The Wolven Witch

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Dedication and Prologue

To anyone who has trouble seeing how brightly they burn.

Forgotten Witch Trial, 1721

Branches whipped my cheeks, arms, and legs as I was pulled through the forest at an uncompromising pace. My skirts were tangled around my legs and tripped me every other step. Finally, my aunt stopped so suddenly that I almost crashed into her from behind. I followed her gaze and understood why she had stopped. From this angle, on the hill in the trees facing the town square, you had a perfect view of my mother tied to a stake.

Almost like she sensed my gaze, my mother’s mahogany eyes snapped to mine across the distance. She stared at me for a second but when I started to move forward, she broke the stare and returned her eyes to my father. He was currently being held back by the men of our village and screaming my mother’s name. I had never seen my father cry but I watched as tears streamed down his face. His canines started to lengthen and in the midst of everything, I prayed he would remain in control. His wife stepped forward, her eyes burning with a hatred more intense than the flames of the torch she held as she slowly bent and lit my mother’s pyre.

As the flames licked at my mother’s body, she held my father’s gaze with love in her eyes before looking at me. She chanted something under her breath and the village mob started yelling ‘Witch,’ at her and throwing stones even as the flames slowly engulfed her body. Her lips ceased moving and I felt a crackle in the air that signified magic; she had completed a spell. Finally, my mother threw her head back against the wooden stake and let out a scream that silenced everyone. My eyes drifted to my father’s wife and my breath hitched when I realized she was staring right at me. Her lips quirked into the smallest smirk before she laid another torch at my mother’s feet. My mother’s screams rang in my ears as my aunt suddenly started pulling me away.

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