This is a story that by most educated estimations could rightly be referred to as a “fairy-tale”, which is to say that it contains all manner of strange and unlikely situations, most singularly guided by those inviolable laws of magic and witchcraftery that were set out long ago by the forest-folk and the spirits-in-the-trees and the eyes-in-the-night and the eyes-in-the-sky and the darkness-beneath our beds—or, perchance, lurking within our minds—like the tiny man we call homunculus who steers our emotions with a pair of minuscule, steadfast hands on that spinning wheel of cognition that turns this-way-and-that as we surge through a churning, obsidian sea.
This is a story that is rendered in layers of muddling reason, just as our vital organs are wrapped in bone-cage and muscle and skin and perfume; swaddled in cotton and wool; bundled up in front of a fire that whispers flickering premonitions of enlightenment into our ears. And like the cabin surrounded by pine trees and the tempest that howls beyond the wooden door—wolves or wind or both—we will tremble atop these foundations and we will cling to these words ever more tightly such as we do with the blanket that keeps us warm.
But the blanket, and these words, become threadbare with time and eventually neither will suffice at keeping the cold away. The fire burns low, crackling and cackling. The light becomes ash and charred remains. There’s a tapping at the window, an insistent tap-tap-tap that could be sleet or pine-needles.
It could be—but it’s not.
Because this is a story that could rightly be referred to as a “fairy-tale” and that tapping you can hear..?
Is a witch.