Alys eyed the glowing seed packet dubiously. It had just that minute materialised on her doormat with a note from Cheryl Charmworker, the Chairlady of the Inter-Coven Competition Committee.
‘Well, Sparky, this is going to be a challenge,’ Alys addressed her diminutive dragon who was still perusing Cheryl’s missive.
‘She’s asked you to represent the Western Sisterhood in the Witches’ Institute Flower and Produce competition!’
‘Only because everyone else is busy with the Mistress of Spells Symposium,’ said Alys moodily. ‘What do we know about growing stuff?’
‘We can only try, Alys. C’mon, let’s get planting. The competition’s this afternoon!’ Excited smoke danced from Sparky’s purple nostrils as he flew out of the back door.
Alys followed carrying the seed packet carefully. ‘Don’t wake until ready to sow’, the instructions had whispered.
With a bright burst of flames, Sparky cleared a patch of earth. Alys opened the packet and shook it. The tiny seeds sparkled and danced in the air before sowing themselves neatly in the fresh earth. Each seed produced a miniature spade and covered itself over. Moments later they heard the gentle sound of snoring coming from beneath the earth.
Alys and Sparky spent an anxious few hours anticipating the growth of their entry. Eventually they’d given up peeking out of the back door to find nothing happening. Alys returned to studying the ‘Biggest Book of Brilliant Spells’, while Sparky amused himself practicing his flame throwing skills in the hearth.
They were interrupted by a polite knock on the back door. Alys hurried to open it. The ugliest bunch of knobbly root vegetables she had ever seen lay neatly knotted together on the doorstep, pulsating with a peculiar pink colour. It was almost time to leave. Her heart sank. They were never going to win with these.
Alys and Sparky stood on the doormat. Alys had just read out their destination when a big bunch of tulips burst from the retired cauldron and placed itself on top of the basket holding the knobbly veggies. Alys smiled gratefully; maybe there was some hope after all.
The Witches Institute Hall hummed with excited conversation. No sooner had Alys and Sparky found their allotted spot than a judge arrived; a rotund black-bearded dwarf who introduced himself as Wilfred.
Wilfred eyed the tulips. ‘You grew these?’ he asked, raising a skeptical eyebrow.
Alys flushed. ‘Actually no, they were a present from my retired cauldron.’
Wilfred removed the offending flowers and peered into the basket. ‘What do we have here?’ he plucked the pulsating pink veggies from the basket.
Alys and Sparky exchanged a worried glance as Wilfred slowly turned them over in his calloused hands.
‘These are magnificent!’ He leapt onto the table and held them aloft. ‘Pink Prestige Parsnips; notoriously difficult to grow.’ Wilfred beamed. ‘First Prize to the Western Witches’ Coven!’
A large red rosette appeared on the table next to Alys. Wilfred turned to her and whispered. ‘You would’t mind if I took a couple home, would you?’
Written in response to a prompt from Susan T. Braithwaite
Genre Scribes Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #39
The challenge this week was prestige. Photo credit: clipart.com