I’m easing back into some familiar subject matter here (YA, teens, adolescence), but with a little supernatural twist. Here was the very interesting prompt for today:
I then did a little research, and discovered that ‘Bruja’ means witch in Spanish, and it has a long history throughout Latin American culture. This is a great article from Teen Vogue (seriously, why aren’t more people talking about how freaking amazing teen vogue is?!) whch explains the importance and modern-day connections to brujas.
I haven’t written a piece about brujas per se, because this is not my culture and I wouldn’t do it justice, but I have taken the ideas of teen witches (and the homage to The Craft in the video clip) and run with that aspect. Enjoy!
Night. Mae, a 15 year old girl, sits under a tree in a park. She looks around to see if anyone is watching, and then lights three candles. She takes a long stick and scratches marks into the ground.
MAE: There is a spirit under the ground, and I feel it. I feel it like a waiting panther; heartbeats and hot breath, ready to spring. I feel its pulse, under all this earth and rock, waiting for me.
And I call to it. I call that tensed muscle, coiled and cramped, ejecting it from the dirt. Erupt. Leap. Spirit, I tell you to free yourself and curl at my feet.
Wind yourself around my ankles so we can walk together. With every footstep I shake the ground, I split cracks and I shatter glass.
I am the heartbeats, the hot breath, the pulse.
Give me your power, spirit, so I can begin the destruction that I was born to do.
Four teen girls sit in a tent. Evening.
Mae flicks a cigarette lighter, making Deena nervous.
Holly keeps trying to laugh and seem relaxed whenever the lighter flicks on.
Bella is scrolling through her phone.
DEENA: Why is he coming back?
MAE: Doesn’t he deserve an education?
HOLLY: Yeah, same rights as everyone.
MAE: He wants to.
DEENA: How will he catch up?
MAE: He’ll be in our grade.
DEENA: Is he going to sit with us?
HOLLY: Err, no.
MAE: Every fucking guy in our year is desperate to be his best friend. Basically sending him dick pics to impress him.
HOLLY: Dicks are not gross.
BELLA: (not looking up) Yes they are.
MAE: Most of them are. My brother’s is filthy.
HOLLY: What the fuck?!
HOLLY: Why have you seen your brother’s –
MAE: Because he thinks it’s hilarious to pull it out and wiggle it in everyone’s faces.
DEENA: Is he going to do that at school?!
MAE: I don’t know!
DEENA: He shouldn’t be allowed to come back.
HOLLY: Deena, you’re such a fucking –
MAE: She’s right. He shouldn’t.
HOLLY: I thought you wanted him to.
MAE: Are you dumb? If I was a teacher I’d be terrified he’d do it all again. I’m not gonna talk to him. He should’ve been made to go somewhere else.
BELLA: Deena has been sitting here for the last fifteen minutes, wondering when is a good time to pull out the bottle of Chardonnay she stole from her Nan’s cupboard with all the good drinks and placemats. It’s the first time she’s ever stolen anything in her life. Second if you count the rainbow pencil she decided to borrow and accidentally on purpose not return in year 1. It’ll also be the first time she’s ever drunk alcohol, and she wants to have control over that. She’ll decide what she drinks and how much, and she’ll be the cool one who has thought to sneak alcohol into their sleepover for the first time.
Deena starts to reach for the bottle in her bag.
DEENA: Um, so guys… maybe we should relax a bit. I actually brought –
MAE: Yeah, we should. Who wants some pot?
DEENA: (dropping her bag) What?
HOLLY: Have you smoked pot?
MAE: Yeah. So what?
HOLLY: I’m not like, shocked, or anything –
DEENA: I am!
HOLLY: – like, I know it’s really good for you –
HOLLY: I don’t know, like it’s actually not as bad as everyone makes out. But it is like – a drug.
MAE: Well, I did it with my grandpa last weekend, and he showed me how to do it, and it was totally fine.
DEENA: With your grandpa?!
MAE: It was really chill. Like, he was listening to this old music and telling me about the sitar and the different instruments, and we just got high and it felt amazing.
HOLLY: That’s not amazing, It’s weird.
MAE: You can’t judge my life.
HOLLY: Yeah, I can, actually. I just did.
DEENA: Holly, maybe it’s just a bit different for Mae.
Mae finds the joint in her bag, and leaves the tent to go and smoke it.
BELLA: At least she was smart enough to smoke it outside the tent.
I have some ideas about where this might go, and how each of the characters may develop further. I might leave it on the backburner and return to it next month, or who knows? Maybe I’ll write some more scenes during January if the mood strikes.