I never believed in the witches that roamed the forest on Halloween night and that black cats were spies of evil witches. I didn't believe this until Halloween night--that night I learned the secret that Mother hid.
Mother was unique and haunting in an indescribable way. Her smile showed mystery that only she, herself would know. Her ebony-colored hair glistened like the moon reflecting off the lake; her large, dark eyes were filled with feeling. Yet, Mother was very pretty.
Father died when I was little. I do not remember him well. Mother often spoke of Father and I had always dreamed of Father. I wondered what was he like. I didn't think I would ever know.
Today I wondered about Father as I twirled the pendant that hung around my neck. It was a present from Mother. Mother had cautioned me to never take it off and I never had. I also wondered about Mother. She was much different from everyone else.
In the evening, Mother helped me into my princess costume to go trick or treating. Smiling, she told me, "Now be good and be careful. Stay away from the forest. Today is when all good will fight evil."
"I will be good, Mother. Don't worry," I replied. How could I be bad? I thought. Ever since I was little I tried to do something bad, but some unseen force would make me be good.
That night I counted my candy and ate two pieces.
"Time for bed," Mother called to me.
"Coming," I called back.
Mother tucked me in and whispered good night. Then Mother silently crept out of my room. But I couldn't sleep. What had Mother meant when she cautioned me to stay away from the forest? What had she meant when she told me that today was when all good would fight evil?
Suddenly, in the midst of my thoughts I heard the door squeak. Curiosity overtook me and I peered through the open door. Mother was wearing a white gown with a gold breastplate embedded with all sorts of glistening gems; a ring of pearls was set on her hair. Mother slunk out the door and I made up my mind to follow her.
Mother walked through the forest and I hid behind a tree.
"Hmmm, so you people of the good have decided to ruin our plans again, did you?" a voice mocked.
"The good shall always win," Mother told the voice defensively.
"We shall see," the voice replied with a chuckle.
I peeked from behind the tree. Mother and someone in black, who I assumed was just a witch, were fighting with flashes of lightning and sparks.
Mother is a sorceress.
Just then, a flash of lightning wounded Mother. She pulled herself up to a tree behind her. The witch smiled and raised her hand to kill Mother.
"Mother!" I screamed and threw myself at the witch.
"She has the magic pendant," Mother told the witch with a look of triumph. The witch flinched and stepped back.
The witch grinned. "The pendant is not as powerful as my ring made of the darkest magic." She raised her ring and black sparks flew my way.
Mother gasped in horror and flung herself to shield me from the sparks. Some sparks bounced off Mother's breastplate, killing the witch, but some hit Mother and pushed her fiercely into a tree. Mother was near death, I knew. Tears flowed swiftly down my face as I knelt at Mother's side.
Mother smiled weakly and with her little strength, she begged me, "Child, a new witch will come each Halloween at midnight. I give you to the Empress and Emperor of Goodness. Study white magic and take my place to keep the witches from making humans slaves. Promise me, Daughter."
Mother was indeed the sorceress of goodness and I knew that I must fulfill Mother's orders. With a smile I covered the pain within and replied, "I promise."
"Thank you," Mother whispered with content as she closed her eyes forever.
* Lotus, 12, is a student at Travis Ranch Middle School in Yorba Linda. She lives in Yorba Linda.