She felt lightheaded and closed her eyes for a few seconds. When the dizziness passed and opened her eyes, a strange sensation filled her body and mind. She felt the energy around her and watched in fright as the pile of dead leaves that had cushioned her fall stirred and gathered around her gently lifting her back up through the gap. “Whoa!” a surprised scream erupted from her chest as she steadied herself at the edge of the gaping hole. This place is magical! I’m going to show it to grandma, she thought dreamily but quickly came to her senses. Glancing at the horizon she knew she didn’t have a second to waste if she wanted to harvest the flower of the Woodruff Iris. Watching every step carefully, she walked to the beautiful patch of flowers. She knelt, took her athame out of its embossed leather sheath, and waited, blade pressed against a blood-red stem. As soon as the sun touched the horizon, Camilla made the cut. What if the others can’t find the flower? There is plenty here. She thought as the plants shivered, and she held three perfect blossoms in her hands. She allowed herself a few moments to admire the delicate black petals before tucking the knife back into its sheath, and gently placed the flowers inside the leather pouch that hung on a thong around her neck. After bowing her head for a minute and thanking the plant for letting her harvest its delicate flowers, she stood up and raced back on the path, following her grandmother’s sigils with a satisfied, smile on her face. She anxiously waited a few minutes until finally, she spotted her fellow acolytes walking back on the witches’ path with shoulders hunched and gloomy expressions on their faces. As they stopped, Camilla noticed their hands were empty. Her heart twisted.