I recently finished the second draft of my short story “Witch’s Ground.”
It’s an almost 5,000 word story about a farmer girl becoming a witch and saving her village with magic and trickery. (That’s my one-sentence summary, I’m good at those, let’s try and make a paragraph summary.)
When Rain is twelve years old, she walks up the hill to the town witch’s house and asks her to teach her to be a witch. After much thought, several warnings, and a startling revelation, the witch agrees. However, only three years later, the witch is kicked in the head by a birthing milch cow and dies, leaving Rain to handle the strenuous responsibilities of witch-hood by herself. She undergoes several hardships the winter and spring after that, but eventually finds her feet. When she’s nineteen, one of the villagers plows up a fancy gold cup, and suddenly the village is swarming with king’s men trying to take the gold. Rain, however, has watched too many children starve and freeze to death, and she demands payment. The king’s men do not think that’s a good idea.
At the time, I was reading a book about women writers from Appalachia, and that kind of crept in there, so the setting is a mixture of Medieval England, the Deep South during pioneer times, and, of course, I kept in mind the fact that it was set on my fantasy world, Liastori, so there’s that. It’s a read-aloud story, with a good rhythm, and I am actually very proud of it.
I’m considering entering it in the Aeon Award, a speculative fiction short story contest run by an Irish literary magazine, after I’ve run it through one more draft and some feedback.
If anyone is willing to provide feedback on my story, leave your email in the comments, and I’ll send you a link. Please do, even if you’re a thirteen-year-old who’s never gotten published in her life, I’d appreciate any feedback at all.