Friday, July 15, 2011


An endless plain of grass, clawed blades scratching at the sky, stretches beneath a never-ending twilight, a greenish-blue darkness that suffuses the land as if a bitter pall has settled over the world. Eva hovers over the cast-iron cauldron. The wind catches the gray straw of her hair. At her feet, the fire's copper glow lights her child's cheeks.

"Horn, hoof, and tail. Talismans of the mighty triad." Eva sprinkles a dash into the cauldron, which bubbles and pops, spitting trails of fluid to sizzle the grasses black.

"What is a witch?" The girl's hands clutch at the knots in her hair.

"Where did you hear that?"

The girl wilts under Eva's glare, hands stroking through ashes, as if she can bury herself and be forgotten.

"Speak girl." Eva has done much for the girl. Has protected her all these years from the others. Has created this land beyond the world of suffering. Has sacrificed her loves, her desires. She trembles and tries to hide it from Glinda. No sense frightening the girl.

"The man."

"The man?"

"He comes in sleep. His forehead scarred."

"Scarred how?" Yet, Eva doesn't hear the answer. Her own thoughts drown the girl's voice. She knows it is Luc. Star scar on his forehead. His seed was necessary. Yet, what sense did men have never to learn their place. It was a simple deal. A transaction. She had dealt fairly with him. He has no right.

"What is a witch?"

Eva knelt beside her daughter, caressing the girl's cheek, noticing the grime. It is all Luc's fault. "It is a hateful name that others call us. We are the Devins-Guérisseurs, seer-healers. It is a name for what you will become. It is a name for me. You must not listen to the dreams."

"But." Yet she says no more.

"Sleep, my dear. Let the horn of the unicorn protect you, the hoof of the stallion speed you, the tail of the pegasus advance you. Sleep calls."

Eva stirs the brew with her paddle. She dredges her memory for the spells, and whispers the incantation. Smoke bubbles from the cauldron. Luc's body appears like a genie from black smoke.

"The girl tattled."

"None of your business. We had a deal."

"You didn't tell me."

"Would that have changed anything?"

A whisper of power whisks Glinda from where the child sleeps into the warlock's arms. "Seed for healing is one thing. Seed for making, another."

"It does not matter. I do not need you."

"My heart rends, but that is an old wound. I know this in you. But, what about her."

Glinda's eyes open. She grabs a handful of Luc's beard. "Tail!"

Eva sees the smile on her daughter's lips. She wants to tip the cauldron, end the spell, exile Luc outside his body. She can provide Glinda everything she needs. But, the child's smile fills the emptiness that has haunted the girl's edges. "Horn and hoof and feather."

"So we have a deal?" Luc asked.

"No more hiding in dreams. You will accept my summoning."

"Your heart softens."


  1. Is Glinda deliberately named for the Good Witch of Oz?

  2. @Stephen, yes. The name was chosen in homage and because Devins-Guérisseurs are considered "good witches" which reminded me of Oz. Is it distracting?

  3. I think casting the curious child approaching the witch as a "Glinda" is an amusing homage.

  4. To answer your question I immediately associated her name with Oz. That is good if that was the intention to make the reader think of "good witch" - which seems the case. The characters are interesting. I like the triangle of conflict and questions they create between one another. Looking forward to more.

  5. Interesting story! Poor guy, she doesn't want him to have a role in the child's life.

  6. @John & @Lara, sounds like the reference is very obvious (a little more than I usually do), but fits the subject. Lara, yes, I like the interaction between these characters.

    @Sonia, yes, he is unlucky and poor Glinda as well.

  7. A child's innocence is short-lived, I think Glinda's will be shorter than most. Eloquently told.

    This is yet another blog that I have been neglecting lately, it feels good to stop by.

  8. @Steve, Too true. Good to see you!

  9. Is there going to be more? I felt it ended very quickly and I'm not entirely sure what happened.

  10. Well, as everyone pointed out, the connection was quickly clear. I just kept looking for some other sly reference - something that showed that the two Glindas were, in fact, the same... and it wasn't there...

  11. Interesting story. Makes me wonder why Eva is so determined that Luc not be a part of Glinda's life. It was a bit confusing for me to follow the dialogue. But, I enjoyed the characters and they are very well described and portrayed.

    I enjoyed it, and will look for more - of this story or another. Thank you.
    Kwee Writings

  12. Hi there Aidan --

    Want to follow these witches further. Little hard to track, but enjoyable none-the-less. Found the Glinda ref. a little distracting (as kept trying to work out the OZ ref when I should have been paying attention to your prose) but that's a minor niggle.

    BTW - nominated you for a 'Versatile Blogger', here: in honour of your world-building expertise as well as your writing.


  13. A clever exploration of relationships and the names we are given, by choice or otherwise.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  14. @Icy, I don't know whether there will be more. I like the interplay between the characters and there is room, but I don't feel I understand the world well enough yet.

    @StephenW & @StephenH, it sounds to me like the oz reference is distracting, so I'll tone it down.

    @Kwee, thanks for dropping by and your comments are very helpful.

    @StephenH, Thanks Stephen, I've been a little slow lately, but I'm back now.

    @Adam, names can change people.