Tag Archives: witch

Athame and the Sapling

Challenge:  2,500 words in 7 days
Genre:  Suspense
Character:  An outcast
Subject:  An expensive gift


Snow cascaded down in wet, melty clumps when the young witch banged her fist against the ancient, wooden door.  Her breath left little clouds, hanging in front of her.

“Are you sure this is the right place?” she asked her spectral companion, floating beside her.  Two ghostly cats circled her feet and romped in the berms, leaving no prints behind.

“Absolutely.  The door is purple.”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“A purple door means a Witch lives here.”

The young witch frowned a little at her companion, but turned back to the unanswered door.

The snow muted the forest.  A few ravens cackled somewhere off in the distance, but the world around them was so absent of sound, she could hear her own heartbeat.

“It’s so quiet,” she observed.

“Athame never much cared for the hustle and bustle of a town.”

“…or pitchforks and torches?”

“That was a long time ago.  It’s best not to bring it up.  You might as well tattoo ‘OUTCAST’ on her forehead.”

“Knock again, Petra.”

she stepped forward, the sound of a long-forgotten latch cracked the silence.  Petra jumped and her heart felt as if it slammed into her throat.

The door wrenched open, but only a few inches.  The room behind the door was dark, but an even darker figure could be made out.  Petra was overwhelmed by the smell of fireplace, sage, and tobacco.

“What do you want?”  The voice sounded like rusty machinery, grinding to life for the first time in centuries.

“Athame, come into the light.”  The specter demanded, gently.

The door didn’t open, but the figure stepped closer.  She only exposed one side of her face.  Her eye was the color of amber whiskey.  Black dreadlocks, wisped with grey, fell to her hips.  Everything else about her seemed desaturated and sun bleached.

“Freyja?  Is that you?” the rusty voice asked.

“May we come in?” Petra asked.

The amber eye narrowed and darted to Petra’s direction.  The young witch could feel herself being examined.

“A little sapling, is it?”  Athame spat.

Freya’s spectral form floated closer to the young witch.

“This is–”

“–Petra.  I heard you.  A Child of the Earth, are you?”

Petra’s temper flared.  Athame was correct.  She was a Child of the Earth, but she had a volcano heart.  When enraged, she felt as if she could spew lava.

“Control that energy, sapling.  You give yourself away.  I can see the steam rising off you.”

“Athame.  We need your help.  May we come in?”  Freyja asked.  She floated closer to the door, breaking the steely gaze of the elder witch.

She “hurumphed” softly and moved away from the door.

Petra shoved the door inward and was showered again by slush.  She closed her eyes to shake the remnants out of her hair and when she opened them, a small glass of dark fluid was being held in front of her.

“Drink this to warm you.”  Athame commanded.

“What is it?” Petra asked.

“Just drink it.”

It tasted hot and metallic, but Petra’s skin warmed like she had been bathing in the sun for hours.

“Athame,” Frejya began, “the Count has taken the throne.”

The silence that filled the room made the forest sound like a cacophony.

“When?” Athame’s voice rasped.

“One week ago.  He will unmake the Kingdom.”

“He’s already begun.” Petra added.

“He’s destroyed the burial grounds of the Old World in the North.” Freyja stated.

“Your homeland?” Athame’s gaze found Petra’s face again.

“Yes,” Petra was able to whisper.

“Why are you here?” Athame asked of Freyja’s floating figure.

“We need you.”

“I don’t cast anymore.  You know that.”  Athame turned away and busied herself over her cauldron.

“You’re the highest Witch in the land!”  Petra exclaimed.

“Was.”  Athame’s voice echoed back to them from the empty cauldron.

“Are.”  Freyja corrected her.  “We defeated the Baron, we can defeat the Count.”

“You seem to be forgetting the chapter where they tried to burn me alive.”

Petra’s eyes went wide.

“Oh.  She leave that part out, did she?”  Athame glared at Freyja.

Athame steadied herself on her stone fireplace, pulled her boots off her feet, and lifted her heavy skirts to her knees.  Petra’s eyes were locked on the old Witch’s face until Athame wordlessly willed her voice into Petra’s head.


Petra felt invisible hands on her face, pointing her eyes down at Athame’s feet.

The skin on her feet and legs was thick, pale, veined, and webbed.  Her toes had no nails, and looked like candles that had melted in the sun.  Her calves were lumpy and the scars still looked raised and bruised, though it was clearly an ancient injury.

