The young girl gazed at the television before her with a birthday hat still adorned on her head. However, there was nothing on the television other than the emergency signal – alerting viewers that the current station has gone offline for the night.
The noise didn’t seem to bother her, though. At 12 years old, she had known there were certain physical changes that were to come for her – but she didn’t realize how big of a change when her parents presented her the young girl’s “gift”.
Hours earlier, the family had decided to go to the nearby park to celebrate. The young girl had always enjoyed taking walks there and to play with the ducks around her. She always made a friend there. In her parents’ eyes, it was the most appropriate place for them to have a birthday party for their young daughter.
That day, the sun was shining brightly. The wind was pleasant and the other park visitors had done an array of activities. The young girl had enjoyed watching people around her, especially at the park. However, they had just finished setting everything up for the party later.
“You’re about that age, aren’t you?” Her mother had said. It wasn’t a question – the girl knew it wasn’t. Her mother’s head was always in the clouds and it always seemed that she didn’t focus on what was going on around her. The young girl had to be extra cautious to make sure her mother knew what was in front of her.
“Ah, that she is…” Her father looked forlorn, almost sad. The young girl couldn’t always read her father easily but she always had a good idea of what he felt. He helped keep her flighty mother grounded and they seemed to complement each other very well. However, the young girl didn’t understand why her father seemed sad – why was he so sad on her birthday?
Her mother smiled brightly as she hugged the young girl. She didn’t want to worry her mother and she hugged her back. She was almost afraid to ask what was going on.
When her mother released her from her hug, the couple had sat her down. There were mere hours before her birthday party was about to start – she had invited all her friends to the big celebration. Being 12 years old was exciting because it meant to her that she was almost a teenager – she’s starting to mature and soon she’ll be an adult!
She heard her father call her name.
“We have something very important to tell you,” he started. “You need to know the truth about your heritage.” The man pushed up his glasses. The young girl always thought her father was always so serious – the glasses didn’t help this image of him to her. Her mother’s long flowing hair always felt to the young girl that always fitted her – she always went with the flow of everything.
But there was an obvious fact about the young girl and her parents that she always had known – they did not look anything like each other. People wouldn’t question the fact that they were a family. It was obvious. A mother, a father, and a young daughter – it made sense. However, she would never hear from anyone, especially relatives, on how much she looked like either parent. As a matter of fact, she could easily remember a time when certain relatives were repulsed by her and kept their criticisms to a whisper.
When her father had stated how important it was, she could feel her heart rise to her throat.
“Yes…” Her mother’s smile finally dropped. This made the young girl’s heart race further. For her mother to even agree on its importance… the young girl was now scared.
“My dear,” she started, “there’s something very important you should know.”
Now the girl didn’t know what to say so she kept her mouth shut. Her cheerful smile had gone away and a worried expression was painted on her face.
“You are adopted.”
The girl stared at her in confusion. She had an inkling she was an adopted child, but she never dared to ask. She had always accepted the fact she didn’t look like anyone in her family. The relatives could say whatever they wanted – they didn’t affect her that much.
“Not just that…but you’re a witch.”
“You’re… a witch.”
For the young girl, that wasn’t a big deal. Being a witch is even better, isn’t it? That means she’ll get a special power that only she will get, right? She can control earth, fire, wind, or water. She had the heart to do whatever she wished but that is not why she hated her heritage.
“She’s a witch?” An unfamiliar voice had echoed close to the family. “R-really? A witch?”
The voice was shocked and appalled. The family turned to see a young girl, more or less the same age as the young girl, with a wrapped birthday present in her hand. She wore a pink dress and had a big pink bow behind her tightly wound ponytail. She wore sandals on her feet whereas the young girl wore a yellow shirt with some shorts along with some flip-flops. Her grayish-brown hair was much shorter than the girl before her; almost polar opposites.
“Is it true? Am I a witch?”
Her parents’ attention came back to their young and shocked daughter.
“Yes… it’s true. You’re a witch.”
The other girl slammed the present on the ground. Something in there clearly broke from the severity of the throw. The girl was shocked at her friend’s sudden behavior.
