Lucy and the Witch- Part I

Lucy and the Witch- Part I

Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

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Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

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Submitted: April 21, 2017

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Submitted: April 21, 2017

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Merryland was a small village by the sea. The name was strangely in accordance with the villagers who dwelt there. They were a bunch of kind, amiable and happy-go-lucky people who consciously or unconsciously upheld the meaning of ‘Merry’ in Merryland. The only gloomy thing about Merryland was Ernica, the evil Witch. She used to stay at the extreme end of the village in a typical witch like terrifying house secluded from the rest of the village. No one dared to go near to her place. She too kept herself locked up in her house most of the times and engrossed in witch-craft. Whenever she used to come out, the villagers would maintain a safe distance from her. That is the only time when they lost their ‘merry’. There have been rare incidents of Ernica cursing people. However, her evil presence or her curses have not been that deadly till now. Perhaps, she was not a very powerful witch. Sometimes at odd hours at night, people could hear her screaming and chanting spells but no one knows what witch-craft she performs. It only triggers a chill running down their spine.

Lucy, a seven years old girl, lived with her family in the village. Her father was a fisherman. Most of the times he used to be out in the sea. Her mother used to sell flowers and garlands in the market. Every day, early in the morning, Lucy and her little brother Joe used to go out to pluck flowers. Joe was two years younger than Lucy. Their little hearts brimmed over with joy while collecting the flowers and putting those in the baskets. After returning home with a basket full of fragrance, their mother would serve them breakfast. Lucy loved to take care of her brother till her mother returned home after selling those flowers.

Lucy and Joe have seen Ernica once till now. It was just two three days back. It was a pleasant sunny day and they both had gone to the market with their mother. They were sitting with their mother when all of a sudden every one silenced and were staring in one particular direction. Lucy saw a tall, lean woman in a black attire and a pointed hat on her head approaching. She had a terrifying serious look on her face.  She knew about Ernica and guessed that it was none other than her. As she passed by, everyone kept silent and their eyes followed her. Their faces were pale. Fortunately, she went away without creating any nuisance. It seems she was just going through the market to some other place. The villagers were expecting her to return by the same way sometime later but fortunately that did not happen. Lucy will never forget that day and so her brother. That night, terrible cries and chanting pierced the ears of the villagers!!! Lucy and Joe were petrified with fear whole night with their mother trying to calm them.

Few days later a terrifying thing was noticed. Ernica had started coming out every night. She steps into someone’s farmland and takes away farm animals!!! A villager who tried to stop her was cursed by her: “the silence curse”… This curse takes away the voice from a person forever!!! No one dares to stop her after that. Her nuisance continued and the villagers grew anxious about this. They were losing all their farm animals!! They could not think of any way to stop her. They even tried pleading but all went in vain. It seemed that she was using the animals or animal parts for some horrible witch act of hers…. But what is that??? Who knows what she will do next…?? She successfully snatched away the “Merry” from Merryland.

Lucy was a brave girl unlike the other children in the village. She desperately wanted to stop and punish the witch. She could not see the plight of everyone. One morning, after her mother left home, she had a terrible plan. She told Joe that she is going out to bring some apples for him since Joe loved apples. She will be returning soon. Joe was a quiet and obedient kid. He believed his sister and waited at home for the apples. Lucy ran towards Ernica’s house!!!

It’s not that she was not afraid. She could feel the bitter, blood-curdling fear within her but it won’t stop her. She slowed down as she approached the witch’s house. It was a dark, dilapidated and quite old house. She did not know what to do. Going and knocking at the door would be too desperate or may be an act of foolishness too. So, she went around the house and came to an open window at the back of the house. She felt lucky that the witch has not seen her yet. It was silent inside the house and the surroundings too. At the window she noticed something. There was a cage hanging and inside a small colourful bird was hopping around. She approached towards the cage. The bird noticed her and it started strongly flapping its wings and hopping around inside the cage. Lucy got frightened. It seemed like the bird wanted her to open the cage so that it could escape. Lucy felt pity for the bird. A little, innocent, beautiful bird caged by an evil witch!! Such a poor bird! She slowly reached her hands out towards the cage door. The bird stopped hovering. The door was opened. The bird came out happily flapping its wings.

