Welcome to Easy Stories in English, the podcast that will take your English from OK to Good, and from Good to Great.
I am Ariel Goodbody, your host for this show. Today’s story is for advanced learners. The name of the story is Mia the Witch. You can find a transcript of the episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Witch. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Witch. This contains the full story, as well as my conversation before it.
Today’s story is another story written by myself. So earlier on the podcast there was an episode, uh, The Very Hungry Dragon, which was a story I originally wrote. There have been a few. There was also The Beetle and the Boy, there was, uh, One Night in a Vampire’s House, um, but I haven’t done so many of my own stories.
Honestly, I would love to write more of my own stories for the podcast. It’s just a matter of time. It takes more time than adapting fairytales or other stories, although recently loads of you, like five of you, sent in stories and emailed them to me. So, uh, I’ve got lots of content for the podcast coming. So, thank you so much! You are honestly the best audience I could ever hope for. I am so happy to have you. Thank you so much.
So if you love witches, which I do, I love witches, then you will love today’s story. It’s all about witches. But these aren’t your evil fairytale, uh, cauldron-and-broomstick-and-black-cat witches. No, these are nice, soft, friendly witches, for the most part. One of them is maybe not so cuddly, but generally, it’s going to be a nice soft story.
And it’s actually a romance story. Apparently, I’m quite good at writing cutesy romances. There was also The Beetle and the Boy that was very cute. And I seem to quite enjoy doing this, so I think maybe I’ll try and write more romance. I know a lot of you enjoyed the previous episode Crow Island, which was like an action story, but I don’t, I dunno, I just, I don’t enjoy writing action as much. I really, really love writing romance and fantasy, so fantasy romance seems to be a place for me! I dunno. We will see.
Anyway, I would love to hear your comments on my story because I have a big ego! So go to EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Witch and let me know what you think of the story, whether you like it or not. I know this is an advanced-level story and a lot of you probably won’t understand everything because it’s quite a difficult story in terms of language, but, whatever comments you have, I would love to read.
I get so many comments from all of you. I don’t really say that enough. Thank you for all the comments. You really leave a lot of comments. Like, every episode, you know, usually has like four or five comments on it, which is actually quite a lot, because a lot of podcasts, you know, they don’t get any comments.
Uh, something I’ve been realising recently is, this podcast is pretty damn well, actually, and it’s something that I wasn’t expecting? Like I thought it could be popular, because I think it’s an intersection of two things that people really love: stories and English-learning—well, people need it more than they love it, perhaps—um, but I didn’t expect it to grow this quickly. So once more I want to say a big thank-you to all you the listeners. You are the best! And of course, an extra thank-you to all my Patreon supporters because you help me get closer to the dream of being fully independent. And when that happens, and I make enough money off the podcast, it’s gonna be crazy. I’m gonna do so much you will not be ready!
OK, I’ll just explain some words that are in today’s story.
A wizard is a male magic-user, so a male witch, essentially. The wizards that everyone knows and loves are Gandalf from Lord of the Rings and Dumbledore from Harry Potter.
A potion is a magic drink. Witches and wizards make potions, and they can have positive or negative effects. In Harry Potter, Snape is the potions teacher, and Harry is quite bad at potions.
Glorify is when you make something seem really amazing, even if it isn’t. For example, there are very popular shooter games now like Call of Duty that make war seem really cool and fun, but obviously it is actually a horrible and traumatic thing, and a negative overall. So we can say that games like Call of Duty glorify war, and perhaps make children less sensitive to the horrors of war.
Instinctive. So instinct is that feeling you have that helps you make decisions or figure out a situation. For instance, when I’m teaching, I sometimes feel that the students don’t understand me, and it’s just by instinct. It’s hard to explain why I feel that, but I just do. Athletes and musicians often rely on instinct for their performatives. So when something is instinctive, you don’t even have to consciously think about it. You just do it.
Bow is when you lower part of your body. Usually you bow your head, and you might do this at church, or you bow your body. In some East Asian countries such as Japan, bowing is a common way of greeting or saying thank you or sorry. You fold the upper half of your body and lower it.
Hiss is the sound a snake makes: ssssssss. Of course, other things may hiss, like a leaking pipe or a cat.
