Mona worries about how her Magical teacher and protective mom will get along.
“You’re a witch?”, Mona’s mother spoke softly
“Yes Mom”, Mona realized though she was nervous about being different she wasn’t embarrassed by it all. The woman at the end of the table took a deep breath and smiled.
“I thought it was drugs or something”, Mona was shocked by the sound of relief in her mother’s voice. In fact she had not realized she was holding her breath.
“Is this something you want to do, want to be?”, Molly crossed her arms waiting for her daughter to speak.
“Mom, I like Miss Minerva, maybe it’s because she reminds me a bit of Grandma, maybe because she seems to really like me I don’t know. “, Mona took a breath and continued
“But I like what she’s teaching me, I like being a Witch”,
Again there was silence but this time it didn’t last long.
“Well, truthfully I can’t say its not totally unexpected”, Her mothers words made Molly eyes grow wide.
“What do you mean mom?”, the girl could see her mother gathering her thoughts.
“What I'm about to tell you is between you and me dear,” Molly Orland tone was serious, “your Grandmother, My mother had the gift, like you A witch in Ireland came to her at about your age to teach her but your grandmother’s parents were against it and your grandmother agreed to honor her parents wishes. She grew up normal, grew old normally”. Mona could see her mother fighting back tears and rose quickly to her side holding her close.
“Thank you dear”, the girls mother voice grew strong again, “Dear what would you do If I told you couldn’t be a witch, if you had to forget everything you learned and never see Miss. Minerva again?” Molly eyes filled with tears as the words hit like a hammer. What was most important Miss Minerva or her parents trust and love? What meant more to her what would Miss Minerva become alone in that house, would she age away to nothing? The thoughts echoed in her mind. But the words she needed to say came to her mouth far faster than she expected.
“I would do whatever you wanted me to do Mom, I love you “, Mona felt a chill and a loss like nothing she’s felt before.
“Mona,You are so special to me, To your father Grandpa and your brothers, Abe is my rock, he’s stronger than even he knows. TJ he’s my heart if he can’t make my laugh no one can but you your something more you always have been and I think you can do anything you want and you’ll be the greatest Witch ever”. Mona held her daughter and cried and Mona sobbed against her mother. The two sat in the kitchen together Mother and daughter, friends woman and witch for an hour enjoying each others company and tears.
“So are you going to tell Dad?”, Molly helped her mother in the Kitchen with Dinner.
Her mother thought for a second as she checked the Duck in the oven.
”Eventually, but not yet. He has a lot on his mind with taking over her as the Chief of Police maybe after Christmas.
“What about Abe and Grandpa”, Mona cut fresh fruit into the pitcher of punch.
“Grandpa, Dear if anyone else already knows its him, despite his outlandish stories that man’s mind is as sharp as a tack. And as for Abe, I have no doubt he’ll figure it out eventually. All it’ll take is one slip up from TJ.” The Woman laughed then looked at the Recipe for the Chinese’s noodles.
“Do you know any spells that can help me figure this recipe out dear, she added.
“Mom I just started I don’t know any spells”, Mona sounded embarrassed. Her mother chuckled,.
“Well after I meet this Miss Minerva we can see if she can teach you an hour or so after school too.”. Mona looked at her mom who was now opening up a box of imported noodles and placing them in a pot of boiling water.
‘Meet her?’, Mona had never thought about the two most important women in her life meeting. In fact it wasn’t until there talk that she even realized how important the grey haired Witch was to her.
“Yes Meet, can you arrange it?” the woman turned to see her daughter in thought, Mona nodded, “Sure, I mean why not ..just remember..”
“She’s a bit eccentric”, Mona rode next to her mom, TJ in back of the Minivan up the road towards the Stone and Iron wall. It was Sunday and after Church she said she had a special errand to run with her two youngest children. As they came to the gate both sides creaked opened.
“We’re expected”, The children’s mother sounded unfazed.
“Mom remember she’s…” Mona spoke again.
“eccentric you said that a hundred times since yesterday, Remember I was a social worker, I’m used to eccentric people. Between My kids and your Grandpa I should be an expert on eccentric”, Molly Orland tried not to laugh, she knew her kids were nervous and needed her to take them seriously.
The Van parked itself in front of the house. A slight wind was blowing.
“Victorian, very nice”, Molly
“And spooky”, added TJ stating close to his mother
“You know TJ, Speaking as a mother I’m still upset about her turning you into a frog. and a bug and the shrinking thing”, The woman looked at her son., “But as a social worker I have to say it has worked wonders for your attitude.”
