“A Proper Witch”: A New Fairy Tale Concluded

Read Part 1 Here

Her third teacher was a wix who was a childhood friend of the young witch’s older sister. The wix was as welcoming as the others, but told the witch far sooner what was wrong with her appearance.

“Exotic dark skin and pointed ears like that won’t do at all,” said the wix.

“I quite like my skin and ears,” snapped the witch.

“That’s all well and good, but you’re bound to turn my brothers into gorillas,” explained the wix.  “The spell to change your appearance isn’t complicated and it’s not as if you’ll be living here forever. You want to be a proper witch, don’t you?

And so, with clenched teeth, the witch learned the spell to make her ears normal and her skin ashen.

 This time, she did not enjoy the stay with the wix’s family. She was far too tired of changing, too tired making sure to preform her spell every day, and too tired of worrying that one of the wix’s brothers, all who seemed like nice men, would turn into gorillas despite her best efforts.

On the last day with the family, the young witch packed her things and left before anyone had yet woken. Truth be told, she didn’t want to go to the last land, but she pressed on with the knowledge that this would be her last teacher. After this, she could go home to her own land where things made sense.

The last magic-user was another old witch, a friend of the younger’s late great-aunt. When the old witch opened the door, she frowned and looked up and down the street. “You haven’t passed any men on your journey, have you?” she asked.

“No,” answered the young witch truthfully. “Would my nose turn them into sharks or something of that nature?”

“Don’t be silly, dear girl,” chuckled the old witch, “Your clothes would surely turn them into vultures.”

The young witch had just about reached her limit, but she didn’t want to abandon her journey just yet. “I’ll change my clothes if I can take off the enchantments on my eyes, hair, skin and ears.”

“Well, of course,” said the older witch, stepping aside to let the younger into her home. “Why do you have so many on anyway?”

The young witch told her teacher about the various lands where men were said to turn to boars at the sight of beautiful eyes, wolves at the sight of beautiful hair, and gorillas at the sight of exotic dark skin and ears.

“That’s preposterous,” huffed the old witch. “None of those things have such power over men. Everyone knows that bright, colorful clothes are their true downfall. Other lands certainly are backwards.” She led the young witch to her closet and gave her the greyest, drabbest clothes she could find, but even after the young witch had change her clothes and took off the enchantments, the old witch continued to frown.

“You’re still too far too shapely in those clothes to be a proper witch. You’ll just turn our men into small vultures rather than big ones. Here, throw on this blanket too.”

Furious and at the end of her rope, the young witch threw the blanket in the old witch’s face, changed into her own clothes, and ran out of the house. She ran for quite a while, crying all the way, until she came to a little stream. There she cried until she had no tears left and tried to decide what to do next.

She still had so much magic to learn, but she didn’t want to keep changing herself either. How on earth could she continue to travel and constantly make sure no one turned into animals at the sight of her? How did the women of these lands do it? What could she do?

A reflection appeared in the stream. When the young witch looked up to see who it belonged to, she froze with fright.

It belonged to a young wizard her age.

The young witch held her breath, waiting to see what the young wizard would turn into, but the only change that came about was that he sat down across the stream from her.

While the young witch felt incredibly relieved, she also felt slightly disappointed.  I must have not been all that pretty to begin with if he’s still human, she thought.

“May I ask why you’re crying, Ms. Witch?” asked the young wizard.

The witch wiped her eyes and answered, “You may, but I’m afraid you’ll find the reasons quite silly.”

“I’d like to hear them anyway,” said the young wizard.

And so, for the second time that day, the witch explained all she had been taught about men in other lands. How they would turn to animals at the sight of beautiful women and how there was no way of telling who would turn. The young wizard nodded along as she spoke.

“Ah, I see,” he finally said. Then, he wrinkled his nose. “What gits the men of these other lands must be.”

The young witch stared blankly, confused by his words. “What do you mean?”

“Well, they’re wizards aren’t they? Don’t they know spells to change back?”

The young witch hadn’t thought of that.

“If they didn’t learn it or went and forgot it, they’re fools and deserve to remain as animals, if you ask me.” The young wizard flashed a flirtatious grin. “After all, who knows when they might run into a beautiful lady such as yourself?”

The young witch blushed, but tried to remain focused. “What happens to men in your land?”

“Well, the ones stupid enough to forget the spell turn into cobras. They never hear the end of it if they do, though. And Lord above help them if they can’t turn back on their own.”

“What’s the spell?”

“In my land it’s nos sint homines ambo. All you have to do is think it.”

“I don’t think I’ve heard of it before,” pondered the witch.

The young wizard stroked his chin and thought for a moment, all the while making the witch fidget self-consciously. He was quite a handsome young man, after all, and he seemed quite kind.

“I’m on my way home from my own training, as luck would have it,” he said. “Would you like to come with me? My father would love to have a new student. He’s quite a brilliant wizard, if I do say so myself. By the sound of it, you haven’t finished your training, have you?”

The young witch shook her head and thought it over. The young wizard seemed safe enough. He hadn’t turned into any sort of creatures and he apparently knew the spell to stop it from happening. After several minutes, she decided to go with him to meet his father.

It was a pleasant journey. The young man spoke of all the things his father could teach her and how happy his mother would be to have another girl in the house since he only had brothers.

His family proved to be even more pleasant than the journey to meet them. They welcomed the young witch with open—all though rather surprised—arms and promptly showed her around. The mother instantly doted on her, praising her manners and all that she already knew, claiming that she was already a proper witch. When it came time for dinner, no one asked her to change anything about herself.

And yet not one of the brothers turned into a cobra.

The time she spent with the young wizard’s family proved to be by far the happiest. She learned more than she had from any other teacher, for she never once had to worry about men turning into animals. For a while, she forgot that such things happened. One day, she happened to see a young man turn into a cobra in the market place. He changed back almost immediately and apologized profusely to the girl he had been talking to. The girl forgave him, for no harm had been done, and life went on as normal.

The time for the young witch to return home approached all too quickly. As she packed her things and reflected on all she had learned, the young wizard came to her and asked if he could come with her. He had fallen madly in love with her and wished to see her homeland. Since the young witch had fallen in love with him too, she eagerly agreed.

And so, they traveled home together, falling more and more in love each day. When the two finally reached home they were promptly married and started their life together. They stayed in the witch’s homeland just long enough for her new husband to get to know her family, who simply adored him, then they were off again. Together, the pair traveled the world, teaching and learning spells to stop men from turning into boars, wolves, gorillas, vultures, and all sorts of other creatures. Together, they helped made the world a better, less humans-turning-to-animals-filled place. In doing so, the two lived happily ever after.

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THE END   

 

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