Witch Season
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MAY 18, The Year of Our Lord 1788-
I think the season's come in early this year. The sun rose this morning and looked a bit green. Also Sybil Flanders had a black cat following her around the school yard. I hope it's not as bad as last year, I don't think I want to try learning my letters from a talking scarecrow again. He got straw everywhere and the crow turd stains are still on my board.

MAY 21, The Year of Our Lord 1788-
Well, it's definitely here now. Every woman in the village has a black cat now. Where do they all come from? One day there's not a cat in sight, the next they're everywhere! Mum had a cauldron in the kitchen, I don't know where she got it from. After last year, Dad scrapped it and made it into some new hooks and brackets and things, they're still there. And Maggie Shepard has a broomstick now, soon we won't be able to move for witches.

JUNE 1, The Year of Our Lord 1788-
I'm surprised, honestly I am. It's been about 12 days since the season started proper and we've only today, just had our first proper casualty. Yes, there has been some little things, like Jonah Maguire being cursed with some sort of singing foot-rot for saying his wife couldn't cook to save her life. Earlier today, William Foreman was turned into a goat. No idea why.

JUNE 2, The Year of Our Lord 1788-
It turns out William the Goat was laying with the school mistress. His missus found out after he was muttering her name in his sleep. Talking of sleep, I found it easier to actually get some this year. The past few years, I've been kept awake by the sounds of the women in the night. The wind rustling through broomstick straw, the cats calling and the cackling. The constant cackling.

JUNE 16, The Year of Our Lord 1788-
Elsie Meadows tried to do some good yesterday. She started small, having her cat clear the whole village of rats and mice. Although, I heard a girl did the same thing last year and as soon as the season ended, they came back. Elsie turned the rats into worms, which the chickens found. She said she was going to make everything better.

JUNE 25, The Year of Our Lord 1788-
Elsie's plan was a bit daft. At first I don't think anyone complained about the improved crop-growth. Then they kept growing. And growing. And eventually some corn about 30 feet tall collapsed under its own weight and crashed on John Baler's cow shed. Which spooked his cows.

JUNE 30, The Year of Our Lord 1788-
Elsie's friend, Mary, tried to solve the cow thing after about five days of giant vegetables and scared everything else's. She thought it'd be good to have the cows feel safer and more relaxed. Why she thought floating ghost hands would work I'll never know. Probably the way the season makes them think.

JULY 5, The Year of Our Lord 1788-
We've got some new entertainment going about the village! Those ghostly hands of Mary's? Well, they're not just going after the cows… Everything on four legs is getting unwanted attention. The sheep, my neighbour's pet dog, somehow even the cats! And the entertainment? Well, it seems the hands are trying to milk William the Goat too…

JULY 7, The Year of Our Lord 1788-
And now things are no longer amusing. The hands are going after everyone. Being goosed by a pair of cold clammy hands is funny once. I'm pretty sure everyone in the village has been molested by Mary's hands.

JULY 12, The Year of Our Lord 1788-
The hands are gone. Mary's mum did it. Only thing I think she has done, although I can't be sure. Red smoke was rising from her chimney and I once saw one of the windows try to escape! No, hang on, that was our house. Mum tried making the windows clean themselves, I don't think they liked it.

JULY 19, The Year of Our Lord 1788-
So, after about, I don't know, a week? We managed to get all the windows back. Dad also threw out the cauldron after they escaped. It somehow came back too. Some good news came too, John Baler rebuilt his barn from a giant loaf of bread. No idea where it came from but hopefully it should be fine when it goes hard!

JULY 20, The Year of Our Lord 1788-
The front door ran away today.

AUGUST 1, The Year of Our Lord 1788-
John Baler's barn collapsed. The sad part is everyone saw it coming. Stale bread and a chicken pen attached to one of the load bearing walls. I heard a rumour the cows were also eating it.

AUGUST 9, I think, The Year of Our Lord 1788-
I think the oddness has just about peaked, there are people-sized talking hedgehogs demanding equal rights, the hands have all been tied up in Mary's back garden and are fighting so much it's a never-ending sea of thumb-wars and rude gestures, no one is sure whether it's night or day thanks to the crops now over-shadowing the entire village, and Tom Proctor's tongue is now longer than him. I still can't understand him.

AUGUST 14, The Year of Our Lord 1788-
The season's ending! Mum woke up this morning and couldn't understand why she thought bringing the windows to life to clean themselves was a good idea. So she's begun undoing all her spells. And she's not wearing the hat any more!

AUGUST 22, The Year of Our Lord 1788-
The hedgehogs are all gone, the crops are back to normal size and I heard the last few hands of Mary's are vanishing into thin air. We've begun the final preparations too. All the hats and cloaks and broomsticks are being collected for the final night.

AUGUST 24, The Year of Our Lord 1788-
Purging Night is upon us! All the women are back to normal and the cats have left. Gone to who knows where. All that's left is the celebration. The great bonfire is ready, all the hats, brooms and cloaks have been built in with the remains of John's first barn. In fact, it even looks like a giant pointed hat. The tables for the feast are being laid and the harvest has been plentiful again. The Season is over and like everyone else, I pray it never happens again.

William hasn't been seen for a while though, I wonder if he ever got turned back?

The National Association of Mages and Magical Beings.
From the High Chancellor:
Ladies, Gentlemen and beings of indeterminable gender, it is with great pleasure to announce that once again, our Mid Summer Sabbatical has been a resounding success. I would like to thank Robert Ulwin and Grulthax, Master of Shapes for their helpful pamphlet on maintaining transformations for a long period of time, and again, I can only apologise for any mistreatment you may have received from your hosts during this time. I would also like to thank Alice Courtier for helping to make our transfers safer, not one combustion this year!
I am proud to say that since implementing this scheme, we have not had one incident of megalomania or rampant malign intentions. May you achieve great deeds for the next year and may they help our nation rise proudly.
High Chancellor Jim Green

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