Writing Prompt Challenge: The Witch’s Son
I like to think that we’re decent writers here on the site. Usually, we’ll just post a podcasts, a few trailers and sometimes an editorial or review. But we’re trying to hone our craft. So that’s why I challenged Natalia to a writing contest of sorts. We took an image from the internet and crafted a story that would be around 1000 words. Hopefully do a lot more.
All credit for the art goes to Lauren Nichols; which is found here.
We’ve uploaded the stories to FictionPress [Danny’s story and Natalia’s story], or if you want head past the jump to read our stories.
Either way, we would love to hear some feed back. Or if you have a drawing or art that you would love to hear a story about drop us a line. Thanks!
“Witch’s Son” by Danny
“Do not gather too much, Acacius. We only require so much.”
Acacius’ eyes rolled in the back of his head as he grunted an agreement to the feline pacing back and forth with its eyes transfixed on the young warlock.
“You know you worry too much?”
“One of has to, especially since you’re being so brash,” River scolded.
The back and forth between Acacius had been going back and forth for years, but had increased since the death of the Witch. The Witch was Acacius’ mother and River was her familiar. The Witch died two years past leaving Acacius alone. He knew it was within reason to bring her back to life but it would take work. Acacius did not have his mother’s knowledge but he possessed the raw power that he was born with. Thankfully, Acacius located the spell in one of his mother’s old tomes. The trouble would be gathering the ingredients necessary for the spell, especially the blood of a mother. Although River’s feline tendencies would be beneficial for this situation as they would use a bird that River caught that morning.
River warned Acacius that he should weigh the day when everything would come to fruition. A spell with this enormity would cost the caster dearly, especially if the young warlock was unprepared for its power. Of course, Acacius was young and reckless. He wouldn’t heed the words of a familiar; he believed he knew everything there was to know. He had casted powerful spells with ease before and he know the prize that awaited him if he was successful.
“You don’t have to do this,” River coaxed as she passed between Acacius’ legs.
Acacius’ eyes darted down from the task at hand to the black cat that continued to nag at him. He had heard this speech many times before with each ingredient gathered. Now Acacius braced for the rantings from this centuries old cat.
“It is the natural order of things. Your mother died. All creatures of this world will die. I will die, you will die; as she did. I have known your mother long before you were born and I know that she would disapprove of the dangers that you are going through. She would have wanted you to move and become the warlock she believed you to be. I would imagine, if your mother could be here she would put a stop to this and pull your ear as she did numerous times.”
Acacius instinctively thought of the phoenix feather that hung from his ear that his mother gifted him when he first claimed his element.
“Yeah, she would have but she’s not here. She can’t do anything about what I’m doing now, ’cause she’s dead. Now, scram. I got to concentrate,” Acacius rebutted with a swift kick to River’s hind region.
“Willful boy,” River yelled as she ran for the open window. She could only do so much since she was not his familiar. River loved the boy like her own child, but she could not watch anymore. She would go hunt for a meal and hope he would eventually come to his senses.
A stitched smile curled as the familiar raced out to the wooded area surrounding the cabin. Overlooking Acacius as he gathered the mother’s blood; Joceline grew anxious on the shelf. Joceline was the Witch’s rival in all things. In fact, Joceline was the primary reason the Witch was not available to raise this young warlock. Joceline and the Witch’s final battle would cost both of their lives, but Joceline was cautious and practiced a dark soul magic allowing her to inhabit a doll that resided in the Witch’s home.
Although Joceline trapped in the handstitched doll, she could still maneuver and scheme. In reality, Joceline is the one to blame for Acacius being on this dangerous task. She dropped the tome on the sleeping warlock to inspire him with such a powerful spell. Joceline knew that the spell would create a new body for the Witch’s spirit to inhabit but the body would provide a gateway for her spirit as well. Now she awaited her turn to interrupt Acacius from finishing his incantation with her own variation of the spell.
In her anxiousness, Joceline leaned too far forward and dropped a large vile. Acacius jumped as the glass breaking behind him. He scanned the area for what had caused the distraction; already blaming it on the familiar with her moral highground. But as his eyes scanned around, he noticed the doll waiver enough to catch his attention. With a sharp inhale, Acacius gathered the power to spout a small fireball. Joceline darted from the high shelf she previously thought to be safe from the young warlock.
Instead of surprising Acacius while casting the spell, Joceline now had to fight the young warlock for the right of the spell. In the doll’s form, Joceline contained only a fraction of the power she once wielded. Joceline called the winds to help carry her small frame from the shelf as well as pepper Acacius with various objects.
Acacius covered his face from the debris. He inhaled for another fireball, but only thought of the lessons his mother bestowed on him. The main one being: not to use fire magic inside the home. Instead he called a length a rope to life, taking the shape of a noose. The noose began its life by snaking its way after the doll and tightening its grip around the small leg.
Joceline’s wind, even as imperfect as it was, would cut the rope as a sword dislodged a snake’s head from its body. Joceline did not need powerful magic to battle the inexperience warlock, she only needed it to be precise. She used her magic to turn wind into a cutting edge. Soon enough, the wind in the small cabin began to swirl around and took aim for Acacius. Each pass of the wind spell left small cuts on the young warlock. Each cut would not be enough to fell Acacius. Joceline smiled with her stitched mouth as she thought of the cliche: death from a thousand cuts.
Joceline’s plan would have worked, if it weren’t for a wayward cut. A cut that would split the phoenix feather attached to Acacius’ ear; the last gift of a mother gone. An uncontrollable rage filled Acacius, causing his very blood to boil. Intensifying heat build off Acacius as he eyed the doll that managed to destroy his phoenix feather.