“If he catches you, he’ll kill you.”  Athame’s voice was still in Petra’s head.

Petra shook herself free of whatever spell Athame was casting on her.

“I would rather die fighting than live in a world where the Count is on the throne.”

“Well…” Athame looked at Freyja, “…at least she has the right attitude.”

Freyja nodded sagely.

“Why now?”

“We have a window of time until he reaches full power.  His hordes are amassing around him.  He draws on the power of his minions.  If we can catch him before he has fully manifested, we can dethrone him.”

“When will he fully manifest?”

“…at the stroke of midnight, on the night of the New Moon.”  Petra stated as bravely as she could muster.

“That’s tomorrow night!”  Athame exclaimed.

The two visitors stood solemnly before the old Witch.  Freyja’s battle cats gracefully leapt to her shoulders and perched stoically

“Not a moment to lose, then, is there?”

It took a full day to travel to the Count.  His palace was a half a world away from Athame’s den.

The two Witches ducked behind a marble statue in the courtyard.  Freyja floated nearby, but she was almost completely transparent.  Petra could barely make out her edges.

“She’s brightest in the moonlight.  Remember that if she ever plans an ambush on a full moon… if we get out of here in one piece.”

Freyja hushed Athame.

The Count approached, surrounded by guards.  He puffed his chest out bravely, and he held a proud expression on his face, but Petra could tell by the tracks he left in the snow that his steps were weak.  A spike of excitement and hope pierced her heart.  Athame placed a weathered old hand on Petra’s knee.

“I can hear your thoughts.  Don’t get ahead of yourself.”

Petra steadied her mind, but her hands still trembled a little.

The guards passed.  The Count entered the grand hall.

“I’ll go first,” Petra announced.

She was steadied again.

“You don’t know where you’re going.”

“Do you?”  Petra challenged.

Athame did not answer, but glanced over Petra’s shoulder, off into the distance.

Petra turned.  In the darkness, up a lonely hill, stood an old, wooden stockade.  Even in the moonless night, she could see the scorched earth where a stake had been planted.

“I’ve been here before,”  Athame said, “what time is it?”

A clock rang out in the distance and tolled eleven times.

“Oh.”  Athame sighed.

“It’s time.”  Freyja’s disembodied voice hummed.

“Yes, thank you.”  Athame sneered.

“Let me come with you.”  Petra begged.

There was no time to argue.

“Fine.  But stay close.”  Athame ordered as she pulled two small vials out of a leather pouch on her hip.

“Drink this.”  She held her own vial to her lips.

Petra involuntarily dry heaved, mildly, at the thought of the taste of the warming potion, but tossed it back anyway.

Her vision felt fine, but she watched as Athame faded from her vision.  Startled, she reached out in front of her to feel the empty air, but her fingers collided with something solid.

“That was my nose.”  Athame’s voice said.

Petra looked down at her own body, but could only see the cobblestone ground below her.

“The only thing that can undo this spell is for the Count, himself, to say ‘I see you.’  Only the person from whom you are hiding can break the spell.  But remember, you are not completely invisible.  This gives us the same transparency as Freyja.  You are still a solid being.  You still have breath, a heartbeat, and footsteps.”

Petra nodded.

“Speak, sapling.”

“Yes! Sorry.”

They moved quietly.  A servant’s door was open on the side of the palace.  The three of them stepped through as quietly as mice.

Petra held her hands to her sides, so her beads and belts were muted.

As they moved through the hallways, the clock tower chimed again.  It was a quarter passed the hour.

Freyja’s cats romped ahead of them, silently and delicately.  They were no strangers to battle and led the charge, sniffing like bloodhounds.

Two guards suddenly came around the corner.  The three specters darted out of the way.

The women waited until the hallway was clear.  Petra was sure her heartbeat would shake the doorframe on which she had steadied herself.

“How much further in?” She whispered.  She didn’t feel Freyja’s cats dart through the door to the room behind her.

“Not much,” Athame breathed.

“Ladies.”  Freyja hummed.

The two Witches turned and peered in the door behind Petra.

A grand hall unfolded before them.  On one side of the room, a monumental, golden podium stood proudly.  The other side of the room had floor to ceiling windows that showcased the kingdom.  One window was open, and the Count stood, silently, facing outward.

They had formed a plan on their trek.  Petra stepped behind Athame, and Freyja floated behind Petra.  They would sneak forward and ambush him with three spells at once.




