The Witch End

Madhu’s eighteenth birthday was only a few days away. She had already read all of her aunt’s grimoires five times. She had sorted all the magics from her most favorite to least favorite. She had picked her specialty, imagined her familiar in great detail, and started on a draft of her own grimoire. It wasn’t a grimoire yet, it was more like a journal containing all her favorite spells, experiments she hoped to perform to modify some of her most hated spells and ideas for spells she would like to invent. She was ready!

She stayed at her aunt’s house the night before the initiation. She wasn’t nervous. She was confident in her abilities, but she was melancholic; if only her parents had been there. But like everything else in Madhu’s life, her magic was also something she never shared with them. It would be one thing if her parents were indifferent. They were constantly expressing their disappointment in her. There had been nothing Madhu could do right. Her mother found something to criticize, and something was always lacking in her. She had tried sharing herself with them but it had made her mother very angry. It was clear she was unhappy with the woman her daughter was becoming. So Madhu had just stopped including them in her life.

She had no trouble falling asleep. She dreamed of horses flying in the sky, thick forests covered in golden flowers and rainbows that ended with purple rivers flowing out of them.

Madhu was dressed in her favorite red saree with a black sequin border. Her blouse was a double color of red and black that changed based on her mood – her aunt had enchanted it for her. She draped the deep purple robe over her saree and pulled up the hood. She couldn’t wait until she would be allowed to swap her robe for the black tiara with the purple diamond embedded in it.

No one was surprised when Madhu cleared the written exam in half the time, no one was surprised when she aced the oral exam and no one was surprised when she was able to go through the test spells seamlessly. But words and actions aren’t the only ingredients for a powerful witch. Heart and soul are just as important. Now was the time for the final test – this was something you couldn’t prepare for, not something you learn but something that should come from deep within you.

Her task was to give up the one memory that had caused her the deepest hurt. The memory that had cracked her soul and broken her heart – the one memory that she had never shared before. A personal story that would show the depth of her pain and misery, the one that had driven her to revenge.

Madhu was one step away from being able to avenge herself, to find the peace she so longed for, to feel the power in her body that had left her a few years ago. All she needed to do was bare her heart and be vulnerable. Share with the room of strangers the shame and disgust she felt. She shed the guilt, let her wound bleed, and finally broke down the dam built in her soul.

<The Assault – left unsaid on purpose>

Madhu stood there sweating in her purple robe. Everything around her was blurry because of the starlight and the tears in her eyes. She was panting as though she had run a marathon. She felt raw – but did not feel the peace her aunt had promised. She felt all her scars burning, her heart on fire. She continued to feel the shame and guilt. She was preoccupied with the sea of emotions in her. She barely registered the Great Witch approaching her. She didn’t notice her robe being pulled off, and it wasn’t until the Great Witch took her face in her hands that Madhu came back to her reality.

She was looking at the kindest face she had ever seen. The eyes were sparkling green filled with pride and joy. Tears continued to flow down Madhu’s face, and the Great Witch enchanted them, so they turned into tiny feathers as they left her eyes. With Madhu’s face in her hands, the Great Witch said – “Be your own good mother.” The Sister brought a box to the witch, who motioned for Madhu to open it.

This was the moment Madhu had been waiting for – the tiara was finally hers, she would have the power, have magic flow in her veins, and could feel the air around her change. Madhu opened the box, and instead of the tiara, she beheld the head of the doctor that had assaulted her.

That’s when she felt the peace wash over her, her wounds closed, her heart healed, and she looked at the Great Witch who simply smiled a radiant smile. Her aunt was there holding her, and Madhu broke down. She cried for what felt like hours and the strangers in the room, no longer strangers but her family, stood by her holding her in their love. Madhu wiped the tears, hugged her aunt, and she conjured for herself a black tiara with a purple diamond embedded in it.

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