that salty air

You know the way the sky looks right before a big storm? It’s this obscure darkness, with just the smallest bit of light peeking through. The air is warm, but the feeling of the wind that’s picking up speed overpowers the warmth. And you’re scared, but you’re excited. Your heart races and you can feel yourself getting goosebumps because you’re not quite sure what will happen next. Then it finally hits. The rain is cold, but against your skin it’s calming. And you take a breath and you can taste the saltiness of the air. You can swear your heartbeat aligns with the rhythm of the rain hitting the pavement. The wind is tearing things apart and the rain is flooding the streets and you’re right in the middle of it all but, you’re okay. You’re no longer in the storm, you are part of it. You are the eye of the storm, of your storm. In these moments nothing can knock you off of your feet.
—  what a beautiful mess
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(via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQsLY5pwm6M)

Hiiiiiiii. I recorded a cover of Oceans by Seafret. If you’re feeling stressed, listen to this, close your eyes, and visualize crashing waves, salty air, and warm sand in between your toes …

If you enjoyed this cover, then give it a like, and subscribe if you want to be notified when I upload (which is weekly, if you were wondering)

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Resist Everything Except Temptation

Rating: Explicit

Chapters: 10/10

Words: 100,118

Summary:

Louis is the commodore’s son who is forced to become a part of Harry’s crew when he is captured.

A gust of salty air pushed over the deck as the information resonated in the night sky. The only audible sound was the continuous wallop of waves wrecking against the ship. Louis kept his breathing even and his eyes locked with Malik’s, refusing to be the first to break.

“Now, that is interesting.” 

Malik’s head whipped towards the quarterdeck, his eyes wide as they settled by the wheel of the ship. Louis gawked as the entire crew bowed their head in respect. Some mechanically took a few steps back. Malik straightened his spine and clasped his hands behind his back, his eyes downcast. Instinctively, Louis followed suit and trained his eyes on the deck beneath his knees.

The lethargic sound of heels clicking against wood resonated across the sea. Footsteps descended the staircase, every assured step creating a menacing aura as it grew closer. Perspiration gathered along Louis’ palms as the rhythmic sound halted in front of him.

“Captain,” Malik greeted.

Louis watched out of his peripheral as Malik’s boots shuffled back a few steps. Sweat matted the hair along the nape of Louis’ neck as he waited for something to happen. He felt as if a sharp blade was twisting his gut as the silence became tangible.

There was a metallic slide of a sword being pulled out of its sheath, the sound startling Louis out of his cocoon of sterile shock. His shoulders jumped as the tip of a blade flattened underneath his jaw. Louis’ distorted reflection stared back at him in the polished metal. Engraved rose petals twisted his appearance as they crawled up the length of the sword. The sword lifted and took Louis’ chin with it.

Standing in front of Louis was Captain Styles.

The signs as nice smells
  • Aries: bonfire smoke, salted caramel, leather
  • Taurus: pine cones, freshly cut grass, vanilla
  • Gemini: crayons, roses, peppermint gum
  • Cancer: lemon tea, lavender, bakery's
  • Leo: sunscreen, coconut, Chanel no5
  • Virgo: rain, freshly washed sheets, old books
  • Libra: painted walls, camelia tea, old attics
  • Scorpio: gasoline, melted dark chocolate, wet wood
  • Sagittarius: cinnamon, saw dust, crisp autumn air
  • Capricorn: coffee, news papers, cherry blossem
  • Aquarius: new denim, foggy winter days, nail polish
  • Pisces: salty air, wet sand, pineapples
“Leap of Faith”

Pairing: Steve Rogers x Reader

Summary: After hiking up a beautiful cliff overlooking the ocean, you confront Steve about why he hasn’t acted on his feelings for you.

Soundtrack:
“Castle on the Hill” (Ed Sheeran)
“Stronger” (Clean Bandit)
“On Our Way” (The Royal Concept)

A belated one for JinWoo, the master of taking leaps of faith.

