Witchcraft

Witchcraft

A Story by Treo LeGigeo
"

It is rather unnatural for me to be here right now, but there are not natural times. I have come to you because I am going to die.

"

“It is rather unnatural for me to be here right now, but there are not natural times,” the farmer said with a grim countenance. “I have come to you because I am going to die.”

 

The witch leaned forward, surveying her guest. He was not unlike the other men who regularly came to her for advice, with simple clothes that were slightly torn and ragged but still adequate, tanned skin from his outdoor labour, and strong calloused hands from his work in the field. “And why do you believe that?”

 

“I have seen omens,” the farmer replied. “My crops, you see, which I constantly tend to ensure their prosperity, that were grown on the same field that had grown many plentiful harvests in the past, have failed without reason. And last week I went down to the paddock where I keep my cows to find them all lying on the ground, strewn about, as they would have been standing before their lives were taken so suddenly and with no discernable cause. My farm is dead. And it is all in preparation for when I will join it.”

 

The witch frowned. “I do not understand. Bouts of misfortune are not unheard of. What makes you sure that they are precedents for your own death?”

 

“There is more. Yesterday I heard someone throwing rocks at my house. However, when I went to look for the culprit I found that the rocks were coming from the sky, and when I went out later to inspect the damage. I found that they had turned into water. And then that night, I went to light a fire, but found that my coal, though completely dry and ordinary, would not burn. This, all of this, can only leads to one thing. I will die by water, and it will happen in three days time.”

 

The witch raised her eyebrows, her curiosity aroused. “Why three days time?”

 

The farmer sighed. “In three days it will be time for me to check the fish traps I set in the river. The river is currently swollen, almost to the point of bursting its banks, and in three days time I will go to check my traps, lose my footing, fall in, and drown.”

 

“And you wish for my help?”

 

“I cannot argue against what the Fates have decided, but I wish for an explanation. Why is it that I must die at this time? Can you tell me?”

 

The witch hesitated, deep in thought. Finally, she said, “The Fates are mysterious and if your death has been decided then it does no good to question them, but only if your death has been decided. There is still a chance for you.” The farmer leaned closer, listening attentively. “I can prepare something for you, something that will tell you for certain whether of not your death is inevitable.” She stood up from the chair. “Wait here. I shall be back soon.”

 

The witch disappeared into the backroom of her cottage, returning several minutes later with a small stone bowl of a strange substance the likes of which the farmer had never seen before, and a glass phial with a thick clear liquid. She handed both to the farmer. “Place the bowl on the windowsill of a room that you do not enter as much as the others. Do it today and do not set your eyes upon the liquid for three days. And this,” she held up the phial, “you must drink before you sleep on the third night. In the early hours of the morning before you believe you will die, one of the Fates will visit you in your dreams. You will wake straight after. Go to see the bowl, if the liquid is dull, you will die that day. If it is shining, then you will live. Take it, and see.”

 

* * *

 

Three days later the witch was in the backroom when she heard a knock. She smiled to herself, knowing who it would be as she went to open the door.


“I did exactly what you said,” the smiling farmer exclaimed, not even giving himself time to move from the doorway. “I had the dream of the Fate, well, I did not remember it, but I woke up so I knew I must have had it. And the liquid was shining! And then today, I was checking the traps when I lost my footing. I almost fell in, but then I remembered that I would live, and managed to pull through. I am afraid I cannot stay today, I just wanted to come here to thank you and to apologise for ever doubting your magic.”

 

The witch waved as the farmer walked away, then closed the door with a wistful look.

 

Magic. That was just what people called the unknown. She had travelled much in her life, and had been extremely surprised to have her wisdom mistaken for sorcery upon her return to her home town. In the distant lands, she had learnt that the same field, planted on year after year, would naturally loose its prosperity and fail to support more crops. She had heard of the strange phenomenon of a clear gas called methane bursting from the ground to mysteriously suffocate any living thing close by. She had witnessed the rare occurrence of hail, and knew of the substance called graphite which did not burn but was commonly mistaken for coal. Her spells and potions were nothing special, just a liquid she had acquired from far away with the odd property of glowing in the dark, and a drug which would knock someone out for several hours only to have them wake up as alert and vigilant as if they had been sleeping.

