The Witches of the Pumpkin Patch | Teen Ink

The Witches of the Pumpkin Patch

November 10, 2020
By lavenderminx, Dover, Massachusetts
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lavenderminx, Dover, Massachusetts
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Author's note:

One thing I enjoy about my peice is the characters. I made sure to make the Witches very uique, but I didn't discribe anything about Emily. I did this because I want the readers to interpret her in their own way.

The author's comments:

Since it is a short story, there is only one chapter.

It was cold and windy that night. The usual October scent was lost to the dust and leaves being  taken away by the wind. Emily could hear the crunching of dead leaves and twigs under her shoes as she walked through the ominous woods. Other than that, it was dead quiet, as if nothing had lived there for years. The forest was right behind her house, but she was far from where she had begun walking. It was rumored that there was a haunted pumpkin patch deep in the woods and her friends had dared her to look for it. She was about to turn back when she heard people...talking? No, more like chanting. As she got closer and closer she could smell pumpkins and a campfire. Eventually she got to a wall of vines and branches blocking her way. She pushed them back and stepped forward into the clearing in aw. 

The rumors were right. It was warmer than it had been before and the wind settled down to a light breeze that picked up leaves into a small vortex before setting them down again. There were bats and small ghosts gliding through the air. There were hundreds of sparkling stars and the full moon lit up the dark night sky. You could hear the sounds of other animals in the woods. It was as if the forest had suddenly come alive or awoken from a deep slumber. Then Emily spotted three witches standing around a giant pumpkin they were using as a cauldron.

 The one to the right had long black hair tied up in a ponytail and lightly tanned skin. The one in the middle had a dark complexion with light patches of skin all around her body, paired with short chocolate brown hair that sat under her hat. The last one was as pale as the moon with matching, long, white hair that cascaded down her back like a waterfall, and piercing red eyes. Emily couldn't believe her eyes. There standing right infront of her were witches. REAL witches. Emily had never seen one before, let alone three, but she had heard stories. Witches were seen as evil unholy beings that were not welcome in society. Some called them cultists, others called them freaks. Everyone seemed to agree that they hated witches. The witch on the right looked up and spotted Emily.

“ Hanna, Elise, someone is here” 

The pale witch turned around, but before she could say anything it started to rain and there was thunder, the wind picked back up again and the trees started swaying violently. 

“ Follow us inside, “ said the pale witch to Emily.

Emily reluctantly followed them into their house for shelter. They were witches, but it's not like she really had much of a choice. 

Once inside the witch with brown hair snapped her fingers and their outfits changed from robes and witches hats to more comfortable clothing such as sweaters and knit caps. 

“ I suppose we should introduce ourselves, “ said the pale witch. “ Im Elise” 

“ I'm Hanna! “ the witch with brown hair said excitedly. 

“ And I'm Danny” said the witch with a ponytail. “ What about you”?

Emily looked awkwardly at her feet. “ Im Emily” 

“ Well, Emily, would you like to join us for dinner? It doesn't look like the storm is going to stop anytime soon “, Elise asked, trying to appear as welcoming as possible. 

Emilly looked up, surprised “ Uhm, sure..” 

Emily, Hanna and Danny sat at the table while Elise took out a pot to make dinner. As Elise was stirring the broth Hanna came up to her. 

“ Can I have some” 

“ No, it's not ready yet, “ Elise replied. 

“ But i'm hungry yyyy” Hanna whined.

“ It will be ready soon, “ Elise said. 

Hanna attempted to steal a carrot from the pot but Elise bonked her head with the spoon before shooing her away. “ I said no “. 

Hanna begrudgingly sat back down. “ You know you don't have to act like our mom all the time “ Hanna said while rubbing her head. 

“ Well someone has to keep this place together” Elise replied, not taking her eyes off the stove. 

As Emily ate she was confused. They acted less like a group and more like siblings. And without their witch's hat and robe, they almost looked normal. But witches cant be normal, right? Emily consulted in her head.  Eventually the wind stopped and the trees were still once again. Slowly the pitter patter of raindrops against the window had ceased as well. 

“ It appears the storm is over “ Danny pointed out. 

Elise looked out the window “ So it has. You should head back home now Emily, your parents are probably worried”. 

“ Oh, sure, “ Emily replied. She grabbed her bag and headed out the door. 