“Hey it wasn’t that bad, actually it was kind of fun”, the boy spoke up trying to sound brave.
“really?”, asked the woman
“yeah TJ was now walking back straight chin up towards the steps.
“Then I think I’ll ask her to turn you into a frog every time you don’t clean your room then”. Mona laughed at her mothers words and TJ suddenly felt very,, very vulnerable.
As they came to the front door it open standing there in white high color blouse, black skirt and buckled boots and her cape like black shawl was Miss Minerva.
“Welcome Ms. Orland, Children, I’ve been expecting you,”, The witch lead the group into the living room where tea, milk , cookies and finger sandwiches waited.
“You got my message?” Mona has reached out to Miss Minerva with what she had taught and sent a message to her. Molly wasn’t sure Ms. Minerva understood it as she was a bit nervous
“Loud and Clear,”, Ms. Minerva sat in her chair, “And very well done”
“Thank you”, Mona blush and looked at her mom who was still smiling.
“Now what can I do for you Ms. Orland”, Ms. Minerva picked up a cup of tea.
“I just wanted to see who’s teaching my daughter” Ms. Orland looked about the house. Though a bit cluttered she was awed at the well numerous well kept antiques most over a hundred years old at her best guess.
Mona and TJ watched the two ladies first about Mona then magic and Ms. Minerva’s plans and curriculum. Being a social worker and a certified teacher Molly Orland even made a few suggestions.
“So as long as Mona can keep her grades I see know problem with her visits Saturdays and an hour after school”. Mona’s mother saw the look oh joy on bother daughter and the older woman’s face when she talked.
“Can I come too mom?”, TJ looked left out.
“No, dear, If Molly is going to do this neither her or Miss Minerva is going to need you as a distraction”, The crossed his arms and pouted even though his mothers glare was firmly on him.
“Its no trouble Molly”, Ms. Minerva spoke up. “I can put him to work in garden or cleaning up, he’ll stay out of our hair.”.
“Well as long as you promise to return a little boy to me and not a kangaroo or something”, TJ’s mother looked at her sullen son who was nothing starting to look his old eager self.
“I promise Dearie, no more casting on TJ”, Ms. Minerva.
“Well Alexis, its your house, and its up to you to deal with my sons rambunctious nature as you see fit. Just make sure he’s walking on two legs when he gets home”, TJ stuck his tongue out at his mother and both women started to laugh.
Mona not able to hold her feelings in got up and hugged both women thanking them.
“And TJ you can only come on the weekends, I want unleash you on this sweet lady on weekdays too” The red-haired woman spoke from behind her daughters loving hug.
“Fine, What ever?”, The boy played with a cookie.
“You know TJ, you should be more thankful to your mother “, Ms. Minerva light a black cigar and blew out a plume smoke.
“Thank you mom”, the boy sounded beaten. Coming to his feet he walked to give his mother a big hug before sitting again.
“Now was that to heard”, the witch looked at the boy amused.
“No Ma’am”, TJ
Molly rose from her seat and sat next to her youngest child and hugged kissed his check, “How do you do it Alexis”, the woman playfully elbowed her son, “I’ve never known TJ not to mouth off even when it wasn’t in his best interest”?”
Ms. Minerva took a puff off the cigar m “Well , the secret is being able to turn him into a frog, it’s the best lesson for a smart mouth I know.”.
Molly hugged the boy again and TJ responded with a smile, even though he thought he was too old for hugs most of the time his mom was an expert at giving them.
“Speaking of that, could you turn TJ into a frog every time he doesn’t clean up his room?” Molly was now joking and hoped the Witch would understand.
“My Pleasure”, The witch wiggled a finger at the boy.
“Mom!”, the boy looked at his mother with pleading eyes.
“fine, Fine, Ms. Minerva I retract that request..for now” Molly laughed as did everyone but TJ who didn’t get the joke.
Not long after that goodbyes were exchanged. Ms. Orland promised to visit Ms. Minerva for tea noon Wednesday and get a full tour of the house and all the antiques. TJ remained silent as did Mona mostly who was still trying to adapt to the new status quo. Before the Orland’s left however Ms. Minerva handed Molly a thin book, no more than a hundred pages bound in snake skin with gold comer protectors and a silk book mark.
“It’s a series of simple lessons and related spells, I think your ready “, Mona took the book as her teacher spoke,
“Thank you Ms. Minerva”, returned girl before once again hugging the grey haired woman.
Before another series of goodbye the Orland left as Ms, Minerva waved them off a smile on her face almost as wide as Molly’s.
