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The Moon and the Witch.

By Ciro Contento All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Fantasy

A night's story.

The twelve strokes of the tower were about to mark the midnight. The full moon was high and bright in the night sky, like a dark blue silky cape.Some soft but dark clouds,hovered as ghosts on the silvery moon by masking her glow and then continuing their journey carried by a cold wind.The glow of the full moon was the only light that was guiding my steps towards that spooky wooden house,placed at the entrance of a boundless forest.

People of my village were keeping the distances from that house, spreading stories and rumors about the supernatural nature of the person who lived in it.It was said that the house was the refuge of a witch and that night,thanks to the new moon,she would have implemented a mystical spell of high proportions whose purpose was,the transformation of my people from humans to her slaves.
The Skepticism and curiosity about it brought me to want to find out how much truth lay behind that legend. I entered into that sad path with much fear,i was determined...but still a kid! My step it was slowed by the strong wind that blew,uttering the terrifying groans. Leaves on leaves were falling down from the trees bare, taking the features of deformed monsters.The smell of fireplace stung my nostrils,the moon was covered again from a black shadow and only when she went back to shine,i resumed my race into the unknown.

I came to the house. Thanks to my small size, i managed to enter through one of the blackened windows. Once inside,i viewed the environment: the room was made up by fornitures old and worn by time. There were cobwebs, vials and jars of all sizes on the shelves and tables filled with weird messes. On a rocking chair a black cat stared at me with creepy eyes. Slowly, i approached the crackling fireplace,which gave off strong light and heat.
On the logs there was a huge cauldron,where seething a disgusting green slime...filled with floating eyes and bones! Disgusted,i stumbled on a huge black book.With a lot of fear,i started to leaf through and read things beyond the human. Trembling,i realized that it was true,that was the home of a sorceress.

Suddenly I realized that the witch was returning, so i quickly hid in a closet.From a chink i could see her and her features struck me: the most beautiful face that I had ever seen, a skin as white as the moon, bright red hair...she was not as i thought! She picked up the vials with a dark liquid, gave a sweet pat to her cat,and after taking the cape from the trunk,walked out again. I walked over to the window and saw her figure slowly disappear between those ancient oak trees.
I was going to go away from that macabre house when i noticed a bookcase slightly shifted. I felt a current of air coming from the opening, so i moved closer and found a secret passage. It looked like a narrow and dark tunnel which was accessed trough of marble steps. I was unable to contain my curiosity and with the light of a candle i entered into that black spot. Step after step, the cold became sharp...and with it,the fear.

Around me there was silence,occasionally broken by a trickle of water.I arrived to a battered door.I opened it with fear and what I saw was incredible: a man was tied to a stone column.His aspect was gruff, the left eye showed an old scar and he was wearing a long coat.
Suddenly he turned to me and asked sternly:

<< Hey you!Do you want to look at me getting older or you want help me? >>
I winced.
<< I advise you to hurry if you don't want to end up in a can! >> he continued.
I walked over to him and untied the rope that held him tight to the column. Without too many words he went upstairs and i followed him quickly.
<< I haven't much time,the witch had forgotten the black book and so,she certainly will return to take it back.>> the man exclaimed, picking between the stuff his bow,arrows and a vial that read: Dragon's breath.
It was then that i realized, he was a witch hunter! He told me that i should go away, but i wanted answers.

<< She really wants to do harm to my village? >> I asked.

The hunter nodded, sprinkling his arrows with that strange potion << When this substance will strike her ....she'll burn.Fire is the only weapon that they fear >> He explained.

I saw in his eyes a veil of sadness and i asked him:

<< You knew her?>>

The hunter stopped and hesitated a moment before answering:  <<Virginia and i were in love until i discovered that she's one of the most powerful witches of all times. I have no choice but to kill her.>>

The wound to his heart was more deepest of the marks on his body.

<<Now you'd better go,i can not act freely if i have to protect you! Go home and stay there.>>
After these words, the hunter grasped his bow ready to face the woman he loved for the good of my village.

I left that house,swearing to myself to not to tell anyone that story and not to challenge never ever the fate. But when i reached home, i couldn't sleep. I observed all night the new moon...the one who would have allowed the destruction of my people.

When dawn came, i realized that the hunter had completed his mission. Infact that morning, i headed back to the witch's house but i found nothing except smoldering charred remains.
My village was safe, the hunter was a hero.
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