This piece is one in a chronological series.
Feel free to find the others here, and to browse through any companion piece, set in the same universe.
1. Three Frenemies 2. Fall Coven Meet 3. BeingLovedAgain 4. The Fourth Witch
6. The Three Questions 7. Seed 8. Garden Graveyard Heart 9. The Cook
10. River Witch 11. Rage
5. Memory Elephant 12. Reincarnation
May 22 – Part 1 Stone Lady Paper Boots Dredge Half Yours, Half His Flower Seller
When You Must End Love Talk Scorpio Rising Pretty Men, Stone Lady
From The Olive Pit to Gratitude Reliability dead girl Soft Witch
there are days i am separate from the rest of my skin distant from bone the gap is Loneliness, sweet rich and savoury like childhood soup, a familiar itch why tonight dear witch? is it about Beingloved again? Beinglovedagain again? i know she is restless but she is a child, shadow child wilting wildling wailing , half demon, half infant, half formed, half named, half dead, half never born, eggs crack in haste, there is no use crying over spilled egg white, you have to break some eggs to make an omelet out of dawn breaks again. How to calm her. Be at peace. how do you comfort a demon child, dark shadow, little angry cloud hateball furball i miss my old cat. Snowball was so loving. Beingloved is not loving. she does not know how to be. Loving is not her priority. (Loving is my priority) inside her hurricane body is a little stone fist heart beating up her insides and mine too.resentment. night sickness. I know I have to learn to name her, hold her, feed her, care for her.
I can’t touch her. She is wailing in a corner. My room is big I recently moved and one night there was a balcony in my dream outside the bay windows and in my dream, i woke up, the blinds were open and in the balcony stood a man i did not know, and I knew he meant me harm, and Fear was holding very tightly on to me, she does that sometimes and I’ve learned to slowly melt my heart to dissolve through her grip and let my blood flow again. I fell back asleep, woke up again, saw another man that did not exist on the balcony that did not exist, knew I was dreaming but each time, that as long as did not open the balcony door, the man staring at me from it could not harm me – not really. though he wanted to.
The fifth time I awoke in my dream, I was standing on the balcony. exposed. outside.
I knew I could not jump. I knew when I turned around, there he would be, standing beside me on the balcony. I knew this was not real but Fear is always real. When I turned, a man was there. He meant me no harm but also no goodwill. This was comforting because men are rarely a neutral presence in my life. “Where are the men coming from?” I asked him. He pointed to the side of the house – the gables sloped toward my balcony, protruding over the side wall, an evestrough ran along it. “They are sliding from the gutter of the roof.” Of course. Dream logic. The gutter men landing in my balcony.
I resent her. I have not named her yet. I have named her but it’s an awkward name. Beingloved or Beinglovedagain. I’m not sure. One is certainly clunkier at the end of the day and the Starbucks baristas are bound to fuck it up. Anyway, I do not want Beingloved and her awful cries, the way she freezes my heart with her paralyzing finger. Most days I forget she exists. She is always hungry, always wretched, always wailing. No that is not true. Some days now she is quiet, untouched, she sits mute with her face turned to the wall.
She is a baby, I remind myself. I am practising detachment parenting. I don’t know how to feed her. I dug her grave last year in the summer, cultivated a garden for myself and a small grave that I left her in, I knelt down and hugged her and shivered as she hugged me back, she makes me tremble and my teeth chatter, and it is very frightening to come across such a powerful child, I whispered in her ear:
Please leave. I have nothing to give you. I don’t want you here. You must know I don’t want you here. You must know when you are here, Happiness flees. Most days Happiness is with me. Please. You are like my iron pills, nauseating, suffocating, please.
Please die. I have given you nothing. I can give you nothing.
She sits there sometimes. The grave has roses in it. I think she plays by herself but she is a miserable child who is miserable at playing by herself.
She is just a child. Weren’t you a child once? I told you we would meet again, once upon a winter’s night. Didn’t you hate never being able to talk to your mother? didn’t you want to play monopoly with her or clue or ask her for stories? You are a witchmother and you have a witchbaby. Of course you think about Beingloved and of course she is a demon child- she is half you.
My word, you’re actually listening! Good good. Well this is quite rare – I usually exist where you are not but here you are, and here I am and that’s progress you know – maybe we just needed some time apart –
And half who else?
Half me and half who else.
This child belongs to her father. He doesn’t even pay child support damn him.
Darling, he’s only human.
he’s only a man, of all things – you can’t expect him to –
Enough! Really, give you an inch and you
take the whole tent – I step out for half
a second and this is what I come home to.
Are you listening to her? Which parts?
Good lord, the child is half mine, no man could produce that you silly twit.Both of you, silly twits!
Mine. I can’t explain it to you right now.
Well at least Fear isn’t here,she’d
make everything awful and now that I am here,
she cannot be here. That is the law.
You know, I was saying valuable things –
Yes, you sometimes do. But you run your mouth. Begone!
I…must love her?
I don’t know how.
This child – she will carve me like a pumpkin which is
very seasonally appropriate but she digs and claws
will hang me from the gables with my own intestines
Enough. She is a child. Your hysteria is a lie. Let it go. I am here.
Beingloved is evil.
You cannot say that to me, and mean it.
I have told you I am the most powerful witch.
Lie does not exist where I exist.
Lie does not exist where I exist.
I cannot love her.
And that is ok. For now. There will be ways later to love
her and care for her without the side effects.
I want her dead.
Witches always choose their own deaths, or
at least they know their hour.
This is also true of our child.
She will pass if and when her time comes.
Remember what I told you last:
What you bring to people, to shadows,
to ghost children, to the undead now is your choice.
Your will has been freed.
Never forget this.
Will you stay?