Circe14: Your Mom is so cool
MonaLisa: I’m sure I should be talking to you after what you did
Circc14: I said I’m sorry like three times.
Geekwitch: Come on lets all be friends
Ryoko: Yeah , PLEASE! :)
MonaLisa: Fine, but no more spells to scry for my brothers Email Cecilia
Circe14: Hey no using the real name, that’s low, Anyway he wrote me back like 5 times.
MonaLisa: No way.
Circe14: Yeah way, and he sent me a picture of him in his football uniform.
MonaLisa: Abe, My brother? Sent you a pic ?
Circe14: Yeah Abraham, about 6 feet tall, blue eyes, long dark hair wide shoulders?
MonaLisa: Does he know you’re a witch?
Circe14: No , Our secrets safe.
Mona breath a sigh of relief. She wanted to keep the secret from Abe and her dad as long as possible. As For Grandpa she agreed with Mother, he might already know. In fact when they returned from visiting Ms. Minerva he commented by the cigar smell on their clothing in passing. Mona chatted till dinner. It was Pizza delivered from the local Pizza Parlor. Waiting for the right time confronted Abe as he headed towards his room after dinner.
“So did you send Cecilia a Picture”, She made her voice sound annoyingly sweet.
“Yeah she seems nice”, he said in a no committal tone.
“Uh-Huh”, respond Mona hands crossed leaning against the upstairs wall.
“And she plays Ava-Wars too”, he added
“and..” Mona was enjoying this too much, she knew Abe was a bit shy around girls and this had to be killing him.
“and she’s really cool in that Goth kinda way”, He added for walking quickly into his room. Mona laughed and headed back to hers. She could used the home network and read his email but figured why bother the blush on his face said it all. Anyway she had more important things to do including an hour for school work and then Ms. Minerva’s book.
As Usually School work was simple just a Report on Ancient Rome, thirty problems for calculus and a Java program that told you the day you were born in for AP Computer Programming. The Report took the longest and she did it last. Looking at the clock it was half after eight giving her less than two hours to start on her new book. Opening it she saw the pages were written in old type setting by a Lady Virginia Ransford in 1750.
“Proper Witchery and Spells for The Modern Young lady. “ was tile on the inside cover was a signature written neatly A. Minerva 1804 age 12. Mona smiled now she had an idea how Old the town witch was. The first Chapter was on proper stance and poise for casting with a wood carved picture of a girl standing straight. It then diagramed a hand showing hoe to properly point when casting.
Before Going to sleep Mona finished the first chapter and the started on the next Gestures and Incantations. The chapter covered how hand gestures and incantations can help a witch picture what she needs to do and focus her powers when she first started using her powers. The flow of the hands and words allowed for easy and precise weaving of energies. And as a Witch became more adapt the use of words and movement to cast would no longer be needed.
Monday was an average day at school except for the joke Aaron played on Mona with Abe’s help. The Two had opened up her locker and rigged crude batter powered bell to go off when she opened it. A little revenge For Mona’s teasing the following night of Abe.
Mona was startled by the bell going off she dropped her books on her foot leaving a large a bruise and causing her to have a slight limp the rest of the day. Aaron and Abe was so embarrassed when seeing what had happened they apologized profusely but Mona would not accept it. She would have her revenge, after all she was better at rigging electronics than both boys put together Since Grandpa would pick TJ up now and walk him home she was free to ride her bike directly to Ms. Minerva.
The Witch welcomed her inside but instantly noticed her limp.
“What’s the Matter Mona?”, Alexis asked concerned.
The Girl explained the prank and the witch immediately made her sit take off her sneakers and socks so she could place a war yellow past on the bruise. At first the concoction made the wound feel warm than cold then strangely the pain stopped.
“Now that’s what I call service”, laughed the girl.
“Ms. Minerva Medical Poultice works wonders”, said the woman placing a cap back on the foul smelling bottle. “You can keep this bottle just in case, I just made two more last week, Claudette should be around to take one of those off my hand soon”.
The Girl placed her shoe and sock back on and stood straight, there was no bruise or pain.
“Is Claudette OK?’, Mona took a few steps just to be sure she was fully healed.
“OH she’s fine, She sells them at her Store in the City”, Ms. Minerva relaxed in her chair and watched her student walk about.
“Who does she sell it too?”, Mona was curious she knew Miss Minerva had a lot of bottles of potions and herbs but just thought it was for her own use.
“Witches, Mortals in the know, the others. I sell them to Claudette and she sells them at her shop, A Witch has to make a living. The Great Coven frowns on the conjuration of Money and the like”. Mona had never thought about how Ms. Minerva brought her house or the antiques. I guess there wore more things normal people and Witches had in common than she guessed.
