Philo's Stories


her mom had always told her to lock the balcony door at night "to stay safe from witches"
she'd believed it when she was young, but those chuuni days in new england were behind her

late one night years later, she's deep in a book when the lights go out with a bang from the transformer outside
wanting, no, needing to keep reading despite the darkness and her dead phone, she finds a candle and, several matches later, lights it
she quickly slides the sliding door at the end of her living room shut to stop the night breeze from putting out the candle, forgetting to lock it in her hurry

by the flickering light of the candle, the pages fly by until she is interrupted by a knocking on the sliding door to nowhere
as she turns to see what the noise was, the door slides open and a witch sticks her head and pointy hat through

"mind if I join you? none of our neighbors have candles... somehow." says the witch, who she recognizes as the cute girl from down the hall she'd always been too flustered to befriend
her eyes twinkle in the darkness of a surprisingly starry night

"I... was actually going to go out."

she puts a bookmark in the book she is now thoroughly distracted from and, still holding the lit candle, climbs over the railing outside of the sliding door
the witch conjures a lantern around the candle and kicks off, the door sliding shut behind her with a wave of her hand
she holds on tight, wrapping her arms around her neighbor and her flannel

the witch and her passenger soar high above their town, which the power outage has plunged into darkness and turned almost indistinguishable from the surrounding forest
they land on the top of a water tower poking out of the trees atop the tallest hill in town
apart from the occasional car on the state road on the edge of town, nothing disturbs the quiet world they share

laying back on the roof of the water tower, she turns her gaze to the stars above and the milky way shining brighter than she's ever seen it before
as her eyes pick out and trace constellations, she whispers "thank you", not wanting to speak any louder and disturb the night's silence
"thank you for rescuing me from my loneliness" the witch replies
she reaches for the witch's hand as they gaze into the night sky together

their moment together stretches into minutes and then hours
all the while, they hold onto each other as though the other's hand is the only thing keeping them from falling

gradually, the town's lights begin to come back on, brightening the sky and hiding the stars
"shall we go back inside? it's getting a bit chilly up here" the witch suggests
she holds on tight as they kick off again and head back to her apartment

she makes two mugs of hot chocolate and daintily sets a stroopwafel atop each
"to friendship" she says
"to friendship.. and gay crushes" the witch replies, blushing a bit


this story was largely inspired by this art by @HannahArtwork on Twitter