The Witch’s Son

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Mark Condon

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Stefano Rocca
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The depths of the city hide away a small building where the stray cats roam, and the witch’s son sleeps.

The corridor leading into the main entrance blows about wisps of light from the floating lanterns moving through the space in a nineteenth century ballet. Past the entrance, the living room shimmers with thousands of stars stolen straight from the sky, and behind the velvet couch, the kitchen sings itself in tune with the whistling of the kettle.

Even as the witch’s son sleep, his magic continues to hum to the darkness, vibrating in joy as it dances in the building. Magic flows from his hands and creeps through the hallways, where it brings the hanging blooms into perpetual life and warms the black cats slumbering under the moonlight. He mumbles the spells he learned from his mother’s old books as he tosses and turns in his bed.

Eventually, day brings about light and night falls to sleep, and the city comes back to life as its people stir awake with no memories of their dreams. The day continues on as it always does, and the people of the city follow their schedule as they do every day. They kiss their spouses good morning as they rush to work, and they have their late lunch with their coworker friends. When afternoon sets to evening, they stop by the store on their way home, and with their loaded bags enclosed in their grip, the people of the city, as expected, unknowingly pass by the little home of the dead witch’s son.

Time goes by as normal for the people of the city, where their day and night exists within a frame of twenty-four hours, but the witch’s son doesn’t understand time as well as they do. He knows that the stars will eventually appear, and that the cats will soon turn to his bed for warmth when the sun doesn’t stay up as long. But centuries have past since his mother last held him in her arms. The world had moved on too fast for his grieving mind to comprehend, so he let his magic lead him step-by-step to a place where he could finally rest, and there, he never needed to understand anything beyond what he wanted.

The sun had set three times before the witch’s son rises from his perch on the dining table to lock his mother’s spell books back in their trunk. He soothes the creases in the worn covers of each book before he slides them back in their place.

The city falls to sleep once again, and in the dead silence of the night, the stray cats roam as the witch’s son sleeps under the blanket of a dream where his mother’s voice is more than a distant memory too soft to hear.

While his slumber eases him into peace, his magic comes alive to make the blooms grow into a deep scarlet hue and the plates float into the living room brilliant with the night’s stars. It moves about with a mind of its own, filling the home with beauty no mortal could ever replicate, before flowing back into the dreams of the boy living alone in a home made for two, ready to grant a wish asked centuries ago.