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My story and poem entries for WDC's 2017 GoT challenge.
#917320 added August 11, 2017 at 12:29pm
Restrictions: None
Writing Challenge, Week 2, Prompt 1: The Witch
Elizabeth leaned closer to her computer screen, her eyes riveted upon the words before her. The clan website told her more than she had ever expected to learn when she decided to take an interest in her family's ancestry. Her eyes scanned the page quickly, her lips moving subtly to form each word.

An ancestor, one who shared her own name, had been burned at the stake for witchcraft. It had been 1576, and Bessie had died for merely being a healer who believed in fairies at the wrong place and time. Bessie was a farmer's wife in southwestern Scotland, and her life probably would not have been written into records if not for her most unusual death.

Elizabeth was fascinated, riveted on every word she could find about Bessie. She had always hoped she might find so interesting an ancestor, but she had never realised until now just how well recorded certain branches of her family tree were. She was filled with horror, awe, and a bit of excitement as she devoured each word.

After she had read perhaps a dozen articles about Bessie's life and untimely death, Elizabeth began pulling up information about seances. She had never held much faith in such things, but she couldn't help but feel a connection to this long gone ancestor she shared a name with. Perhaps it was because she had always been interested in witch trials as a child.

After a few minutes of Googling, Elizabeth came across what she was looking for. Cordelia's House of Mystics offered palm reading, fortune telling, various odds and ends, and seances. Elizabeth smiled contentedly at the screen, and booked an appointment for a seance through the website.

The next morning, Elizabeth headed to Cordelia's, her stomach little more than a ball of nerves. She had never gone to a seance, she had never even used a Ouija board, so she wasn't entirely certain what to expect when she arrived.

Cordelia's had tidy shelves filled with books and assorted odds and ends, and the entire front room smelled of patchouli incense. Cordelia was an elderly woman with dangling earrings and a colourful shawl who greeted Elizabeth warmly, with a tight hug that was a bit too close for her comfort. There was a much younger woman at the shop's counter to attend to things there as Cordelia pulled Elizabeth into the back room.

The room was lit with gas lamps and candles, and heavy crimson drapes lined the walls. They both sat across from each other at a small round table. Elizabeth felt as though she had entered a film set. Cordelia spoke very little as Elizabeth explained who her ancestor was, merely nodding her head throughout Elizabeth's long-winded explanation.

Lighting some sage with a match, Cordelia grasped both of Elizabeth's hands in hers. Cordelia began to chant in a language that Elizabeth didn't recognise, her soft, husky voice at barely more than a whisper but managing to fill every corner of the room. The chanting grew in volume. Elizabeth began to recognise repeated patterns in the chants and could hear Bessie's name being mentioned throughout.

The chanting stopped. Cordelia's eyes seemed vacant for only a moment, and then they rolled back into her head. The words that came out of her mouth were in what sounded like Scottish Gaelic, and Elizabeth couldn't understand, but she leaned in closely.

Then Cordelia said, in a heavy Scottish accent, "You have freed me, and given me form once again. I will change over to your body momentarily, to honour you for returning me to this earth. Together we shall complete Satan's work, and we shall receive vengeance for the fire that took me."

Elizabeth felt as though her body had been submerged in water as Bessie entered her. She lost full control of her movements, as Bessie grabbed the matches, and lit the table cloth, before exiting the room with confidence.

Elizabeth wasn't sure where she ended and Bessie began as she felt her whole body flood with satisfaction as the room behind them burned.

Word count: 678

Note: This was loosely inspired by my actual research of my ancestry. I actually do have an ancestor named Bessie who was burned at the stake for witchcraft in the sixteenth century! This is through my paternal grandmother's lineage. The seance portion is obviously pure fiction, but the concept of her worshiping Satan is based upon the idea at the time that witches were satanic.
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