TITLE: The Witch's Garden
GENRE: YA Fantasy
Magic was overrated. What Zellie really needed was a new way to braid her hair.
Letting it hang freely wasn’t an option. It got everywhere, snagging on furniture and doorknobs, a terrible nuisance. She didn’t spare a thought on the possibility of cutting it; it was the best way she could help protect the garden. So she would just have to keep trying new braiding techniques until she found something that held for more than a few hours and didn’t leave strands of hair sticking out all over.
Zellie eyed herself in the mirror, face framed by unruly cascades of yellow. Mother had taught her the basic braid form when she was six years old, sitting before this very mirror. She didn’t have much patience for it herself, grumbling about snarls and tangles, chiding Zellie to stop squirming and squealing. So Zellie started doing the braiding herself as soon as she learned how.
She could try braiding it in layers. One on top, two or three more beneath. She began dividing her hair into sections and weaving them together. The familiar motions were comforting. Whenever she was frustrated or annoyed, nothing could soothe her as well as a few minutes of braiding.
With a final flick of the last strands, Zellie examined the finished product. Still not quite what she was aiming for. She’d try again tomorrow. If she spent too much time staring in a mirror she started to imagine she was seeing things that weren't in the room behind her.