As the holiday of Beltane rose with the sun, the sky turned a deep gold. Cattle awoke in the fields to stare. Villagers poked their heads out of windows. Whispering descended on the castle as overhead, the witches flew.

Celeste held tight to her broom. It was her first Beltane as a full-fledged witch. “What if the villagers recognize us? What if they burn us?”

Her mother shook her head. “We’re too high up. Relax your arms. We have a long day of flying ahead.”

“We won’t get to dance around the maypole?”

“Our dancing starts at moon rise.”

“Where are we flying?”

“To visit our neighboring coven in the East.”

“To see Asha?” The last time Celeste had seen her was the Reunion of the Covens five years ago.

Her mother’s eyes probed, digging into Celeste’s mind. “Yes, and our other sisters.”

Down below, the children ran to the center of town to the maypole. Their parents lagged behind, not a wedding ring in sight. Rays of sun warmed Celeste’s back. They started out over the ocean, light reflecting off the waves. As one, the witches dove down and gathered water into their jugs for purification and fertility. Celeste capped her bottle and closed her hand around the locket Asha had given her when they’d first met. I hope she still remembers me. 


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