‘When There Were Witches’ continues …..

When There Were Witches continues from yesterday:

In the subsequent weeks a few more people broke the law, and each time, Brynja cast the spell to punish them. Before long the whole world knew that Brynja was as powerful as her mother and they took care not to break the law.

After six months of no one breaking the law, Brynja missed the euphoria that came with casting a spell.

“Maybe I should cast a different spell,” she wondered aloud.

“Why?” asked Bertha.

“Maybe something needs fixing. Or improving.”

Bertha shook her head. “You know what Mother used to say – you can’t improve on nature.”

“Well,” Brynja felt mischievous, “maybe I can.”

Bertha raised her eyebrows. “Mother couldn’t but you can?”

Brynja grinned. “I’ve found Mother’s spell book.”

“You have?” asked Bertha eagerly. “No, I don’t think you should use it. I don’t think she wanted us to … I mean, she never showed it to us when she was here.”

“You can’t draw any conclusions from that. Maybe she just didn’t get around to it.”

She should have known Bertha wouldn’t be onboard. Bertha liked to play it safe. Bertha had no sense of adventure. What did Bertha know? She wasn’t even a real witch. You couldn’t call yourself a witch if you were too scared to cast a spell. Brynja wasn’t scared. Brynja was powerful. Brynja could definitely improve on nature!

When Bertha went outside to pick the apples, Brynja fetched the spell book, went into her bedroom and locked the door. She sat on the floor behind her bed and began leafing through the book. It was divided into sections. Colour Spells, Garden Spells, Healing Spells, Mood Spells and Discipline Spells. She decided to start at the beginning and successfully turned her fingernails green and her Spider Plant blue. They were only little spells so they didn’t give her quite the exhilaration she was looking for, but it was a nice little buzz. Next she decided to try something more challenging – changing the colour of her eyes.

She collected the necessary ingredients: a pinch of salt, a handful of earth, a single mint leaf and, since she wanted her eyes to be gold like her mother’s, two dandelion blooms. She put them all in the granite mortar and pounded them with the pestle. Then she scooped up the mixture with wet hands and smeared it around her neck.

Brynja laughed. “Yuck. Yuck yuck yuck yuck!” She took care not to drip any of the muddy sludge on the book as she read the spell.

“I pick this colour from this bloom
To be my eyes’ new bright costume.
From birth was green behind my sight
Now make gold while day becomes night.”

She closed her eyes and waited for the buzz, but none came. She went to the mirror and met the same green eyes she always met. In a rage of disappointment she picked up the pestle and threw it across the room, smashing the pink rose vase and spilling its contents onto the floor. Brynja let out a furious squeal and stomped into the bathroom to wash her neck.

That evening at supper, she was less than talkative.

“D’you want some more pie?” asked Bertha.

Brynja shook her head.

“All the more for me!” Bertha grinned as she cut another slice. “The apples are so good this year!”




“What’s the matter?”


“Something’s put you in a bad mood.”

“Fine. I’m in a bad mood.” Brynja continued to push her half-eaten pie around the plate.

Bertha finished her pie and proceeded to clear the table. “Are you going to eat that?”

Brynja sighed and leaned back in her chair. “No, you can take it.” She looked grumpily at Bertha and pushed the plate towards her.

“Thank you.” Bertha paused to look at her sister.


“Your eyes. They’re not green anymore.”

“They’re not?” Brynja was excited. “What colour are they?”

Bertha peered a little closer. “They’re pinkish … with gold around the edges. No, hang on, the gold is spreading.” Brynja tried not to blink. “The gold is nearly covering …. now they’re completely gold! Wow! Your eyes are just like Mother’s! I wonder if mine will change too!” She hurried to the bathroom to look in the mirror.

Brynja grinned. A new tingling sensation in her toes rose through her body. Through the window she noticed the red and orange sky. The sun had just set. Day was slipping into night and it reminded her of the words of the spell – while day becomes night. That’s why the colour didn’t change right away. It needed the sunset to finish the spell. The spell had worked!

Bertha came back into the room a little disappointed. “My eyes are still blue.”

Brynja smiled. “I can make them gold if you like. Or yellow or purple or any colour you want.”

You did it? With a spell?”

“Yes,” Brynja was glowing. “Don’t look so shocked. I am a witch after all. You should try it.”

“You’re not supposed to use magic for frivolous things.”

“Then why is there a section in the book for colour spells?” Brynja was determined not to let her sister spoil it.

“I don’t know. Maybe for things that need to be changed like … erm,”

“Changing the colour of your fingernails?” She held up her hands to show her green nails. “Or maybe changing the colour of a plant?”

“You changed a plant?”

“Yeah. My Spider Plant’s blue now. It was easy.”

“How many spells have you done?”

“D’you want to see my Spider Plant?”

Bertha smiled nervously. “Erm, okay.”


Fairy Tale concludes tomorrow, but if you don’t want to wait you can read the whole story here 😀


Eye illustration by Daniel Hannah of Pixabay


vegan fairy tale



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