Flora and the Witch

September 15, 2008
Many a year ago, in a small village, on the outskirts of town, lived a seamstress with immense talent. Flora was her name, and as pretty as it sounds, she was quite the opposite. She was a young woman living in a tiny house that also served as her place of business. Flora knew nothing other than constructing beautiful pieces of clothing. Her hair was long and stringy and an odd shade of gray. Her eyes were a brown color, and the skin on her body was pale and shriveled. Because of her unappealing looks, she was unable to find a suitable husband to take care of her and give her a child. The only thing Flora had ever wished for was to be beautiful, so she could find herself a good husband and bear a child.
People from the town would go in and out of her shop and abuse Flora’s kind heart, leaving her little money to support herself. The clothing she made was so beautiful that one day the Queen came to her and told her to make her the finest dress she could. In three days time, the Queen came back to Flora’s small shop. She was so pleased with the dress that had been made; she spread word to everyone in her path as she traveled back to the castle. On her way, she came across a witch. The witch had a profound beauty and decided to test this particular seamstress she was hearing about. The next day, the witch came to the small village and headed straight for Flora’s teeny shop.

“Hello my dear.”

“Well, hello. Is there something I can help you with?”

“Hmm? Tell me dear, what is it wish for?”

“Excuse me?”

“I am a witch, but do not be afraid, for I am gentle and will bring you no harm. I have traveled from deep in the forest to see you. Flora is your name, I believe. Am I correct?”

“Yes, I am Flora the seamstress, but what is it that you want?”

“I have come to have you make me a dress finer than the Queen’s. I will give you three days time, as that is what the Queen gave you, to construct a dress of unique beauty. If you are successful, I will grant you one wish and leave peacefully, but along with me will come your talent. If I come on the third day and find you are unsuccessful, I will take away your talent and leave you as you are.”

Within seconds, Flora agreed to the challenge without any thought of the consequences, and began working immediately. The only thoughts running through her mind was beauty and a suitable husband. Then a shrill cry of laughter sounded, followed by the sound of the creaking door slam. The witch was gone.

On the third day, the witch returned, not surprised to see the dress complete and even more beautiful than the one made for the Queen. Flora was pleased to see the witch was happy with her work, but there was something strange in the Witch’s smile. A twinkle in her eye gave her away, but Flora, being so naive thought nothing of it.

“I see you are pleased with my hard work.”

“It is indeed a beautiful dress and much finer than the Queen’s. Now what is it you wish for?”

“I wish to be beautiful.”

And with that, the witch took the dress and walked towards the door. Before walking out she pointed her bony finger at her and closed the door. The transformation was complete. Flora was now a beautiful young woman. Flora quickly ran up the stairs to her closet sized bedroom and gazed at herself in the mirror. She couldn’t peel her eyes way from the image staring back at her. She began to stroke her luscious hair and batted her eyelashes. She fell in love with herself; her new found beauty.

Later that day the Queen came back to Flora once more. She demanded Flora to make her a new dress even finer than the one she had made for the Witch. She told Flora that if she was once again successful, she would be able to marry the Prince. Flora seemingly forgot that her skills as a seamstress were no more, and agreed to make the Queen a new and better dress.

As before, Flora went straight to work. She gathered many fabrics and lace, and began to cut the pieces. When she finished cutting, she started pinning pieces together but nothing was as it should have been. As she began remembering what she had agreed to, a fit of panic came over her. In a state of panic and rage, she pulled out random fabrics of all sorts and began cutting away. Fabrics were strewn across the floor and there was nothing she could do.

When the Queen arrived, she was in awe by the mess and by not seeing one completed garment. Repulsed by it all, she left declaring the young woman mad. At first Flora was devastated that she could not marry the Prince, but thought she could easily marry because of her beauty. That evening, she went out in search of a husband that met her standards. Many men had asked her to be their wife, but she refused all offers. She had become bitter and conceited and began to think no one in the town was good enough for her.

Having spent all of her money and turning down everyone that had asked for her hand in marriage, and acquiring no skill to bring in money, she was forced to beg on the streets. The townspeople refused to hear her cries after the way she had treated them. She begged for food and shelter, receiving no mercy, and was left on the streets to die a slow, painful death.

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Sinrae said...
Sept. 28, 2008 at 9:55 pm
I loved Flora and the Witch! It actually holds some truth in it. I absolutly enjoy your style of writing. I wish I could read more of your writings.
2ndperiod said...
Sept. 26, 2008 at 12:05 am
congrats you got published!! I already read this in class and i loved i, thought it was kinda sad though :( :)
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