Eclectic Tendencies

Submitted into Contest #65 in response to: Write about a group of witches meeting up on Halloween night.... view prompt


Fantasy Fiction Friendship

The itch is overwhelming, 

The moon is calling me home. 

To feel the pull of the moon is natural, for humans are made almost entirely of water and the moon is responsible for the tides. All witches know that during the times of a full moon, ocean creatures have interesting habits and routines. Perhaps we learned from them, perhaps the other way around. Either way, the end result is the same; beings gather at the sight of a full moon. 

The pull increased now by the thinning of the ethereal/ean veil causes cauldrons to stir and bubble. The gathering of covens, witches of all nature comes to its head. There is no denying that on the night of the hallow, the ghouls and goblins come out to play. 

“Maya, you’re dreaming again.” The words come to my ears slightly muffled and I can almost ignore them, but then she punches me and gets up from the table with such dramatic flair, I have to look just so I can laugh at her. 

Katie knows that this time of year is heavy for me. Heavy in work, heavy in spirit, even heavy in words. She’s at the counter, ordering another tea. I hope she brings me one, but she’s already peeved. I take the last sip of my ginger-chamomile mix and savor the cleansing feel of it as it soothes my throat. 

I wait for her to come back to the table, give her my full attention and with the most sarcastic voice I can muster I tell her, “you’d be dreaming too if the moon had chosen you.” 

She rolls her eyes like I knew she would. She knows I’m a witch, it’s not like I hide it, but she doesn’t believe in “that stuff.” “My, My, My, what-ever will we do with you? You’ve got your head in orange and green clouds. Stirring pots in the woods! I mean, what if you attract coyotes?” She shivers like it’s too unthinkable a thought, “just come out with me! Have some real fun.” She turns her puppy eyes on me, and yet all I see is the coyote.

“Who says dancing in the woods isn’t fun? You could come, you know. My… friends are very inclusive.” My coven mother is going to pinch me for this one. 

Katie pretends to mull it over, but we both know she’d never get caught dead in the woods. ‘Bury me in my finest dress, sequins or nothing!’ The topic of mortality comes up quite often in a town like ours. Quaint and frankly, boring-to-death.

“Ew, My. Don’t even dream me in a place like that, thanks.” She drinks her tea to mask the taste of disgust my words caused her. Her pretty face scrunched to perfection, her sip calculated just so. Sometimes I envy her demeanor, but sometimes she- “Oh, hell, no.” 

I don’t need to turn around. Her bug eyes only come out for one person and one person only, and today of all days, I do not want their energy clogging mine. 

“Can we just go? I’m done.” 

“No! We can’t let her assert dominance!”

“But really,” I check my wooden watch, the ticks thrilling through my bloodstream, telling me that every tock is one step closer to my night, “it’s almost time for me to get ready.” When she doesn’t want to budge, I stand and use the last resort in my arsenal of Kate. “I’ll let you pick my outfit.” 

Plague of woods and dissonant dominance forgotten, she’s at the door waiting for me already, “well come on! We don’t have all day!” The quiet coffee shop breathes a sigh of calm release as we exit, the patrons can go back to their silence and solace. That which I envy far more than Kate’s rambunctiousness. 

I can’t help but laugh with her though, even with the deep despair of what she might have planned for me, she brings an airy comfort with her as she goes. All that stalled by her need to make me like her. She nearly makes me come to her house to pick the outfit from her very outrageous closet but I remind her that Halloween night is different for me. “No costumes, no fantasy makeup. This is my real life, Kate.”

“Fine, fine. You never let me have any fun.” 

The walk to my condo is nice, the leaves on the trees are falling flames of amber and ash. The sky is just starting to darken, turning the street lamps to a dim glow. The air feels full and crisp. It catches my hair and asks me to run and dance with it. 

Later, I whisper. When the moons at the top. It flutters away from me, and it makes Katie’s cheeks blush as she shivers the cold away. 

Inside my little home, the heat kicks on. “Should I start a pot?” 

Katie’s face twists in disgust, “No thanks, I’ve had enough.” 

Now mine must be twisted, because there is never ‘enough’ tea to be had. I make a pot anyway, this time of lavender and thyme. I let her find her way to my room and what I walk into could be considered a dream; horrid and messy. Black and blue spread everywhere, bits of red and green mixed in. “Geez, did the closet blow up in here? You better clean this up, Katie!” 

She shoo’s my words away and starts holding clothes to herself. 

My nerves escalate when I see what she's picked. It’s perfect.

My real life comes crashing into me. 

I’m a witch, going to the woods to do magick. 

I’m a witch.

I’m a witch.

“Well, hello? Perfect right?” 

Suddenly, the pull of the moon is irreversible. She holds me by the throat and screams; MAYA COME TO ME.

I take the clothes; a little black dress with lace for a collar, tights in the darkest royal blue, and boots made for hiking through.

“Yeah, of course.” The energy of my coven can’t reach me now. They must be doing the same; preparing for another night. I thought I was ready, but what if I’m not? I could be a phony, a girl in a costume for all they know. They can still reject me. They can still say no.

“You look sick, girl. What’s getting into you?”

Nerves. Fever. WITCH FEET. 

Even though I know she cares, how could she understand? What if someone walks into our spot in the woods? Witches have been burned for lesser… surely they’ll do us worse. 

“Maybe… maybe, I’ll skip the woods this year, you know? A party sounds, fun.” I nearly choke on the word. Drunk bodies and endless brain-whispers make me nauseous. The thoughts of those under the influence are loud and messy. It always makes me queasy even if I don’t have an ounce of drink. 

“Maya, you know I was kidding right? There’s not really any coyotes.”

At this, I laugh and some of the nerves leave me. “Say more things,” I tell her, but her face is enough. The nerves turn to giggles and the giggles to sobs. I laugh until I cry because emotions are meant to be felt. Coven mother told me that. She’s waiting for me. 

Just like the moon. 

I start to get itchy. The layer beneath and above my skin starts to move. The energy of the night draws thin, electric lines all around me. The veil is almost its thinnest, and here I stand, in freight!

“Katie, I gotta go!” 

“I know, girl! Geez, what a chaotic, crying storm. GO! Change, I’ll get the makeup ready.” She helps me finish and walks me to the edge of the woods. She looks behind me and just shakes her head. “You’re braver than I am, but you’re right.”

“About what?”

“She’s waiting for you,” the nod of her head is subtle and pointed up, but as the moon begins to rise, nothing else matters.

I hug Katie goodbye and she watches me leave, the cloak about me flitting in the wind. 

I’ve come to dance with you, old friend.

So I run with the wind. 

October 30, 2020 03:43

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A very exquisite story! The wording and phrases are captivating, which is a very difficult thing to do. The simplicity yet sophistication is what I love about short stories and micro-fiction, and I believe you captured it well. My only critique would be to indent at the beginning of each paragraph, and make sure to begin a new paragraph when they'res a new speaker. Overall, great story, keep up the great work!


Xiomatli Diaz
18:10 Nov 05, 2020

Thank you so much!! I really appreciate your input :)


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