Salem, Massachusetts, the year 1630, far outside the comforts of the quaint little village and civilization, sat a humble hut in the depths of an ancient forest. Sturdy stones shaped the walls of the hut, while the roof was made of logs and all types of vines and flowers grew around and on it. As if the forest had built the home itself, it appeared one with the earth.
It was far enough away that it was not easily discovered from the town skirts, but to those who knew where it laid, feared even going to it. Nothing evil at all lived there, instead it was the opposite; a gentle white witch took comfort under the huts roof. The superstition that clouded around her, like an unsettling fog, was made up of outrageous tales by the villagers.
They would say she was nothing but a wrinkling old wench who brewed over her cauldron all day, planting evil spells and curses on innocent humans. Others would say that she had the beauty of a fallen angel, one look at her could captivate even the strongest of hearts and they would fall willingly under her magical influence.
None of them we're correct, although a few held some truths, they still knew nothing about the wild witch who lived rather peacefully in the woods.
A small sigh left her lips as she watched the two daring village girls giggle gleefully and practically skip back towards their homes. Though the village rudely talked about her, most still dared to find their way to her, to seek her knowledge and magic for their mortal desires.
Once they were out of sight, she undid the scarf she had secured over her head that hid most of her facial features except her eyes. Her hair was spun like gold, tumbling down in blonde waves once freed from the fabric. There was a earthly beauty about her, everything was natural and lovely to look at, except for the ugly scar that ruined half her face.
Part of the reason she kept her features hidden was because of the deformity, otherwise word would spread quickly about the beautiful white witch with the claw marks scaring her face. Staying hidden from the world was necessary, but she was still a social creature, and helped the town's people whenever they came to her home.
Today it was two young girls who requested a love potion for whom their hearts yearned for. Despite how nervous and scared of her they were, she was not annoyed by their presence. Instead, the youth had such a warm innocence that always made the white witch think of better times.
Much to their soon to be disappointment, she did not give them an actual love potion. Love potions were considered a dark magic, that always ended poorly. It was strictly against good magic to force another heart to feel love when it was clearly not there. Instead she supplied them with a bottle of liquid fragrance, and instructed that it be placed upon their wrists and behind their ears. The smell would hopefully at least attract the attention of whatever male they got close too, that was the best she could do.
Leaves crunching under heavy footsteps brought her attention to her surroundings and she froze in front of the entrance to her home. A soft glow circled around her head in waves as she turned, using her powers to inform her who was spying on her.
"Dear sister, hiding in the darkness is not wise." Her voice rang out through the clearing and her golden eyes flicked to the shadow hiding behind the trees.
"Fariah, it was not my intention to startle you, the journey here was long." The younger figure stepped out from the shadows with her arms crossed over her chest, hiding a small bundle from view. "No ill intentions brought me here."
Fariah took in the sight of her older sister, and begrudgingly, the memories from when they last met surfaced to her mind again. As in response to her painful reminiscence, the jagged scars that ran down from the middle of her right cheek and disappeared down her neck under her clothes, burned as if it had just been inflicted.
"Please, loving Fariah... My heart is desperate for your help...." The memory faded from her mind as her older sisters voice broke through her thoughts, and her bright eyes snapped to focus on her again, not exactly sure if she could believe her. Desperation laced her voice and her features, she looked...older, despite her actually being the oldest sister. There were wrinkles and dark lines edged across her once flawless skin, and the air that hung around her was sickening.
Aurora, was her older sisters' name, and she had started out as a beautiful white witch just like their mother, proudly being born with the strong gift. It was in their bloodline. In her twentieth year though, Aurora had become infatuated with a strange, beast of a man, everything about him radiated unnatural danger. Disregarding her parent's warnings and leaving her family behind, she left and followed the man, saying that her heart and soul was fully his.
But the man had changed her dear older sister. Making him like the beast he was and in an attempt to bring her back, Fariah made the mistake of stepping between them, trying to bring her sister back home. The scars that marred her face and neck were evident of her failure.
She wasn't even sure how to describe the assault when it had happened. One minute she was pleading with her sister, to come home with them and pulling her away from the beast, then the next was horrifying. Aurora's skin grew fur and her bones snapped, rearranging around in her body to take the form of a wolf beast, just like him. The rage in her sisters eyes that weren't even their usual honey brown color, were then yellow slits, intent on hurting.
After her sister attacked her, she left her bleeding in the forest, like her own flesh and blood hadn't cared if she died. Fariah also couldn't heal herself with her magic, it was against their laws. By the end of the night she wasn't exactly sure how she managed to crawl back to her parents home, but they frantically tended to her wounds. Since then, it had taken three full cycles to heal and Fariah was out living on her own, trying to get as far away from her broken home as she could.
Before she could open her mouth to protest, the wrap that was pulled against her sisters breast moved and cried out, causing Fariah's interest in the situation to peak. Whatever caused her to seek her out had to deal with the item in her arms. Obviously she was also crazy enough to think she would trust the dammed beast she used to call sister.
Against her better judgement though, she couldn't turn her away. Finally with a flick of her wrist, she allowed her to come into her home and the fur rug swung closed behind them. Quickly, she lit a fire in the pit in the middle of the hut and gestured for her sickly sister to sit in the oak rocking chair.
