The robed figures moved through the trees in silence, the only sound coming from the breeze rustling the leaves that had yet to be dislodged by the advancing season. Each one carried a small candle, giving off just enough light to illuminate the way but that was all. Their faces remained in darkness, their hoods pulled low.
They moved through the trees at a measured pace, neither fast nor slow, navigating the way with practised ease, until they came to a halt in an empty grove. Each took their prearranged place, forming a circle just beyond the edge of the trees. Then…nothing…
Time moved on and nothing happened. No word was spoken. Not one of the robed figures moved. They just waited patiently, as if for some pre-ordained sign.
And then as one, they broke the silence.
They began chanting, quietly at first, but swiftly their intoning grew in tempo and volume.
The energy of the woodland changed; the air became charged with an invisible force. Where once before their was a calm freshness to the space, now something old, something ancient had woken, reclaiming that which was their’s since before the earliest of memories.
Clouds which had hitherto been obscuring the first sliver of the new moon, now flitted across the sky, revealing it and a multitude of silver stars. Tiny lights sprang to life just inside the forest’s border, dancing, swaying with the words they spoke. The wind in the grove picked up, swirling fallen leaves in spirals around each of the cowled shapes, moving in unison, before joining together in one central vortex in the middle of the circle.
To one who didn’t know, the scene may have looked quite sinister. Dangerous, even. But to one who knew, it was beautiful. It was powerful. It was the natural magic of the earth made manifest.
And that was when I took my place in the centre of the circle.
I had been called.
This piece of flash fiction was inspired by the writing prompt ‘Robes’, from this month’s theme, ‘Witchcraft’. For more information, visit this page…
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