It grew overnight, right out front where everyone could see it. Witchweed favors a damp soil and we have it, but also my sister had just turned fifteen and things had started to happen.
Jenny’s fey face and strange charisma would have screamed “witch” even if birds didn’t come when she called them. Another time, things mightn’t have been so bad, but a lean spell makes people hard. In the tavern they’d begun to say “war,” and people were getting tense. When Tom left Alice to come courting Jenny, there were whispers. Worse was when the blackrot started in the fields. (It was the season for blackrot.) We uprooted the bush, thrice: it came back each time, bigger. The talk grew.
My mother threw up her hands and sent Jenny to our aunt across the river. It isn’t as bad, there—there isn’t any blackrot and there’s no talk yet of war. I hear they have a witchweed bush there now that’s bigger than our aunt’s house. Jenny’s found a nice alderman who likes her strange charisma; I think they’ll marry soon.
Here it hasn’t been as good. The witchweed is growing. People have started to look at me and talk about my strange charisma.