The bony-fingered witch hovered over the children, bathing them in an herb-coated smoke that sank into their golden curls and took possession of their minds. They spun like tops, coughing, gasping for breath, until they were dizzy. The moisture drained out of their skin, and they shrank and shriveled into black, rock-like eggs.
The witch placed the eggs in a scarlet basket filled with dirt and seaweed, where they remained undisturbed for three days. On the third day, tiny cracks formed in the eggs. Out of the eggs popped the heads of four little witch babies each with a miniature mole on their noses resembling that of the old witch. The golden curls remained. The witch planted a kiss on each head, turning the golden curls ebony. A tear fell from the new mother’s eye, and she smiled for the first time in her one hundred and fifty-two years.
© Natalie Goodwin, 2020