In the village of Arcanos, babies born on the night of a full moon became witches. They all manifested a special power, each unique and everlasting. On a particularly windy and snowy night, a little witch named Timora was born.
Timora was gifted the power of thought. With a swish of her wand, she could fill the minds of the villagers with whatever she saw lurking inside them. The baker questioned if he had left bread burning in the oven, the butcher wondered whether she smelt of blood, and the traveling circus suddenly became cognizant of every frown in the audience.
Timora’s power swelled especially at night, as the townspeople were getting ready to sleep. Her magical thoughts danced through windowpanes and brains, swirling as the snow whirled to and fro. She would clap her hands in glee as the villagers let out a plea. Timora was promptly banished to a cottage in the woods.
Only one person volunteered to go with her, a young lady by the name of Edelweiss. As a painter, Edelweiss relied on Timora’s magic to fuel her brain with dark inspiration. And so the pair went off to start a life together away from the village.
Edelweiss and Timora’s cottage sparkled with color and abundance. Oil and watercolor adorned the walls at a perilous speed. They were happy, but only for a moment. As the years went on, Edelweiss began to grow pale and listless. She could no longer paint, as her hands kept shaking. Dust collected on her once vibrant work. Eventually, she was confined to her bed.
“Why are you ill, my dearest?” asked Timora, her eyes trembling.
“I am ill for the same reason you are not. Your magic fills us with worry and fear. It’s eaten away at my heart,” Edelweiss replied.
Timora clenched her jaw. “I worry and fear because I care!”
“Thank you for caring, but I just want to rest now.”
Edelweiss fell asleep and did not wake up for a long time. The little witch was now alone for the first time in her life.
With each passing day of solitude, Timora’s power faded. It seemed her magic was too dependent on others. When Edelweiss finally awoke, she was surprised to find that Timora was gone. Edelweiss basked in the glorious emptiness.
Edelweiss soon felt strong enough to paint again, and picked up her brush. She splashed the canvas with vermillion and chartreuse, lighting up the cottage with her laughter. It was fun; how could she have forgotten how fun it was? As if in response, a bolt of nervousness ran through her.
“This painting isn’t nearly as good as the others.”
Edelweiss paused in horror. A remnant of Timora’s magic had been lodged in her head. But it was her head, and her magic now.
“Thank you for caring, but I am busy now,” Edelweiss said.
She finished her painting that day. The next day, she cleaned her room and made pie. One year later, Edelweiss ventured back to the village, paintbrush in one hand and wand in the other. The friends and family she had left behind were still there, waiting to love her again. They made much better painting companions than Timora. And so Edelweiss went to start a life together with the village.
The bit of magic inside Edelweiss never truly went away, but she knew that buried within, was a friend. Things were better now than they were before, and that’s all that mattered.