A/N: This one has been in my queue for about a month, and I rewrote it yesterday after a horrible session of therapy. Forgive me for the bumps and mistakes, I’m still not used to writing for/about Steve. - j xx

“Whoa… This is beautiful..”

“Yeah, it is…” Steve breathes out, silenced by his awe of the view.

The isolated cliff you stand on sits tall, almost angrily, breathing in the salty air of the ocean below with small gasps. There’s a rocky edge that looms over the majestic sea, which spawns fantastic waves. Boasting a gradation of shades ranging from a peaceful sea green to a deep blue, the ocean dances the line between raging waters and a lulling calm.

The hike up to the high point had been a rather challenging one, but anyone who endures the hike is rewarded with with a stunning vista of the surrounding area. While the rest of the Avengers have chosen to frolic and relax on the beach, you and Steve toughed the upward hike and are treating your eyes to a view worthy of the gods.

Steve glances at the you with a small smile. “You okay, (Y/N)?”

“Peachy, Captain. Just peachy,” you sarcastically wheeze. You use the sleeve of your shirt -why on Earth did you wear a long sleeve on a hike?- to dab your forehead before shooting the blonde an infuriated look. “How are you not sweating? Does the serum also make you look like a model even after a six mile hike?”

Steve glances down at his body before shrugging. “The wind blew it off?” he weakly offers. The super soldier bursts into laughter as you dramatically roll your eyes at his answer. “Sorry, (Y/N). I probably should have warned you about this hike’s difficulty.”

“Mmhm, no wonder everyone else opted to skip the hike.” You take in a deep breath and allow yourself to bask in the warm sun and salty air. “But man, they’re really missing out,” you happily sigh.

“Yeah, they are…”

This time you glance at Steve, letting your eyes wander over his physique, which is fantastically showcased in his tight blue workout shirt. Your eyes return from its journey only to make eye contact with his brilliantly blue eyes. Knowing that he caught you ogling at him, Steve arches an eyebrow. You, shameless about your lustful admiration for his body, deviously bite your lower lip and wink.

“One day that look will get you in deep trouble,” Steve grumbles. He’s suddenly aware of how hot his face is and looks away, hoping the ocean air will cool him down.

“Too late, Captain. I’m already in too deep.”

Keep reading

6

inspiration for witches

  • witches of the forest and the night - they change into wolves during the day and roam the green forest of trees searching for fellow caged creatures. The set free winged and wise owls under the moon, that illuminates their pearl feathers.
  • witches of the winter and stars - foggy winter evenings become hues of blue filled with starry nights for the witches. they live in old victorian schools surrounded by trees made dead by the harsh cold season. they wear bewitched moonstones around their necks that turn them into deers enchanting the frozen forest…
  • witches of the sea and precious gems - these witches live and breathe the sacred salty air of the shore. they use precious gems to channel their inner soul to undulate crashing waves into the grey sea. they dance and drown beneath the crystal watery surface like silver sea-sirens.
  • witches of burning fire and flames - golden wreathed witches filled with the radiance of bright fire and flames. they use blazing candles to illuminate the darkness in their cathedral of trees. their familiars are foxes as red as the sun and as sly as smoke from their fires. 
3

The world’s last wild frankincense forests

In a tradition dating to Biblical times, men rise at dawn in the rugged Cal Madow mountains of Somaliland in the Horn of Africa to scale rocky outcrops in search of the prized sap of wild frankincense trees.

Bracing against high winds, Musse Ismail Hassan climbs with his feet wrapped in cloth to protect against the sticky resin. With a metal scraper, he chips off bark and the tree’s white sap bleeds into the salty air. “My father and grandfather were both doing this job,” said Hassan, who like all around here is Muslim. “We heard that it was with Jesus.”

When dried and burned, the sap produces a fragrant smoke which perfumes churches and mosques around the world. Frankincense, along with gold and myrrh, was brought by the Three Kings as gifts in the Gospel account of the birth of Jesus.

