This was a piece I was asked to write for a workshop. It was all a bit rushed but tries to capture the spooky season with a slightly different take.
It was a large full moon that lit the starless sky. The world was aslumber, as was Serena although her ears were on full alert. They had been for a few days now. Tonight was different though, just as the clock began to count down towards the 3am bewitching hour, a howl broke the silence of the night. One might have guessed it to be a wolf far away crying for its mate, but the call wakened Serena in a second.
She looked over at her husband, he was fast asleep and a kiss would keep him so. She slid from the bed,down through the door and was away in just moments, gliding over the gate, along the road and across the fields. As she got nearer the stones more dark shadows emerged, women from every direction cloaked in the blackness of the night, some still travelled by broomstick and others appeared unexpectedly throwing Serena off course slightly. One day, she thought, I will be able to just appear.
The stones themselves rose high into the night sky, full of history from the coven. Tonight they were lit from within, with arcs of light reaching up to touch the moon. It was a signal when the light arcs met and only occurred every 13 years, but every witch was attuned to its light source and the interim monthly changes that surged their powers.
The wolf, silhouetted against the stones, ceased his calling and metamorphosed back into the loyal servant of King Oberon, his sharp face watching the approaching crowd, long ears listening for any threat. The King’s other fairies were flitting through the crowds taking cloaks and serving butterfly milk. Serena handed over her heavy black cloak to them, took her drink and shook her long golden hair free. Her gown, layer upon layer of invisible, weightless, sheer silver gossamer, radiated the light from the surrounding stones. Friends sought her out and there was an excited aura of expectation.
Oberon appeared, relaxed and beautiful with the exquisite Tatiana by his side. It was strange, Serena thought how the world assumed Oberon to be the King of the Fairies whilst he was, in reality; King of all other worldly creatures, including both types of witch. Tonight’s gathering of white witches would send out powers of good and benevolence into the world but, there would be another night like this when all would be in darkness with the obscure, blood red moon high in the night sky and black witches would yield to Oberon’s darker commands.
Serena had attended a black witch gathering in her early days not knowing where she belonged and not understanding the differences. She now understood goodness was ingrained in her heart and she could never cross that line even if she wanted to. She knew many women though who chose the darker side, that she called friends and even family. She also noted for a few years now, there were fewer white witches being accepted at the annual augeration ceremony, what this meant was not for mere witches to worry about.
“Friends,” Oberon finally called the gathering to order. “We are gathered here tonight as there is a menace attacking our humanoids and frightening their little children including our own young witches. With the onset of Halloween fortnight we must be vigilant this year and destroy these creatures before the humanoids become aware of other worldly creatures sharing their space.” His voice roared but each witch heard it as a tinkle of soft bells as it implanted its message on their hearts.
“Oh Great King how will we recognise these evil beings?”
“They are easy to spot by their oversized feet, although beware they are deceptively fast when put to the test. They wear large, brightly coloured trousers, held in place with coloured braces. They have bow ties that spin round and spray water and their grotesque faces are white with sad tears and big red noses. Do not be fooled by these foul fellows, they are out to steal souls and when afraid the humanoid becomes vulnerable.”
“And how should we defeat them Great Oberon?”
“Fairy dust will destroy them and return the earth to calm. Bow down my magic coven and receive the fairy dust in bounteous quantities. Use it well and wisely doing good throughout this land.”
From Oberon’s open arms came a shower of stars, every colour of the rainbow plus a 100 more shades and tones, filling the air. Each witch blazed as the dust settled upon her and her radiance burnt a hole in the sky around them. Fairies flitted back into the gathering with cloaks and brooms, the meeting was over. Oberon and Tatiana were nowhere to be seen.
Serena threw her cloak around her shimmering body and extinguished her sparkle. She watched as the remaining fairy dust filled the sky with stars, little pots of emergency dust to be used when needed.
The journey home was quicker, almost instantaneous with her replenished power. She floated upstairs and climbed into bed silently. As she unkissed her husband, he began to stir again. Tonight he will have dreamed of fairies and witches and magic, but will be too embarrassed to speak of it, even to her. How she loved being married to a humanoid or man as he called himself.