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crushed lavender, bottled blood, and witch cauldrons

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Root was never the type of person to fit in. She couldn’t even if she tried, and she had given up trying. When she was thirteen years old, she realised that she wasn’t like everyone else. Things happened when she got angry or when she wanted something. She would say things and people would just do what she asked. Books would fly off shelves when she had nightmares at her home. And her home. Her home was an echoing chamber, always lonely and away from everyone else. Most of her company came from the stray German Shepherd that came around every once and awhile. She would set out meat for him and he would eat it happily. She felt bad for him, not having a home. She could relate to it more than anything.

 

Root sat out on the patio at a small cafe in town. It was very much a college cafe. There were students scrambling to write thesis papers. One girl taking a nap in the corner. Root stirred her lavender tea and watched the chaos around her. It was all very comical to her, the way these people panicked about such stupid things like essays and research papers.

 

There was one girl that interested her more than the others. She was the only other calm person there. Outside with sun gleaming down on her hair. Her hair was tied up in a ponytail and she was wearing all black, despite the fact that it was around eighty degrees outside. She wasn’t goth or emo but Root could definitely tell that there was some sort of ‘fuck with me and I will stab you with no remorse’ aesthetic going on and she liked that. There was something that told her that she should watch this girl.


 

Sameen Shaw was possibly the only person that ever did her work on time, everyone else just liked to make a big deal about procrastination and things like that. Sameen had realised pretty quickly that people always liked to make a big deal out of everything, especially college students. They complained about how hard and annoying some professors were and like to bitch about everything and everyone.

 

Sameen figured that the sooner you stopped bitching and just shut up, the easier it was to get work, and even if the work was arduous and tedious sometimes. Sameen Shaw was a chemical engineering major and she was good at what she did. She was practical and quick thinking and cut the bullshit. So when everyone was scrambling to finish for midterms and write essays, Sameen wasn’t worried.

 

She was reading and sipping on her cup of black coffee outside. She could see people practically pulling their hair out in her peripherie and she wanted to laugh a little. This place was also a place where some of the people that came here were kind of odd to say the least. One of them being the girl that was kind of the town urban legend. No one was really sure what her name was, she didn’t have a job, she lived just outside of town, and people found her very off putting.

 

People found Sameen really off putting too. So maybe that was the one thing this girl and her had in common. But this girl was something else entirely. She gave off this weird off kilter vibe that Sameen wasn’t really sure she liked. It was somewhere in between nineteen sixties girl in a cult or modern witch. She was reading Kurt Vonnegut and not so subtly staring at her over her book every once and a while.

 

Sameen did her best to ignore her for the time being. She didn’t have time to wonder what the other girl wanted with her right now.


 

 

There was something about girls that Root had always found masterful, to say the least. Like whatever divine being had created them had done so with an extra careful hand. It was something that was to be admired and cherished at all costs. That’s what she was doing when she was looking at Sameen Shaw. That was her name. Root could hear her thoughts like she could hear everyone else’s, but they were quieter, like whispers behind a wall of static.

 

Root lit some candles, her mind still on the girl at the cafe. She wondered why her brain stayed on her for so long, she would look at girls and linger on them for a few minutes and then they would vanish from memory like wisps of smoke after a candle was blown out.

 

Root was taken away from her thoughts when she heard a dog barking outside, she opened the backdoor in the kitchen and Bear came barreling through the door. She already set out a bowl of water for him and he started lapping it up as soon as he came through the door. She tutted when she noticed that he was tracking mud into the house but it only took a small incantation to clean it up. “Where have you been?” She asked him. “You’re so dirty.”

 

Most days the only person that Root would talk to wasn’t even a person, it was Bear. She kneeled down and made sure that the dog didn’t have any scratches or bites or anything concerning, and when she was sure that he was okay she fed him. “Good boy,” She said. Staring down at Bear usually made her happy, but it did the opposite today.

 

There were days like that. Days where Root’s mind would hold onto things for so long and turn them into something that just made her feel worse. She tried to ignore it, drink more tea, read and let the time pass by. She hummed to music that played throughout the hallways on an old radio she had found on the side of the road and fixed up and fantasized about Sameen Shaw. It was stupid, so stupid, to fantasize about a girl that she didn’t know. But it passed the time better than anything else.