They speak plainly but with a certain authority underlying their words. They watch your eyes and every response. Whatever you say may affect your chances; the rewards for risk are great. "Great. When do we start?"
The cylinders sit brewing their concoctions and potions. The witch waits nearby, taking in the sounds of a bustling city tavern. Music, lights, merriment. Different, but beautiful.
It was time to leave, into a different world. But she knew the huntsman's cabin would remain. She raises her hands, casting a blessing on the surrounding forest. The trees grow tall and green. Bushes glisten with wild berries.
The woodsman brings the witch into his world, showing her skills, survival, and ways forgotten. He watches on quietly as she attempts to construct one of the walls to the cabin, instructing only when needed. His heart swells and nods.
She traced her finger along the tome, trying to make out the words. Ink blots and chicken scratch concealed their knowledge. Her past wont give up secrets so easily. She snaps the book closed with resounding boom through the halls, knowing someone who would.
Pounding the stakes into the earth, you lay your foundations. Chopping wood, you blister your hands if only to give you shelter from the cold. And you can feel it; the storm is coming.
Little messes become inevitable when you become close to people. They change how you are and help you grow. The big messes become tumultuous, crashing worlds down potentially burning those around. Those times, many seek shelter, others run.
The snow comes down and down with no end in sight. Cars have trouble starting and staying on path, but here we see something we don't normally. People in other cars leaving the safety and warmth to help those who cannot get free. Warmth of others isn't necessarily out of reach.
Behind the high countertop, the witch peers over to see if anyone stares back at her. No one. She continues making different potions, all doing the same thing but carrying different flavors. Satisfied, she sells the popular wares and dusts off the particulates sticking to her apron.
A bowl of soup later, the witch feels satisfied but still cannot shake the incessant cough. She visits the bees but they keep their distance, telling her to go home.