In a daze is when you are not fully awake but going around and doing things. So you might be in a daze because you’re tired, or under the effect of drugs, or because you’re very confused in a situation. Your eyes look kind of lost and you can’t focus on anything. If you walk around in a daze, someone might come and ask you if you’re OK.
A hedge maze. So a hedge is a type of bush, a big square one that you use as a wall in gardens. You might have a high hedge around your garden so that people can’t see into it. A maze is a collection of walls without ceilings that act as a puzzle. So you go into a maze, and you want to get to the centre or out the other side, but you don’t know the way to get there, and all the paths wind and go around and it’s very hard to know where to go. Often, mazes are made with hedges, such as the hedge maze in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
A seagull is a horrible, nasty, fat white bird with a big beak. Sorry, you can probably tell that I don’t like them. Seagulls usually live by the sea, but honestly, in the UK you can find them in pretty much any big town with a lot of tourists. They are everyone in my town, Bath, because they eat food that tourists drop or feed to them. The reason I hate them so much is that they are vicious and violent. A few months ago, I was walking across a bridge, eating a slice of pizza, and three seagulls came and stole it right out of my hand, and ate it in front of me! This is how a seagull sounds: [seagull sound]. Horrible.
Enchant is another way of saying cast a spell on someone. However, enchant has a positive meaning, and it doesn’t just have to be magic. Maybe someone is so beautiful that they are enchanting, and you just can’t take your eyes off them. Or maybe there’s a beautiful little island that you go on holiday to that is just enchanting.
The horizon is the line where the land, or sea, meets the sky. So when the sun rises and sets, it goes over the horizon. There is nothing lovelier than going to the beach on a sunny day and watching the boats and swimmers, and even the sunset, on the horizon.
A jetty is a long wooden construction that goes from the land onto the sea. Jetties are there so that boats can land and attach themselves to the jetty. Usually jetties are quite narrow and long.
Rags are old clothes that are falling apart, that maybe have holes in them, that can barely be considered clothes, really. If someone is wearing rags or just looks very dirty and untidy, you can say that they are ragged.
Mash is like crushing or smashing something. When you mash something, it turns into a soft paste. For example, mashed potatoes are a delicious food, where you mash up potatoes with milk, butter, salt and pepper, and maybe mix in some peas and onions as well. You can also mash avocado to make guacamole, a delicious Mexican sauce.
A cartwheel is a type of gymnastic movement. You stretch our your arms and move towards the ground, spinning around in a wheel on the ground. It is very hard to describe what a cartwheel is, but if you go to the transcript at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Witch, you can see a picture.
Poetic is when something sounds like it could be poetry. For example, if you say hello to your friend and ask how they are, and they say, ‘On this wintry morning I am filled with pure mirth, only somewhat marred by the melancholy of the muggy weather,’ then you could say, ‘Wow, that’s poetic!’ Although I would probably say, ‘OK, Shakespeare, someone ate dictionary on toast for breakfast.’
If you enjoy the podcast and want more, you can support us on Patreon. For just $2 a month you can get exercises with each episode, and for $5 you get an extra story every month. You can support us at Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish. That’s Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish.
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OK, so listen and enjoy!
Mia the Witch
Once there was a witch called Marabella, who lived in a deep, dark forest. As with most witches, she was not actually evil, but she did magic, and so the people were afraid of her, and whenever there was a storm, or a bad harvest, or a child got sick, they said, ‘It is the witch’s anger!’
Marabella lived a quiet life. She had a black cat and a white cat, who always walked side-by-side, with their tails wrapped around one another’s, like the night wrapped around a star. So she named them Starry and Night, and she loved them very much. The witch spent her days reading spellbooks, mixing potions, and gardening. Because everyone was so afraid of her, they never dared come near her house, and so she lived in peace.
But Marabella was lonely. More than anything, she wanted someone to share her home with. With magic, she could create beautiful paintings, delicious food, and powerful potions, but she could not make another person, and as lovely as Starry and Night were, she grew tired of talking to creatures who could only say, ‘Meow!’ But just as the world was afraid of Marabella, she too was afraid of the world. People confused her. They rejected her kindness and glorified her magic.
And still, and still, the months and years passed, and no-one dared enter into the dark, dark forest to visit her. She would live and die there, all alone except for her cats and her plants.
