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Solitary Witchling

Solitary Witchling

Jacqueline Paige - J Risk

Last update: 2021-07-31

Chapter 1

  • The sun peeked through the branches heavy with large green leaves on the old maple tree. The rays’ scattered appearance made it seem as if it were raining sunshine. A light, gentle mist of sunlight sprinkled down through the limbs.
  • Maddy chuckled to herself. “Your head needs to be clear for your lessons, Witchling Darcy,” she mimicked Professor Galt’s deep voice.
  • Sighing, she pulled her long hair from what was left of her ponytail. Everyone knew she was way beyond the age of a witchling. Maybe that was the real reason Maddy avoided large magical functions. To be labelled a witchling at her age was embarrassing.
  • She sighed again and flipped the red hair behind her. Red hair. When someone says the color red you think red car, red apple—but red hair doesn’t mean red. It usually means something between carrot and rust. So why is it called red hair?
  • Never mind Maddy. I suppose red is better than any alternative. Her hair wasn’t straight or wavy or naturally curly, it wasn’t even full of body—it was straight with odd kinky sections, like it wanted to be wavy but didn’t have the energy. No matter what she tried, it always looked messy.
  • Oh, you’re feeling quite down on yourself today aren’t you Ramada Darcy? Glancing up she noticed the sunlight was no longer raining through the leaves.
  • “I can’t hide in my backyard forever.” She stood up and brushed off her jeans. Turning to face the aged bark on the tree she grimaced, not wanting to go.
  • “I’m ready tree.” She placed her palm against the bark and felt the familiar movement. “To Hidden Cove please.” Without hesitation Maddy stepped towards the tree—by the next step she was in the hallway near the side entrance to Hidden Cove Academy. She glanced at her watch and hissed. “I’m late again.”
  • Knowing she had to reach the other end of the large building, she spun around the corner and jogged in the direction of the classrooms. Going a little too fast around the last corner she slid to a stop and bounced right into the one person she’d hoped to avoid always.
  • “Witchling Darcy, do you know how dangerous it can be to run around? Especially running around in such an institute as Hidden Cove? One day you’re going to run right into a spell shield or slide into the middle of someone casting—”
  • “I’m sorry Professor Galt. I realized I was late, well too late and then I had to go back because I’d forgotten my, uh, wand—which turned out to be in my bag all the time—don’t you hate when that happens?” She took a deep breath, trying not to look down into the puffy eyes glaring up at her. “You search, not once but three times—”
  • The pudgy older woman raised her hand to stop her. Maddy stopped.
  • “You know—Ramada—we have to do your lessons after hours or when the general population of the institute is dismissed—”
  • She sighed. “I know Professor. I’m just — just tired of being...”
  • “Maddy. I was beginning to think you’d forgotten.”
  • She turned to see the tall blonde professor in the archway of the connecting hall. Professor Wist always looked more like a model than a spell professor. “I didn’t forget, just running a little late, again.”
  • Ginger Wist walked towards them. “Is there a problem Professor Galt?”
  • The older woman wrinkled up her nose. “She was running through the halls like it was a racetrack.”
  • Ginger laughed. “I think Maddy is a bit old for scolding, don’t you think?”
  • Maddy tried not to grin. Everyone knew she was the same age as the blonde professor coming to her rescue, once again.
  • Ginger grinned at her. “You can wait in the classroom Maddy, I’ll be there shortly.”
  • Nodding, Maddy used her long legs to remove herself from Professor Galt’s glare. She stopped outside the door to Ginger’s classroom and listened. Their conversation echoed through the empty wooden halls.
  • “You really have to stop treating her like she’s a first year witchling, Regina. She’s the same age as me for the love of the Goddess!”
  • Maddy gave a thumbs up to no one and leaned against the door waiting for Regina’s reply. “I am well aware of how old Miss Darcy is Ginger. I’ve known her since she was a girl of twelve and started her first year at Hidden Cove—”
