The Witch's Prophecy

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The tall, young boy slowly walked up the stone courtyard just like he had so many times before. The same thoughts rushed through his mind, as his brain began the usual tug-of-war, reaching the peak of indecision. He suddenly turned around and began retreating quickly, cursing himself for being so pathetic. Dejectedly, he ambled through the crowded city streets. With no sense of direction, the boy hiked farther and farther till he hardly knew where he was.
The usual street vendors were yelling out the prices for hotdogs, ice creams, and those disgusting cinnamon rolls. Those cinnamon rolls were dripping with sweet syrup that reminded him of his 9th grade English teacher. She was the cruelest teacher he had ever had. Yet she managed to act so sweetly in front everyone. It made him sick. Suddenly, a wave of pain came over him as he realized he had been walking for several hours. He saw a dark, remote alley right around the corner and decided to take a break before heading home. The alley turned out to be cleaner than he expected. It was almost like a little street. He collapsed in a heap and began pulling at his hair. “Why do I have to be like this?” yelled a voice inside his head. It got louder and louder until it finally drowned out everything else as he slowly faded into a disturbed sleep.
Far away, Julie gazed through her window staring at the spot where her best friend had been standing. Julie had been the object of every guy’s eyes from the day she first set foot on campus. However, she was very different from all the other pretty girls. She was very humble and always avoided the snobby, popular girls who used to roam the campus, flirting with every hot guy they met. She had few friends that were very dear to her. Her best friend Johnny was a sweet kid. However, despite his sweetness and his amazing personality, he seemed to be very shy around her. Julie would helplessly watch as he would come up to her door every day, then turn around and leave in frustration. “You know what? I’ve waited too long for Johnny. I am going to settle this right now,” she said. She grabbed her purse and barely managed to say goodbye to her mother before rushing out the door.
Johnny awoke with a start to the sound of an ominous cackle. He found himself face to face with a raggedy old lady with long, messy hair. She was covered in filth and was wearing an eye patch over one eye. She leaned on a long walking stick as she curiously stared at the boy. “How old are you, sonny?” she asked in a raspy voice that seemed to pour out of her mouth like a gloomy mist. He was too stunned to answer the question at first. After a while, he managed to calm his nerves and weakly uttered, “Eighteen, ma’am.” She broke out into another round of hoots as if he had said a hilarious joke. Suddenly, her whole expression changed and she began eyeing him very seriously. She sat down next to him and began singing in some weird language. For some reason, the words seemed to be so familiar. Johnny’s train of thought was interrupted as the old woman turned to him and solemnly said, “I feel that you are going through some severe pain. Confide in me and I will guide you.”
Johnny began his story on how he met the girl of his dreams.
She is the most beautiful girl in the world. She’s always so cheerful. When I look at her smile, it gives me a reason to look forward to waking up every day. We became really close friends, to the envy of all the other guys in school. But every time I want to tell her how I really feel, this feeling sweeps over me and fills me with doubt and uncertainty. I tried so hard to change my cowardice to confidence. Even a brief minute would be enough. If only I could get the words out of my mouth.

The old woman suddenly came up close to him. He looked into her eyes. It seemed as if deep beneath that surface there was some faint glimmer of beauty hidden. She jumped back as if he had discovered some huge secret. She began prophesying hysterically in a mysterious voice, “Go to that girl’s house. If you don’t tell her tonight, she will be lost forever. And if you do tell her, then she will be yours forevermore. But wait till you can see the first star in the night sky before you begin your journey.” With this, she hurried off into the back of the alley. He saw her little hood flapping in the wind as she ducked underneath a dark doorway. He shook his head in disbelief and waited for sundown.

As soon as Johnny saw the first star, he got up. He shook the dust off of his jeans and slowly began walking. All the events of the day seemed so much like a dream that he hardly knew what he was doing. He let his feet carry him as if he was in a trance. Finally, he saw Julie’s house in the distance. The familiar feeling of fear shook his very frame. But this time, he had another feeling of empowerment to confront it. Somehow, the old lady’s voice kept echoing inside his head. It all seemed strangely familiar. He walked up to the large, wooden door and knocked. He could feel the hair on his hands stand on end as his mind raced, desperately searching for a way to tell Julie without making himself look like a complete fool. He peeked through the window and saw a figure sweep by. He could’ve sworn it was the old lady. “Man, I must be seeing things,” he said aloud.

The door creaked open and a tall, bronze girl with sparkling green eyes stepped out to greet him. He gaze was transfixed on those lovely eyes that resembled the ocean waves. “Hey Johnny. What are you doing here?” she asked. He smiled to himself as he realized she had no idea how climactic this moment was for him. Then to his surprise, she laughed and pulled him in. “I really must be dreaming,” he thought. She paraded him through a small, dimly lit hallway. They finally stopped in front of a small closet.

Julie opened the closet and pulled out a witch’s costume. No words could describe the delight on Johnny’s face when he realized what had happened. “But, but how did you know?” he stuttered. “Let’s just say a little black bird told me,” she said with a wide grin. Johnny took her hand and said, “Do you mind if I borrow you for a second? I really want to rub it in all those guys’ faces. I got the grand prize.” “Not at all,” she replied. Johnny happily opened the door and began walking out. He didn’t see Julie open the window or the raven that flew in at her whistle. Moments later, she showed up. “Sorry, just had to leave my mom a note,” she said with a smile.





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