Witches’ Storm

{Inspired by a dust storm.}

“Get away from there!” Nat yelled. The double-glazed glass gates were shaking ominously, despite the many hands of other students pushing against them. She was terrified they would come crashing down on their heads.

She was the eldest, so they did as they were told, stepping beside her while their eyes remained fixed on the doors. Nat cursed inwardly. She was deeply her regretting her choice of transparent curtains. A set of dark thick ones would have kept them from having to look at the sight ahead, maybe even muffle the noise, which was bad enough as it was.

The ghosts of burned witches past continued to howl then attack the doors all together, their wails and screams combining to form one mournful, blood-curdling sound. Beneath her terror, Nat couldn’t help but feel sorry for them. All they had wanted all those years ago was salvation, and even now the doors were barred to them.

It went for hours. After a while, the others grew used to it. The novelty wore off and they continued with their work, but Nat gazed on. She felt like she owed it to them. That to ignore them would be disrespectful; like their torment meant nothing.

She watched as they raised dirt and dust until nothing could be seen. She watched as they gathered storm clouds, speeding them up and pushing them to crash together and thunder their rage. She closed her eyes, shaking, every time they launched another attack, convinced that they would break through.

Finally, she watched as they faded away one by, one each with a mournful wail. Then she made the mistake of looking into the eyes of the last witch to go; the last to have died. As the sun returned, a single tear rolled down her cheek at the great sadness she’d seen within them.

“At least the town will never forget what they’ve done. They won’t let them. And we too shall always remember the betrayal of our ancestors, which is why these gates are made of glass. We must never forget, no matter how far out into the world we may one day reach, how we turned our backs in fear and pride.”

Nat looked up at her mentor and nodded. Taking her outstretched hand, they walked together to continue their Potions lesson. She turned back one more time to where the witch had been, and promised to never forget.

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