The night was as black as the witch’s heart and I knew she was out there waiting for me. The fire burned brightly in the hearth, filling the room with the fragrance of autumn, yet I was cold. It was as if she had reached icy fingers through the dark forest, through the rough walls of my home and grabbed hold of my heart. I stood up, mesmerised, unable to resist the hexen call, and walked to the front door, opening it. Daisy whined pitifully but I paid her no heed.
She called … waited … hungrily.
The ground gave way beneath the boy and he fell a long way down before hitting the ground and twisting his ankle. At first he cried, but then the tears dried and he stopped and listened; he could hear the slow dripping of water, but apart from the pin prick of light far above him, was surrounded in darkness and could see nothing. He wondered how long it would be before they started to look for him, and if they would ever find him – he was after all supposed to be at school, not wandering across the forbidden fields above the abandoned mines. Many hours passed, and the pain in his ankle changed from sharp pain to a dull throb, while far above, the pin prick of light grew fainter, and eventually disappeared. The dripping stopped, and in total darkness the boy felt like crying again, but he didn’t, at least until the hungry scrabbling began. Fresh letters were scarce in these parts and word had spread quickly.