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Will O’ the Witches

Before I get started, I would be remiss not to remind people to pop over and visit Zen Pencils.  I’ve posted a couple of Gavin Aung Than’s strips before, but this week was his tribute to the passing of Nelson Mandela, and I thought it necessary to post something inspirational this morning, because who doesn’t need it from time to time?  And last week’s post, a quote from Professor Brené Brown, is another worth giving a read.  In fact, the whole site is worth marking and reading every week.

Last night, however–ah, it was back to school night.  Well, my school, anyway.  It’s a new day down on Cape Ann, and the sun is shinning, the wind has died down, and the rain is over.  Time for my little witch to get on stage:

 

(Excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

Tuesday morning was bright and sunny. Yesterday’s storm lasted until about seventeen, then blew itself out leaving behind fallen tree branches and lots of muddy puddles of water. The grounds crew was out cleaning the branches, and the water would dry up in a couple of days.

From Wednesday Douglas’ point of view, the sunny day reflected her feeling that today would become something to remember.

As the students filed into the Number One Lecture Room, she looked over the students, watching their body language, seeing which of them looked in her direction—and which of those gaze turned strange when they realized she was the instructor. By now, the beginning of her sixth year as the Mistress of Magic, Wednesday was used to that look. It was understandable: when she was a student, none of her instructors looked like her.

Wednesday had celebrated her twenty-fifth birthday this last June, and of the three staff members under thirty—Isis Mossman, Deanna Arrakis, and her—she was the youngest. She’d missed becoming the first teenage instructor since 1847 by less than three months, and spent her first three years instructing students who’s started at the school year she’d graduated.

It wasn’t unusual for students to confuse her for a covenmate and not an instructor. Wednesday was short—one hundred and fifty-seven centimeters, or five foot, two inches—and petite. Since instructors were allowed to dress as they liked, she often showed up to teach class much as she had when she attended. Today she wore a comfortable top and a short skirt with black leggings that perfectly matched her black ankle boots. Her long, wavy hair was pinned back to show her large hoop earrings, and her silver Celtic knot necklace matched the cuff bracelets on each wrist.

Wednesday didn’t care if there were people in The Foundation educational council who felt she was too young to be an instructor. If she wasn’t good, she wouldn’t be here. It was that simple.

Though sometimes she found it necessary to remind these people how she’d earned her right to teach at Salem . . .

 

How did she earn that right?  You’ll have to wait until I publish the prequel to this story.  Here’s a tip:  never leave this woman alone in a dusty room.

Little Wednesday is going to play important in my story, and in the lives of my two main characters.  That’s coming up in the second episode of the first book–yes, I know.  It’s like a movie, isn’t it?  Anyway, she does something that sets the kids on a new path, and she’s an all around nice person.  She’s already begun talking about magic as an extension of willpower, and she’ll give her views on wands and show you what happens when you say disparaging things about her during her lecture.  And she has a test laid out for the kids–really, not the sort of thing you’d expect kids to do for their first spell casting.

I never had an instructor like her.

Then again, neither have my kids.

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