The dawn broke and golden sunlight spilled over the mountains revealing the rolling mists enveloping the landscape below. Watching from my bedroom window I drew a small heart into the wet condensation that clung to the glass pane. The weather was turning away from the hot hazy Summer into the cool crisp Autumn. Soon Halloween and Samhain would be upon us again, I smiled to myself. Leaving my window seat, I padded across the cold wooden floor of the attic and lifted the trapdoor positioned in the middle of the floor. I lowered myself carefully down, descending into the small hallway. The door of Grandma's bedroom was ajar and I could see her waving a cinnamon broom across the door way.
"I think your grandfather visited me last night." She said.
"Perhaps he wanted a goodnight kiss." I yawned.
"I couldn't stand him when he was alive."
"You don't mean that Gran."
"I know what I meant." She puffed furiously wafting the brush over the door. Glancing into her room I noticed that the delicate ornate crystal bowl was filled with ash and cigarette butts. Groaning I snapped, "You've done it again Gran. You mistook Great Grandma's bowl for an ash tray."
Grandma stopped dusting and adjusted her specs, "Damn spectacles must be dusty." She snapped.
"You need new glasses Gran." I said bluntly.
"Fiddle sticks do I! There's nothing wrong my sight."
"You need an eye test."
"Damn it Sky can't you see I'm busy. I don't want that old coot visiting me again. Forty years of marriage was bad enough and I have a whole eternity in his company to look forward to when I die."
"Fine. It's too early in the morning to argue with you."
Too tired to argue I left the old bat to ward off Grandpa's spirit. It wasn't easy living in a family of witches. There was no way I could go to a normal school or have normal friends. The good church-going folk of the near by towns were far too conservative for the likes of us 'freaks'. Grandma and I were renowned for our eccentric dress sense. Our reputation for unusual Gothic apparel caused a sensation when we made those rare trips to town. Grandma would spend hours braiding ribbons and flowers into her long gray hair before we went. She always wore her hair down over her green velvet cloak and people would stop their cars and stare at her as she paraded down the main street. She loved attention. While I on the other hand shied away from it. I didn't invite people to stare at me like she did. Towns were like an alien planet to me. I was far more comfortable in the forest. From an early age the isolation of the forest became a safe haven from the odd looks and cold stares of the local people. I would spend hours wandering the forest sitting in trees talking to nature spirits and watching the passing of the seasons. From this I had learned solitude and because it all I knew loneliness never bothered me. People were not my destiny. I would live alone forever once Grandma died, then I would eventually die and with me so would the ancient magic that flowed through my veins. I was the last of my family.
Stepping out into the morning air I stretched and inhaled the cool fresh air. I think today I would go forging in the forests for wild blackberries then I might cook up some jam later or bake a pie.
"Sky!" Grandma summoned loudly from with in the house.
I hated shouting so I headed back inside the house and replied with a sensible volume, "Yes?" .
"Could you cast a spell for the vegetable harvest this year?" she asked.
"Sure. I'm going blackberry picking first then I shall do it. Leave the spell out on the side or bookmark it whatever." I shrugged.