“ Come back any time” Hanna yelled out before Emily closed the door. 

As expected, Emily got an earful from her father when she got home. The next day Emily went to school. 

“ So, did you find it”? Emily heard as she walked into school. It was one of her best friends, Cassidy. Emily thought about this answer for a moment. If she told Cassidy the truth then everybody would know about the witches and where they were, and that surely wouldn’t lead to anything good. atleast , not for the witches. And she couldn't do that to them after they invited her into their home. It wouldn't be right. 

Emily just said no, trying to keep the conversation as short as possible. Cassidy was a little disappointed at the response but just shrugged it off.

“ Anyways we should get to our first class” Emily said, promptly ending the conversation.

Cassidy waved goodby to Emily as she entered her first class.

That night Emily decided to go back, to see if what she saw was real. So she got her bag and headed in the woods again. To her surprise, she did see them again. And they saw her too.

“ Elise! Look! Our new friend is back!” Hanna said enthusiastically, while also dropping the book she was holding.  

Since when did they say they were friends? Emily thought in secret, not wanting to burst Hannas bubble. 

Elise picked up the book Hanna had dropped “ What brings you back here,Emily?” 

Sure Emily had come back ( on her own free will this time ) but she had not prepared for this question. “ Uhm, I guess I was just interested in what you were doing” 

“ Come on Elise, let her stay. It would be rude not to after she came all this way” Danny pleaded. 

“ Alright. I guess it's fine if she comes back from time to time “ Elise replied 

Hanna and Danny started jumping up and down in an excitement. Emily wondered if they were that starved for human interaction that they celebrated getting to hang out with a highschooler.

“ So, what type of things do witches do anyways?” Emily asked curiously.

Hanna sat down on the cool grass and gestured for everyone else to sit down too. Emily had almost forgotten that they were still outside. As she sat down glow bugs flew away from their spots. 

“ I'm SO glad you asked. We do all SORTS of magic things!” Hanna handed Emily an old book of spells and potions. Hanna began listing all of the things witches do while Emily flipped through the book she had given her.

“ Can I learn magic?” asked Emily, a little nervous. 

Hanna stopped ranting and  Elise and Donny looked at each other, then at Emily. Then they all looked at Elise.

“ Why are you all looking at me like that?” said Elise, obviously avoiding the question.

“ Well, you ARE the one who is ‘in charge’ “ Danny said. 

“ Well, can Emily learn magic?” Hanna said, suddenly intrigued. “ Plus, we would FINALLY have another witch around. No offense but it's gotten kinda boring hanging out with just you guys” 

Danny and Elise looked at Hanna, a little annoyed at her remark. 

“ Well, since Hanna feels so strongly about it, I guess it's fine,” said Elise, finally answering the question.” But, you have to make sure this is what you really want. Magic is not easy to learn, and there's no turning back. Once you are a witch, you're always a witch.” 

“ I'm sure,” said Emily, filled with determination. 

“ Great! First things first. The pentacle. Which often gets confused with a pentagram. The difference is the circle. A pentacle has a circle while a pentagram does not. Another common misconception is that pentacles are evil. That is not true. They are actually symbols of protection and are used in simple casting spells. '' said Hanna.

“ The next thing is the wand” Danny continued, “ A wand is not the source of one's magic, it is merely an extension of the users ability. You will start out with a wand, but eventually you will have to learn to use magic without it.” 

“ And finally, potions.” said Elise.” Potions can do many great things. Such as healing or transformation, but the most important things are the ingredients. You have to get every small detail right in order for it to work. Although there are some special ingredients for some potions, for most of them you can use the things around you. Now, it's getting late so you should head back home and come back tomorrow.”  

Emily put the spells and potions book in her bag and said goodbye to her new mentors. When she got home she hid the book under her bed so no one would find it. If people found out she was practicing magic, she would get in serious trouble. She then put on her pajamas and went to bed, excited for tomorrow, which was a Saturday. Which means she would be able to practice all day. 

