Hell found me. Then again, I wasn't too hard to look for. Amidst the laughter of every student in the cafeteria, I stood isolated and humiliated. Then again it should be normal for someone like me, right? A freak, a loser, an outcast, not someone you'd want to hang out with to increase your reputation at Adritide High. Did that make a difference to me? Of course it didn't. If truth be told, I prefer it this way; no one bothered me, and visa versa. Then again, it's hard being a Wiccan at a public school surrounded by a Christian and Catholic community. My mother had trouble finding a job, and my father left us as soon as he found out what we were. You could say that it was our curse, but we knew it as our gift. Those around me will never know the truth or real beauty of nature, only what they see with their own two eyes. They don't know how to speak with the Mother Goddess, how to live life to its fullest, only to eat and consume the resources the Mother left for us. Frankly, I don't believe they want to know. It is only human to fear what you do not know.

So what do I do? Hex them into oblivion for dare laughing at me? My dear friend, you are mistaken. For, never forget the rule or three, or karma as it's called today. What goes around comes around three fold. They would have whatever the Goddess had in store for them coming any day now, without them even knowing it. It wouldn't be drastic, not like a death, but perhaps a failed test or homework assignment, an argument with their parents that would rattle the hinges on the doors. Something small, but enough.

So, I just sat down, ignoring the raucous laughter, even chuckling myself. They believe themselves so high and mighty to just criticize others because of their religion preference. Well, that's their opinion in life, I'm only here for an education, not to be humiliated more than necessary in life. Turning back to my lunch, I continue eating in my solitude, writing in a large pad of paper every now and then. A pair of hands snatched the pad off of the table and I turn to the owner of the hands. Sam Green, the schools bully, held my pad of paper high; as if it was a trophy he had just won.

"What is this, a spell or a jinx?" He smirked down at me and I mentally cursed my height. Being in tenth grade and only being about five foot five inches isn't the greatest thing in the world.

"No, it's not. Now please, Mr. Green, hand me back my notebook." I asked calmly. I could see his eyes scan the pages, not finding anything of real interest, before tossing it back to me. I fumbled slightly before maintaining a firm grip on it.

"Thank you." Was all I said before turning back to my seat. Having finished eating before this abduction and returning of personal items, I picked up my tray and made my way to the trash can, throwing the plastic tray away and making my way outside to admire the Goddess' beauty in everything. It was a snowy day, about a week before winter break, and already the snow came up to my ankles. Trudging through it, I smiled as I felt a small ray of sunshine shine down on me. Turning my face up, I smiled at the sun, mentally thanking the goddess before turning my attention back down and making my way on. As I reached the doors to go inside, the weather seemed somewhat colder than it had before. Stepping inside the heated building, I made my way past those congregating around a small notice on the bulletin board.

Passing by them, I heard mutterings of "There goes the devils child" and "Watch out or she'll hex you". As I passed I saw one girl pull out a crucifix, holding it at arms length in front of her as if to ward me away. I rolled my eyes, amazing how one little difference can create so much talk and fear in people. Making my way down to my locker, avoiding peoples glances as best as possible. As I reached the locker I fumbled a bit with the combination. Someone from behind me suggested, in a loud voice that surely carried to others down the hall, "Why don't you just do some good and spell the school to collapse, Witch." The shrill laughter of a female followed after this comment. I resisted the urge to turn around and yell at the boy for dare suggesting destruction. I soon heard a loud cursing and turned to find that the boy in question had spilt his hot chocolate all over himself, scalding the skin and staining his clothes. With difficulty I suppressed a small smile and just turned back to my locker, as I said before, what goes around, will come around. I heard the crude whisperings of the girl behind me, "You know, I bet she did that. Go up to her and yell at her for humiliating you." I could almost see the boy shake his head, "That'll just make her hex me. I don't want to be turned into a frog or something." The girl made a squeal of disgust at the suggestion and I heard the two walk off. I sighed, sometimes; I wish I went to a school where people would understand me. But where do you look for a Pagan or Wiccan school?

Getting out my notebook, I trudged down to my English class, usually excited but a little wary today. For homework we were told to write an essay on our religion, as part of a 'getting to know each other better' project. Of course, I wrote about being Wiccan, and was expecting to get laughed at about it. I arrived in class fifteen minutes early, as usual, and took my seat near the back. It being a Monday, I was dressed in a dark red knitted sweater, the symbol triquatra knitted on the back for protection and a pair of black slacks, black boots covering my feet and keeping them nice and warm, though not enough to sweat and be uncomfortable. I watched as the rest of the class trickled in, all of them avoiding me as much as possible. I sighed and waited for class to start. The teacher, Mr. Phillips, was my favorite teacher of all. He alone didn't seem to mind me being different as much as the other teachers did. As he entered the class talking stopped and the attention was on him. He was a young teacher with bright red hair, vibrant green eyes and the figure of a runner.