“I knew it!” the friend exclaimed. “I wanted to deny it, but Mother said…! Mother said…!”
The young girl had torn herself away from her surprised parents as she went towards the now shattered present before the ground.
“Marie, why did you do that?” The girl was too shocked to acknowledge the other girl’s comments.
Marie had tears coming out of her eyes. Anger was evident in her eyes and tone of voice. “Get away from me, you freak!” she yelled at the young girl below her.
“Mother said… witches were bad. They just lay curses on people if things didn’t go their way… Mother said so…! Is that why I’ve been failing tests? It’s because of you, isn’t it? Your powers are awakening, isn’t it? Why did you have to target me? I did nothing but be a good friend to you!”
Marie kicked the young girl on the ground. She tried to move out of the way but was unsuccessful when she felt the girl’s sandals on her body. She was forced to the ground and Marie stepped on her leg so she couldn’t get away.
“I’m going to tell everyone! You’ll be sorry! You’ll be so sorry that you messed with my grades! I studied so hard but it’s because of you!”
“O-Ow… Marie… you’re hurting me…!” the young girl tried to get away from Marie. Her parents got up and were about to force Marie off their daughter when another figure appeared behind Marie.
“You better not lay a finger on my daughter.” Another angry voice suddenly echoed behind the girl. “Marie, didn’t I tell you not to step on people?”
Marie only dug in her shoe harder.
“She’s a filthy witch, Mother. A!! Filthy!!! Witch!!!! She’s the reason why my grades have been bad! She’s jealous of me! Mother, she’s jealous of our wealth – you were right!” She dug in harder and harder which made the young girl wince.
“Tell your daughter to move out of the fuck away, Mrs. Gibson. You know as well as I do that your daughter never studies. Remember how they met? Wasn’t she your daughter’s tutor?” The young girl’s father tried to get the woman, named Mrs. Gibson, to tell Marie not to stomp on her.
“Would you mind not cursing in front of my precious Marie? I understand you people are low-class and can’t understand why having a witch in the family is terrible. Perhaps Marie not coming to your precious tutoring sessions is why you’d put such a ghastly curse on her.”
The woman walked closer to the young girl and hovered over her. She was a very wealthy woman who always wore jewelry on her fingers, ears, and wrists. She always smelled of a mixture of flowers and fruit – pretty unpleasant to the young girl. Her hair was blonde and her eyes were bright blue. Pale beautiful skin, both Marie and her mother shared.
“Marie. Stop stomping on that trash. Let’s do something more worthwhile with our time.”
Marie deepened her stomp one last time before she finally stopped and released her foot.
“You can forget about coming to the Christmas party this year!” Marie then spits at the young girl below her. Then they turned around and left.
The young girl very much had the strength to get up but because of what just happened, she couldn’t. Her friend considered her filth… for being a witch… No. The truth was that Marie had stopped attending to their tutoring sessions in favor of her new favorite cartoon show.
For the rest of the day, no one else showed up. To say that the young girl was hurt was quite an understatement. She didn’t see any of her friends show up at all. Eventually, her parents tried their best to make it up to their hurt daughter about what had transpired before. They tried to treat her to a movie – but no movie interested her. They tried to treat her with another cake – but she wasn’t even remotely interested.
She did eat a small dinner but the events had shocked her so badly she couldn’t finish her meal.
When they finally arrived home, still somber and silent, the young girl went to her room and stayed in there for the rest of the evening.
She turned on her TV and just let it played. Game shows, infomercials, late night cartoons – eventually, they all ran together for the young girl until she heard the emergency test screen and sound.
She had long since shed tears and even fresher tears came and went. The young girl had eventually fallen asleep. She didn’t know what she was going to do from now on. Once the emergency broadcast ended, there was nothing but static noise from her television set. The television’s snow appeared on the screen as the static continued into the night. The noise was low enough for her parents not hear, hopefully, but she just knew she wouldn’t live a normal life again, not as long as Marie was there.
Why did she have to be a witch?