H. M. L. Swann
Day 31: Solitude
300 Days of Writing
Day 31 Solitude:
Hildegund lived alone in a house made of sweets.
It all started with the witch hunts. Too many of her sisters had been taken, hanged, or slaughtered for Hildegund to feel safe in the village, so she retreated into the woods.
Hildegund had never been much of a builder. Her craft had centered around herbalism and healing recipes, and so when she found a quiet spot near a river, she decided to build her home out of food.
She dug silt and clay out of the river bed to fashion herself a clay stove. In between her time stoking the fire, she would slip into the village, stealing sugar, flour, and her favorite spice: ginger.
Her first house was small and burnt and withered away in the rain. She built onto it, adding walls and insulation made from icing or marzipan. A year of stealing supplies, chopping wood, and baking soon passed and she had a fully functioning home.
Hildegund was proud of herself. She had created a safe space to practice her magic, and she spent her days perfecting recipes. She foraged for mushrooms, herbs, and spices during the day and baked well into the night so she wouldn’t be cold.
A decade slipped away, and Hildegund stood to admire her gingerbread home. Steam coiled out of her chimney and the maple flavored icing arched around the windows and door. It was perfectly baked, the color of dried figs and tree bark. She settled herself beside her stove to rest her weary body.
More time passed, and she baked to kill time rather than for joy. Her magic which had once been a delight turned sour in her mouth.
Hildegund was lonely.
She crept to the town, to eavesdrop on the pub, and talks of hatred and prejudice reminded her quickly why she had left society behind all those years ago.
So when she was sipping her tea, she was equal parts terrified and excited to hear voices outside her home. She looked through her crystalized sugar window to see the blurry outline of two children holding hands approaching her house.
She smiled to herself, thinking some company would be nice.