But now these last intact wild frankincense forests on Earth are under threat as prices have shot up in recent years with the global appetite for essential oils. Overharvesting has led to the trees dying off faster than they can replenish, putting the ancient resin trade at risk. (AP)

Photos: AP Photo/Jason Patinkin

See more images of the world’s last wild frankincense forests on Yahoo News

In my mind, I’ve thought of infinite futures for myself:
In one, I live in a beach house with the boy who owns the red jeep and the bright blue surfboard. My day revolves around the tides and I make lobster every Sunday for dinner. We eat and we laugh and at night we take walks along the moonlit sea. Sand fills the cracks in the worn hardwood floors and salty air comes and goes with the breeze.

In another, I own a cabin in the woods with the boy who bought me a telescope for my sixteenth birthday. We stargaze until sunlight conquers the darkness and we drink water from a well. Our limbs tango beneath the wine stained sheets as the drafty windows let in the bitter winter air, but we don’t care as long as we have each other.
In the last, I live alone in a small studio apartment. The city lights flood through my windows and the sirens serve as my alarm clock. My favorite liquor fills the fridge and I eat banana pancakes everyday for breakfast. I own an old fashioned type writer and click away until I create magic on paper. My words fill the world with wonder.
—  every life can be beautiful
Rogue One: Welcome Home

The burning, amalgamated scent of wood and gasoline was replaced by salty air. Seagulls chirped, waves crashed, and a gentle wind whistled through the palm trees like a caribbean ukulele song.

Jyn opened her eyes but her pupils immediately dilated, startled by the blue sky and sunshine. Her hands collected a handful of warm sand. Each ache of her body was alleviated by gentle kisses from Cassian’s lips.

Leaning over her body, he cupped her face and placed an anticipated kiss. They were chapped and dry blood sat in the crevices.

Jyn sat up and scanned the beach. Not a single Empire building was in sight, the satellite tower was gone, and the remains of the rubble had vanished.

Down the shoreline, the silhouettes of her family and the Rogue One team were walking towards them. Bodhi, Chirrut, and Baze were laughing and throwing seashells into the tide.

“Welcome home, mi estrella,” Cassian kissed the top of Jyn’s head. She felt an overwhelming force of familiarity, security, and hope.


"The Witch Mothers"

Eulalia is a clever woman. She has never been beautiful, brave, talented, nor even particularly kind, but she has always been clever.

She has talked her way out from under her father’s heavy hand many a time, she has kept their feeble farm afloat with naught but her words and a cartful of meagre crops. Eulalia’s silver tongue can sell a bottle of dirt to a pauper, and she has done so when in a pinch, but in a poor town surrounded by poor people there is only so much money to be swindled.

Eulalia wants nothing more than to leave, travel far away to the towns by the sea, where the buildings are brightly coloured, the air is salty and food is plenty. Eulalia has saved up all her money to go, hidden every coin she has under the floor boards, but it has all been for naught.

For she has fallen in love with a stable boy and is now with child. The stable boy is as unhappy with his home as she, and he would gladly steal away two horses so they may elope in the night, but travelling is hard, and travelling while pregnant far too dangerous. Her mother had passed during birth and Eulalia fears the same fate will fall upon her, it can not be risked.

However, her father will be furious if he finds out, a child out of wedlock, what would people say? His beatings will double, if not triple, and Eulalia’s silver tongue would likely do nothing to quell such a rage.

Thoughts race through Eulalia’s clever head.

She considers poisonous herbs to force her to lose the child, it would be a mercy to both of them, she does not want to bring them into a world as unloving as the one she had been born into, and she knows she would resent the child for the difficulties it was causing her, regardless of it not truly being to blame. Though the herbs are risky, they are far too likely to kill her as well as the child and so she abandons the idea.

She could kill her father and frame it as an accident, but the risk of being found out is too great, her hatred of the man is well known and she would be suspected immediately, and though her lover may forgive her were she to do the deed herself he would never aid her in such a dangerous act.