Emily woke up early that morning and immediately got dressed and packed her bag. She grabbed something small for breakfast before saying goodbye to her dad. The woods had a very different feeling during the day than at night. The woods felt more clear and bright, although, it was still deathly quiet. When she got to the pumpkin patch, Elsie, Hanna and Danny were already waiting for her. The pumpkin patch smelled like spring and was warm like it too. It felt so much different, as if it wasn't even still in the same world as everyone else. Danny was holding a pile of small logs of wood. They set them down and told Emily to pick one she liked. Emily closely analyzed the logs. There were normal shades of trees among them, such as oak or birch. But there were also some odd ones that stuck out. There was a Japanese maple, a rainbow eucalyptus, and many other strange colors. Emily chose the rainbow eucalyptus. 

“ Rainbow eucalyptus, nice choice” said  Elise “ Now all you have to do is carve your wand out of it.” 

“ Wait. Me? Carve a wand?” Emily said shocked. 

“ Of course!” replied Hanna,” How else are you supposed to make a special bond with it. Remember how Danny said that your wand is an extension of your ability? Well you have to be connected with it in order for it to  be able to process your magic. Magic is concentrated energy that you produce when performing it. Your wand is a guide for that energy.” 

Hanna handed Emily a paper and pencil and said that it's usually easier to sketch out your wand design first. After about ten minutes of sketching Emily was ready to carve her wand. Danny got out the carving tools and Emily began. When Emily had finished, it was about the width of a pencil but two times longer. The light cyan wood with stripes of color going across it was smooth and easy to handle. There was a carving of a vine with leaves sprouting from it twirling up the wand all the way to the tip. The last detail was Emily's name carved minutely on the lower end of the wand. Now that she was done, she had to start actually using it for magic. When she looked in the spell book, there wasn't anything you had to chant. 

“ Let's start with levitation,”said Elise “ Point your wand forward and think.” 

“ Think of what?” asked Emily 

“ Think of things like feathers or clouds. Emotion plays a big role in your magic. The more focused you are the more controlled it is. Different emotions fuel different spells. Calmness fuels levitation.” Elise stated.

Emily closed her eyes and  tried to become focused. She listened to the sounds around her and everything getting lighter. Soon a thin beam of light came out of her wand. 

“ Great! Now point it at the item you want to lift.” Danny instructed.

Emily pointed her wand at a log and it started to float in the air. She was very excited. She just did magic, real magic. But as soon as her focus drifted, the beam of light disappeared and the log fell back onto the grass. Emily looked down at the log, disappointed by her results. Hanna put her hand on Emily's shoulder,

“ It's ok, no one gets it right on the first try. Not even Elise!” 

“ That's right. It takes practice and patience for these things, but soon enough you wont even need a wand to perform magic.” Elise said comfortingly “ Now, let’s try again.”

They practiced levitation of the rest of the day, and even a little at night. By the end, Emily was almost a master at levitation. ALMOST. She still needed to practice it a little more. But it was getting late. She said goodbye and went home to have dinner.

 As usual, as soon as she got home she hid her new witchy stuff under her bed before going to dinner. During dinner, her dad asked her where she was going, Emily said that she was hanging out with friends, which was technically true. Afterwards she put on her fuzzy black and purple star pajamas and went to sleep. 

Unfortunately it was Monday, which meant Emily had to go to school and wait until afterwards to practice magic. She got dressed, ate breakfast and went to school as usual. It wasn't all bad, but she still couldn't wait for the day to end. It felt like the universe was taking extra long to finish school because to Emily it felt like an entire month had passed before the dismissal bell rang. When Emily got home, she put on her out of school clothes, put her wand and book in her bag and was on her way. 

It was already dark when she got to the pumpkin patch. But that didn't bother her, she had practically memorized the path by now. Elise, Hanna and Danny were already prepared as usual. Elise said that today they were going to practice light. She said it was an easy spell, and that Emily would probably master it after a day or so. Emily grabbed her wand and got ready. Hanna said that this time she should think about puppies. “ Light is fueled by joy. So think lots and lots of happy thoughts!” Hanna said. So that's exactly what Emily did, think of happy thoughts. She managed to conjure a small orb of light, but it was nothing impressive. They practice that spell for hours and hours. 

When Emily tried again the next day, her results were far better. She closed her eyes and thought about everything that made her happy. Nothing happened for a few seconds, but then a wave of light came out of her wand. It was as if that star had liquified, the light swirled up in the sky,making a small vortex below. In that floating river of light were colors, all sorts of colors. Maybe even every color, swirling around and flowing through the light in harmony. Emily just stood there in the middle of this glowing enchanted tornado. She listened to the quiet hum of each little particle singing out to her. It was as if all the beauty in the world combined into one humbling masterpiece. It had only stayed like this for a minute,  But what a beautiful minute that was,Emily thought. The light slowly retreated back into the wand,taking all of its glowing colors with it.

