sir, I did not like that look at all. 

“There’s someone new in the palace,” she declared and turned toward us with her eyes wide. My overactive mind imagined the worse. Who was it? Assassins? Robbers? “They stopped.”

“Stopped what? Jade, you’re not making sense,” Lilith demanded, and the flames at her hands grew. I let my water fall on her hands. If her flames went unchecked, they’d burn right through her clothes. Again. If that girl couldn’t learn to control her temper, the palace would probably run out of fabric. 

“They stopped walking, but Grandma Willis is still coming this way,” Jade explained and grinned. I knew what she was going to say before she said it. “Do you think it’s her?” We got our answer soon enough. 

“Girls,” Grandma sang as she pushed open the door. The three of us turned to find a girl levitating above the girl. At last, they had found her. The fourth, the air witch. She didn’t look like much with her short brown hair and small figure. Her clothes were quite a few sizes too big, so they billowed around her. 

“Girls, I’d like you to meet Harmony,” Grandma introduced, and I was the first to stick out my hand. My tanned skin was a stark comparison to her paperwhite hand. 

“Nice to meet you, Harmony. I’m Cassandra, but you can call me Cass. This is Jade and Lily,” I replied with a grin. The shy girl just nodded and took my hand. She was so loose, it felt like it was holding, well, air. 

“I’ll leave you to it,” Grandma declared and left. Lily stepped up to Harmony, towering over the girl by at least a foot. 

“Where have you been all this time,” she questioned. I elbowed her in the ribs, but she didn’t seem to notice. 

“Just around,” Harmony squeaked. The poor girl was clearly scared of Lilith. 

“Well, we’re glad to have you here now,” I added. What was with Lilith? Sure, she could be a bit abrasive, but this was the next level. We’d been waiting for the air witch for three years. Now, she was finally here, and Lily was acting like that? 

“Come on,” Jade urged, her black braided hair bouncing. “We should probably get back to training.” 

“Oh, I didn’t mean to interrupt,” Harmony said hurriedly, but Jade just waved her off.

“It’s fine. We weren’t really doing much anyway,” she said as she took her place in the circle. Lily grumbled something I couldn’t understand but followed suit. When the three of us were seated, I gestured Harmony over. She hesitated as if frightened. Even her levitation seemed to waver. Finally, though, she sat between Lily and me. 

“So,” I began, “Jade is the earth witch. I’m the water witch, and Lily is the fire witch.” When I gestured to each of my friends, they all demonstrated a fraction of their ability. Jade’s plant grew the most gorgeous flowers. I snaked a tendril of water around Harmony’s wrist before freezing it and turning it into snow. Meanwhile, Lily, the drama queen that she was, tilted her head back and breathed fire.  

“I’ve never met other witches before,” Harmony breathed, though, from the look on her face, she wished she hadn’t met Lily. Honestly, Jade had the same reaction, but we’d all grown to love the fire-breather. With time, Harmony would too. 

“Well, you’ve got us now. You’re one of us,” I assured her and tried to slip my hand in hers. She jerked away, and a gust of wind sent me flying backward. My head hit the wall with a crack as stars filled my vision. 

“What in the world was that,” Lily demanded. Gosh, her words echoed in my head like church bells. I tried to stand, but the room kept spinning. Was it always like this, I wondered. I felt someone trying to help me up. It took me a few seconds to realize who it was. 

“Cass, are you okay,” Jade questioned, but her voice was muffled as if she were speaking in a pillow. 

“Just fine,” I managed to reply before the whole room went black. I found myself surrounded by water. Connection, I thought. All the witches were connected to the past members of our circle. Usually, they communicated through dreams.

“Cassandra,” a voice called, and a woman in blue robes stood in front of me. Her eyes were the color of the sea. I recognized her immediately. 

“Marian,” I muttered. 

“You mustn’t blame her, Cass. The air is as restless as the sea. The four of you have bigger problems.” 

“What problems?” She didn’t answer. The water faded. I awoke to the sounds of arguments before the room even came into focus. 

“We can’t blame her. It was an accident,” a voice said. Jade, I realized. 

“Yeah, sure it was. She just freaked out. She shouldn’t be here. She’s dangerous,” another argued. There was no mistaking that one. I could practically hear the fire rising in her throat. 

“None of us could control our powers when we first got here. As I recall, you set fire to your bedsheets.”

“Well, at least, no one got hurt.”

“Guys,” I rasped, “where’s Harmony?” 

“Oh, you’re awake,” Jade breathed and walked to my side. She held a glass of liquid to my mouth. The smell made me gag, but I knew better than to refuse one of Jade’s herbal drinks. They were basically the cure to everything. 

“Jade, where’s Harmony,” I repeated. 

“The little wind sprite is with your grandmother,” Lily snapped.

“I have to see her.” When I tried to sit up, though, my head started to pound. Ugh. 

“You need to rest,” Jade insisted. “You hit your head pretty hard.”

“You mean Harmony hit her head pretty hard,” Lily corrected. 

“She didn’t mean to,” I shot back, pushing past the pain to sit up. The edges of my vision went black, but I ignored it. You can do this, I told myself. I 

“Sit down,” Jade ordered.