Inch by inch, Petra’s heart raced harder.  It pounded in her ears.  She couldn’t hear anything else.

They moved within inches of him.  Petra felt Athame’s count.

One.  Two.  Three.

They raised their hands in unison and a white hot flash exploded before their eyes.

All three figures were lifted off their feet, flew back, and landed hard on the polished marble floor.

The wind was knocked from Petra’s lungs and she coughed uncontrollably.  Athame released an involuntary cry when she landed.  Freyja’s cats howled.

The light engulfed the room.

“I SEE YOU.”  The Count’s voice boomed.

The light receded and Petra could see Athame on the opposite side of the room.  She held her hand to her face, but there was a bright red blood splatter below her.  She landed square on her nose and it had broken on impact.

Somewhere in the distance, a clock tolled half-passed the hour.

The Count descended on Athame first.

“DID YOU THINK YOU COULD TRICK ME, WITCH?”  He buried his hand in her dreadlocks and dragged the old woman to the center of the room.

He reached into his pocket and withdrew a handful of gold dust.  He blew the contents of his fist onto the floor and tribal markings appeared.

They were ceremonial markings from Petra’s tribe.

“Those.  Aren’t.  Yours.”  Petra coughed.

The Count turned and another hand of gold dust flew into Petra’s eyes.


A wave of cold washed over Petra, like she was standing beneath a waterfall in the dead of winter.  She tried to move, but her feet would not break free from the floor.  Her muscles began to freeze around her bones.  She couldn’t feel her fingers.

The Count threw Athame into the center of the circle.


Athame glared.

Freyja and her cats were still transparent.  She floated silently to Petra.

“You must break free.”

A tear froze down Petra’s face as she strained against her bonds.


“Power is not about spells.”  Athame’s voice was barely a whisper.


Freyja whispered incantations over Petra.  With every word, the ice would begin to melt, but freeze over again in the same instant.  Petra was an Earth Witch.  Water and ice can drown the earth.  She began to growl as she pushed against her freezing prison.


“You killed my people!”  Petra heaved through a frozen jaw.


The Count dropped Athame from his grasp.  He started toward Petra.  Freyja’s cats dashed to Athame and began rummaging through her belts.  Freyja flew to Athame’s side.


“I am.”  Petra seethed.


Freyja and her cats darted away.

“Kill me first.”

The Count was startled at Athame’s demand.


Athame wilted.  Her eyes caught Petra’s.

“Deal.”  The old Witch breathed.

Petra’s stomach lurched with disbelief.

The tribal markings on the floor began to glow.


Freyja and her cats returned to Petra’s side, as the Count’s focused turned toward the heavens.

“Drink every last drop of this,” Freyja instructed.

Petra opened her frozen mouth as far as she could.  The cats scaled the ice and emptied tiny vials from Athame’s belt, pushing them in with their paws and noses.  Freyja removed a necklace from her throat and placed it around Petra’s frozen neck.

“This is my fire stone.  Fuel your rage, Petra.”  Freyja exploded in to incantations.

Petra’s blood began to boil.  Steam began to rise off her form.  The heat grew hotter than any rage she’d ever known.

“Wait!  No!  I’ll kill all of you!”  Petra panicked.

From across the room, Athame caught the young Witch’s eye again and nodded, peacefully.

The Count ran back to Athame and lifted her by her throat, strangling her with both hands.


He didn’t even see the blade she pulled from her boot before she buried it deep in his chest.

His eyes went wide in shock.

“I would rather die fighting than live in a world where the Count is on the throne.”

Athame’s words were the last thing Petra heard before she erupted like a volcano.  The world exploded around her and the room ignited.

A crowd amassed outside the burning palace and somewhere off in the distance, a clock tolled midnight.

Coffee and Contemplation

As a Witch, an Empath, and a generally sensitive soul, I tend to feel life on a moderate-to-intense level on a consistent basis.  I can tell if you don’t feel good.  I can tell where you’re hurting.  Usually because it hurts me, too.  I can’t read your mind and I can’t always fix it or stop it, but I can empathize with you and at least reassure you that you’re not crazy.

