The Ishi and the Witch: A Short Story of Fantasy by Cam 3 of 3

Updated on January 2, 2017

Humans and Ishi came from far and wide, many traveling all night, to be part of what was being called a revolution. The numbers of humans and Ishi were astounding even to them. None could recall such a gathering in the kingdom. As one, they marched toward the castle, chanting as they went. Unity was being forged in spite of the vast differences between the two populations.

The march was only a ruse. It was of incredible importance that it worked, but the demands they were to present to the witch were only a diversion. The people knew there was real danger that the witch would unleash her anger and magic to destroy them all. Timing was crucial.

At the same time that the crowd approached the castle, Billy, Orin and two human men stole to the rear wall of the fortress. Located in the center of the stone wall at ground level was a wood door that looked like a mouse hole in the baseboard of a human's house. The door had to be opened or beaten down, and the success of the whole operation depended upon it.

The door had a simple lock, but something else was holding the door closed. Was it magic? One man had brought a very large hammer. He successfully knocked the lock off, but the door remained immovable. They all pushed together to no avail. They knew they were taking too long, that the people in front of the castle were now stalling. Anytime the witch could lose all patience and strike out in anger.

Orin had the other three stand aside. He backed up to the door. He was a big and powerful elkish.

"Think of the deerish who died the day I came here," said Billy.

"Think of all who have suffered and died at this woman's hands," said one of the men.

Orin closed his eyes and saw again all the death and destruction lying in the witch's wake, including the death of his wife, Mist's mother. His hind quarters rose into the air, his rear legs drew forward. Billy saw such determination in the elkish eyes, that he knew. He knew.

Two massive hooves struck the door with a blow that splintered both wood and magic, for magic it had been.


The mass of Ishi and humans at the front of the castle had advanced on the gates. The witch stood on the parapet at the top of the wall. Many in the crowd reported that she became distracted and looked confused at one point in time, turning first one way, then the other. Orin later deduced that it was the breaking of the magic on the door that had startled her.

The two elkish and two men sprinted into the castle. They were searching every possible room, but the structure was enormous. There were no guards, no servants. The woman and child lived in the castle alone.

Finally Billy called for the others to stop. They grew quiet and listened. They could hear the muffled roar of the crowd outside. They were banging on the front gates with hammers, hooves, fists and feet. The four strained to hear something different. What were they listening for? Then there was a lull in the crowd's roar, an instant in time and they could hear the crying of a little girl.

They had no desire to harm or frighten the child, so the door was opened slowly and the men entered first. The elk kept silent until it was necessary for them to speak so the child wouldn't be frightened. The men told her they were taking her to her mother, which was true.

They left the way they had entered. It was still crucial that they remain undetected. Time was running out.

"Billy," said Orin. "Can you carry the smaller of these two men?"

"I will, whether my body wants to or not." Billy lay down so the man could climb onto his back. Orin did the same for the other man and the girl. The race was on.


Up on the parapet, the witch was conjuring her magic. Across the meadow, two elkish carrying three humans flew like the wind. They slowed and stopped at the gate in the middle of the meadow. It had been Billy's idea. He had told Orin about the watch he had been wearing when he entered their world. It had stopped working immediately. The plan was based on that fact. What worked in one world, might not work in the other.

One of the men carried the little girl out into the meadow where the witch would be able to see from her elevated position. The man held the child up over his head.

"There is your mother. Do you see her on top of the wall?" said Orin.

The girl began to cry again, then to cry out more and more loudly, until the witch heard her daughter's voice.

The witch exhibited magic none had ever seen before. She stood on the top of the wall, above the parapet and leapt. It might be that not even she knew if it would work. But it did work, and she gathered speed as she flew across the meadow to rescue her daughter.

There was little time for Orin, Billy and the men to act. They hadn't foreseen such a display of magic. But they reached the door, opened it and pushed the child out into whatever lay on the other side. The witch landed and stared at the door. She locked eyes with Orin, then Billy and each of the men. Then she ripped the door open and passed through, never to be heard from again in the realm of her former kingdom.

Orin and Billy waited in silence. The crowd of humans and Ishi silently crossed the meadow toward the gate. They had waited long enough and the cheering began. The witch had been banished.

Orin turned back to celebrate with Billy. The boy was examining his own hands, his legs, his face. Mist was with him.

"It worked," said Billy. "Her magic is gone." He looked around for all the Ishi he wanted to say goodbye to.

"Billy!" Orin was alarmed. "The gate, Billy, go now."

The gate was flickering between solid and semi-transparent. There was no time at all for goodbyes. Billy sprinted to the gate, pulled and waved a hand above his head to the cheering of the ishi and humans.

It was silent as soon as he pulled the door closed. He turned and saw the witch and her daughter huddled together on the footpath that led through the woods. He walked over and put his arms around them. What else could he do?

It was about ten-fifteen on the same morning Billy had gone through the gate. He had been gone for two and a quarter hours. I found the three just like that, Billy embracing a woman and a child. All three were weeping. We stayed long enough for Billy to tell me the story. The woman, the witch, even added details of her own. The will to fight had dissipated with her magic.

We all walked together toward Billy's house working on the details for the story of a homeless woman and her child. Nobody would believe the truth. Nobody but me.

So there you have it. My first telling of Billy's story. I've already told you that Billy passed on recently. He was not an old man when he went, but he was ready. The witch, we called her Caprice, passed away a few years ago.

As for me, I married a beautiful young woman several years after these events. Today we walk together through the woods, and she plays little tricks with magic that her mother taught her. It's strange how the magic grows stronger where the gate once stood.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      3 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Lawrence, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      3 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Shauna, thank you for that compliment. A children's story? Maybe. My thought was that this story is too similar to the Narnia series to be taken seriously. But thanks for the idea.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      3 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Ann, I'm so glad you liked the story. This genre is so much fun. I believe I have five fantasy stories now.

    • profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago


      Not even sure I've seen the other two in this series, but still enjoyed this one immensely.


    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      The perfect ending to an amazing and sweet story, Chris! This would make a great children's book. Have you considered it?

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 years ago from SW England

      Charming! Absolutely charming! A lovely 'fairy' story to tell adults and children and an important message within it; you've turned your hand to yet another genre, Chris. I'm impressed.


    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      3 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Ruby, who knows what any of us might come up with as we hone our writing skills on this site. I appreciate your encouragement.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I loved this story! You should be writing children's books. I would go see this movie. I really think seeing Bambi as a child inspired my love for animals.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 

      3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      You so constantly impress and entettain me with your stories! A great new(ish)* genre for you!

      *pun originally unintended but definitely fitting!

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      3 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Larry, thank you for reading the story. It is quite similar to some of the popular fantasy stories. I'm just trying to lay a foundation of experience in this genre. I really enjoy writing it. I've got 9 stories that might fit this genre. This is the first along these lines. I appreciate you stopping by and staying a while.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Very engaging and imaginative story Cam.

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      3 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Shyron, thank you for reading the entire story. That is such a compliment in itself. Good always winning. Yes, here in this story it does, but I must confess to having written a number of stories where that is not the case. But it's good when the story lets you do that.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Wonderful story Chris, I loved it. I am glad that good always win.

      Blessings my friend

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      3 years ago from Traverse City, MI

      Thank you Becky.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      3 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      A beautiful story Cam. I enjoyed it a lot.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)