The Realm of the WoodWitch
I was following a narrow pathway that I had found in the forest – i was of a mind that it may have found me. I had no idea where it was leading to…
… it seemed to be taking me deeper and deeper towards the hinterland, where the WoodWitch was said to preside over her mystical realm. Glancing back, It seemed that the pathway had been swept aside as I travelled it – I could not return by that route.
Scant were the stories known about the WoodWitch or her deeds, as few who ever came within her spell ever returned – of those that did, it was said that a madness was in their minds and a fear was upon their hearts. But rumours grew and tales of unknown veracity were quietly whispered in the dead of the night between the children of the village, especially when the Moon was at its fullest.
I remembered the words of my mother from that very morning:
‘Don’t wander in the forest; straight to the mill for flour and straightaways back!’
She was right to have warned me, I was wrong to have ignored her words – but, that was what children did.
Inevitably the village population was reduced by a few young ‘uns every now and then. Of those that were left it was only a matter of time before the woods called out to them.
The parents of the missing children mourned for a while; the villagers supported them through the process; then the village shrugged its shoulders and carried on. There was a constant understated sadness as the days, weeks and years passed by and the missing children didn’t return.
When a child did reappear – sometimes an adult by then – the loss was tempered by the changes effected upon them – the sadness became one of a different nature.