To her surprise, there was a sudden blue spark and Lucy would not believe her eyes!! The bird transformed into a beautiful white fairy and she was standing before her… Lucy did not move. The fairy knelt down and heartily thanked Lucy for releasing her. The witch had cast a spell on her and had kept her as a bird prisoner for years. Thanks to Lucy that she is free now. She expressed her gratitude towards Lucy. Lucy was all in a trance till now. She realized what she had done. She smiled at the fairy. The fairy hugged the little child and said that her name is Melissa. Lucy said her name too. “What are you doing alone in such a place, Lucy?” Melissa asked with a soft and worried voice. Lucy immediately told Melissa everything. Melissa quietly listened to her and then said with her soothing voice, “It’s very brave of you Lucy!! You have freed me from a curse. I am grateful to you. Now it’s my time to help you out. You are at the right time Lucy. Ernica is not at home right now. Every day at this time she goes somewhere and returns late in the evening. We have ample time in hand to do our work. If you allow me to help you Lucy then I have a plan.” Lucy’s face brightened to hear this. She thought that it is a lucky day for her. She got a fairy friend who could help her to punish Ernica. She readily accepted Melissa’s proposal. Melissa said, “Lucy, I have been here for years. I know almost everything about Ernica, atleast everything related to her within the house. She has her weakness hidden within the house: her soul!! She has kept it separately in a safe place so that she cannot be killed by any one. A witch can only be killed by burning her which means burning her soul. Ernica cannot be killed now by setting her on fire because her soul will remain untouched. If we can burn her soul, then she will die. I know where her soul is kept. Once it is in our hands, we can burn it and kill her. However, you need to be careful once you step inside the house. I will guide you. Follow me Lucy and don’t touch anything. Let’s go.”

Lucy and Melissa sneaked into the house through the open window. It was dark and gloomy inside even during the day. The place was full of dust and cobwebs and a strange odour which Lucy did not like at all. There were pieces of weird things like animal bones, body parts lying here and there. Lucy followed Melissa as she went upstairs. Upstairs was more awkward. There were no separate rooms. It was one big hall and in the middle of the hall was a huge pot filled with some pale green potion. It smelled awful!! Lucy was afraid and tightly held Melissa’s hand. At one corner, there was the witch’s broom. Everything was exactly like what stories of witches she had heard of. Only one thing was missing, the witch’s black cat. Lucy wished it was not there. Melissa took Lucy to one dark corner. She lifted a part of the carpet lying on the floor. The dust from the carpet made Lucy sneeze. “Sssshhh”, said Melissa. There was a door on the floor. Melissa carefully lifted the door. It was so dark that nothing was visible. Melissa chanted some spell in a soft voice and soon there was a glowing ball in her hand. Lucy could see stairs going down.  “This light will help us to find our way. Follow me.” Lucy followed Melissa downstairs. There were not many stairs. When the stairs ended, she could see a vacant place. The walls of the place were made up of blocks of stones. Just as Lucy was about to step forward, she heard “meeaawww…”. She was right, it’s the witch’s black cat. Those glowing eyes seem to devour her. Melissa told her not to be afraid of it. Still Lucy could not assure herself. Melissa gave the glowing ball to Lucy and asked her to hold in one hand. She took it in her trembling little hands. Seeing Lucy very frightened, Melissa again held Lucy’s hand and took her to the wall. Then she asked Lucy to wait. Meanwhile, the cat sat at one place staring at them and intermittently letting out a “meeaawww”. Lucy was relieved that it did not anything to them.  There was a cross sign on one of the stone blocks. Melissa carefully pulled out that block of stone and kept on the floor. Lucy was surprised. She was eagerly waiting to see what Melissa was taking out now from the hole where the stone was there. It was a dry piece of leaf!!! Lucy thought, “That’s it!!!??? That’s a soul???”. Melissa turned towards Lucy and said, “You must be thinking that this is only a dry leaf. But once you put this dry leaf into the fire, you will know. It will be the end of Ernica. So, we should go now and burn it.”

Lucy’s heart was brimming over with joy. Atlast, she will be the one to end Ernica. “Merry” will come back to Merryland. It was really a lucky day for her. After her work is done, she would thank Melissa for all the help and take her to her home. And yes… apples for Joe too. He must be eagerly waiting. All these thoughts rushed through Lucy’s mind as the two went upstairs. After reaching upstairs, Melissa closed the door and the glowing ball disappeared. Lucy was so amazed to see all these. She had never been so close to magic. Melissa searched for some candles on the shelves in the hall. Soon she lit a candle. They went to a table. Melissa placed the leaf on the table and the candle too. “Now burn the soul Lucy…” she said. Lucy stared at her with a puzzled look on her face. “I…I will do it??”, she asked Melissa. Melissa replied with a smile, “Yes Lucy, you are the brave girl. She should die in your hands. I am just the one to help you out. It’s a reward that you are getting for your bravery. Now, don’t be late. Do it fast.” Lucy took the candle in her hands. Her hands were trembling. The leaf was lying on the table. She bent the candle to the leaf so that it catches fire. There it was all ablaze!!! She gazed at it burning with sparks of blue, green and red.

Soon only the ashes were left. She turned towards Melissa to share the happiness. But… where is Melissa? She was there by her side just before she set the leaf on fire. And Lucy was so lost in watching the leaf burn that she had forgotten about Melissa. Now, where is she?  Lucy looked at her sides and then turned backwards. Someone was standing in the dark. Lucy could only see the silhouette of a woman. She must be Melissa!!! As Lucy was about to approach her, she stepped forward out of the darkness. Lucy stood there with her eyes open aghast!!! There was a tall, lean woman in a black attire and a pointed hat on her head. The only difference was that now she had a wicked smile on her face. It was Ernica!!!!

 


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