 

A sigh escaped her lips as she made her way to the backroom where she kept her assortment of exotic substances. There was no reason to doubt her magic. She did not have magic. Magic is just what you believe.

© 2013 Treo LeGigeo


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Featured Review

I realised the moment the witch said shining what it was going to be. It is rather like being lucky because of a marble. All these things really do is give you confidence.
Magic is best described by Frances H. Burnett in A Little Princess and The Secret Garden.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Really nice writing, very smooth. The last two bits were great, a nice little twist of a sort. I wouldn't mind reading more about this "witch" character in maybe a full novel. How funny that I just watched the Outlander episode where she was on trial for being a witch because of her future knowledge. ;)

Posted 3 Months Ago


Intensive newsworthy event.

Posted 6 Years Ago


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ATG
This was a really good story. Made me think of the countless times something logical, but rare has been mistaken for something supernatural. It was very well thought out and intellegent story.

Posted 8 Years Ago


Absolutely amazing! The story was perfect, in my opinion. Seamless, flowing, perfectly plotted. Very professional. I am better at writing book-length works because short stories are so DIFFICULT! But you make it look easy. I hope you are selling some of your work, you deserve to be paid for this kind of skill!

Posted 8 Years Ago


I realised the moment the witch said shining what it was going to be. It is rather like being lucky because of a marble. All these things really do is give you confidence.
Magic is best described by Frances H. Burnett in A Little Princess and The Secret Garden.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is a very interesting piece that I could envisage being fleshed out into a larger work with relative ease. The natural phenomena that are chronicled in the ending paragraphs are perfect for ascribing to a series of events that would denote witchcraft or sorcery in the minds of the ignorant and superstitious and would see an innocent woman, an apothecary, accused of dealings with the devil.
I have been working on a story set in a similar time and on a similar subject lately and as such I found this piece very intriguing. I really enjoyed this story and my only 'gripe' is that I would dearly love to see this work expanded to explain how each phenomena landed a wise person falsley accused of witchcraft. Nice work, take care, spence

Posted 8 Years Ago


As a witch myself I can really appreciate this writing. This was how many accused "witches" of the Inquisition and even early America (such as Salem, MA) came about. Many were simply very wise women who had an education and/or knew many tricks passed along by family for all sorts of problems. It's nice to see a story that shows that side of "magic" and "witchcraft." True witches who practice the Craft would certainly agree that magic is what you believe, but also what you make of it. Thanks for a great piece.

Posted 8 Years Ago


As a witch myself I can really appreciate this writing. This was how many accused "witches" of the Inquisition and even early America (such as Salem, MA) came about. Many were simply very wise women who had an education and/or knew many tricks passed along by family for all sorts of problems. It's nice to see a story that shows that side of "magic" and "witchcraft." True witches who practice the Craft would certainly agree that magic is what you believe, but also what you make of it. Thanks for a great piece.

Posted 8 Years Ago


Great story!!

Posted 8 Years Ago


Awesome story i could not stop reading
Magic is so interesting, and to find out the potions were nothing special
Amazing piece!
Brilliant!


Posted 8 Years Ago



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2115 Views
31 Reviews
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Added on September 16, 2010
Last Updated on April 3, 2013
Tags: Potion, Magic, Spell, Witch, Farmer, Dying, Death, Fate, Water, Drown, Explanation

Author

Treo LeGigeo
Treo LeGigeo

Sydney, NSW, Australia



About
I'm from Australia, so some people may find that I spell things differently. I love writing and have had a couple of publications of short stories and novellas under a pseudonym. I started .. more..

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