Witch Hazel and Willow

With introducing Hazel earlier in the H post, I thought it would be fun to continue with her as well for W. This one is more an exploration of her background and character than a story. But I enjoyed getting to know her a little bit better.


 

Witch Hazel and Willow

 

“Witches wither and warlocks weather,” Willow chanted in a melodious voice as she walked along a winding forest trail. “That’s the difference between us.”

Hazel frowned and wrinkled her nose. “That’s not much of a difference. What is it that they weather, exactly?”

Life, my dear girl. They are like boats in a storm—you’d best cling to one should you ever hope to find safe harbor.”

“I don’t need a boat,” Hazel said. “I’m a strong swimmer.”

Willow laughed, musical and dainty, like tinkling wind chimes. “That may be, but when the current pulls you under, none of your strength will save you.”

“What about you, then? Where’s your warlock? Where’s Father?”

Willow gave a tight smile. “The best arrangements are those that go unnoticed, both within and without. Your father will come should he ever be needed, but not a moment before.”

“But where is he?”

“It matters not. Let us talk of other things.” Willow kept walking, humming a tune as she picked berries and flowers and put them in a basket that hung from her arm.

Hazel trailed after her, disturbed by her mother’s words. She didn’t want to believe such a thing were true, but she knew very little of the wider world, and she dared not argue a point she was uncertain she could win.

They returned home, and Hazel marched around the cottage and to a woven fabric mat that hung from the branch of a tree. She picked up a cane and swatted the carpet, holding her breath as dust plumed around her. She was tired of being told what to do, and without ever being told why. She was tired of not knowing anything about her father, or why it all seemed such a big secret. She was tired of all of it, and it was all she could do to wait until she was old enough so she could live her life as she pleased.

She took her frustrations out on the carpet, swinging and swatting until her arms grew tired, and dust collected on her sweaty brow. Breathing heavily, she turned back towards the cottage when she nearly collided with Holly.

“Hathel,” Holly said, and a broad, gap-toothed grin spread across her face.

Hazel frowned. Her little sister was always getting underfoot, tagging along when Hazel wanted to be alone. It grated on her already-worn nerves, and she brandished the cane at Holly and said, “You’d best watch yourself, or Mother will sell you to a band of ogres.”

Holly’s smile crumpled into a frown, and then she started crying.

Hazel closed her eyes. She wished she didn’t care about Holly; she wished she didn’t feel sorry for what she had said. But she did. “I’ll protect you, don’t worry.”

Holly calmed and wiped her eyes with chubby hands. She watched Hazel as she gulped a few ragged breaths and said, “Promith?”

Hazel nodded. “Promise.”

Holly’s smile returned, and she held onto Hazel’s hand with a sticky one of her own. Together, they then headed back to the cottage.

 


20 Comments

  1. Hi Sara – lovely .. and I love how you tie together various appropriate trees … the willow whips, hazel soothes … and holly pricks unintentionally at people … and where is father. Interesting .. cheers Hilary

    • Sara C. Snider

      Thanks Hilary, I hadn’t thought about the trees like that. Pretty cool. Though, I will say I think Hazel can be rather prickly as well. 😉

  2. Ah! I need to know what happened to the dad! Unanswered question. Want more story. I almost thought that he was in the carpet she was beating and she would see him as a pic, but I’m glad that is not the case.

    • Sara C. Snider

      Yeah, these characters and potential story have gotten filed away in my brain as a potential novel. So more story may come… later. Probably very later. 😛

  3. Enchanting Sara thank you … 🙂

  4. Definitely reads like the opening of a longer fiction-I hope you pursue this one!

    • Sara C. Snider

      I might do just that. It’s in the “percolator.” 😉

  5. Kids would really enjoy this!

    • Sara C. Snider

      Thanks, Nick! I could see them appreciating the sibling rivalry. 😉

  6. Nithe meeting Hathel, Holly and Willow, Sara. Musically written and light like tinkling wind chimes. 🙂 You are so visual, definitely attendant to detail when you’re out walking, I should think.

    • Sara C. Snider

      Thanks Samantha. I do like observing detail when out walking. I’m guessing you notice things, as well. 🙂

  7. I read the H post back how many eons ago, and wanted more then. These characters are STILL rich, the story has so much to it. And I want more still…so beautiful.

    • Sara C. Snider

      Thanks, Jeri! Glad you still enjoyed it. I’m hoping to expand more on it sometime in the future.

  8. Not knowing is hard. But there must be a reason. (You could let the readers in on the reason, can’t you?)

    • Sara C. Snider

      Honestly, I can’t, because I don’t know. It’s part of the joy of being a “pantser”. 😉

  9. Awww – sisters, but what is the big secret? 🙂
    Tasha
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

    • Sara C. Snider

      I’m not sure–it requires more contemplation to figure it out. 😛

  10. Oh, so sweet. That’s a sister’s love. But I like the relation between mother and child a lot too. I’m intrigued by Hazel’s father mistery 🙂

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