First I heard of the witching hour, I was ten. That’s a lie. I don’t know how old I was. But I like having an exact time when I talk about important events because I like to think they were monumental enough for me to remember every little detail. Truth is, I never can. I’m sure I was somewhere around ten, but I could also just as well have been twelve. It was definitely after I turned nine.
It was while reading The BFG–which, for those of you who don’t know, is a book by Roald Dahl (a fantastic book, might I add), that I fell in love with those words. The witching hour. Magic and sorcery at its peak.
I fell in love with a lot of things in the books of Roald Dahl. The BFG’s dream-filled jars, the narrator’s white mice from ‘The Witches’, the centipede from ‘James and the Giant Peach’, every single word of every single chapter of ‘Boy’, but the witching hour was, by far, my favourite. Of course, the term wasn’t coined by Dahl but he was the one who introduced me to it.
In the sixth grade, for a creative writing competition, I wrote about an imp and a shoebox and a couple of kids. Heavily influenced by the works of Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, and Ruskin Bond. I won third place. Or second? One of those. It was while reading the stories written by my friends (devastated jilted lovers, vengeful enemies, moral enigmas) that I realized perhaps I was a little too old to be writing about magical boxes and shoebox theft. I decided I would write something a little more age-appropriate, something a little more rooted in reality.
Six years later, I still write about magical boxes and shoebox theft–among other things.
I don’t know where this is going.
It was initially just a few sentences on my appreciation of ‘the witching hour’ but that led to other memories.
Now every time I stay up past midnight I imagine dark magic to be at work whenever I hear a dog howl, or a windchime chime, or a cat hiss. Strangely enough, I have very noisy neighbours who seem to come alive as the sun sets and drum up quite the ruckus all night long.
Maybe there’s witchcraft at work here.
The kids never seem to sleep either, you can hear all sorts of shouts every now and then. And a number of cats hissing is also unusual. Do cats generally fight a lot? Is the witching hour real? The place does feel different at night, but maybe that’s just me. There’s something about being awake while everybody else isn’t. I’ve always loved that feeling. I was an early riser as a kid, and it always felt different to lie in bed and feel the sun come up.
It’s a strangely satisfying feeling. As if your entire existence is validated simply because you managed to be up before the sun.
Anyway, my A Levels are in less than a month. I’m not sure how maths is going to turn out. I painted a little.