The Witch Abigail

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


A young prince enters a mysterious forest, hoping to find a wicked witch who will change his fate. It does not turn out as he expects.

Submitted: January 17, 2018

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Submitted: January 17, 2018

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A cry of distress rang throughout the forest floor … or it may have been a cry of frustration. It was hard to tell. However, it without a doubt, came from Prince Edward. A woman from a nearby cottage couldn’t help but hear and stepped outside to inspect.

She was greeted by the sight of a young man struggling to remove a back, and his blue and red cape, from a rabbit trap. The thin young man with a pallid complexion panted as he tried to pry the trap open, to no avail. The prince’s noble steed busied himself eating a fresh patch of grass a fair distance from his master. 

“Y-your Highness? What brings you so far from home?” She hurried to his side, tapped the rabbit trap three times, and stood back. The trap snapped open, releasing Prince Edward and his now crushed book with “Medicines of the World” inscribed on the front. The trap disappeared into thin air.

“You’re very fortunate that neither your body nor your horse fell into my trap.”

Prince Edward scuttled back slightly in alarm.

“You must be the Witch Abigail. Why do you have these rabbit traps laid out? What wicked spells are you using them for? Or are they really for people?”

“No spells, My Lord. Just dinner,” She said with a bemused grin. “The rabbits, that is, not people,” Abigail confirmed.

He took another step back and unsheathed his dagger with slight unsteadiness. 

“Rumours of your power have spread far and wide. Many fear you. I have need of your skills, Witch Abigail. I cannot be the prince my people need.”

“You’re here about your failing health?”

He nodded curtly, still shifting uncomfortably in place with his dagger.

“You’re a long way from the castle. Why don’t you come in, and I’ll make you something?”

“Poison!?”

“Tea,” she replied flatly. “And please, call me Abbey.”

She guided the horse to her pasture, making casual conversation with the beast about the weather as she did so. The woman strolled back to her cottage, leaving the door ajar. Abbey waved her arm, signalling the prince to follow her. Abbey pulled up her long black hair into a high ponytail and began working at her kitchen.

“You have quite a collection of books.” Prince Edward marvelled from the doorway, his dagger sheathed, travelling bag securely over his shoulders, and posture fretful and uncertain. 

“You could have a look if you like. I even have a copy of Medicines of the World.” Abbey said absently from the kitchen, her back turned as she busily ground some herbs. 

The Prince stepped warily inside. Sharp, earthy aromas filled the cottage. Dozens of barley sacks stuffed with rosemary, lavender, thyme, turmeric, ginger many other herbs and spices littered the floor, kitchen shelves, and tables. 

“This isn’t at all what I imagined a witch’s house would look like.”

“I’m afraid that I’m all out of eyeballs and toads’ legs,” Abbey turned to him with a wink. 

The prince fumbled his way to the many books lining the shelves. After perusing attentively through the shelves, he stopped at The Knights of Old: Volume VII removed it and eagerly began flicking through the pages.

“Does your family know you are here?”

“Only my younger siblings. The king and queen wouldn’t approve.”

“I see.” She finished straining the tea and began adding honey. Have you read that volume? You used to love that series when you were younger.”

“How did you know that?”

“A witch becomes acquainted with all kinds of knowledge. It’s just part of the trade.” 

Abby placed two cups of tea on the pinewood dining table, taking a seat and beckoning for the young man to do the same.

“It’s ginger tea, in case you were wondering. We’re drinking the exact same thing, so if there is poison in here, I’m also poisoning myself!”

Before the Prince could reply, his face reddened, beginning to convulse, he erupted into a violent coughing fit.

Abbey rose and firmly patted his back. “Take a few deep breathes and drink the tea. It will help.” Prince Edward did as he was instructed, and his coughing soon ebbed. 

“Thank you. You’re … not at all what they say you’re like.” 

“I suppose that’s a compliment. However, I live in eternal disappointment that I never turned green after I made my pact with Lucifer.” Her lips curled into a smirk grin, her dark eyes shining with mischief.

After a moment of silence, the Prince’s mouth agape, a chuckle escaped from the young man. It was an awkward, uncertain thing. For the first time, he seemed like a charming prince. 

