By Neena Grewal, TIWP Student
Men will fool you and say it is easy to spot a witch by the eyes. Defiant, devilish, dangerous. Lashes brushing their eyelids and pupils shrinking as they freeze their prey, staring every God-fearing citizen in the eye as an equal.
It is not easy to find a witch by searching the eyes of a woman. In fact, it is near impossible, their lids dripping over their bony orbit, softly gazing to the ground with reddened cheeks and meek voice. They are good at lying—it is most imperative to their survival—and so they will not risk looking into a man’s face. No, it is easy to recognize them by their hats.
Flat topped, with short brims and fitted well over the crown of their heads. A sash of an expensive weaving, glittering a golden orange the odd days when the sun shines without cloud. A buckle, ranging from ornately carved and freshly polished to rusted shut and barely shining, will rest above their left ear. Gleaming black feathers will be stuffed between the hat and sash, left behind by the ravens who slept upon the flat top when the witch leaves it on the windowsill overnight.
If a man is unsure that the hat marks a witch or simply a fashionable lady, he may resort to her broom. The worn bristles, upon further inspection, will be twigs dressed in pine and cinnamon. The twine coiled tightly around the faces will have a stone woven in, polished from the river or the smooth hands of a jeweler. The handle itself will be glossy, worn through with calloused fingers and slipping through clumsy hands. When it falls, the clatter will not sound—silent as the wind it rides upon.
If a man believes he has found a witch, it will be much too late. For witches know the faces of men, can read the fear painting their brows and pinching their lip. Disregard the meek attitude, disregard the calm appearance.
A final, well earned warning: witches travel in packs. And they are not afraid to rip apart the men who threaten their sisters.