  • Had she really been coming here for fifteen years? Maddy frowned. Maybe just another ten and she’d reach coven status. She strained to hear more of what was being said.
  • “She was our brightest student Ginger, it still bothers me we were never able to help her—”
  • Was that compassion she heard in her oldest professor’s voice? Ginger’s soft voice floated down the hallway.
  • “I know. I’ve read all the files Regina. She was brilliant in all areas until she was fifteen when her mother passed on. The files clearly state, her eyes changed from green to turquoise at that point stating obviously—”
  • “I’m well aware of what the files say Ms. Wist. I wrote most of them. Her eye color shows a curse has been placed on her. Why we haven’t been able to trace the origin is still a mystery—”
  • She stopped listening and stepped into the classroom. Her running shoes made soft claps against the floor and echoed through the room. She set her bag down on the desk and leaned against it. “That’s me. The twenty-seven-year-old cursed witchling...”
  • “Which you’re really getting quite good at working around Maddy.”
  • Maddy glanced over to find Ginger leaning against the door. “I know, but not good enough to lose the witchling title or be safe to practice in populated areas.”
  • Ginger shrugged, “In my experience you can have more fun in the unpopulated areas.”
  • “I’d be kicked out and you’d be terminated if anyone ever found out what we really do in here,” Maddy laughed.
  • Ginger closed the door and grinned. “It’s only your abilities that are hindered, not your maturity and intelligence. I refuse to teach you the schoolyard tricks that a normal young witchling at your supposed level would learn.” She walked over and pulled a weathered volume from one of the shelves. “How did you do with the last volume I gave you?”
  • Maddy shrugged and pulled the loaned text out of her bag. “Okay. I didn’t have any problems reversing my thoughts and getting them to work out properly.” She frowned and set the book down. “I always make sure whiskers is nowhere to be found when I practise.”
  • Ginger flipped through the text. “How is Whiskers these days?”
  • Maddy pulled her hair back from her face. “She’s as indignant as always. She’s going to make me pay for that botched spell forever—even though she’s happy with the outcome.”
  • Ginger held out the text. “Cats can hold a grudge for a very long time. Can you blame her?”
  • Maddy took the old dusty book and browsed the contents page. “No, I guess not.” She tapped a finger on the page she held opened. “These are several levels beyond advanced Ginger. Are you sure I can pull this off without blowing anything up?”
  • Ginger studied her for a moment. “I know you can. I’ve seen you do things no one else could ever manage. Working a spell or casting is ninety percent mind set and desired outcome. No one else I know could ever achieve that while having to think of the exact opposite of that outcome.”
  • Maddy set the book down and pulled out her notebook. “Well as you know, it’s been a lot of trial and error—really, really heavy on the error part.”
  • Ginger rubbed the small scar on her neck that was barely visible now, and took a deep breath. “I know, but I have faith in you.” She clasped her hands together and grinned. “Let’s try the illusion casting. I spent four hours today trying to teach thirteen year olds how to levitate small items and I need something more interesting now.”
  • Maddy nodded as she flipped to the page. “Boys making skirt hems levitate?”
  • Ginger sighed. “Yes and the skirt’s owner retaliated with a levitating book to the head.”
  • Maddy laughed. “I could never be a professor.”
  • Ginger went over and selected an empty clear dish. “I don’t know how I do it sometimes.” Picking up a few vials from her shelf, she went back to the desk.
  • Maddy pushed up the sleeves of her sweatshirt. “Me either. Sometimes I’m happy that I’m backwards, so the council can’t stick me in a job like yours.”
  • “Well backwards one, add the ingredients to this dish and show me some fantastic illusion to take me away from reality please.” Ginger set the dish down and perched on the edge of a desk.
  • Maddy searched through the small bottles and selected one, pulling the stopper out, she placed a few drops of the oil into the dish. “Let’s see what I can think of not to happen.”