"Where is...the beast....?" Fariah couldn't help but hiss the words out after she was settled comfortably in the chair, rocking the small bundle in her arms.
Something she said struck Aurora's heart, but it wasn't the harsh tone that she used against her. The words that came out were laced with grief, "Dead...he is d-dead...."
Sobs threatened to wreck her body and the white witch took in her older sister with sudden surprise, although she felt no symphony.
Anything that was strong enough to come between the bond of family deserved death.
"This is his babe...our daughter." Continuing despite her obvious pain, she lowered the wraps in her arms and Fariah could now see the tiny fairy-like child that was snuggled into the cloth.
Confusion shown through her shinning eyes as she looked between her older sister and the child now resting peacefully in her arms, puzzled as to why this all concerned her. Aurora stood and tucked her daughter into the arms of her younger sister, her body growing weaker by the second. As soon as the baby was passed, she dropped to her knees on the dirt floor and Fariah followed quickly, worryingly freeing a hand to touch her.
"My body, my heart will die without him, no longer can her well-being be my responsibility." Rushing out her words as quick as she could, she knew she didn't have long, but her sister had to know the importance of the situation. "Raise her like your own, I beg of you, please. Then burn my body, they cannot find my scent that way."
Aurora's hands reached out and desperately clung onto her skirts, almost as if she was trying to plead her sister into helping her. When she clearly did not deserve any help from the white witch, it was just too against her nature to ignore her sister regardless of the pain she tore her heart into.
Fariah watched in familiar fear as her sisters eyes flashed to that unnatural yellow, like it had all those years ago when she attacked her. This time though, it was not in rage, it was as if her passion that she clearly felt in her heart, brought her beast forward.
"Aurora, this does not-"
"Fariah, please!" The urgency and pain in her sisters voice stopped her from talking and suddenly a tear slipped from her eye, maybe she did care after all. "There is not much time left for me."
All she could do was nod numbly, both sisters were crying now, and as if sensing the torment between the two of them, the baby stirred and started to wail. Fariah lifted a finger to stroke the infant's cheek, rocking back and forth to soothe its heartbreaking cries. The feeling of her sister slumping weakly into her lap brought more tears to her eyes but she refused to let them fall since she was actually getting the baby to stop crying.
She wasn't sure how long she stayed on the ground of her hut before she felt her sister draw in her last painful breath, but her legs were numb and she was sure her own heart was dead. A new sharp pain ripped it's way through her stomach, and had it not been for the sleeping babe in her arms, Fariah was sure she would have screamed till her voice gave out.
Nothing about the life of a beast made sense to her, her sister was the only one who would know those answers, but now she laid dead in her lap and her babe slept in her arms. The warmth from the tiny infant spurred her sorrow into a new determination though and she gently shifted her sister to the ground while getting up. Using her best fur blanket, she swaddled the baby up in it and then rested it in the basket she usually used to gather her herbs in.
There was no way she was going to let an innocent child be raised in the world of monsters. Though it was not her own daughter, she would raise it like it was, but in the ways of her true family. It was very possible the child could have inherited her mother white powers before she threw them all away to be a monster.
A numbing feeling grew from her legs and wrapped it's way around her heart, it would not let her breathe properly. So she wasn't sure how she continued to move around with her sisters instructions ringing clearly through her head.
Soon she had carried her sister out past her home to a small clearing where she gathered a lot of her firewood that she was planning on using for the winter weather. When she laid the body down, she leaned with it to kiss between her eyes, and something caught her attention. Gently, she took off the small pendant that rested on her sisters lifeless chest, it was a small stone of amber tied to a silver chain, she remembered it as one of the many gifts Aurora boasted about getting from that awful beast. Not that she wanted to keep it, their child would most likely fare better with having something that both her mother and father touched.
"Rest peacefully, my sweet sister, I will raise her as my own." Tears threatened to spill again but she tucked away the necklace and went back to the basket where the small baby was tucked away safely.
Scooping her up into her arms, she cradled the baby close to her breast and rocked her soothingly. Fariah didn't want to wake her, so from where she stood, she whispered a small incantation and flames suddenly sparked from the bottom of the wood pile. When it caught and grew, soon she could see nothing but flames, her sisters body disappearing behind the wall of fire.
The stench of burning flesh stung her eyes, and she quickly turned away from the pyre, struggling with her heavy footsteps as she walked back to her small hut. Sensing her distress again, the girls round innocent eyes opened and she began to wail, mirroring her own pain that she felt tearing at her heart.
"Shh little one." It occurred to her then that her sister failed to give her the name of her daughter and once they were inside the safety of her home, she paced back and forth deep in thought.
Then, the perfect name struck her like lightening, and it just made sense to give her Aurora's second name.
"There there, my sweet Sybille." Cooing gently, the tiny babe seemed satisfied with the name cause her cries finally subsided and she stared up at her with a stunning color in them.
Though she had never seen her fathers eyes, she was memorized by the deep forest green they were, like the summer's leaves on an oak tree. The only thing that seemed to have her mother's family gene in them, was the golden flecks that swirled around in her irises.
Warmth filled the pain in her heart as she lovingly looked into eyes of her deceased sister's child, it seemed so easy that she would love this baby with all her heart already.