Title: a witch's smile
Summary: It was just an accident.
Disclaimer: The Witch's House belongs to Fummy. I make no monetary profit from this fiction. This written work is my own and may not be copied or reposted elsewhere and permission will not be given for either.
Notes: femslash, mild gore, bodily mutilation.
I'm really not sure how old Ellen and Viola are in canon but I'm making them be fourteen for the purpose of this fic. I think they're still young but not quite children so yeah.
It was an accident. It was never anything more than an accident.
Viola knew better. She knew what the townspeople said about the forest, about the witch who ate unsuspecting and lost children. But she wasn't a child. So that made it okay for her to go into the forest, right? As long as she did not get lost, she wouldn't get caught by the witch, right?
She had never expected to wander right into the witch's den. Never, ever. In fact, when she first found the house, hollowed in by trees and pretty rose bushes riddled with pointy thorns, she thought the house abandoned. The inside was a fantastic spectacle to behold, filled with many mysterious things she could have never imagined even in her most whimsical moments. And maybe that should have tipped her off. Made her turn around and never look back. But Viola's curiosity was at its highest. So further into the house she went.
When she found Ellen amongst the bed sheets in the only bedroom in the entire house, Viola had no idea how much of an impact this would have on her.
Everyday she went to Ellen's house. Everyday they kept each other company. And Viola, still ever so curious, wondered why Ellen lived alone with no parents.
"My parents are dead," Ellen had answered simply, sat up in bed, pillows against the headboard and sheets nestled in her lap. She didn't look sad when she said it, which surprised Viola. If it was her, if she had lost her father, she just wouldn't know what to do, wouldn't know how to cope.
But Ellen seemed all right, so Viola didn't linger on the subject.
Ellen hardly ever got out of bed. She was too sick, too weak to move very well and exert that much energy. Viola knew it would hurt her to get out of bed, even though she wanted to take her newfound friend outside for some fresh air. Maybe even take Ellen to meet her father. She was sure father would just love Ellen. Love that Viola had found a friend.
"You're very pretty, Viola."
Ellen's words caught Viola off guard, and she blushed, fingers clutching onto the open book she was in the middle of reading to Ellen. When the shock somewhat faded away, she closed the book in her lap, right index finger between the pages so she wouldn't lose her place. Viola glanced away, cheeks still lightly stained red.
Ellen smiled at her, and that regained Viola's attention since those smiles were such a rare occurrence throughout the day. She smiled when Viola came to her room, and sometimes she smiled as they spoke. Ellen wasn't a particularly cheerful person. She was nice and kind despite how sick and full of pain she was all the time. But otherwise, her mannerisms didn't reflect her age very much.
"You really are pretty, Viola," Ellen pressed on, still smiling. "Your hair is such a nice color and so are your eyes. I wish I looked like you. Full of life and so very pretty."
Viola did not know what to say to that. She thought about Ellen's compliments all night in bed, staring up at her bedroom ceiling in the dark, and she still could not think of a thing to say to such words.
"May I brush your hair?" Ellen requested one day, and Viola could find no reason to object other than having to undo her braids.
Ellen's fingers were fragile little things as they held onto Viola's hair and the brush. She would hold a section and stroke the captured hair with the brush carefully while Viola sat on the bed in front of her friend, hands folded in her lap. At one point Ellen stopped brushing, simply holding some of Viola's blonde hair in her hand. Viola looked back, confused over why Ellen had stopped.
Ellen smiled, and brought Viola's hair up for a simple kiss.
"I want to go outside," Ellen proclaimed one day. "But I cannot leave this bed. It hurts to move."
Viola felt sad for her friend, being cooped up in a house all by herself. She imagined Ellen to be terribly, horribly lonely. She wanted to help, truly, but there was no way to rid the pain it would bring unto Ellen. No way. No way ever. Or so she thought.
"I can do magic," Ellen said the next day. At Viola's surprise, Ellen nodded and smiled, her face pretty with it. "I'm very good at it, too. This whole house is filled with magic, every object inside enchanted with it."
Viola felt something prickle at the back of her mind, information she once knew but had forgotten. She tried to reclaim it, but Ellen's voice cut through her thoughts. "You can help me go outside. You can help me not feel pain." Ellen paused, her eyes like drills into Viola's skin with how intensely she looked at her now. "I just need you to give me your body."
The fright Viola felt then could not be put to words, or even thought. Ellen appeared to catch on and backtracked, her eyes losing that odd gleam, but Viola could still feel it on her flesh. Oh, how it prickled with goosebumps from the memory alone. This side of Ellen was beginning to scare her, though she did not run like her legs commanded her to. How could she run away from her unfortunate friend in her time of need? Viola knew she wouldn't be able to forgive herself if she did, so she listened on.
"Just for one day? I promise I won't keep your body for longer than that," Ellen insisted, her voice calm and clear regardless of the subject matter. "Please?"
Though her mind was filled with doubt and fear and hesitation, Viola agreed. This was for her friend, someone who she wanted to help since day one, someone who had been sick all her life and left alone in this house amongst the trees and thorny rose bushes. She could give her a day. Just one pain free day was more than enough.
Ellen reached out, taking Viola's hand in her own weak one and intertwining their fingers, lacing them together.
"Thank you, Viola."
Ellen smiled. And kissing Viola on the cheek, something that made her blush, Ellen sent her away.
The next day Viola woke up to an unspeakable pain and being unable to see anything at all. This body did not feel like her own. Where there was once energy and life, sickness and pain had taken their place. Had Ellen done the switch during the night? But this wasn't right. Something just wasn't right.
Her hands, and only now did she realized how weak Ellen truly was, came up to touch her face, finding her cheeks to be wet with something she had no clue what it was. But it was only when her fingertips reached her eyes did she fully become terrified.
She had no eyes. The sockets were empty, felt gorged and rough, as if her eyes had literally been dug out.
Viola tried to scream, but all that came out were distorted and disgusting gurgles. Yet she continued to scream, though she found she no longer had a tongue to help with the screaming. Sinking deeper and deeper into panic, her breath labored and hitched, she scrambled and fell out the bed with a thud. Her body - no, Ellen's body - throbbed with pain from the fall and the movement. She felt pain everywhere. Her mouth. Her eyes. Her legs...
Except...she had no legs. Not anymore.
And she remained on that floor, in that same position on her side for hours. And she weakly screamed and gurgled and tried to speak and tried to blink. Nothing worked.
For once in her life, she mourned being unable to cry.