She knows that she will have to act quickly, before her father notices her belly grow, she needs a way to have him killed without being suspected herself, she needs someone to raise her child in her stead, and she needs to ensure that she will even make it through the birth alive.

She needs a witch.

Eulalia knows of four witches that live in the nearby woods, each would gladly take her child, but there are risks. There are many different reasons for a witch to want a child, some of those reasons darker than others, if Eulalia is to sell her child to a witch she will get only one favour in return and her child may be eaten or sacrificed.

Asking to have her father killed would mean nothing if she is to die in childbirth, and wishing to survive childbirth will be useless if her father were to beat her to death afterwards. If only she could have more than one favour, but she would need more than one child… or perhaps, more than one witch. A plan comes to Eulalia’s mind, Eulalia’s clever, clever mind and that very night she shares her clever thoughts with her beloved stable boy.

While her father is out hunting the next morning the young woman gathers up her skirts and hikes into the woods alone, she assures her lover that she will be safe and her journey will be short, she does not need to know where she is going. You do not find the witch you seek, the witch will always find you.

Verano, the Witch of Summer, is the first.

“What is it you want, girl?” Verano asks of her in a parched, dry voice that crackles like fire.

“I wish to make a trade.” says Eulalia, opening her satchel. “I wish for good health through pregnancy and a quick recovery after birth. I will trade you one of four things in return.” Eulalia holds out a small cracked mug, a ragged home-sewn shawl and a broken mirror.

The witch ignores the trinkets, eyeing only the woman’s belly, “What is the fourth?”

Eulalia lays a hand across her midsection, “My first born child, though I request that you only choose your payment the day after the child has been born, you may come and consider all gifts equally and leave with the one you prefer over the others.” Eulalia plays the part of the desperate mother clinging to hope and the witch’s mercy, she plays it well.

Verano smirks, “I will grant your wish and agree to your terms, but I assure you the child will be the one I choose.”

Eulalia grasps her belly tightly, “We will see, Summer Witch.”

The next day Eulalia once again makes her way into the forest, her satchel of trinkets on her shoulder, this time, she seeks the Autumn Witch.

“What is it that you desire, child?” Otoño asks of her with a voice as fragile and delicate as the crisp leaves underfoot.

“I wish good fortune upon myself and my lover, we are to travel soon and I would feel safer knowing that we won’t encounter any dangers upon the road.” Eulalia makes her offer and the Autumn Witch agrees to the terms.

The next day Eulalia seeks the Witch of Winter.

“You are brave to come out here all alone young one, what is it you wish to gain from this journey?” Invierno asks, her words harsh and cold like an icy wind.

“I wish for my father’s death, an accident that cannot be blamed on myself,” Eulalia gives the Winter Witch the same offer as the witch before, Invierno agrees gleefully and promises her father a perfectly accidental demise.

The next day Eulalia enters the forest to meet with the last witch.

“My what a scrumptious young thing I’ve found wandering my woods alone,” says the sickly, sweet honeyed voice of the Witch of Spring. “What can I do for you my pet?”

“I wish for a pouch of endless coins.” Eulalia says quickly before offering her gifts and terms. Primavera smiles hungrily, promising that when Eulalia gets home her new magical purse will be waiting. She travels home quickly and hides it under the floorboards.

Only a week later Eulalia is approached by a friend of her father with news of his death.

“A bear caught us unaware in the woods. I don’t understand what it was doing here so far from the mountains but…”

Eulalia feigns shock and surprise, the hunter assures her that the bear has been killed and will not bring harm to any others of the village, “The beast will be skinned, I will bring you it’s fur personally.”

She thanks him tearfully, false sobs hiding her laughter. Her father will never lay a hand upon her again.

As Eulalia’s belly grows so too does her solitude, she fakes her grief so well that nobody questions when she locks herself away, sending the sweet, caring stable boy to do her chores and fetch goods from the market. The villagers say she is lucky to have such a decent young man to look after her, Eulalia and her father may have quarrelled often, but she is young and fragile and could not possibly cope on her own without the generous help of the local stable boy. Everyone hopes to see them marry when her grief finally passes.

