The Dreamer

South Africa

Puzzle solver
Dragon rider

Message to Readers

I could really use title suggestions....
Also is there too much tell and not enough show?
Please let me know.

The Witch Doctor's Children

November 18, 2020

Sunlight crept down through the leaves until it mingled with the moonlight on the forest floor. The crickets had stopped chirping a few moments ago and Estelle was making her way home. She hadn't meant to be out this long but then she didn't mean to do many things. No matter how much she planned, she was begining to see that things rarely went according to plan. She tip-toed around mushrooms, making sure to step right into any rings and make a wish. Her little red, velevt pouch jangled on her belt and she adjusted it so it couldn't punch her in the stomach as she skipped through the forest.

She hadn't gone too deep this time, just circled round and round with her head tilted back, watching the stars.It had been a cloudless night and her spirits sank a little as the moon paled to the sun, the sun reaching out its tentacles and, like a thick oil spill, putting out the stars. She had reached the edge of the forest now and looked back into its sheltering canopy where the night was temporarily taking refuge, and blinked hard, trying to ink the image into her head. Estelle sighed and turned round, yawning as she walked onto the cliff.

Now here was someone who was good at inking, she thought. A golden-haired girl was sitting sideways on a rock, hugging her knees to her and staring out into the sunrise. Yvette. Estelle smiled, Yvettte hated waking up early but she loved the colours of the early morning. She seemed perfectly immersed in the picture that she was no doubt trying to paint in her mind. A cliff, meeting the ever lightening sky - a drop of golden ichor streaming into it from the east, sloping hills below - still in darkness - and a blob of a town in the centre of the valley-a river running right through it, the sun shining like a lantern directly down on it. Hearing a crunching of leaves, she turned her head and saw Estelle coming towards her, then swung her legs down gracefully and patted the grey rock beside her, smiling.
"What did you find this time?" she asked as Estelle sat. 
"A rusted key, a few young pebbles, a piece of worn thread and a crumbling heart-shaped leaf" Estelle announced as she pulled each item out of her pouch and placed them in Yvette's open palm.

She loved sharing her lost things with people who appreciated them. Except Yvette didn't see them as old worn objects with history or new ones, recently crafted by Mother Nature and just begining to learn the world, like Estelle did. She saw them as shapes and hues, scents and feelings. A cold, heavy key; smooth, cool pebbles; plum-coloured thread and a brittle, rosy leaf. She weighed each in her hand taking it in then handed them back to Estelle "They're precious," she said gently, touching the tip of Estelle's nose with her finger, "just like you!" and handed the items back.
Estelle rubbed her nose, out of reflex, she normally hated people touching her nose but she doubted even the grumpiest person could hate it coming from Yvette. She hugged her, Yvette was like everyone's mother.

"Hey, can I have a pebble?" Yvette asked as she pulled back, a childish sparkle in her eyes.

Estelle sighed and gave her the roundest pebble. Yvette loved pebbles. She always had one in her pocket, rubbing them whenever she thought. Yvette kissed Estelle on the cheek and cradled her pebble smiling, then slipped it in her jacket pocket. She sighed, placing her elbows on her knees and cupping her face between her hands.
"Isn't it beautiful?" she asked staring out at the valley and the now pale yellow sky, barely expecting an answer.

A door from the clustered woodcutter's village behind them creaked open. An old lady with curly, short, silver hair - hastily tied up - stepped out. She wore a baggy brown dress - the sleeves already rolled up - dark stockings and even darker boots. A black cape was draped around her shoulders, secured at the nape of her neck with a silver safety pin, making her look almost pretty. 
"Mama Sylvie!" the two girls sang, springing up from the rock and running to her (almost tripping over each other).
"Shh! You don't want to wake the whole village,now do you?" whispered Mama Sylvie as the girls hugged her tightly.
Then they stepped back, hands clutched behind their backs, both looking like little girls awaiting approval. Yvette was only a bit older than Estelle but already taller than her - and even Mama Sylvie.

"I'm going out," Mama Sylvie declared, hauling up her basket, "to make some deliveries".
Estelle's shoulders fell. Yvette's shoulders drooped too, then she quickly straightened herself.
"Can I come?" Estelle asked, but Yvette knew better and so should she.
"No. I've left a list of chores on the table." she turned towards the forest, "Bye, my darlings" she waved.
Yvette and Estelle waved back and walked into the house.Yvette didn't need to bend, unlike her twin Peder, she wasn't that tall.

"We should change," Yvette said to Estelle.
Estelle blinked, Yvette was wearing her patched-up nightgown. She made evn that look romantic.

The bell started ringing as Yvette and Estelle entered the kitchen. A short, man circled the houses, clambering his large cowbell. Yvette's heart tightened at the sound. 

The village awoke, throwing open doors and windows. Several children rushed into the kitchen,
"Yvette, what's for breakfast?" they cried.
"Bread and jam" she smiled.
"Again...." they grumbled shuffling back to the room to change.

Estelle was staring out the window as the kettle boiled. Then there was a movement from the forest at the far end of the village. A group of leather and fur-clad men stepped out.
"The Hunters!" the bell-man announced, then disappered.
Utter silence. A crow squaked. Doors and windows shut. Estelle was pushed away from the window as it too was shut - and bolted.

She turned to the table and started setting out plates "I'm so glad I'm vegetarian!" she thought, her first certain thought all week.


See History

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

  • mindfruit

    Re: Hello! Very sorry I wasn't able to get to your piece earlier, I was busy this week. Would you still like me to review this piece (or review another one of your pieces)?

    about 1 year ago
  • Emi

    I love how you capture the girls' personalities so well! Also, the atmosphere around the hunters was very well-done.

    about 1 year ago
  • the little penguin

    replying: thank you so much for ur kind words on my piece!!

    about 1 year ago
  • Abigail Faith

    Aww!! Thanks so much!!! :)

    about 1 year ago