Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Good Neighbor

The neighbors stare at me. I’m a practicing witch and the neighbors know this, because I have never made any attempt at hiding it, any secret of the life I lead, but on the contrary calmly explained it every time I’ve been asked, treating my craft as a completely ordinary thing, as natural as any craft, any way of life. Which it is. At least it would have been in a society approaching sane.

I work with herbs, a healer in my own right, using the ingredients nature gives me, without resorting to poison and unnatural compounds. I light fires in the night and dance naked around the seething and scorching flames.

Rumors are abundant. I sacrifice chickens when no one is watching. The children are restless and I am to blame.

I am to blame for everything, from disease to a boring life, for all the poxes mankind has visited upon themselves.

I’m alien to them to them, a curiosity, exotic, worrisome and dangerous. My confidence in self, my ability to stand out from the crowd, to seek what is unknown and different, is a threat to the Big Lie they have created to sustain their mundane lives.

So they stare, and Hunger for what they don’t dare grab, and their hunger turns sour, turns to fear, resentment and hatred. They see a person free as a bird, see it possess what they have lost, and they want to cage it, and if they can’t cage it, destroy it. Their distorted hunger is a horrible thing. The good neighbors stare at the witch with envious eyes.

At best they want to manage and tame us. At worst they want to burn us at the stake… and they will... unless we stop them.

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