So one day, Marabella set off on a journey. She packed some bread and cheese, a bottle of wine, and a few potions, and set off with Starry and Night trailing behind her. For the first few days, she had a lovely time, wandering through the forest picking berries and mushrooms. She knew this place well, and while she met no other humans, she did come across friendly creatures, who were more than happy to see her. A witch is a friend to all of nature, although the townspeople would say the opposite.
Soon, though, Marabella reached the edge of the forest, and came across a farmer. At first he greeted her, but when she introduced herself as Marabella, he ran away screaming.
‘I will have to change my identity, it seems,’ she said. ‘What do you think, Starry and Night? What name should I go for?’
The cats just meowed, so she decided to call herself Mia.
Soon, Mia came to a city. The people there walked with their heads bowed, and in the streets not a single word was said. The markets were dull and quiet, and even though Mia had never been in a city before, she instinctively knew that it should’ve been loud with the cries of marketplace sellers and friendly conversation. There was a dark and terrible atmosphere to this place, and the people even stared at her dear cats with suspicion.
In the centre of the city stood a grand, coal-black castle, and when Mia went and asked who lived there, the guard said, ‘What, you haven’t heard of the great wizard Karluk?’
‘A wizard lives here?’
‘Not just any wizard. The most powerful wizard in the world!’
Mia was amazed. Here, they were not afraid of magic. She asked to see the wizard, but the guards laughed in her face.
‘The wizard does not take audiences with little beggar girls.’
So Mia clicked her fingers, and a flower appeared in her hand.
‘Hah!’ said one of the guards. ‘You might be able to do some simple tricks, but you can’t do real magic like him.’
Mia sighed, and lifted her arms in the air. For a moment, nothing happened, but then slowly, with plenty of concentration, she started to float. The guards stood with their mouths open as she floated higher and higher, sweeping past the walls of the castle. All the people inside pointed and stared at her through the windows. She flew up and up, right up to the tallest tower, where a man with wild black hair was working in a study.
‘Hello,’ she said.
The man jumped, having been absorbed in his writing. ‘Who are you?’ he said, irritated.
‘I am Mia, the witch of the dark, dark forest. And you are…?’
The man stood up and bowed. ‘I apologise. I thought that this was surely some trick, but I see that you are a talented user of magic, though perhaps not as much as I. I am Karluk, the king of this land. And I must say, you are the most beautiful witch I have ever seen.’
Mia blushed, and the spell was broken, sending her falling to the ground. Luckily, she caught herself just in time, floating a metre above the ground and slowly descending. Starry and Night hissed and pawed at her leg.
‘You have a quite charming king,’ Mia said, and just then, the doors of the castle opened and Karluk himself stood right there. The guards, still in shock from her display of magic, stood to attention at the sight of their ruler.
‘My dear Mia,’ he said, ‘are you alright?’
‘I’m fine, thank you.’
‘Brilliant. Then you’ll be happy to join me for dinner tonight?’
Mia had no other plans, so she agreed, and spent the rest of the day wandering around the city in a daze. Word of the incident spread quickly, and now the townspeople looked at her with a mixture of fear and admiration.
That evening, she was taken into an impossibly long dining hall, and greeted by Karluk, wearing colourful and expensive robes. Suddenly Mia felt very common in her black dress. They were the only clothes she had, and they were nowhere near as elegant as Karluk’s attire.
They sat down and Karluk clicked his fingers. Two plates of beautifully-cooked chicken appeared in front of them. Mia was amazed. Conjuration—making food and other objects appear in thin air—was not an easy form of magic. She could only conjure the flower because it came from her own garden, and she had loved and tended to that flower for many years already.
As they ate, Karluk told her all about his kingdom. It was a prosperous land, because all the merchants—the rich men who travelled around selling goods—feared him. In fact, it seemed like everyone feared him, which kept the place running well. He had no council and no enemies, although he did not specify if this was by accident or design.
‘But that is our privilege, is it not, as users of the magic arts? To guide the common folk, who cannot understand the knowledge we have.’
Mia had never thought of herself as very special. Of course, she could use magic, and it seemed she could use it well if she had managed to impress someone of Karluk’s importance, but she still lived in a house, ate food, worked and slept, just like everyone else.
‘The only thing I really care for is my garden,’ she said, sipping on the wine at the table. It was bitter and sweet at the same time, and she only continued to drink it to be polite.
