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Crossed Over

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She closes the candy shop when she pleases these days. The coins in the till are scattered haphazardly from compartment to compartment; she hasn't bothered to sort the stacks of bills in weeks, let alone count them. She's tallying other kinds of rewards now.

Still. It's worth something, to keep the front up while she still can.

The shift has been slower in her. Who can say why? Maybe she has more to lose, though it's never felt that way. Owning a store is a tie to Paisley and the dull warm dishwater of life in this town. The other members of the coven have been less lucky, or more blessed, depending on which side of the threshold you prefer: humanity, or the wilderness at its door.

The youngest of them, the only boy, has begun coughing up feathers and tufts of fur. Sometimes he watches her with more than human intensity, like a wild thing poised to strike and pin his prey to the floor.

The eldest has no hair left on her, without or within, and she was never tame to begin with.

The witches belong to the woods. She has always know this, long before she made her own pact and became one of them. But she didn’t understand what it would mean. She has a forest in her now, growing where veins and nerves should be. Trees are full of want in ways that woodcutters can’t understand. Roots drive through anything, bone and stone alike, ivy tears down walls. A tree thirsts.

These changes do not frighten her. She revels in them. She bares her throat for her brother-witch, wraps her legs around her sister to catch her in a better kind of trap, honeyed sweet as the candy that is all she can eat now.

It won’t be long before her inhumanity shows too.

We three are ready.