Today’s short story is another one from my NaNo novel, told by my storytelling main character, Lyra. You don’t have to know any background, except perhaps that her stories are heavily influenced by the Brothers Grimm, so feel free to skip on down to the story if you like. There is a little context that may be interesting though.
The non-NaNo novel draft I’m working on is about Jasper, a wandering adventurer, and Julie, a girl he rescues who ends up traveling with him. There’s also Tom, a talking cat. In one chapter, they go to the castle of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, which then became the basis for my NaNo novel, telling the story from one princess’ point of view. Lyra spends some time talking to Julie, and learns a little about her–her mother was a witch, her father taught her to read, she has a conceited orange cat and Jasper can’t read. Lyra goes on to make up a story about Julie and Jasper to tell her sisters. Because she doesn’t know much, it bears only slight resemblance to the story in my other novel. But it was fun to take several of the same elements, and throw them together into a new story.
So here is Lyra’s mostly untrue story about a witch’s daughter and a wandering adventurer.
The Witch’s Daughter
I told a tale that began once upon a time not too long ago, about a girl whose father taught her to read. The girl’s father died when she was still quite young, which left her alone with her mother. This was doubly sad, because her mother, it turns out, was a witch, in every sense of the word. She was far more interested in her magic and her spells than in her daughter, and the girl was mostly left to herself. She explored the crumbly old castle they lived in, and read every one of her father’s books.
In due time, the girl grew up into a young woman, one who dreamed of escaping her mother and finding her own path through the world. Since she had never been beyond the castle and knew no one else, she was afraid to run away alone. She was also afraid that her mother would catch her, as a witch has many resources to hand. And if she caught her, there were far too many horrible things she could do. But the girl was smart, and patient, and so she waited for her opportunity to escape.
One dark night there was a terrible storm, and out of the midst of the storm there came a man on horseback who had lost his way. He came to the castle to ask for shelter. The witch saw that he was young and strong and there were many uses she could find for one such as him. The girl saw that he was handsome, with hazel eyes. The witch invited the young man in, and told him he must stay until the storm was gone. Continue reading “The Witch’s Daughter”