Karluk smiled. ‘Here, you can have the grandest garden in the world! With fountains, hedge mazes, man-eating plants, and the sweetest-smelling flowers. Mia,’ he said, taking her hand in his, ‘won’t you share my home with me?’
Mia felt a strange feeling in her chest, like a bird trying to escape a cage.
‘I need… some time to think.’
‘Of course,’ he said. ‘But you will do me the honour of staying here tonight, won’t you? We can talk more tomorrow.’
She agreed, and a servant led her to a beautiful bedroom. The bed was practically as big as her cottage, and there was plenty of space for her to curl up with Starry and Night.
But Mia couldn’t sleep. She imagined the grand garden he spoke of, and the thought of it hurt her head. Besides, she missed her flowers and her potions table, and she missed the mysterious sounds of the forest at night. Here in the castle, she heard nothing but the distant cries of drunk men.
A grandfather clock struck midnight, and Mia got out of bed, opened the window, and climbed down the side of the castle. She slipped away with Starry and Night, and left the city behind.
Next, Mia wandered to the sea, arriving in the early morning when it was dark and windy. She had never seen it before, and the crashing waves, loud seagulls, and knife-like rocks enchanted her. At first, she kept her distance, walking on the deserted side of the beach, which was covered with wood and rocks that had washed up from the sea. She climbed onto an old log, worn from the endless attack of the saltwater, and wondered how it had gotten there. Starry and Night stayed far away from the water, meowing loudly whenever the breeze blew it in their faces.
The water was rough, and while there were a few brave swimmers, surely there could be nobody sailing the waters. But as Mia stared at the constantly-shifting horizon, something began to emerge above the waves. It was a boat! As it came nearer, she began to make out its features: there were many men on it, holding on for their dear life, and a huge net full of something on board.
‘What could it be?’ Mia muttered.
Starry and Night jumped forward, meowing excitedly. A moment later, Mia’s weaker sense of smell caught up with theirs.
She stood still, enchanted, as the brave fishermen pushed forward. For a while, it looked like they would never reach the shore, as every time they made a few metres, a wave pushed them back again. But slowly and surely, they came nearer and nearer, until finally they reached the jetty, and Mia could let out her inheld breath.
‘Let’s go talk to them!’ she said, and she ran across the beach. She wasn’t sure what had taken over her, but she felt a childish excitement at the prospect of seeing the men do their work. She was so used to reading old books and cutting up herbs that the heavy, involved labour of the fishermen filled her with energy.
They climbed onto the jetty and watched. The men, bearded and wrinkled, pulled the huge sack of fish off the boat, and started putting them into sacks to be taken away. For the most part, they ignored her, but one young man caught her eye. He had sandy red hair, and he was considerably younger than the rest. He smiled at her, and the fish in his hand slipped out and danced over the jetty, jumping back into the water. One of the older fishermen hit him on the head, and he continued his work with an embarrassed expression.
After they bagged the fish, Mia followed them to the market, where the fish were handed over to merchants setting up for the day. The market had its own fascination, and her eyes wandered over the various stalls, many selling kinds of food and clothing that she had never seen before.
‘You’re from out of town, aren’t you?’
She jumped, and Starry and Night hissed at the fisherman. Or fisher boy, more accurately. He had to be a similar age to her, but there was an undeniable youth to his eyes.
‘I am,’ she said, very aware of how different her accent sounded to his.
‘You don’t exactly look dressed for the sea, and that’s the only thing people come here for. So what brings you?’ His accent was salty as the seawater.
‘I was looking for a change. To see the world, and see its people.’
‘Well, I’m afraid you’ve already seen the most exciting part of here,’ he said, looking slightly embarrassed. ‘Say, can I invite you to a fish dinner?’
‘I would love that,’ she said.
He bowed to her, looking very childish as he did so, and went back with the fishermen, who were watching him and waiting.
Mia spent the rest of the day looking at goods in the market and chatting to the friendly merchants, but she had not a penny to spend, and when the shopkeepers realised this, they became considerably less friendly.
That evening, they ate in a small wooden cabin on the far side of town, near the sea. She could hear the waves crashing outside. The meal was simple, grilled mackerel with lemon, but it tasted just right for where they were, just as the mushrooms from her home tasted right when she was there.
Their conversation did not hold the same natural tone—Gurk, the fisher boy, stared down into his food like a shy child, and seemed to have no idea what to say. Mia wondered how such a brave, strong person could be so weak when it came to her.
