Witch by Design

Blessed be the Mother’s Moon,
Her Rivers and her Fields;
Blessed be every Being,
That greets Nature without shields.

Penny recited the words that sealed her Initiation—and felt them all the way to her bones—but a part of her awareness was elsewhere. She was walking counterclockwise inside the circle formed by her new sisters in witchery, when she saw the silhouette of a boy flashing in and out of their circle. He was hovering in midair, but the position of his body suggested he was climbing through a small opening. A window? Penny thought. She continued to follow the boy’s actions with her mind’s eyes, until the forest disappeared behind an explosion of lightening that veiled everything but the boy and the bright red blood oozing out of his mouth, his nose and down his cheeks.

“Dear gods!” Penny’s stepmother rushed inside the circle, her arms in front of her, in an attempt to keep Penny from hitting the hard ground. “She is having a vision!”

“No, Divina, that can’t be,” said the High Priestess. “She comes from non-Witch blood—”

“Bloooooooooooood!” Penny screamed and her body convulsed. Her white-blond hair formed a dandelion-like halo around her head. Her pupils were drowned in light. “Too much blood…” She whispered before collapsing in her stepmother’s arms.

“Penny? Please come back to me.” Divina dipped the tip of her scarf in the mint, rosemary and lavender potion she always kept, in case someone fainted during a ritual. She put it under her stepdaughter’s nose. “Please Penny Baby come back to me. Your father just left for the Summerlands, I can’t handle this place without you too.” Divina held Penny against her heart, and sobbed.

Penny stirred. “Josh Proctor from school; he’s bleeding.” Penny sat up. “I think he’s dying!”

Divina looked at the girl. Not of my flesh, she thought, but so very mine. “Was it day or night when you saw him, Penny? What were you wearing in your vision?”

“You can’t be serious, Divina.” The High Priestess began to gather her ritual tools. “There are no Witches in this girl’s family. She was daydreaming if you ask me.”

Divina stood up slowly. “She is my family, Morgana.” Her voice was calmed when she spoke in front of Morgana’s face, but there was a vibration in her tone that should have told the High Priestess that she was about to enter very dark woods. “We are Baker Witches; we have made ourselves.” Divina’s attention went back to Penny. “Tell me, Penny Baby, what were you wearing? What was I wearing?”

Penny got to her feet and looked into Divina’s eyes. She had been thirteen for just one day, but she was a couple of inches taller than her stepmother. “It was night, but bright under the full moon. I was wearing this.” She pointed at her robes with both hands. “But… but I didn’t see anyone else there; just me and Josh Proctor.”

Divina had been afraid of that. “Did you help him get better, honey?”

Penny blinked slowly a couple of times. “I don’t know. I think I was chanting The Mother’s Blessing and he opened his eyes, but I can’t be sure.”

“Do you know where little Josh lives, Penny?”

“You are out of your wits, Divina!” The High Priestess aimed an index finger at Divina’s chest. “I come from five generations of Witches and I can’t see clear visions. Even if I did, I wouldn’t help those bigots. They deserve nothing from us.”

Divina lowered the High Priestess’s finger with one hand, and pulled Penny closer to her body with the other. “She is not you, Morgana. And I advise you to reexamine your words and actions before making accusations.” Divina and Penny stepped out of the circle, a few Witches followed.

“That is the house.” Penny pointed toward a small Victorian with red, white and blue shutters.

“Okay honey.” Divina held Penny’s face in her hands. “I know it’s really late, but the poor boy can be in trouble. You were alone in your vision, so you should be alone when you go to the house.” Divina looked at the five Witches who had accompanied her. She breathed easier when they nodded their approval. “If things don’t happen exactly like in the vision, don’t panic; that’s normal.” She hugged Penny. “Go ring the bell and let things play out; remember my words.” She kissed the teenage girl’s cheeks and head, and the other Witches did the same.

Divina walked backwards into the woods. She kept her eyes on every step Penny took. She hid behind a large oak when she saw her stepdaughter lift a hand toward the doorbell.

Penny had been waiting for a few minutes before she heard steps walking down a stairwell. She thought about Divina’s words. There are times when we are forced to deceive the blind, in order to help them see what’s in front of them.

The shape of Mr. Proctor in green pajama bottoms and a too tight t-shirt stretching the phrase ‘Not as mean, not as lean, but still a Marine!’ stood in front of Penny. The older man’s eyes widened, and he put his shotgun on the floor. “MaryJoe!” Mr. Proctor shouted. “Come down here. Hurry! It’s the Baker girl.”

MaryJoe appeared in less than a second; her hair as wild as the expression on her face. “Dear God!” MaryJoe hugged Penny. “Sweet child we thought you were taken and—”

Brian, Josh’s best friend, stormed down the stairs and into the foyer. “Mr. Proctor, Josh fell out the window!”

Mr. Proctor ran out the door with MaryJoe shrieking after him, and Penny by her side.

Penny stopped when she saw Josh. His eyes were closed. There was blood coming out of his nose and mouth. “Bloooooooooooood!” She screamed. “That’s too much blood, Mr. Proctor, don’t move him!”

Mr. Proctor looked back and forth from his unconscious son to his big hands. “MaryJoe?” His voice trembled with doubt.

“My baby!” MaryJoe knelt by Josh’s head. “Oh God, my baby!”

