W is for a Witch of Arion

Nashua is a witch.

She never really thought about it until Fox’s Fair comes to her city and her mother takes her to enjoy the fair. There was a witch there telling fortunes, and the witch got upset with the way Nashua’s mother was treating her and got offended, using her powers to humiliate Mother.

When Nashua mentions that she’s a witch too, Mother is devastated and Father is furious. Father even uses his influence in the Baron’s court to get soldiers sent to capture the witch at the fair. The witch tries to run away and is shot.

But Nashua runs away from home, joins the fair, and asks them to leave her with the next nearest witch they know. That turns out to be a very bad idea, as the witch, Black Ear, has much darker plans for Nashua than teaching her witchcraft.

With the help of some friends she made in the fair, Nashua escapes Black Ear’s tower, but not before her soul is linked with that of a demon. To free herself, she’ll have to travel into the mirror worlds, walk the country of the dead, and perhaps most terrifying of all–go home to her family!

If you read my entry for B (birds,) then this story is in the same universe as “The Storm Mirror.” Nashua grows up to become Sorena’s grandmother. (And I’m surprised that I didn’t cover “The Storm Mirror” on A-Z this year, but it’s too late now!)

B is for… birds

There bird-robin-erithacus-rubeculaare a couple of birds in “The Storm Mirror.”
In that story, the witches of Arion use them to carry messages, and part of Sorina’s training as a witch is learning how to mentally and emotionally connect to birds, especially her Grandmother’s favorite, the blue bird Radamon. Radamon plays a number of roles in the story, not just a messenger but Sorina’s protector and a novelty that she shows off to Melvin.

I’d like to write a fantasy story where the main character is a shapeshifter and can transform into a bird and back. Not sure about science fiction stories involving birds. Maybe a gritty climate change saga where the main character is an ornithologist trying to save a critical bird species from extinction.

Oh, and speaking of ornithologists, I have to do a random math geek shout-out for Raymond Smullyan’s ornithological allegory of combinatorial logic: To Mock a Mockingbird.