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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2263768
Paranormal Romance Short Story Contest Entry December 2021 - 3rd Place
Visi stood a few feet from the forest edge watching him.

He is so...so...human.

She is a witch.

Not good.

She didn't understand why she was even there, watching him. Seriously. She's known Brad since they were children, they played together, his parents owned the local stables. They were best friends.

Things had changed recently though, she was different somehow, she felt awkward around him, uncomfortable. Her friend, Fela, says it's because her feelings for Brad have changed. Grown into something more. How was that even possible? Surely she would have known, they were her feelings after all.

Standing in the shadows at the forest edge, confident she couldn't be seen, she studied him more closely.

He and several other boys were practicing their hand-to-hand combat techniques in the open field. Brad stood facing his opponent, and her, his shirt off, sweat glistening on well-toned muscles. The same golden hair, a bit long, like he has always had. She could not see his eyes from where she stood but she knew they were a most intriguing dark blue with bits of purple sparkles when he laughed. His nose was pleasingly straight and only slightly plump. His chin was strong and square. He had the form of an athlete, large square shoulders, a small trim waist, strong thick legs. She looked back at his face just as a small smile crossed his lips, he knew he had his opponent. Visi has seen that smile before. His hair was tousled which only added to his ruggedly handsome features...

"Oh, no! Fela is right!" Her eyes widened as warmth spread across her cheeks.

Just then Brad tossed his opponent to the ground, apparently winning the round as he raised his arm in the air. Then, he looked directly at her and winked.

Visi turned and fled into the woods, her face on fire.

She stepped out of the forest near her home and ran smack into Fela sending them both sprawling.

"Visi!", Fela gasped, "where have you been? I have news!"

Visi looked at her friend, not yet trusting her voice, turned out it didn't matter.

"I talked to Brad and you will never guess what he said! Never!", not coming up for air or bothering to stand Fela continued, "he likes you too! Not just as friends but more! A lot more! He knows it's frowned upon, that's why he never said anything, but now that he knows you feel the same..."

A low growl from Visi made Fela stop her chatter in mid-sentence.

Now the heat burning Visi's cheeks came from an entirely different emotion. "YOU. DID. WHAT?!"

Sparks crackled between them.

Fela churned up a cloud of leaves and twigs as she scurried backward. "Visi, please, I...I..."

Visi's mother burst out the front door of their home, "VISI! Stop!"

Her mother ushered Fela into the house, leaving Visi sitting on the ground attempting to regain control.

A teenage witch was a dangerous thing. All that power given to a being with raging hormones, unpredictable mood swings, and uncontrolled emotions.

Visi knew this. Right now the knowledge was totally useless. She felt humiliated, embarrassed, angry, and knowing that she really needed to regain control of her emotions was not helping.

Giving up she stood and ran into the woods. She didn't get very far before running smack into Brad and finding herself on the ground once again.

Brad was chuckling as he sat up, "Visi, why'd you run away? I wanted to talk to you!".

"I love you Visi! I don't know why I didn't say it sooner or even know it sooner, but it's true! I love you more than anything!" He sat there staring at her with a silly smile on his face going on and on about his undying love.

Visi sat on the ground staring at him with her mouth hanging open.

His proclamations were starting to gain momentum when he made a little yip and flopped back onto the ground.

"Visi", her mother's soft voice came from behind her.

"He was Enthralled wasn't he?" Visi's voice wavered. When her parents started talking to her about what to expect during her teenage years - the unexpected magic, the out-of-control emotions - they also mentioned that some teenagers managed to accidentally Enthrall a human. An Enthralled human will profess their undying love and devotion and they will always be able to sense the person that cast the spell. whether that person intended to cast a spell or not.

Which is how he knew she was spying on him.

"Yes", replied her mother, "but in this case, it doesn't necessarily mean that he doesn't love you."

She squinted up at her mother.

"I noticed both of your attitudes changing towards one another, not just you. I'm just saying that just because you accidentally cast a spell to make him love you doesn't mean that he didn't already love you."

She took her mother's proffered hand and regained her feet.

"Fela did nothing wrong by the way. Brad approached her and proclaimed his undying love for you. She had no idea he was under a spell. You owe her an apology."

Visa sighed heavily. "What about Brad?"

"I removed the spell. He will be in a bit of a stupor for a short while. Let's help him up and get him home."

Visi took Brad's arm and headed up the trail ahead of her mother. No one would know anything was different since they usually walked with Visi hanging onto Brad's arm regaling him with some tale or tidbit for the day. At one point she dared a side long glance at her friend, he looked a bit groggy but seemed fine. As soon as they neared earshot of the edge of the woods she started chattering about her plans for an upcoming feast, it was all she could think of to talk about.

Luckily Brad's house was just a short distance from the woods. Glancing back she saw that her mother had stayed in the woods, giving them a bit of privacy. She walked him to the door, said her usual goodbyes then turned to leave.

Brad grabbed her arm. "Visi," his voice was strong, his eyes clear. Quickly he pulled her to him, kissed her fully on the lips, "your mother is right".

Brad turned and disappeared inside his house leaving Visi standing wide eyed and open mouthed on his front stoop.

Word count - 1072
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