The day of birth comes, she secretly delivers the child at home, quickly and with very little difficulty as the Witch of Summer promised. Eulalia feeds the child as her lover prepares their meagre belongings, packing away the magic coin purse and sneaking a pair of horses from the town stables. Before they leave she lays her sleeping child on the bearskin alongside the cracked mug, ratty shawl and broken mirror. She gives the little girl a tender kiss on her small forehead.

“Thank you.” Eulalia whispers before she and the stable boy disappear into the darkness of the early morn, never to be heard from again.

The witches are not impressed be the arrangement.

“We have been tricked!” says Invierno, “The wench has promised the child to all of us! She must be punished!”

“We were not promised the child,” Otoño softly reminds her, “we were promised one of four things, there is a gift here for each of us, she has broken no rules.”

“She knew we would all want the child.” states Verano, “But she has left us to fight for it ourselves, she knows she has kept her side of the bargain. We have no power over her.”

“I say we hunt her down and slit her throat for this treachery!” Primavera hisses. “And we can split the child down the middle and across the belly, we can each take a piece!”

“If you dare harm the child I will kill you,” threatens Invierno. “I am in need of a slave, I have no use for child pieces.”

“And should you harm the mother the fates will send swift punishment,” warns Otoño, “despite her clear devious intent, she HAS kept her word. We agreed to choose a gift, without the mother or those of her blood here to mediate the choice for who may have the child the choice lands on our shoulders.”

“The child is of her blood.” says Verano, “Per the rules, the child must choose who of us is to take her.”

“But the child’s word is not binding until she comes of age!” Primavera snips. “We would have to wait sixteen years!”

“We are bound by the rule of the fates Primavera.” Otoño says quietly. “We have little choice in the matter. Unless three of us can agree to give up their claim to the child, we must wait.”

No witch is willing to give up her claim, so it is agreed that Otoño will take the child until autumn’s end, at which point she will pass her along to Invierno for the winter. Primavera will take her for the spring and come summer hand her off to Verano, after which the cycle will begin anew until the sixteen years are up and the girl makes her choice.

Otoño is the one who gifts the child with the name Nina. She raises the girl as she would her own babe, with love and care and compassion. She is sad to pass the child along and yearns for her return in the next year.

Invierno spends little time with Nina, preferring to swaddle the little girl up in rags and leave her until she is to be fed or changed. She has no interest in babies and only speaks to Nina when needing an ear to complain about a spell gone awry or a bothersome forest spirit. She is not sad to see the girl disappear from her home for the next three seasons, she will no longer have to waste her healing potions on Nina’s teething gums.

Primavera has many uses for the child. Though she cannot eat her flesh as she would like, the hair and fingernails of a babe can be used in many spells for youth and beauty. Nina is pampered with herbal creams and lotions, anything to help her soft hair and tiny nails grow quickly, although she is occasionally left with sore fingers and toes when the witch carelessly cuts too close to flesh.

Verano prefers to spend her three months teaching Nina to speak, familiarising her with the words for items around the hut, or animals outside the windows. If the girl is to become her apprentice she will need to know how to see and hear and touch the world around her. ‘Verano’ is Nina’s first word.

The other witches take it very personally.

By the time Nina returns to the Summer Witch she is speaking many new words and phrases.

“Tono mama best.” Nina says after her second autumn.

“Inveeya strong mama!” she cries after her second winter.

“Preemvee pretty mama!” she proclaims after her second Spring.

“VERANO!” Nina screams in excitement any time she eyes a puddle of mud.

Verano knows perfectly well that this is not an accident. She teaches Nina that food is for throwing if fed by anything other than a golden spoon, knowing full well she is the only one to own such a thing. She teaches Nina that long hair is always for pulling, knowing she is safe with her own short fiery locks out of the child’s reach.

