The Neighboring Witches

The Neighboring Witches

Belladonna looked out at the beautiful chaos of her garden. The pale colors and long leaves of Nightshade and Henbane mixed with the bright-colored flowers of the Poppy and Aconite. Ivy climbed up the walls of her home and spiky blackthorn shrubs enclosed the yard. To the untrained eye, it was hard to tell where one plant ended and the next began. But the garden was exactly how Belladonna intended it. 

Only she could navigate it safely and pluck its poisonous blooms. 

Belladonna took a moment to admire the deadly and dangerous plants she had nurtured through the years with a devilish grin. They didn’t call her the Poison Witch for no reason. 

A clear high note pierced her nefarious thoughts. The humming came from over the hedges on her right. There goes that so-called Wise Witch, always ruining the mood. 

It was time she got to bed anyway. The sun was coming up. She glared in the direction of the lyrical sound and her eyes caught on her Moon Flowers, closing up in the light of dawn. 

Yes, that would show her.

Willow hummed to herself as she carefully tended her garden. She stepped over to her plot of Vervain, carefully labeled, and trimmed off some of the small purple flowers along with a few leaves to make a tincture for an anxious client. Next, she went to the plot of Lady’s Mantle to keep it under control. It was always threatening to invade the rest of her pristine garden, but it was worth the effort for its healing properties. 

There. She glanced around, satisfied at the state of her orderly garden. As she glimpsed the left wall of her yard, she narrowed her eyes.

Moon Flower shouldn’t grow over walls like that. Not on its own anyway. 

It was time she had a word with her neighbor.

Belladonna woke to a light knocking on her door. She didn’t usually have clients during the day; most people who dealt with her didn’t want to be seen doing so. She rubbed her eyes and then yanked open the front door. This wasn’t a client.

“Good Morning, Belladonna. I don’t think you noticed, but your poisons are growing into my yard,” Willow said. 

“Oh, so sorry about that Willow, dear. Feel free to trim them back if they’re on your property,” Belladonna said with a flippant wave and began to shut the door.

Willow cleared her throat. “I think you know quite well that Moon Flower is poisonous to the touch. I’d rather not.”

That gave Belladonna pause. “Well, aren’t you the wise one after all.”

“I do need to know about poisons after all, if I’m to cure them.” Willow smiled sweetly. “Not to mention, even poisonous plants have some healing properties.”

That set Belladonna to fuming. Her deadly blooms were not meant to heal. I’ll see what she knows.

“What about Black Hellebore? What would you do with those poisonous roots?”

“Oh, you mean Winter Rose. Why, I keep it in my own garden. It’s a lovely cure for insanity, and even treats gout,” Willow said matter of factly.

Belladonna gasped. “Gout! You would use Black Hellebore for gout?! What a complete waste of a potent poison.” 

Now Willow was indignant. How selfish! “I assure you, it doesn’t seem a waste to the person who is suffering.” Willow crossed her arms and glared at the Poison Witch.

A wicked grin slid across Belladonna’s face. “Maybe they deserved to suffer. Maybe they were cheating on their wife, and she was taking revenge.”

“Is that what you tell yourself to sleep at night?”

“I don’t sleep at night. In fact, I was sleeping soundly before you came to wake me over a few vines.”

“You know, maybe I will trim that Moon Flower since it makes such a good pain reliever. Any other free medicinals you want to send my way would be much appreciated.” Willow lifted her chin. 

“They. are. not. medicinals. They are deadly poisons,” Belladonna said through clenched teeth.

“It might benefit you to learn about the healing properties of your plants, in case you trip on your overgrown vines and fall into poisonous shrubs.”

Belladonna cackled. “That’s a good one. You’re not so uptight after all.”

Willow cracked a grin. “Maybe if I can be devious sometimes, you could try being friendly,” she said lightly.

“What and ruin my reputation?”

They both laughed at that one. Then Willow turned serious, saying quietly, “I mean it. I would teach you about antidotes if you wanted.”

“I don’t accept favors,” Belladonna said. 

Willow did her best to conceal her disappointment. “I’ll be on my way then.”

“But I’m sure there’s something I could teach the Wise Witch in return.” 

What did you think of the story? Who was your favorite witch, Willow or Belladonna? Would you rather have a poisonous garden or a healing one? Let us know in the comments!

If you would like to learn more about some of the plants in this story, check out our post on the Best Plants for Fantasy Nerds!

Thanks so much for reading!

-Clever & WTF

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