“Piras,” uttered Acacius in a low tone as flames spiral from his body.
River looked on as the cabin burned, unable to move closer. Acacius emerged from the inferno with a fist full of ash that once belonged to a rag doll.
After long while staring; the words stumbled out of River’s mouth, “Are you okay?”
“No,” Acacius answered as he looked off into the woods. “I need practice.”
Acacius and River walk into the woods, looking for a new home.
Witch Doctor by Natalia
My head is thumping. I feel as though a parade has just marched through my skull, leaving behind the line of portly pachyderms. Against my better judgment I attempt to lift my head, but my cheek is stuck to the tabletop and I imagine liquid Velcro. My cheek stretches in proportion to my groaning. After a moment my skin is free and I feel beads of the sticky- red ooze down my neck. How the hell did I manage to make such a mess? There is a metallic scent in my head… why isn’t it in my nose?! I reach up and find that my nose is still intact and there is a sweet odor clinging to it. So where is this metallic feeling coming from? I shake my head to clear the fog in my brain.
My eyes adjust and I see that the mess is not restricted to my cheek, it is everywhere. The counters have pools of it and it has dripped onto the floor. There are tracks throughout the house marking the path that Evol, my feral feline friend, has been walking. Most cats would avoid the carnage, but no, my cat enjoys licking the blood off his paws. I wonder if he was disappointed when he figured out it was corn syrup?
I wonder how long I was passed out and wished it had been from natural sleep instead of whatever disaster I created this time. Getting a chance to spell for the elder coven was a huge opportunity, but my head has been so unfocused lately that I haven’t been able to master the inception spell. It calls for blood as a primary ingredient, but um, yeah…. Blood is not really my thing. I am hoping it would be something I could substitute with a synthetic, but my experiments have not been going as planned.
I stand up and stretch my long arms over my head and assess the damage. Fake blood has dried on the front of my t-shirt and my jeans have seen better days. I move my dark bangs from my face and notice they crunch from dried syrup-y goodness. I search my head for the metallic feeling and instead I find a pain that seems to resonate throughout my skull. I look to the ceiling and find a cauldron shaped divot and follow the natural progression to the floor where it lies- dented and looking pathetic. My mind quickly plays Tetris and I lift the cauldron to my head and match the dent to the throbbing mess that is my dome.
Cauldron? You might ask. Yes, a cauldron. A mini-cauldron in fact. It is perfect for those everyday hexes and potions. I still have my good old double-bubble cauldron for my fancier endeavors, but lately I have desired a more streamline approach to what I like to think of as modern witchery.
Evol stretches and rubs against my pant leg to get my attention. I reach down and stroke his fur with the clean part of my hand. He maneuvers his head and body around my hand to make sure I get the most important bits scratched. I stare down at him until he makes eye contact, “Are you done yet?” I ask a bit testily. He narrows his emerald eyes and bares his shiny white teeth, “You are the one who is always bragging about your opposable thumbs. Can’t blame me for taking advantage of your good fortune.”
I glare at him for a moment, but he flashes me a grin and I lose any grumpiness I had. “So Evol, how long was I passed out this time?” I watched his shadowy tail sway behind him as he tried to pin down a time frame for me. “THIS time I was able to catch two mice, I ate one and hid the other one for your birthday. Then I took a nap and when I woke I padded around in your mess.”
“So, a long time then?” I asked, running my hand gingerly over my tingling skull. He just shrugged, a gesture that was impressive for a four legged being. The room has grown dark enough that Evol’s dark body is almost invisible and I feel like I am having a conversation with the Cheshire cat. He must be bored by my concussed slowness because he turns and begins yet another rendition of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition. It was cute the first couple times, but now I suspect he does it because the beat gives him added swagger. Felines….
I searched the kitchen for my healing salve. My fingers finally found it at the back of a cupboard and I slathered the slick balm onto my ridiculous head lump.
I grabbed a couple rags from under the kitchen sink and scoop up globs of the corn syrup. The synthetic stuff is not working, so I am going to need to step it up and find a sacrifice.
I am having a Myagi worthy moment of goop-on goop-off when the solution to my blood problem dawns on me. My sleep pattern has been thrown off lately, but it is not stress. I have been so tired lately because of a bird that has decided to reside in the tree outside my window. This bird has a very distinct squawk. It starts as a click-click-click and it rises into a shrill screech that ends with a loud – Cluck Twack. I could drown out one frequency, but this bird is running on all frequencies. If it were a tolerable tweeting, I would not be missing hours of sleep these past months.
I think it would be a public service if I were to get rid of a being that spread such noise pollution. No one could fault me for killing such an annoying thing. It is perfect.
The plan unfolds in my mind. I would climb the tree late at night and perch right next to its nest. Wait for it to be deep asleep. Then I will place a large net over the nest and scream at the top of my lungs! I will mimic the most annoying car alarms and sing the song that never ends with the bird freaking out. Feathers flying everywhere. Revenge will be so sweet. I will prepare the flowers and the rest of the spell’s ingredients while Evol swipes at the net with the bird flapping about.
Then when the time comes I will squeeze the bird and end it’s reign over my mornings. Its blood will flow from its body like juice from an orange. My potion will be complete and my star will being to rise. Everything will get better and I will have a full night’s sleep again. I am sure I will feel so good that I will reward my feline friend’s patience with a nice bird carcass.
Now, where is my butterfly net?