[Story] Story a Week 1

[[ This year, I am using this book: Story Prompts That Work by Carly Berg . It has 52 prompts so it’s great for a weekly challenge!

Prompt: A Dream.

Originally I was going to invent a fictional dream, but it just happened that I had one this morning and remembered to jot down notes. It doesn’t make much sense because, well, it’s a dream… ]]

We could see the witch walking along the beach, her wispy white dress tossed by the wind. She sought us, yet she moved with a casual and easy grace. We’d disturbed her house — it was an accident, of course. If we’d known it was a witch’s house, we would have never gone near it. And it hadn’t been on purpose that we’d trod over the patterns in the sand, we just hadn’t noticed them while we were jogging over the beach. She didn’t look like a witch, at least, the image we all had of a witch. She wasn’t old, or hunched over, her skin wasn’t green and she didn’t have any warts that we could see, anyway. But we knew, somehow, and we knew as well that we had to get away, had to hide — if it did any good at all.

One of the beach cabins was abandoned, its doors and windows open to the elements. Sand had blown in over the floor, and the wood was bleached white by the sun and wind. Little more than an empty box, but it was the only shelter in sight. We crouched in the corner, silent, watching the witch through the gaps in the wood. Holding our breath as if she could hear it, even from this distance, above the crash of waves and the cries of sea-birds.

She’d already found one of us. He was still alive, but he couldn’t walk. Instead he crawled, pulling himself over the sand, the saltwater stinging his wounds. We all secretly hoped that he wasn’t coming toward us, leading the witch to our hiding place. He was already lost to us, already we were willing to accept his sacrifice so the rest of us might escape her wrath.

Fear held us by the throat as she approached the abandoned beach-house. Her eyes roamed over it, over us. She was actually quite beautiful; her long hair was dark and full of ringlets, falling down past her shoulders. Her eyes, though intense, betrayed nothing of her true nature. Perhaps that was all calculated, a plan to help her ensnare unwary prey. She didn’t enter our hiding place. None of us knew why. But frozen with fear, we still could not run. She might see us. Maybe she meant to save us for later, as a spider will allow a fly to struggle on the web before wrapping it in silk.

From the dunes strode a tall bearded man, worn by the beach as the house had been. He looked as if he belonged here, and the witch recognized him too. She turned as she saw him, and retreated back into the surf, the waves lapping over the dark ripples of her hair. Behind the man came a lion, though the beast was in poor condition. Its mane had been either been shorn or fallen out, either way it had a ragged appearance, and the animal’s body itself was thin and ribby. Its fur was patchy and hardly seemed to cover the sharp angles of its bones. But even so, it made us feel safer to see it, knew that it would protect us from the witch.

Still shaking, we stood and brushed off the sand, following the bearded man to safety. We didn’t look back to see what had become of our friend.

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