“Don’t you dare go see that little witch,” Lily added, but neither stopped me. I pushed open the doors and started down the hallway with my friends close behind. They protested, though their words fell on deaf ears. 

“Grandma,” I called when I pulled open her doors. Harmony winced from her position on the couch. She looked even smaller if that was even possible. 

“Cass, you shouldn’t be up,” Grandma insisted, rushing over, but I just brushed her off.

“Marian said we have something bigger to worry about than our petty dispute,” I declared. Everyone’s eyes widened.

“Marian? As in the first water witch,” Jade questioned, and I nodded. 

“We had a connection, and she said we shouldn’t argue amongst ourselves.”

“Well, this still needs to be settled,” Lily hissed. That’s when I noticed that the room was dimmer than before. The natural light was fading. Without another word, I raced to the window to find shadows obscuring the sun.

“What is that,” Grandma gasped, and my blood ran cold.

“I have no idea,” I muttered, “but we need to find out. Come on.”

“I’m not going anywhere with her,” Lily declared pointedly, but I grabbed her arm and hauled her out of the room. She struggled against my grip. Jade joined me, and the two of us forced her outside. The cloud had only grown darker. Under it stood a man who, under different circumstances, would be considered handsome. Long shadow arms grew from his body which made him look like an octopus. 

“All four of them. How delicious,” a voice cackled. On instinct, Jade grew vines as thick as our arms, and a flame sparked at Lily’s fingertips. The air grew dry as I condensed and the water into a shard of ice. Harmony just stood there, but we all knew what she was capable of. I had a headache to prove it. 

“Begone, demon,” Lily screamed, but her flames didn’t seem to do anything but annoy the shadow man. We had never seen one before. In our three years of training, we had done nothing but that: train. We were protectors who had never protected anyone. 

“Did you really think that would work? You witches are more pathetic than I thought,” he cackled as he uprooted trees and building in the city beyond the palace. My hands started to shake, itching to do something. Screams echoed in the background, and I knew the others could hear them too. Jade looked at me and nodded before running through the palace gates. The creature had other plans. His shadow vapors wrapped around my friend and lifted her off the ground. In an instant, Lily was in the same position a few yards off the ground. No, my friends, I thought numbly. My heartbeat pounded in my chest. I tried to reach for them to no avail. 

“Let them go,” I cried, unleashing a torrent of water at the creature. As before, it didn’t even make a dent. The attack went straight through him like he wasn’t even there. Still, he could make himself solid enough to grab my friends, my fellow witches. I tried to attack again, this time aiming at the tentacles holding my friends, but a tendril reached for me. I tried to swat it off or sever it from the man with an ice shard. Despite it all, I felt the iciness as he grabbed me, lifting me a few yards off the ground. 

“Let them go,” a voice shouted. It was familiar, but I had never heard it at that volume before. I craned my neck to turn to the tiny air witch. Even in the chaos, Lily cursed. 

“Go get the guards,” she ordered, but Harmony had other plans. She stood her ground. The wind whipped in my ears. It took me a second to realize that it was her doing. 

“I said, let them go,” Harmony growled, her voice shaking the walls. Just go, I willed. The man chuckled. 

“What are you going to do, witch? What makes you think you’re better than your coven,” he taunted. The girl’s eyes hardened. She swirled her hands as one would do over a cauldron. The winds whipped around her, swirling into a tornado. When I turned to the shadow man, I saw genuine fear in his eyes. His shadows faded, and I fell to the ground with an oof. The man started to run. Harmony threw out her hands as her tornado followed our captor. The poor man tried to run, but you can’t fight the winds. Soon, he found himself sucked into his own prison. The tornado swirled beneath him, but he couldn’t move. With a smirk, Harmony brought him forward. 

“Let me go,” he growled. 

“Is this him,” King Matthew questioned as he, Grandma Willis, and a few guards emerged from the palace. The four of us nodded in unison, and Harmony dropped the man to the ground. Before he could stand, the royal guards were at his side, clapping shackles on his wrists and ankles. Grandma Willis gave us an approving grin before following the others into the palace. That’s when Jade linked her arm in mine. Following, I linked with Harmony until the four of us stood together in a circle. We turned to our newest member. Lily smiled and said the words I was sure Harmony had been waiting for all day. 

“Welcome to the coven.”

August 27, 2020 20:30

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3 comments

Zilla Babbitt
15:55 Sep 03, 2020

Here for the critique circle :) So creative! I like the ending, it's really sweet. I love reading about witches in general and fire witches in particular. Honestly I think this is too short for the plot that you're trying to unfold. It ought to be a book or a simplified version of this, like Harmony just doing an obstacle course or something to get in. Have fun writing. Keep it up!

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Keerththan 😀
06:05 Sep 08, 2020

Wow!!! Wonderful concept with the witches. Nice write up. Keep writing. Would you mind checking out my new story? Thanks.

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Jane Andrews
08:06 Sep 05, 2020

I was asked to read this for the critique circle too. It’s a nice little story - the trope of having witches that represent the four elements always works well; but, like Zillah, I think this would work much better as a longer piece. You’ve got plenty of backstory here - some of it referred to in passing comments about setting the bedsheets slight etc. You could easily make this a full length novel by starting with setting the scene eg Where is this taking place? Has Cass always lived at the castle? What was her grandmother’s role pre-Cass? ...

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