Lizzie Koch’s Picture Choice: 1
Title: The Calling
Jen knew it was wrong but couldn’t help it. Mesmerised by the glowing light in the jar, she picked it up, well aware of the rule not to touch anything in this room belonging to her mistress. It was like the jar called out to her. Wrapping her palms around the warmth, Jen peered down inside, unable to make out the source of the glow, whether it was from a single object or many.
A scraping of a chair along the wooden floor upstairs, alerted Jen to her mistress waking up. Jen had enough time place the jar back on the shelf and leave the room as she found it. But the jar refused to leave her hands. She couldn’t let go. The stairs started to creek.
She’d only been at the house for two weeks and was sure she’d get fired for entering the forbidden room and touching anything in there. She shook her hands violently but the jar didn’t budge. She tipped it upside down but nothing fell out. The hard surface of the table didn’t even put a crack in the jar as she banged it, hard against the edge. Running water didn’t loosen her grip. She heard the voice of her mistress calling her name but Jen couldn’t answer, didn’t know what to say. Didn’t want to draw attention to where she was.
The handle on the heavy wooden door turned slowly. Jen had nowhere to hide, the jar still tight in her hands.
The door slowly opened and Jen took a deep breath as the surprised face of her mistress appeared. She walked in, not uttering a word. She took the jar from Jen’s hands and placed it on the table.
“Do you know why I’ve had so many assistants before you?” she asked.
“No,” Jen replied, her voice barely audible.
“Do you know what lies in the jar?”
“No. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to touch it. It just called to me and I couldn’t resist it.”
“All my other assistants had the same problem as you. They couldn’t resist the jar either.” She stroked the jar, before reaching in, plucking out a glowing ball.
“I’m sorry,” was all Jen could say as fear gripped her. She knew what the villagers called her; a witch. But it wasn’t until now that Jen believed it.
“The others were very sorry.” She stood, cradling the glowing ball. “Come.” Jen followed her mistress, from the room, through the house to the backdoor, into a wild, overgrown garden. Jen hadn’t visited the garden before but had see the wild herbs and flowers growing freely.
The witch lay the glowing object down amongst the herbs and sat back. “Those who touched the jar before, couldn’t handle the power within.”
“What power?” Jen asked, kneeling in the grass, her curiosity greater than the fear that was now subsiding.
“It is said that only those with magic can withstand the energy of a dragon’s egg. Show me your hands.” Jen obeyed. “See, not a mark. Those before you ran from here with burns, unable to absorb the energy. You, Jen have absorbed the power. You my dear are a witch.”
Jen wasn’t sure whether to laugh or run but she did neither as she watched the glowing egg. It began to wobble, rocking gently from side to side. A tiny crack was heard.
“And proof you are a witch, the egg hatches for you. Every witch has a dragon.” the witch said, smiling. They both watched as finally, the shell cracked in two and an emerald green nose poked out. The tiny creature stumbled as its wings slowly opened. Jen watched, wide eyed as the dragon flapped its wings, reared up and flew round the garden, swooping, soaring and gliding before landing on Jen’s shoulder. “He is your’s Jen.”
“I . . . I know,” she muttered as she stroked his smooth head and stared into his yellow eyes. “I’m a witch,” she murmured, a smile breaking out across her face. “I’m a witch!”
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I dream of sharing my work with the big wide world one day as a published author. Right now, I share flash fiction with a wonderful community of writers and friends. If you liked this story, then why not visit my blog at http://40somethingundomesticateddevil.blogspot.co.uk/ for more. Thank you. Love Lizzie x