Witches have always been depicted as old crones, with warts on their faces and evil in their bones. Little girls go trick or treating with brooms in their hands and pointy hats upon their heads and that is the image of us that they grow up believing. Green face paint that always lingers until the next morning a reminder of the part they had to play.
They stopped burning us centuries ago, but the hatred remains. It’s hard to forget when the darkness runs so deep within a person, it infects their entire bloodline. That’s what my grandmother says, she was there at the trials.
She watched, powerless, as the flames licked at their skin. She’d never heard screams like that, in all the years she’d lived.
Yet, we’re labelled monsters.
We’re the ones forced to live in the shadows, hiding who we are so that the flames of their hatred aren’t reignited.
“Don’t dare go into that village, Alice” my mother warns when I ask to go outside. It’s the same old warning, day after day, fuelled by the fear of what might happen. Because we know that they possess the true evil, the very thing they claim to want to eradicate.
I suppose some witches must be bad, rotten to the core in all the ways mortals fear. But I have yet to come across those who practice dark magic and drink the blood of mortal children in the hopes of harnessing its power.
A witch’s place is not within the confines of humanity, we are destined to be outcasts who hide away in the forests and glens, where it is peaceful and untouched by those who wish to cause us harm. But even now, they are not content with what they’ve got, they have to come for what is ours.
They seek adventure and glory, so they venture into our homes and disturb the sanctity of our wooded sanctuaries. Trampling the plants with which we use to brew our draughts, and causing the animals to flee from their guns, which bring death to all who stand in their way.
We are safe. My grandmother, mother, and I. They’ll never find our cottage in the woods, shrouded in magic so old that most don’t even know its origins. But not all are as lucky as we are. Not everyone possesses the gifts with which to cast such powerful magic. My grandmother has had centuries to perfect her craft, and now she uses it to shield us from harm.
There are those that did not have the guidance of an elder. Whose family tree was pruned back to just a few branches during the height of the trials. Those bloodlines are still trying to recover, and without the knowledge of such spells with which to shelter beneath, recovery seems far from their reach.
The burnings ended centuries ago. But the evil, that remains. They do not look favourably at those who choose to live life outside of what they deem to be normal.
Smoke rises into the sky, and I’m reminded that whilst the burnings did end centuries ago, maybe they’re still here. But instead of burning our bodies, they bring flames to our homes and make it impossible to live in this world. Their world. Which never spared us a moment of peace.
It ignites an anger within me that burns brighter than any flame ever could, and now there is hatred in my heart. Hatred for them and for everything that they are. They wanted to believe that we were the true evil in the world, that our existence should be stamped out.
Well, this witch is tired of playing by their rules. It’s time to show them what it really means to be wicked.
A/N: This is my attempt at prompt #24 of Chloe Rose Violet's October Challenge. I really hope to try out several more of these prompts as we head into October, so watch this space!