And we’re back with our next Challenge, one that might just be purrfect for you!
Batty puns aside, your challenge is to write a poem of any kind, from sonnet to free verse, of 19 lines or less, or a flash fiction story of less than 300 words around the theme
WITCHES AND FAMILIARS.

Rackman cat and witch with cat illustration

Win this image.

Whether pride or individual, you’re free to introduce us to the spacey ones (even alien), the wild ones who scare off bogeys and rule the forests, the familiars and shape-shifters, their hedgewitches and covens, and those who’ll never miss a good trick or treat.

Two cats

There’s something familiar about this one…

 

fashionable woman and dog

What fashionable familiars and shifters are wearing this season.

Mood setting and more inspiration for you in this video!

 

HOW IT WORKS

See the CRES Submissions Guidelines for what we like (hint, no horror).
Enter your 19 line-or-less poem as a comment below this post. Limericks are always welcome!
Or enter your 300 word or less speculative flash fiction story as a comment below this post.
One entry per a person, please.
The Winner gets two Bs, a prize, and a pic: Bragging rights & a Badge, a gift subscription to Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores online magazine, and a .jpg of the challenge pic. Also the chance to be a part of any anthology we do.
Vote by commenting MY VOTE or similar under your favorite entry. Other comments on entries are welcome!
If there’s a tie, we’ll get Fran, editor of CRES, to make the final judgement.
Please keep entries and responses friendly to all ages and as lighthearted as possible.
Challenge ends on 2 November 2020. Winner will be announced soon thereafter.

As you now know, I’m no good a poet, but I just had to make a few scratches and hope for the best to get us started. We challenge you to do much better!

Happy writing and have a magical, woo-filled spiritual and spooks month!

* * *

All Nine Lives

Green eyes as deep as ponds.
Blue eyes as cool as clear skies.
Brown eyes burning with intelligence
or is it belligerence?

Whiskers to sense,
whiskers to tickle,
whiskers to brush
or is it wash?

This cat is fierce, keeping goblins at bay.
That cat is fun, making aliens run.
This cat is forceful, opening portals.
All nine lives here to help us find our way.

***

Why Witches Ride With Cats (287 words)

Compulsory sabbaths always threw Millie into a tizz. So much to pack and would it all fit on the broom? Tigernan watched impassively as Millie rushed around the room leaving stuff out then forgetting to pack them. Tigernan swished their tale and stalked along the shelves and bureau swiping essential items into the open bags on the floor.

Later, Tigernan stood sentinel by the broom as Millie switched the positions of bags, aiming for acceptable aerodynamics and weight distribution. Her familiar hoped on board, bringing everything into balance.
“Good kitty!” purred a relieved Millie, scratching Tigernan behind their ears.

Hours later, Millie sat precariously on the laden broom, Tigernan lounging on her best cloak, content behind their human windshield. A short ways from the sabbath site, the broom spluttered twice before nosediving. The landing was gentler than expected, save for the irate gnome they squashed who was incensed at their destroying his stolen treasure-chest. Millie tried to placate him but the obnoxious gnome sought vengeance. Bored, Tigernan jumped in front of the gnome. A hiss, a missed swipe, and the gnome menace was gone.

After a hug for her familiar, Millie tried to restart the dead broom. A look under the leaves revealed an engine out of good vibes. She looked at Tigernan, who looked back with slanted eyes, but they got onto the engine and let Millie stroke and scratch behind their ears. A few rumbling purrs later, Millie hoped on board, put her broom on autopilot and sat side-saddle, not daring to stop petting her purring familiar until the broom landed.

Safely arrived, Millie swore she’d be better organized next year. Tigernan swished their tail and smiled. In their mind, adventures topped organisation every time.

***