Otoño retaliates by teaching Nina to walk. The others are unprepared and swiftly learn to keep their poisonous ingredients up on high shelves. Invierno creates a cage of wood and ice to keep the child confined. Primavera inadvertently teaches Nina some very very inappropriate new words when catching her with a sprig of Oleander in her mouth, once the danger has passed she teaches her a plethora of new ones just for fun.

After being savagely cussed for not allowing Nina to stay up after bedtime, Verano pleads for a truce.

As the years pass Nina learns the ways of her witch mothers, she watches and questions and helps when she is asked.

From Verano Nina learns the power of the Sun, of fire and heat and the magic born within the ashes of the hearth, how it may be used for health and healing and creation. She learns to cure wounds and ailments, and conjure constructs of shadow and ash. She learns that Verano has the warmest kisses of all her witch mothers, a burning touch upon her forehead will linger the night through, keeping the monsters in the darkness at bay.

From Otoño Nina learns the power of the Seer, of prophecies and fortunes that can guide and be guided, the nature of change and how fate can never truly be controlled, but swayed. She learns to see the signs of misfortune upon the roads she travels and how to walk between the ill omens that lay before her. She learns that Otoño’s gentle embrace can cast away all the shadows of sadness and fear, even without the aid of spells and magic.

From Invierno Nina learns the power of the Beasts, of creatures in the night who hunt and howl, she learns the ways of the goblins and gnomes, of the merfolk below the ocean’s depths and the wolfbeings who prowl the woods. She learns of survival in the woods, the home of these creatures, how to ward them away from her food and her fire, how to fight when still they approach, uninvited. She learns of Invierno’s love of games, how her cool eyes blaze with the fire of competition and her spirit soars when they race for the sake of pure fun.

From Primavera Nina learns the power of Beauty, of the secret poisons that hide within the prettiest of flowers, of the mesmerising nature of a sweet voice and a charming face. She learns the nature of illusions, distraction and misdirection, gentle touches and swift fingers, silver words that confound and bind the unsuspecting. She learns of Primavera’s self doubt, that the days her hands are busiest are the days her thoughts are cluttered, Nina finds that kind, encouraging words can weave a special magic of their own at times like these.

The witches, in turn, learn many things about their young ward.

Verano learns that Nina likes to sing while doing chores, she has little talent and her songs are often nonsense, but the witch enjoys them nonetheless, and when Nina cannot be found for supper it is often the fault of the nearby river, it’s enticing cool waters tempt her so on the hottest of days and she will succumb each and every time without fail.

Otoño learns that Nina enjoys her tea with a heaping dose of honey, she has a tongue for sweets and a fondness for cooking, if left alone for an afternoon the witch will find her home smelling positively delectable upon her return. On their regular outings Nina will leap upon any leaf pile deemed large enough to soften her fall and quite often forgets her scarf when it is cold, Otoño suspects she does so on purpose simply to bother her.

Invierno learns that Nina is tenacious, she often does not pick up on lessons right away, but her determination will carry her through any task no matter how difficult it may be. She is competitive, and will always strive to hunt a bigger kill, collect more herbs, cut down the bigger tree, to Nina everything is a challenge to be surpassed, she and Invierno have this in common.

Primavera learns that Nina cannot keep her fingers out of her hair, she fiddles with her dark curls relentlessly if she has little else to do to keep her hands busy, she will even play with the silky tendrils of the witch’s hair if allowed, braiding and twisting the luscious strands into intricate designs atop her head. She also chews the ragged ends of her always filthy nails to Primavera’s unrivalled disgust.

Nina is taught by all the witches that the most sacred magic comes from the world around them, for it is from the world that the witches learn their craft. Nina did not learn from the world, and so as far as she is concerned the most sacred of all magics come from the hearts of her very own mothers.

Nina loves her mothers, she loves them all unconditionally, she loves them all equally. The witches know this well, and so when the day of their beloved daughter’s sixteenth year comes the witches gather, they gather with food and gifts and games. They gather each with the same Question balanced atop their lips.

'Who will you choose?’