“And you know, you’re not quite as insufferable as you seem.”

“I admit, I deserved that. I truly am sorry.” He said with a gentle, self-conscious chuckle. 

She replied with a smile and a nod. 

“Do you have the power to cure me? No one else does. I’ll grant you anything you want in return!”

“Thank you, but there’s nothing you could offer me. As for power, knowledge and determination are the only powers that really matter. And I use them in all tasks.” 

The Prince nodded in acceptance. 

“How is your grandmother, by the way?” Abbey gulped down the rest of her tea.

“My grandmother? She lives in a tower, separated from the rest of the family. No one has really talked to her in many years. My brothers, sisters and I were told it was for the best.”

“Oh … that’s a shame.” 

“It is.” He stared at the empty cup. “I should see her one day.” 

“I believe she would like that very much.” 

“A witch’s knowledge?” He placed his empty cup next to hers. 

“A feeling.” Abbey walked back to the kitchen and began washing the cups, her back facing the prince. “Heavens, it’s not easy being separated from your family.” 

“Did something happen with you and your family?”

“My coven.” Her snigger was crisp and mirthless. “Haven’t seen them in years. Have no idea where they are now.”

“Surely a witch could track down other witches?”

“You’d think so, wouldn’t you? I think I’m going to myself some ale.”

“Good idea. I’ll have some of that!”

“Not for you. You’re sick, remember!”

“Drinking ale in front of a man that can’t have any? You really are terrible.”

“Ha.” She soon resumed her seat beside the prince. She had a pint of ale in one hand, and another cup of ginger tea in the other.

The prince waited for her to continue. “Us sorcerer types often don’t stay in place for long. We aren’t welcome in many places, you see.” She took a swig of ale. 

“I could change that … when I become king. Or, that is to say, if  I become king.”

“What’s this nonsense? You will become king. I said I could cure you and that what I’m damn well going to do! It might take time, but I’ll do it!” She raised her cup in determination before having another drop of ale. 

“Thank you. Abbey.”

“Do not mention it, My Prince.”

“How about a toast? To a brighter future!” Prince Edward raised his cup of ginger tea.

“I’ll drink to that! To a better future!” She clinked her glass against the teacup, and they both drank heartily. And the pair laughed. Laughed about the past, laughed at the future, and laughed at the absurdity of their meeting. 

The prince visited the Witch Abigail on a few occasion after that day. Meanwhile, his family and attendants believed he was holed up in his room. She prepared ale for herself, and herbal teas for the prince. The two of them discussed medicines, The Knights of Old or hopes for future.

On one particularly long visit, Abbey heard a cluster of hoofprints beating wildly on the earth. She and Prince Edward ran outside. They were greeted by the sight of two dozen royal guardsman filing to the cottage. The glint of light on their silver armour shined threateningly as they advanced. 

Prince Edward took a deep breath and rested a hand on Abbey’s shoulder in reassurance.

“Damn. I’d really thought I could live in security now,” Abbey muttered. “I’m sorry, Your Majesty.” She turned to him with a sad smile. 

“Abbey?” 

“Step away from Prince Edward now!” One of the men shouted.

“No, don’t harm her!” The young man ran in front of the witch. “I order you … to stand down!” Prince Edward began to sway and gave a wheezing cough. He soon became breathless, doubling over in exhaustion.  Abbey’s hands rested on his shoulders. 

“Prince Edward!”

The guardsman gathered round Abbey, throwing her from the prince and dragging the witch to her feet. 

“Get the hell away from me!”

“Damn enchantress! What have you done to the Prince?” 

A loud explosion and a puff smoke took the gathering by surprise. The smoke dissipated.

The guardsmen shuffled back in surprise, while Abbey still struggled as they held her in their grip. 

“The Queen Mother!” 

Edward looked up. In place of the smoke, was a small, sharp-featured older woman with a cane and an unmistakable ferocity. It was his grandmother. 

“You damn fools! She works for me! If you want the Prince to be cured, you’ll let go of her now!” 

The voices around Prince Edward became muffled and distant. His head fell hard on the cool pinewood floor. Edward's world went dark. 


© Copyright 2019 Elle. A.. All rights reserved.

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