short story, story promptSellawyn’s childhood took a turn for the worse when she pretended to cast a curse on the local bully. When he actually got sick, people started believing she really was a witch…


“I’ll curse you if you make me angry!”

She shook her head as the memory came to life. It had started with those eight simple words spoken as an annoyed child.

Benevel had been teasing her again about her riotous red curls. Tugging on a handful, he had sniggered. “Red hair is evil hair!” he’d crowed. “Only witches have red hair. You’re a witch, Sellawyn! Sellawyn the witch! Sellawitch!”

Other kids had laughed at his antics, picking up his chant. “Sellawyn’s a witch! Sellawitch!”

“Witches have magic,” she’d shouted back at them. “I’ll curse you if you make me angry!”

Wide-eyed, most of the children had gone quiet, drawing away from her and muttering amongst themselves. Benevel, however, had laughed in her face. “You’re only a little witch. You’re a baby witch. You can’t do anything to me.”

“I know a bad curse,” she’d insisted. “It will make your eyes fall out of your head and your skin melt from your bones! It can make you lose all of your hair. Forever! You would be bald like your dad forever! Bald Benevel!”

One or two of the other children had chuckled at the nickname, but Benevel’s glare had silenced them quickly.

“Go on then, witch. Curse me. I dare you,” he spat.

Sellawyn had chanted some random mumbo jumbo. She remembered putting a lot of effort into making it theatrical so that the other kids would be scared and stop bothering her. She’d hoped that Benevel would get frightened and finally stop his merciless teasing.

It hadn’t worked out that way.

Sellawyn forced her mind away from the memory. She didn’t want to relive any more of it, but the image of Benevel’s sick body was burned into her mind – she’d seen him only a few weeks after the cursing incident and barely recognised him. His skin had been very pale and he looked as if he hadn’t been eating. He’d almost wasted away. None of the nearby town’s doctors could help him.

To this day, she felt guilty about his death. It was ridiculous. She wasn’t a witch and there was no way she had the power to curse anyone. Perhaps it was the way the other villagers had looked at her after he’d died and the whispers she’d heard go around. They had all been scared of her. Her plan had worked, to a certain extent. None of the kids had teased her anymore, but no one else would speak to her either. Everyone had actively avoided her.

She’d left her home town when she was fourteen. Travelling for over a year, she had finally decided to settle in a city that was so far from her home and so big, it seemed impossible for her to meet anyone twice, let alone find someone who would recognise her from her tiny village. She’d made a fresh start for herself.

And now this.

“It really is you, isn’t it? Sellawyn the witch!” The young man grinned at her. Oddly, he didn’t seem to have malicious intent in saying those words. He appeared amused. “I can’t believe it’s you! After all these years, imagine us meeting here!”

She gave him a tight smile, frantically trying to remember him. The faces of the villagers had faded over the past ten years. It was entirely possible that she didn’t even know him, he simply knew her from her reputation in the village.

“It’s me, Vane. I used to leave you those wild berries every week.”

Another memory stirred. “Wild berries?” she murmured to herself, straining to recall why it sounded familiar. A brief flash of an image crossed her mind’s eye. A small basket of freshly picked blackberries some weeks, wild strawberries other weeks. They’d started appearing on her bedroom window ledge not long after the cursing incident. She’d never found out who was putting them there.

“That was you?”

He flushed slightly. “Yeah. I thought you seemed lonely, but I was too scared to talk to you. Not because I thought you were a witch!” he rushed to say. “But you were a pretty girl and I was just a smith’s son.” He ducked his head. “I was too embarrassed to say hi to you properly.”

Sellawyn surprised herself by chuckling. Vane glanced up at her, an adorable, shy smile on his face. She held her hand out to him. “Nice to meet you, Vane.”

“Hello, Sellawyn. It’s such a pleasure to finally talk to you.”

So cute! 🙂

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