"I trust you all did your homework?" He asked. There were a few 'yes's and some nods. A small smile crossed his boyish face.

"Excellent. Now, anyone want to share theirs?" No one raised their hand. He sighed and looked around the class. No one had their report in front of them, besides me. He smiled a little, "Maeve, would you mind reading yours aloud?" I just stared at him, slightly mortified before nodding and standing up, my essay in front of me. Taking a deep breath, I started.

"The Craft, by Maeve Hawkins. My name is Maeve Hawkins, and I am a follower of the Goddess, a Witch. Many of you think of me like a Satanist, a child of the devil as I know many of you call me. Those statements are untrue. The Craft has no Devil, nor a Hell. To us, the Hell is this Earth, where you suffer for every misdeed you do. Karma plays a major part in our life style, or as we call it, The Rule of Three. As the saying goes, Ever mind the Rule of Three, what you hand out comes back to thee threefold. The Wiccan Rede is as follows, an it harm none, do what ye will. That tells us that no harm, to others or ourselves, may happen in the name of the Goddess. In fact, it shouldn't happen at all. The Rule of Three is usually a strong enough bond to prevent us from harming another being

"As followers of the Goddess we have certain holidays, much like your own. Four major Sabbats, Samhain on Halloween signals our new year, Imbolc on the Second of February which is our celebration of Spring coming, Beltane on the 30th of April is our Summer festival, and Lughnasadh, also known as Lammas, on the 31st of July is our fall celebration. In each of these major Sabbats we celebrate the birth, life and mourn the death of the Goddess and God.

"There are also four lesser Sabbats, known as Yule on the twenty first of December, Ostara on the twenty first of March, and Litha on the twenty first of June, and Mabon on the twenty first of August. Notice that all of the lesser Sabbats fall on either a Solstice or an Equinox. If you look farther into their history, you will find that many of the Christian and Catholic customs came from Pagan origins." At this statement many of the girls looked about ready to murder me, their mouths open in shock and indignation. Still I continued on.

"Yes, we do cast spells, though they are used for healing and helping, contrary to many of your beliefs. We are known to do crystal and gem magick, herbal magick, candle magick, and more. We meditate and use Astral Projection, or, to try to describe it, project our image into an astral plane, making it capable to meet others or travel outside of our body when sleeping. Everyone does it, whether they know it or not. It's part of sleep. Some can do it consciously, leading themselves where they want, others do it without realizing it as they sleep.

"Each day has a specific color to it, used for different purposes. Color also plays a major part in dreams and if you want something certain done. Say you need protection from something; you would burn a black or blue candle. For silver, it would be for your dreams, gold would represent happiness, white is for peace, and the list goes on. Candles are used more often these days, and if you did or didn't know it, they can bring a variety of energies, from those promoting winning to intelligence, from strength to compassion and love. You would be surprised what small things like that can do for situations.

"In conclusion, I say once again that Wicca is not anything dangerous nor does it promote harm to others. You may still say what you like about it, but know that we do not kill people or cast jinxes and hexes. I hope this has proved helpful to many and perhaps it will stop any false rumors from spreading about The Craft. My name is Maeve Hawkins, and I am a Witch." With this last thing said I sat down. The class sat there, stunned more than anything. I kept my eyes down. I could hear clapping and saw that Mr. Phillips was looking at me with a sort of admiration in his eyes, clapping. Others joined in politely though none of them caught my eye.

"Could you bring your essay up here, Maeve?" He asked and I nodded, standing up to walk over to his desk. On my way over, someone stuck their foot out and I tripped, falling sprawled on the ground. I didn't look back though, just got to my feet, picked up my report, and continued on.

"Chris, would you mind staying after class today?" Mr. Phillips asked, though we all know he would make sure that Chris did stay. I could tell he nodded for Mr. Phillips turned his attention back to me.

"Maeve, are you okay?" I nodded, handing him my report and keeping my face down. I knew I wouldn't win them all over, but, I could try to at least get the facts out. I took my seat, and prepared myself for the rest of the day. Inevitably taunts would come, but I would face them, for I held a confidence in myself that they wouldn't take away.