‘So what do you… do?’ he said.
She chewed her food carefully, and then said, ‘I’m a witch.’
He choked, and then laughed nervously.
‘It’s not a joke. Don’t worry, I’m a good one.’
His eyes went wide. ‘Really? You can do magic?’
Mia smiled and waved her hand over her face. Her features changed in an instant, her lips replaced with the oily mouth of a fish. She opened and closed them a few times, before returning her true form.
Gurk stared with his mouth open, dropping a piece of mackerel on the floor which Starry and Night fought over.
‘Oh, you’re amazing! The guys will love you if you show them that. You could do a show in town, and make buckets of money.’
‘Hmm, but I don’t want to.’
‘What are you talking about? You could be rich! Most people have never met a witch or wizard in their life.’
Mia felt uneasy, as if she’d just swallowed a fishbone.
‘I just want a quiet life.’
Gurk shook his head. ‘Well you’re in the right place, then. Sure, fishing might look exciting, but that’s all there is around here. We get plenty of visitors, o’course, but they don’t want to talk to us local people. Well, you’d be the talk of the town here.’
Mia finished her meal and said goodnight. She went out to the beach and stared up at the moon. Somehow it looked so much more beautiful above the raging water. She stood there so long that nobody else remained outside, only her and the cats.
‘What do you think, Starry and Night? Could I share a home with him?’
The cats cleaned themselves and did not answer. Mia sighed, picked up her belongings, and hit the road.
Next, Mia came to a dark cave. She wanted to be alone for a while, and it seemed that wherever she went outside of her dark forest she found people, but in the black depths of the cave she found her solitude.
The caves went deep into the earth, and she discovered things there she had never seen before: shining rocks and underground waterfalls, hairy bats that looked like bent old men, and stone sculptures of powerful dragons with rocky jaws.
Mia loved the caves just as much as Starry and Night hated them. She climbed over the rocks, threw magic lights up into the yawning spaces above her, and dipped her toes into the icy waters.
‘I could almost stay here forever,’ she said, stroking the shivering cats. ‘But I love the plants and trees of the forest too much.’
And she felt a great sadness in her heart, for through all her travels, she had not found one person who she cared for as much as the flowers in her garden.
‘You don’t belong here.’
Starry and Night jumped so violently upon hearing the voice that they fell into the river below, and crawled out shivering. Mia turned to see a short, thin girl standing behind her. She was dressed in black rags, and she had wild, forest green hair that went down to her knees.
‘I’m sorry,’ said Mia, standing up and bowing, ‘I did not think there was—’
The girl stepped forward and grabbed her hand. For a long moment, she stared at Mia’s fingers, and all that could be heard was the sound of the magic light that floated above their heads.
‘You’re a witch,’ she said flatly.
‘How did you know?’
‘Herb fingers,’ the girl grunted.
Mia inspected her own fingers. It was true that there were spots of green permanently dyed under her fingernails, from all the mashing and cutting of herbs she undertook. This ragged cave girl was the first to comment on it.
‘I don’t want any trouble,’ said the girl. ‘When are you leaving?’
She started walking off, and for a moment Mia stood there, as if frozen.
‘You’re a witch, too?’
‘Obviously,’ grunted the girl. She spoke with a low, throaty tone, as if her own voice was foreign to her.
‘Then let’s be friends!’
She snorted. ‘Why do you think I live in a cave all alone? I don’t need friends.’
The girl jumped off the edge of some rock, and after a few seconds of silence, a splash came from below. Mia looked over the edge, but the water was too far down for her to see, and she didn’t dare follow.
She hated being told to leave in such a rude way. After all, these caves were huge! And it wasn’t every day that you met another witch. So she continued exploring the caves, and later on, just when Mia had finished her dinner and was thinking it was about time to head to the outside world, she came across the cave girl again. For a moment, she felt the hope of them making up, but then the girl spoke.
‘I told you to leave.’
‘I am leaving,’ she said, irritated, getting up and telling Starry and Night to follow her.
She wasn’t going to stay any longer in this cave if this was to be her reception. She marched away, but just as she was turning the corner, the girl cried, ‘Wait!’
‘What?’ snapped Mia.
‘Why did you come here?’
