July 16, 2020

Throwback Thursday: ENCHANTRESS by Ellie Goss

The enchantress was a
miserable soul, but she had
not always been that way...

Editor’s note: Turning things on their ears, is what this story does. The Enchantress is an origin story that leaves me wanting more in a good way!

Exhausted from her work, the Enchantress turned from the castle she had just visited a curse upon and receded into the forest for the long travel home. She was happy with her recent work, that upstart of a Prince was a lost cause and there was almost no possibility of the spell cast being broken. A beast he was and a beast he would stay. A shame she thought that the household had come to his defense so readily, well they wouldn’t be interfering again anytime soon. 

The enchantress was a miserable soul, but she had not always been that way. Long ago she had been a beautiful maiden, always cheerful and charming. She had lived a simple life surrounded by townsfolk that she called family and friend, but after tragedy struck everything had changed, especially her.  

There had come a stranger to town. A large man who wore a great burly coat. From behind you would think him a bear and so as the rumors flew around town, he was so nicknamed Bear. His arrival coincided with the Winter Festival that had been held for generations and was a year-long in the planning, for each year the festivities grew to new and greater heights. This year there was to be a dance in the great hall with fireworks to follow.   

The night was abuzz with the chatter of the village folk and a band had started playing to welcome all to the festivities. The Enchantress could hear the music playing as she walked arm in arm with Rubin. They planned to announce their engagement this evening after the feast, as was customary and she radiated happiness with a smile that hadn’t left her face since stepping out her front door that evening. Rubin too was happy at the match, thinking the Enchantress the most beautiful girl in the village.  
The evening was made even more beautiful as the first fall of snow began to descend upon the crowd, snowflakes touching the glowing cheeks of all those who preferred to remain outside the Great Hall. 
It was decided to move the long tables outside and colored lights were strung to capture the magic of the evening. A large bonfire burnt in the center of the square and it wasn’t too long before a great meal was being served. There were trays of meats and vegetables, bowls of salad and fruits and everyone ate heartily. Then following village tradition, the time came for announcements, just as it had for hundreds of years before. 
Amber and Leyton were the first to declare of their intentions of marriage, setting the date for the following Spring causing cheers to be sung out amongst the crowd. Then the Enchantress and Rubin stood, but as Rubin attempted to make the speech that would gain the towns blessings and best wishes for the future marriage between them, Bear approached. 

Bear’s theatrics were set to work at once, with all the globes exploding as he walked towards the couple that stood to make their declaration. Squeals rippled amongst the group and several of the men went to stand but they were kept seated by a green mist that had emerged.  

As Rubin hadn’t been seated at the onset of the smoke, he remained standing but as the man known as Bear approached, he began to change form. As the man disappeared, a Bear had taken his place moving towards the couple until he was at a run. At the last moment when the Bear would strike at Rubin, Rubin had grabbed the Enchantress and placed her before him. He had begged to the beast to take the girl and begone.  
The Bear had instantly returned to the shape of a man and laughed at the people of the town before sending the fireworks he had promised into the sky. But as the small flecks fell amongst the snowflakes and settled upon their skin, they had transformed into beautiful birds. All except Rubin who had also been touched by the magic, but his curse was to take the appearance of the Enchantress, he had run screaming into the woods never to be heard of again.  
The events had happened so quickly that the shock of the scene had caused the real Enchantress to faint. She had spent weeks after that night wandering about until she had discovered that she too had been cursed.  

Elisha (Ellie) lives and works nestled between the Tarkine Forest and Cradle Mountain National Park, Tasmania. She published her first children's book in 2016, 'The Bunyip's Bath', before going on to publish further books and magazine stories.
FB @1BunyipsBath

Cover: Amanda Bergloff @AmandaBergloff
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Ellie a.Goss said...

Thankyou for the revisit of the Enchantress!

Katew said...

You’re welcome!