Unenchanted was written for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto.
I thought someone would notice…us missing.
For three days the sun has risen over the blue mountains and set against the yellow grains of wheat to the west. For three days my sisters and I have been cast as wicker skeletons in a field near the woods where we danced to praise the full moon, our hands now clasped in aspen. For three days there have been only thoughts, screaming, raging thoughts without an outlet for none of us has lips or tongues or vocal cords. We are but stick figures.
The old witch cursed us, presuming we were mocking her religion, but we weren’t. We have always danced to the moon. We sing songs cherished by our ancestors, drink from the magical chalice, and dance, dance with abandon and love. With one swish of her hand and a Latin chant, we became this. And yet no one has noticed?
Surely Edward has sought me out. Or Liam for Elizabeth?
Voices echo around us.
“Why would they have left? Surely they would have mentioned leaving?” It’s Liam’s voice.
“They were still in anguish over their parents’ deaths. Maybe it was easier to leave. Perhaps we meant nothing,” Edward says.
They stand in front of us. Their eyes sweep over us. They shake their heads.
“The crazy old witch has sculpted wood statues. What’s the meaning?” Edward asks, bemused.
“Frightening. They almost remind me of the sisters dancing, like they’re caught forever mid-motion.”
“No power could hold the sisters,” Edward says.
They walk away, taking my hope with them. I feel tears, even if I cannot shed them. I want to call out, to tell Edward I’d never leave him.
The moon begins its rise, silvery, chaste, as cold night falls. I can feel my tears as if they fall upon my cheeks, as if my cheeks were skin and not wood. My fingers move to wipe them away, as if they were extensions of my body and not sticks. When I crumple to the earth, feel its moisture upon me, I am slow to realize I am free.
“Edward!” I scream.
But my sisters are wooden, immobile, arched as no body should be arched. I encircle my fingers around their joined limbs, imagine warmth seeping through their bodies.
“Please return to me. Please return to me.”
I look upwards as a streak of light penetrates the night sky…make a wish, dear darling, make a wish.
“Bring my sisters back. Please bring my sisters back.”
We wake in our beds in our cottage in the woods. We sip Oswego tea and eat fresh strawberries while the cats curl around our legs. We never mention the three days. We never again dance under the full moon. We wear amulets to dispel evil. And, wordlessly, we make plans to begin life fresh in a county far away.