Art Print: The Witch's Sisters
This digitally illustrated, 11 x 17 print tells a story of sisterhood, tragedy, and justice. This print was part of a Halloween 2020 set, featuring a ghost, zombie, and witch. The print comes in either holographic or pearl shimmer paper, and each print will also come with the typed story below (printed separately). The holographic paper reflects rainbow fragments of light, and pearl shimmer paper looks like metal with small pieces of glitter.
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"The Witch’s Sisters" by Kaylene J. Big Knife
Story: There were three Cree sisters, and they loved and took care of one another. One day, the eldest of the three sisters went to butcher a buffalo away from camp. She never returned, and days passed. Her two sisters panicked and went looking for her, and after three days of racing through the plains on horseback, the two returned to camp without successfully finding their older sister. The two sisters then moved their tipi to the camp's outskirts to keep a lookout for their eldest sister. Both knew and felt her far-off presence, as though she was still alive. Some in the camp thought they became deranged with grief, but they still waited for her.
One night, the eldest sister returned to them, but she was not much herself anymore. She appeared to them in a dark, inhuman form. She could not retain her human face and instead remained a translucent mass swarming and swaying with waves of sorrow, anger, and hatred. However, the two younger sisters knew it was their older sister, and they welcomingly accepted her back into their arms. The eldest sister shared her horrible fate. A group of european settlers found her while she was butchering on the plains. They drug her off to their camp, abused her in the most heinous of ways, and discarded her body. With tears in their eyes, the eldest sister instructed her two sisters not to look for her body.
In time, all three sisters packed up their belongings and left the camp because their relatives grew weary of all three sisters, especially the eldest. After setting up a new home in a wooded area, the eldest sister soon revealed she had the ability to speak and teach the language of death. This language could inflict unspeakable pain and fatal injuries to any who heard its words…but it came at a high price…your body. Your flesh rotted until it eventually became dust. Without a second thought, the second eldest sister agreed to learn the language to carry out revenge against the european settlers who murdered her older sister. It was not long until this happened, and rumors and tales of the three witch sisters spread throughout the plains.
The three sisters did not initially plan to attack other camps. Yet, after seeking their revenge, the sisters were approached by other Indigenous women to seek their help in exacting the same justice against the european settlers. At first, it was only Cree women, but soon Indigenous women from many tribes sought them out, sharing similar sorrowful and grievous tales about their loved ones lost. The three sisters took their stories to heart, and with great diligence and planning, found and slain the guilty.
The three sisters always arrived at night when the moon rested in the sky as a thin crescent. As the perpetrators started to attack the two younger sisters, the eldest sister would not hesitate to protect them. “The woodland’s witches are here!” they’d yell as they fired their guns at them. No harm befell either of the two younger sisters, and they attacked with a vengeance only sisters would know in their hearts.
After learning and using the language of death on many occasions, parts of the second oldest sister’s body started to wither, like losing the sight in her left eye. Patches of her skin caved in, showing dark mass, much like the eldest sister. With calm conviction, she embraced her impending fate of ending up just like her elder sister. She, herself, was probably the fiercest of all three sisters. With each guilty offender’s life claimed by the sisters, she’d sew a small shell to her dress to serve as a memory and a warning. She wore this dress on every camp raid. “The women in red,” the Indigenous people of the plains whispered. As all three sisters approached a campsite of settlers, the second eldest sister carried necklaces with bells to place on each slain transgressor. These would mark their crimes as they were doomed to wander in the same spiritual plane the eldest sister existed within. The chimes of the bells can easily be heard, carried far by the wind, so all knew of their evils.
The two older sisters refused to let the youngest sister learn the language of death. Regardless, the youngest sister followed her two sisters wherever they traveled. She watched them crumble and dissipate more and more in the process, but she respected their decisions to help other Indigenous women. The youngest sister instead learned another language, which allowed her to light the way and heal most ailments. She promised herself no matter how less and less human her sisters became, she would find them in the most hopeless of voids and guide them back to themselves. So, their lives went on, and the three sisters never stopped loving one another.