Mercury completed its retrograde cycle and returned to its direct positioning on the 9th.  If you stop and listen, you can feel everybody take a collective sigh of “…fuuuucking finally.”  Retrograde is not the catastrophic phenomenon so many people make it out to be.  It has a bad reputation, but that’s not super surprising, considering it jacks up your ability to speak, think, deduce, organize, and plan.  All while messing with your cell service.  Even Google can’t save you during retrograde.  RUDE.

Now that Mercury is realigned and pulling down all the barriers it built up, my quiet Sunday morning seems just that much more peaceful… and with peace and quiet comes the ability to let my imagination and brain-conjuring return to its regularly scheduled programming.  This usually manifests itself as deep reflection.

This year has been rough.  In five months, my family has seen four significant members die – two from cancer, one from cardiac myopathy, and one from actually having the opportunity to grow old.  Any one of these losses is enough to pull a person deep into their own mind and heart to contemplate the delicacies of life and death.  Multiply that loss and heart break by four, each from a different direction of tragedy, and it’s enough to make anybody want to dig themselves a hole, climb in with a blanket and a bowl of soup, and adamantly proclaim “NOPE.”

Yesterday, my Sister Girl and I visited the Museum of Death in Hollywood.  It’s a fascinating place, to put it mildly.  It is not for the squeamish, the faint-of-heart, or Empaths, unless you are really good at compartmentalizing.  No photos are allowed, but honestly, as a believer in ghosts and spirits and hauntings, I don’t think I’d want to capture what might be lurking around that building.


There is so much energy that absolutely bleeds out of those walls and displays.  It’s an incredible history and socio-economic lesson, largely due to the fact that death does not discriminate.  It doesn’t matter where you were born, who your parents are, how much money you have, how many vegetables you eat, or how many times a day you poop… we will all die.  The veil will lift and each and every one of us will pass through it.  What intrigues me most is how incredibly THIN that veil is.

Considering my Sister Girl and I have seen so much death this year, up close and personally, our decision to visit the museum can be categorized as solidly “Questionable.”  I think we needed it, though.  Neither of us forgot that everybody dies; neither of us had any false presumptions that our family is the only one to experience so much tragedy in such a short amount of time.  Somehow, though, I think we both came out of it a little more emotionally stable than when we entered.  And awkwardly hungry.  Because why the hell not?

I said it in a previous blog, and I’ll say it again here:  I’m not afraid of death.  I’m a Witch.  I believe in reincarnation and that energy never ends, it only transforms.  Death is a part of life.  Don’t misunderstand me, though.  I’m terrified of everything leading up to death.  My fight-or-flight gland is in full, working order.

Usually, blogs posts like this are supposed to end with some deep, thoughtful advice for its readers, but I’m not that presumptuous.  Everybody copes with death and the lessons it teaches in their own way.  When a very close friend of mine died in a motorcycle accident just days between our 25th birthdays in 2009, it motivated me to shake off my rut and reignite my life.  I left a stagnant relationship, and started taking care of my damn self, living on my own, surviving off the ramen diet, and putting myself through school.  That’s what I needed to do.  That was the lesson my friend taught me.

The four deaths this year are different.  For me, they are manifesting themselves in quiet introspection.  No tantrums, no curses to the heavens, no fits of hysteria.  Just sadness.  Quiet, personal, sadness.  Surprisingly, though, I haven’t cried as much as I anticipated.

The closest thing to advice that I will leave with you, is:  Do what feels right for you.  If you need to break shit, break it.  If you need to put photos up of your loved one, put them up.  If you need to pack everything away or move out of your home entirely, box that shit up.  Don’t let anybody tell you how you should or should not mourn.  Fuck those guys.  They might mean well, but literally nobody but you knows what will give your heart peace.  I got a tattoo.  I put up alters.  I’ve burned a loooot of sage.  I went to the Museum of Death and submerged myself in its entire concept.  Who gives a flying fuck if anybody thinks it’s the best decision.  As long as you’re not hurting anybody else in the process, do what quiets your soul.

Take your time as Mercury settles into its direct alignment, and let your communication receptors relax back into their normal function.  I will be spending my day drinking coffee, contemplating everything I’ve discussed here, and translating it into readable content for my novel.  I’m probably going to cheat a little and use this novel as my NaNoWriMo project, even though you’re supposed to start from scratch on day one, but I’m too excited.  I can’t drop this project and work on something else for a whole month.  I have too many ideas and everything is flowing.  I’ll at least play fair and not add what I’ve already written into my NaNoWriMo word count.  I’ll hit 50,000 the honest way… but more on that in another post.