The Question sits throughout the games, it sits throughout their meal, it sit throughout the giving of gifts. It sits and sits and sits on the lips of each witch as they steal secret glances to one another, waiting to see who will be the one to let it tumble forth.

The day passes, Nina and the witches talk far into the night, moving into Otoño’s warm hut when the chill of darkness sets in. The witches know that they cannot part ways before the Question is asked for they must all be present when Nina is to make her choice, but still not a one of the four can bring herself to say it aloud. Nina chatters happily away, knowing nothing of her mothers’ plight, she has never had all of them together for an entire night, and she has never seen them get along so well. She wishes that they would never leave, she wishes this night would never end.

Morning comes and Invierno offers her aid in the small kitchen as Nina begins cooking breakfast. “How do you get anything done in a kitchen so small?” the Winter Witch asks. “I shall not leave this home until we can build one of a decent size!”

Verano offers to fetch water from the well so that they may bathe, “How can you possibly travel so far for clean water each day?” the Summer Witch asks upon her return, “I will not leave this home until I have dug you a brand new well right upon your doorstep!”

Primavera does not offer her help with the morning’s chores, opting instead to comment snidely on Otoño’s pathetic attempt at a garden. “How could you possibly grow anything through all these weeds? I refuse to leave this home until this garden is worthy of my gaze!”

Otoño makes no complaints of her three guests, and Nina could not possibly feel any more delighted about their stay. When the kitchen is finished and winter inevitably arrives Nina, for the first time in her life, does not travel to Invierno’s home.

“The weather is too cold to travel such a distance,” says the Winter Witch, “we must stay here until the spring.”

Nina knows the both of them have travelled in far worse conditions just for sport, but she says nothing, nor does she argue when Primavera weaves her own excuses for staying throughout the spring.

“If this garden is to have any chance I must remain to tend it through the spring,” she insists. “It has yet to meet my standards and I simply refuse to leave until it does!”

Verano does not even mention her old house when summer’s heat presses down upon them, she speaks only of the new river path she has spent the past seasons digging by the Autumn Witch’s home.

“With luck we shall be swimming again before summer’s end!”

The day of Nina’s seventeenth birthday arrives in the coming autumn, and the witches remember a Question that had never been asked. They suddenly realise, however, that such a Question no longer sits heavy upon their lips.

Another year passes, and another, and another. Otoño’s once small and shabby hut becomes a large den of life and noise, of bickering and laughter. The witches who once saw one another so rarely now break bread at a single table each night, along with the young woman who brought them all together when she was just a babe.

The witches can no longer imagine a world in which they do not live alongside one another, the thought of breaking their family apart hurts them so deeply they simply cannot fathom why they did not come together sooner.

Verano could never stand to lose the gentle kisses and tender embraces she now receives daily, Otoño could never go back to the silence that once settled upon her home, Invierno could never again survive without the talk and chatter that now sweeps away the loneliness, and Primavera could never give up the support and love and care that help to keep her ill thoughts at bay…

Though she never asks and is never told, Nina eventually discovers the truth of her birth mother, and of the choice she was to make all those years ago, for she knows that the children of witches are always the children of the unwanted. She knows there is a woman out there who did not dump her on the side of the road, nor drown her in a river, but instead promised her to four witches who would become the family that she knows and loves.

Nina will never meet the woman who birthed her, nor does she ever wish to, but on a dark night, when the wind whips through the trees like a beast through the underbrush, she whispers words to the woman who gave her away.

A long way away a woman sits peacefully by the ocean with her husband, arm in arm they watch the boats cross the beautiful waters, the woman places a hand atop her swollen belly. Her face is one of contentment.

A wild wind thrashes through the woman’s dark curls, and with it comes a voice she does not recognise.

“Thank you.”

A tear rolls down the woman’s cheek, though she does not know why. Her husband pulls her to her feet and they begin their walk home. Eulalia places her hand upon her belly once again.

She will do right by this one.

well this is finally done, I wanted to do more of the witches interacting after moving in together but the story got too long and I couldn’t find a good place to put it in, just imagine them all doing cute girlfriend things together