Elise, Hanna and Danny were in shock. Never have they seen such a beautiful yet powerful display of magic from a beginner. They all looked at each other than at Emily. Emily broke away from her gaze and just realized that she did that. She did THAT. she couldn't believe it. Who knew she was capable of such magical prowess? Emily sure didn't. She was stuck in amazement and confusion as Hanna ran over and gave her a big hug.

“ That.was.AMAZING! You did so good! And it was so so so pretty too!” Hanna exclaimed. Elise and Danny came over too.

“ Who knew you had it in you?” Danny said, as they patted Emily on the head. Then they all shifted their heads towards Elise. 

“ That was...really good.” Elise said, still processing it.” you've got some real talent.” Emily grabbed Elise and pulled them all into a group hug.

“ I couldn't have done it without you guys.” Emily said. “ I can't wait to learn another spell tomorrow!”

The three witches moods had suddenly dropped a little (although Emily did not notice) 

“ Yeah, tomorrow…” Hanna said, kind of sadly.

Emily grabbed her stuff and went home, ate dinner and went to sleep. When she got up she went to school as usual. Unlike yesterday where the day had gone by slower, like it always does when you're excited for something. This time it seemed to go by much quicker, even though Emily was just as excited as she was yesterday. Although she didn't notice it, it was like the universe was telling her that there was something she wouldn't be so excited about today. When she got to the pumpkin patch it was still daytime, which was expected because it was november 1st, and the days were slowly getting longer again. When she got there though, Hanna, Elise and Danny were not prepared like they usually were. 

You know that sinking feeling you get when you're about to receive some bad news even though nobody had said anything? Well, that's what Emily felt in this moment, and she could tell that they knew it too. 

“ Emily, we have some bad news” said Danny glumly” we have to go”

Emily could feel a lump in her throat even though she didn't even know what was happening yet.” what do you mean? Where are you going? When will you come back?” Emily said, almost yelling. 

“ We are not leaving for good, just until next October” Danny continued. Emily knew that it wasn't for that long, but she also knew it was going to feel that long. It felt like she was loosing her family. She asked why, not really knowing what she hoped the answer would be. 

“ It's because of our magic. The human world does not have the type of magical energy we need to use it all year long. You see, our magic is different from your magic. Yours comes from your world, and ours comes from our world.” Hanna said

Emily was more confused than before. She didn't have to ask anything though, because Hanna knew from Emily's expression that she still had some explaining to do. 

“ Although there are witches on earth, there are also witches from different worlds. We can use magic to be able to create transportation from one world to another. We aren't exactly from this world, so we don't draw magic from it. Since we only draw magic from our own world, we have a limited amount of magic we can use on different worlds. We only come here during October, because that's our season where the connection between worlds is strongest.” Hanna concluded.

It was still confusing, but Emily didn't have any more questions. But she was still upset. Tears started to form in her eyes, she tried to hold them back but just couldn't. She knew she shouldn't be crying over witches, but they were more than just witches, they were her friends. They were her family. Something she didn’t really have. They all gathered in one final hug before leaving. Emily had one more question though.

“How will I learn magic without you guys?” Emily asked, wiping away her tears. 

Elise lowered down to Emily's level.  “The seasons will teach you. In spring you will learn plant magic and transformation spells. In the winter you will learn to control ice and water. And in the summer you will learn the essence of fire and life, just come back here. And when autumn rolls back around, we will be here to help you control your skills.” 

Elise stood back up with Danny and Hanna. She made a half circle with her hand, and a giant swirl of mist surrounded them and everything else they owned. When the mist cleared, the pumpkin patch was no longer there. What was in place of it was a field of colorful flowers covering the grass like a sheet covering a bed. There were many different types of flowers, some that didnt even grow in the area. In the middle of the field was a spell book, Emily's wand and a note titled ´ To Emily’. She picked up the letter and opened it. The last page of a book isn't always the end of a story. Be the witch of the spring. Sincerely, your friends, Elise, Hanna and Danny. 

The End.

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