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The Witch's Hut- Chapter One

by Icon

Author's Note: I had to write this for my class a couple months ago. I haven't made any changes to how it was written, but if you're interested in the rest of the story being posted, I'd love to hear it!

Kit swept the doorway of her small house, keeping the dust in a neat pile, as she tried to ignore the bitter air freezing her face and hands. It was a beautiful January morning; the sun was just above the horizon, and the clear sky was bathed in rosy pinks and fiery oranges. She was but a few minutes into her work, when she began to see her fellow Salem villagers starting their mornings as well.

“Good day, Mrs. Good!” she called, waving her free hand. The irascible woman scowled at her, and muttered something about bread as she led her young daughter down the cobblestone road. Kit laughed quietly to herself. “What an odd woman,” she said, to no one in particular. “Sometimes, I wonder if she has the ability to smile.”

With that peculiar thought, she swept up the remaining dust into her dustpan and stepped inside. She had just barely crouched down to dispose of the dustpan’s contents in the unlit fireplace, when she heard someone cry out. Kit hastily dumped the rest into the kindling and rushed towards the next room over.

“Betsy!” She cried, taking in the scene before her. Her younger sister appeared to have dripped hot candle wax onto her thumb, and was cooling it in a pitcher of water. There were broken candle wicks scattered around the table, and globs of half-dried wax everywhere.

“I- I dunno w-what happened, Kitty,” she whimpered, tears forming in her large brown eyes. “I was just g-getting the candles set to be dried and I- and it-“ she paused to wipe the wet tears off her face with the unburnt hand. Kit clicked her tongue at the irresponsible girl as she stepped closer to examine the injuries. She gently reached into the pitcher, and nearly gasped when the icy water touched her fingers. She gingerly lifted her sisters hand, and sighed when she saw the damage. There was a large red burn where the melted wax had hit it, and she could see a small amount of blood. It wasn’t until she’d finished bandaging Betsy’s hand that she’d realized just how cold the pitcher’s water had been. Kit sighed, and turned to face her sister.

“Was that pitcher filled with fresh water?” Betsy jumped a bit at the question, then seemed to shrink as she avoided Kit’s gaze.

“Yes. I woke early this morning to fetch well water so you wouldn’t have to. You’ve just been working ever so hard since mother fell ill and…” her voice trailed off as she gazed sadly down at her feet. Their mother had been sick for nearly a year now, and nothing they or the doctors did seemed to help. Both girls’ eyes lingered on the floor for a moment, drinking in the sorrow. Then, as quickly as it struck, the sense of ennui disappeared.

Kit snapped out of her daze and turned to smile gently at her younger sister.

“Well, while I appreciate the gesture, you shouldn’t have to handle my share. Especially when you have your own work to focus on. Which clearly,“ she made a wide gesture to the wax covered floor, “Still requires some attention to detail. Now, clean up this mess before any more accidents happen.” Betsy’s tearstained cheeks twitched with a smile, and she began to carefully scrape the wax off the table.

While her sister was fixing the candles to be dried again, Kit continued her sweeping inside the house, dumping each full pan of dust and grime into the fireplace as she went along. Once she’d finished, she lit the fire, and settled into a small chair. As she let the flames warm her body, Kit picked up the embroidery she’d been working on, and started to sew.

It wasn’t long before the sun had risen high in the sky, and she drew back the simple white curtains to let the bright morning light into her dark, unfurnished home. She finished making sure every window was open, and crept silently up the stairs to her mothers bed chambers. 

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6 Reviews

Points: 0
Reviews: 6

Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:58 am
DarthUbera wrote a review...

I thought it was rather amazing skill with writing. I would say I would expand how long you want Chapter 1 to be.
It does draw you into the world rather well, youve made a somewhat realatable character in an era thats not as realatable, Im going to read the next chapters now and give them a review. I am rather interested in seeing where the story goes.
The only improvement I could really say is give the old lady more mystery to her, other than that a realatable hero is important, you did really well there. Showing she is compassionate by helping her sister rathrr than just saying it, giving us this situation that maybe we havent all been in exactly but we have had to help someone in need before and most have done it various times.
I saw myself in a girl from Saleem way back when and Im a man from London today, that was impressive, I commend you.

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444 Reviews

Points: 20878
Reviews: 444

Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:58 am
Hijinks wrote a review...

Hello IconspicouslyAlpacaing! (I hope I spelled that right!) I'm here for a review!

This is an easy and enjoyable read, well done! There are no grammar or tense issues, so good job :]

I would say that for an opening chapter, nothing particularly gripping happens. Sure, we learn that their mother is sick, but there isn't really a cliffhanger that makes the reader really motivated to come back for more. I would recommend adding something more thrilling, to keep the reader's interest. Most people don't tend to read books that don't have something exciting from the moment a book starts, nowadays. (You'll notice in older books, it takes a lot longer to get the action started, but that has definitely changed.)

The characters are believable and the type of characters that you root for, which means the reader will want things to work out for them. Good job on that! You immediately start the book with something unfortunate and Betsy's reaction to it is realistic, which makes the reader feel more connected to her.

Overall, this is really well done, I would just say that it starts a bit slow. But that is understandable for a first chapter, as you're trying to introduce the characters. But your characters are realistic and your descriptions of the setting are great, so well done!

I hope this was helpful, if you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Keep writing!


Icon says...

I'm aware the first chapter is a little dull. The way it was originally written, the whole story was to be read at once. There's more intrigue in the second chapter :D

Hijinks says...

Ah, that makes sense! I hope you post the second chapter so we can read it!

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30 Reviews

Points: 383
Reviews: 30

Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:51 am
ShallowHouse wrote a review...

Hey there, Icon!

I just want to say that you beginning was great! Though I wanted it to be longer! Mrs. Good is so grumpy!

The chapter was great like I said but let's see how you can improve upon it! So far, I felt no plot was happening, just a girl and her sister doing their daily work to support their ill mother. No adventures and no mysteries yet but it is a couple months old and for class which I definitely get so I'll stop at that!

I want to see more! Do you have more? I certainly want to read about your fictional take on the Salem Witch Trials!

Wishing you the best,

Icon says...

I certainly do have more! and fun fact: Sarah Good was a real woman. She was one of the first Salem villagers to be prosecuted for witchcraft. (She really was grumpy, and her daughter's name was Dorcas Good.)

ShallowHouse says...

Woah! Thank you for the fun and really dark fact! Dorcas Good? Sounds like dork and ass!

I exist as I am, that is enough
— Walt Whitman