Penny joined them and sat crossed legged by Josh’s right side, facing Mr. Proctor. “Give me your hands,” she offered her small opened hands to the grieving parents. They looked at her as if not understanding. “Please, trust me, give me your hands and pray. I can help Josh.” The parents held Penny’s hands and she chanted.  

 Blessed be the Mother’s Moon,
Her Rivers and her Fields;
Blessed be every Being,
That greets Nature without shields.

The light of the moon was heightened by lightening. The treetops sang as the night rain danced on every leaf, and on Penny’s skin. She didn’t stop chanting. The Proctors didn’t stop praying. Josh coughed and opened his eyes. MaryJoe reached for his head.

“Don’t move him, ma’am,” Penny warned. “Nature helped us with his awakening, but something might still be broken.”

MaryJoe looked at Penny, her eyes red from crying. “Thank you child.” She caressed Josh’s hair.

“She’s a damned witch!” Brian threw a big rock that would have hit Penny on the side of the head, if Divina wouldn’t have appeared out of nowhere to catch it. Brian snarled at Divina. “Theyre all witches!” He spat on the ground.

Mr. Proctor got to his feet. “She saved my son. She’s good people. I don’t care what she is.”

“You gonna burn Proctors,” Brian’s face reddened and his 12-year-old fists shook. “You gonna burn with the damned!” He spat, twice, on the Proctors’ porch before walking into the darkness. No one followed.

Written for a contest hosted by Polly Taskey 

Circle of Protection, by Patricia Birkholz


  1. Wonderful read. Still freaks me out when I see my name anywhere but on my driver's license lol. I have been called a "damned witch" before though, so that made me chuckle.

  2. Magaly, this is a powerful read! The little girl being judged that she wasn't a witch and then judged that she was a witch! Lucky she had Divina! So many people are judged for no reason! I've always said it's your soul, your being, that counts, not anything else! Blessings my friend ;o)

  3. Penny - This is weird, but the first time I read the Polly's story your image came to my mind. I wondered "How would Penny look with white-blond hair?"

    Magic Love Crow - Stacy darling, I couldn't have expressed my feelings about the entire issue in better words...

  4. Yes, oh yes, Stacy said it perfect!!! Thanks so much for sharing this story, its absolutely beautiful!!! Deb

  5. Hello my dear Magaly! I hope you are doing well. I tried yesterday leaving a comment here but the Gods were against it.
    I laughed so hard with your audit story! I wish i could have been like that during mine.
    I read your previous post, and last week i have been thinking of making my own dreamcatcher. I am not very crafty so it could go really wrong! But i thought it would be really cool to make it with my choice of threads, feathers and crystalls!
    Brightest blessings!

  6. Super wow! What an amazing follow up, Magaly. I love the pureness of Divina's love for her stepdaughter and her faith in the fact that the child spoke the truth. Such realism - judgement by both sides and both fail to look within Penny.

    Also, I am having a giveaway. You can check it out on my sidebar if you are interested. Hugs, sweetie!

  7. Great story, I am thinking Brian pushed him out of the window.

    Magaly, this is my favorite blog...keep it coming.

  8. Geckostone - She is a sweet thinker, isn't she?

    GreekWitch - You would probably dislike their annoyed looks as much as I do lol. I JUST made a dreamcatcher and is keeping guard by my door. I had great happy dreams last night ;-)

    Mina - It's all about truth and balance ;-)

    Lilac - Yay! Glad you liked it. Brian sounds like such a little jerk, you are probably right...

  9. Powerful read...so much good came from her being a witch, but Brian only saw the bad in his head... sad...looking forward to part II

  10. Judy - I think, it's terrible how people focus on the ugly. And when sometimes there is not even any ugly to point out, some just go ahead and make it up--sad indeed. I live for those moment when we, a person sees the light that makes them go "Oh my! I didn't know there was any good in it."

    I really loved Polly's theme, and I am so glad she asks us to continue Penny's story; who knows, I might write another part...

  11. Absolutely fabulous Magaly! I love how you've tied in the "Witch by Design" title with "Pagan by Design". Your reference to the Marine (Mr. Proctor) reminds me of a few people I know.

    Weaving in the reality of "what Witches do" is awesome! No question that your continuation of "The Witches Grove" is named winner! Look for an email in the next few days. :)

    I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get our Internet hooked up at the new house and get online. I've run myself ragged and now sick with Bronchitis. Off to give my old worn out body a rest.


  12. Green Witch - Poor baby, you are sick! I figured you were busy getting the house together. I'm still fixing things and I didn't even move a whole lot of things. You get some rest; we need you at 100%, dear one.

    And wooohooo! I won! I don't feel that Penny, Josh and Brian's story is finished, so I'll probably add a third part in the coming weeks. I'll let you know.

    Again, take care of you!

  13. Green Witch - Poor baby, you are sick! I figured you were busy getting the house together. I'm still fixing things and I didn't even move a whole lot of things. You get some rest; we need you at 100%, dear one.

    And wooohooo! I won! I don't feel that Penny, Josh and Brian's story is finished, so I'll probably add a third part in the coming weeks. I'll let you know.

    Again, take care of you!

  14. Replies
    1. Oh wow, I hadn't read "Witch by Design" in three years. I forgot how much I liked it, lol. I think I will make it into a full story--you know, fill in the holes left by the fact that it was written to complement an already existing story. Maybe write a scene or two about what happened next... ;-)