WHO: Ariadna & Marlow WHERE: Not far from the gingerbread house WHEN: Nov 4th WHAT: Children will look to you for which way to turn WARNINGS: talk of child death but nothing graphic, tbd
Getting to work in the gingerbread house had been a blessing for Ariadna in the way that it drew children right to her door. But unlike the witch of that old story, Ariadna posed them no danger and wanted only to spoil them however she could.
She had known since her mid-twenties that she couldn't have children of her own and it had been a slow process of coming to accept that, even if it was with great bitterness. She knew, if given the chance, she would have done anything for a child of hers. So although she had questionable morals when it came to adults, she had always felt a great need to protect children.
During the Wild Hunt, this was proving difficult. The simple fact was that no one who entered the circus was going to leave it, and many of those people were so very young. There was nothing to be done except try and make their end as painless as possible.
And so Ariadna became the quintessential gingerbread witch. She walked the circus grounds and found frightened children that others had no yet claimed. She crouched down to them and, with calming magic spilling out her fingers, she offered them her hands and magicked sweets. She led them through the chaos and back to her cottage to put blankets around them and promise that their parents were coming for them soon.
She took them in her arms and gave them cake to eat, stroking their foreheads as they died peacefully and quietly, without pain or sound, growing heavy in her arms. She lay their bodies in hidden kitchen at the back and then began the process again.
She had only cried the first two times.
Now she was out again, walking in her candy dress through the chaos to find the next lost little one.