The summer I was 12, I went to a camp for young witches who had yet to find their affinity. Some girls were nice, some not so much, blurry faces with no name clouded my memory of that summer. But what i did remember clearly, is that I would sit by the lake at the border of the forest from which we were forbidden to enter. While my camp mates played around with each, I sat on a rock, dangling my legs with my toes touching the water.
I also remember, that this was when I found out about them.
“What are you doing?” I looked up, squinting against the sunlight, and saw a boy around my age, creep out of the forest. He had deep brown hair, that mimicked the colour of rich and fertile soil, and his outfit consisted of a tunic and trousers, which looked a bit outdated. He climbed the rock and sat beside me, which was when I noticed his vivid green eyes, like the colour of leaves in the prime of spring.
“Who are you?” I asked, “Why did you come from the forest, no one is supposed to go there.”
The boy, who was staring at the water, glanced at me, his hair shifted slightly with the breeze, and I caught of glimpse of pointed ears.
“What are you?”
He grinned, showing of sharp canines, that looked like little fangs, and a flash of green and gold passed his eyes. He looked he knew a secret, a big secret, as his face held a cunning look. . “I’m Dmitri. I live in the forest, and I’m an elf. Who are you?”
“An elf? What’s that?”
“I asked you a question first. What’s you name?”
“Maya, I’m a witch.” I announced with a proud smile, receiving a snort in return.
“A witch huh? What can you do?”
I raised an eyebrow with a frown. confusion overcoming my features. “What do you mean what can I do? Also, you didn’t tell me what an elf is”
Dmitri opened his mouth to answer, but his gaze shifted to behind me.
“Maya! Your mother is here to get you!” I turned around to see one of the counsellors calling for me.
“I’ve got to go--” I turned back to face Dmitri, only to realize he was gone, I turned my head, looking around me, but it was like he had vanished. I turned to the forest, but it’s darkness gave nothing away.
“I’m coming.” I hopped of the rock and ran towards my mother, wrapping my arms around her.
“Yes sweetie?” My mother’s blue eyes, identical to mine, looked down at me.
“What’s an elf?” Her eyes narrowed, and a frown graced her features.
“Where did you learn that?”
I gave her a shrug, “I heard some of the girls talking about it, but what is it?”
With a sigh, she ushered me to the car. “Honey, elves are no good, they hate witches, they hurt them and play tricks just for fun. If you ever meet an elf, be sure to stay away, they’re very bad and very ugly. Promise me never to talk to elves.”
“I promise.” For the rest of the car ride home, gazing out the window, I thought of my encounter with the little elven boy. He didn’t look mean, and he certainly wasn’t ugly. But I soon learned, elves and witches had an eternal feud, and could never get along, destined to be enemies for ever.
Or so I thought.