Mia blushed, and said, ‘I was looking for other people! I live alone, although in a very nice little cottage, and I have two charming cats to keep me company, so I’m not nearly as cold as you.’ Then she felt that she had said too much, and covered her mouth with her hand.
The cave girl just laughed. ‘I’m Hulla. At least, that’s what they used to call me. It’s… been a few decades since I spoke to anyone.’
It also looked like it had been a few decades since she had washed herself, but Mia told herself to be nice.
‘And why did you go into the cave in the first place? I can’t imagine you were born here.’
‘No… I got tired of being driven out of town. I was never quite able to keep my magic in check. One time a pig broke into my house and stole one of my potions. She went bright red like a tomato, and started breathing fire.’
Mia laughed, and Starry and Night started pawing at her legs. They wanted to leave, but she had changed her mind. Hulla wasn’t so bad after all.
‘I’m Marabella, though I’ve been going by Mia. I thought keeping to myself would keep me safe, but it seems my name has spread quite far throughout the land…’
‘Can’t say I’ve heard of it, but it’s nice to meet you.’
They smiled at each other, and a painful silence hung in the air.
‘Well, uh, you must want to be getting back to your journey. Don’t let me keep you.’
‘Come walk with me a while.’
‘Outside?’ Her face, which so far had only been coloured with annoyance, took on a childlike innocence, and she hid in her hair. ‘I don’t know how long it’s been. I don’t measure time here.’
‘Well, it’s always a good time to watch the stars, hey?’
So they climbed out of the cave together, Starry and Night running ahead, thrilled to be leaving the dark, wet caverns. When they came out, it was indeed nighttime, and there was a magnificent carpet of stars to be seen.
Hulla stood at the entrance of the cave, and looked uneasily around. ‘Funny, that town wasn’t there before.’
She nodded her head at the horizon, where there was a rough outline that Mia could only vaguely recognise as where she’d come from earlier that day.
‘Come on!’ she said, running and doing a roll on the grass. A great energy had filled her, and she couldn’t tell why.
But Hulla just stood there, and when Mia finished her cartwheeling and turned around, she was halfway back inside the cave.
Mia ran to her, and grabbed her arm. ‘It’s easy, I’ll—’
‘Get off me!’ Hulla cried, tearing her arm away. There it was again: the animal stare, the sharp teeth bared. And in the corners of her eyes, tears were forming.
Mia stepped back. ‘I’m sorry. I guess it has been a long time for you, huh?’
Hulla stared at her feet and sniffed several times, willing the tears back inside her, but it didn’t work: they fell onto Mia’s toes.
‘Let’s watch from here,’ Mia said, sitting down on the ground within the cave, but close enough to see the stars.
She expected Hulla to turn back and run into the cave the moment she turned her back, but to her surprise, Hulla sat down next to her.
‘They are beautiful. Like the shining rocks down there, but a thousand times denser.’ She made an mmpf noise and shut her mouth, embarrassed of what she said.
‘That’s very poetic,’ said Mia, and smiled at her.
They sat there for a long time, in silence and stillness, and then Hulla moved suddenly, grabbing Mia’s hand. Mia said, ‘Oh!’, and the other girl immediately dropped it, hiding back in her thick head of hair.
‘I’m sorry. I get so lonely in the caves. I— I should go!’
She jumped up, but Mia grabbed her wrist.
‘Please, sit down again. The stars haven’t said goodbye yet.’
Hulla opened her mouth, and then smiled, and sat down with her. They held hands, and then Hulla put her arm around Mia, and then Mia sat in her lap, and time itself seemed to disappear. There were just the two of them, staring up at the shining stars reflected in each other’s eyes, feeling the warmth of the world and each other’s arms, until the stars put on their jackets and retired for the night, and the sun came huffing and puffing over the horizon.
‘I think I’m ready to leave,’ Hulla said hoarsely. ‘For good.’
‘There’s room for two in my house. Well, it’ll be four with Starry and Night.’
‘You’ll really share your home with me?’
Mia felt her heart cry out, for she had never met someone as lonely as Hulla, and before she could stop herself, she kissed the girl, and she tasted the deep, dark warmth of the earth. Flowers grew at their feet, and stalactites grew from the ceiling of the cave, and Starry and Night sang sweet songs in harmony.
‘Yes, please come home with me,’ said Marabella.
Marabella went home with Hulla, and they lived happily ever after.
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