I shielded my eyes from the sunbeam hitting them directly from between two of the witches silhouetting my bedroom window and wiped the sleep dust from my eyes. Yep, definitely not a dream. They were all there, all five of them in assorted outfits.
The young woman in the neo-goth outfit with a purple streak in her hair rolled her eyes. “Ugh, god. This is why we tell you not to go out alone, Catpurrnicus.” She scolded the green-eyed cat sitting smugly in the arms of the witch who was clearly their leader. The cat meowed back angrily.
“Your cat’s name is—”
“Now, dear,” the leading woman, who appeared to be in her late thirties, said. “As I’ve told you, Catpurrnicus here has taken a liking to you, so doll yourself up quick as you can. We’ll wait outside if you’re shy.”
My brain was totally blank. All it came up with in the moment was that I was in my underwear, so I pulled the blanket closer around myself.
“Why does it look like it caught its child doing LSD?” the purple-haired one took out a pair of exasperated hands from the pockets of her leather jacket.
“Stella!” the one in the pink-and-yellow summer dress decried. “Give the new recruit some time. And don’t use the word ‘it’, it’s rude.” Stella tsked it away.
“But… but… you people are witches.” I repeated dumbly.
Stella facepalmed. The leader witch handed the cat to the bespectacled one in a tshirt and jeans and straightened her black robe. I realised she was the only one wearing a proper ‘witchy’ outfit.
“Now, let me repeat that for you, dearie. It seems you didn’t quite get it in the first explanation. Now don’t let that make you feel bad about yourself, dear, because I’ve seen the slowest learners become the most skilled ones around. We are witches, and witches are people who practice magic, which is like science but more mysterious and powerful and less… exasperatingly cognitive.
“Catpurrnicus here went out alone last night, got run over by a bicycle, as he tells me, and you, dear, were the one who so kindly healed him and took care of him. Now he’s grown fond of you and wants to adopt you, so you’ll come with us and become a part of the family.”
A cat wanted to adopt me so a bunch of witches had turned up at my bed to make me a witch. A sentence I never thought I’d think.
“But… you people seem like an all-girls club, and I’m a boy.”
“You cis?” the Latina in the LBD and high heels spoke.
“I’m asking you, my precious Einstein, are you a cisgender male?”
Her red-lipsticked mouth bent into a frown. “What about het? Are you heterosexual?”
“What does that have to do with—”
“Just answer the question.”
“I’m… uh… bisexual, actually. I’m not ready yet, please don’t—”
The frown instantly changed into an ear-to-ear grin and she clapped her hands, delighted. “Estupendo! That means you can be a part of the family.”
“I’m sorry, what?”
“Camila means everybody apart from cishet males is allowed to be a witch,” the bespectacled one informed me quietly.
“Just say humans who aren’t trash, Isha,” Camila said. I noticed Isha redden slightly.
“Hey, no phobic statements.” summer-dress girl warned.
“Jenny, Jenny, Jenny. You’ve got to stop being so kind to them.” She said ‘them’ as if she was talking about a rotten apple.
I jumped in before Jenny could reply and it turned into an argument I’d heard a hundred times before. “But why do you exclude cishet men from your club?”
The leader witch stopped Camila in between. “We know all of them aren’t bad people, dear. But we’ve observed what a lot of them do without magic, so we don’t want to risk teaching magic to one, that’s all.”
“That’s… kind of…”
“I told you so!” Jenny said before I could finish. “Isha came up with this whole test idea, and I suggested the interview, but you don’t want to listen.”
Stella let out a huge cloud of a sigh and looked at her watch. “Can we get going? We’ll brief the punk on the details later. My candor potion’s gonna overbrew.”
“No one told you to come,” Jenny said.
“Magistera Seleni threatened to make my bike disappear if I didn’t come,” her voice leaked out some of her suppressed anger as she glanced at the leader witch.
“Okay, okay, girls, let’s not point fingers here and make… what’s your name, dear?”
“Yes, let’s not make Alex uncomfortable before we’ve even got him to the Shack, okay? Now, dear, we’ll all go outside and wait for you to get ready.”
“Not too long,” Stella said. “This is all because of you, Catpurrnicus,” she whispered. The cat hissed angrily back.
The five witches filed out of the room, leaving me still baffled.
As you can see, this is the first part of a two-part story inspired by the prompt in the beginning. I’ve been out of tune with my writing groove for a while now, so I decided to just pick a prompt from this very famous writing prompts page and improvise. What came out was… subtly personal. Of course, you won’t recognise the subtly personal part, dear reader, but I do, and that’s what matters. It also means more content on this blog from now on, so it’s a win-win, right? I didn’t want to leave the story here because I wanted to write something spec-fic and adventurous, but I’m also tired now because today was Holi (Happy Holi to all of you, by the way) so it’s gonna happen in the second part.
Also, I’d like to take this note as an opportunity to announce that I’ll be participating in NaPoWriMo this April! So you’ll (hopefully) see a new poem each day for the next month. I’ve already scheduled the one for 1st April, and boy howdy did it feel great to schedule a post after so long. I’m also gonna take NaPoWriMo as a chance to explore different genres of poetry; so on every third day, I’ll try out a new form of poetry, e.g. a sonnet, a villainelle, and so on. So, if I’m totally regular, at the end of April I will have written twenty regular freestyle-verse poems and ten poems in ten different forms. I know this blog isn’t famous, but I’m still gonna say it— do let me know in the comments below if there’s a poetic form you’d like to see me try my hand at.