Can you believe that it has already been 8 weeks since we began Wisperwood!? The participation has been awesome and who else is pumped to watch and be a part of directing this story? Last week, the option was witch or wizard.. and witch it is! How will this decision play out?
It was a woman with antlers growing out of her head. She wore a dress made out of deer skin and fur on her shoulders. Shades of gold and brown swirled around her and a hawk alighted on her shoulder, feathers of white and black blending in with the dark shades of the forest.
Behind Aurane, the fox whimpered, and Aurane’s shoulders went tight. She gazed upon a forest witch. Although she’d never had an encounter with one, she’d heard of them. They were horned women who had a unique communication with the creatures of the forest, as did Aurane. However, unlike her, they used herbs and plants to bend others to their will while Aurane used her gifts to heal and help. A forest witch could be selfish and unpredictable.
Glancing behind her Aurane looked for a way out, but it seemed as though the trees had shifted and she could not see her way back to the hill she’d fallen down. When she turned back around the forest witch smiled at her.
“I see my messenger succeeded,” the forest witch said, using her long fingers to stroke the fur she wore.
Aurane watched her through narrowed eyes. “What messenger did you send?”
The forest witch raised her eyebrows. “The trees. They are corrupted and easy to influence. I assume it’s because of the sorceress.”
Aurane took a step back in surprise. “You can influence the trees? And who is this sorceress you speak of?”
Pausing, the forest witch lifted something to the hawk on her shoulder and spoke to it in garbled words that Aurane did not understand. The hawk spread it wings and, with a cry, launching itself into the air.
Aurane followed its flight with her eyes until it disappeared into the dense foliage. When her gaze returned to her immediate surroundings, the witch stood uncomfortably near her.
She smelled like wet moss and dead things, and eerie stories about forest witches danced warnings in Aurane’s mind.
“You want to know what’s happening here, don’t you?” the forest witch coaxed. “Why are the trees turning dark and dying, why is the forest in an uproar, and why is the eternal life gone from our home. Wisperwood. Do you want to know?”
“Yes,” Aurane blurted out before she had time to think through the witches offer. “Tell me, what is happening to Wisperwood. Is it cursed?”
The forest witch had the audacity to grin, showing off her mismatched teeth. “Aye, Wisperwood is cursed. I can show you how it happened and why, but you must do something for me in exchange.”
Even though she didn’t want to, Aurane took a step toward the witch. She knew she should continue on her quest to the Protectors of the Forest, but it was difficult to imagine continuing her journey when the answers she sought were right in front of her.
“What do you want from me?” The question left her mouth before she could stop it.
“Pick,” the witch held out closed fists and opened them. “Stones or herbs?”
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