Once Mona had set Ms. Minerva asked her to open the book and the two discussed Gesturing and incantation and using focusing along with them.
“So what’s going to be your magic words?”, asked the older Witch?
“Magic words? I thought everyone uses the same magical words when learning?” Mona flipped to the spells in the back of the book but was stopped when the lady across from her spoke again.
“True, usually but I find its better to have your own words just a few to focus through. Anyway why do what everyone else does if any one has the right to be unique it’s a witch.
“What did you use?, The girl looked up at her bemused friend.
“Well don’t laugh But I preferred Jinx for mischievous spells, Exalti for helpful ones. I kept it simple really and that made the difference.” Ms, Minerva picked up a book from a small table next to her chair cracking it open she found the spell she was looking for and even though she could cast it without gesture and incantation four teaching sake she would do it the apprentice way.
“Exalti!”, she called out pointing at a tea cup causing it to float up. And hover over the table.
:Now you try, that spell should be on page 31 of your book, for get the words it gives, just focus on what it says about visualization and concentration then say your word
Mona looked at the spell, it was small less than half a page and gave a smile diagram on how to gesture, point then up with the hand then close the hand. After going over the instructions in her head she was ready, now she just needed a word
“Hocus Pocus!”, the girl called all causing a saucer to raise up with her gesture. She could feel her connection to what she lifted her energy connected to it controlling its place in space and time.
“Not the most original incantation, but it works”, laughed Ms. Minerva.
“Yeah, but It sounded kinda Witch”, responded Mona using her finger now to spin and fly the saucer about. The hovering exercise went on for almost the entire hour. As the girls time with the her teacher ended Ms. Minerva in thought motioned her closer.
“So what are we going to do about that Prank?” she asked.
“Ah, I was thinking of rigging their lockers to shock them when they opened them or maybe a smoke bomb explosion” Mona had put some thought into possible revenge.
“Dear your not thinking like a witch”, Ms. Minerva eyes was once again full of mischief, “A Witch doesn’t get revenge with batteries and wires, she uses magic. Mona hadn’t thought about that, but what could she do other than levitate them.
“Yeah but if you haven’t noticed I’m No Morgan Le Fey”, Mona mood dropped
“No of course not she’s taller, blond and Scottish”, The grey-haired woman looked at the girl let me thing about it I’ll should have something tomorrow, nothing harmful of course”.
Mona nodded and gave her teacher a Hug and left.
That night she did some more studying with levitation in her room levitating at first small things then her desk chair, then a few stuff animals. She even tried levitating more than 1 thing at a time and managed to get six things going at once before she became to tier which according to the book meant her energy focus was off.
The Next Day Abe mentioned the Homecoming Dance to her and if she was going Mona had not Ben asked and really didn’t want to go. Not being popular she had no need to make an appearance. Abe then mentioned he was asking her because Aaron had asked if she had a date. Mona was surprised, she didn’t think of Aaron like that but then again she didn’t think of anyone like that and if Aaron was a football player and popular if he didn’t have a date that could hurt his standing at school.
“Well he has a week to ask, if he wants to go, as friends he just has to ask”, Mona did her best imitation of the haughtiness she had seen in Miss Minerva. Abe smiled and headed towards his room which thanks to TJ was pristine in appearance.
“So who are you taking”, Asked Mona.
“well your friend says she doesn’t live to far so I was thinking of asking her”, He didn’t expect stunned silence from his Sister but exactly what he got. Later that Night Mona logged on and left Circe14 telling her of Abe’s plan. She never had friends to gossip with and realized how almost immediately. After that she returned to next mortal and mystical studies.
Wednesday Molly Orland visited Alexis Minerva and the two talked antiques for hours. She was again impressed by the Witch and promised to visit for tea again next week. She also told her about Mona going to Homecoming with Aaron Freeman. Ms. Minerva seemed amused by it but didn’t mention she knew to Mona who had suddenly decided not to seek revenge just yet. Thursday and Friday the new witch learned how to make the window blow by whistling and how to make a potion that actually cured the common cold.
By the Time Saturday arrived Mona was ready for whatever Miss Minerva had planned. TJ and her instead of riding their bikes were dropped off by their mother who was surprised to see A car parked there. Mona explained it was just Claudette.
“I’ll pick you both up at about five”, she said before driving off, “and TJ behave” she added
The Boy nodded and then turned to run up the steps and knock on the door. Mona shook her head and followed.
“Oh its you again, my little canary”, Claudette looked at TJ in a way that made him feel uneasy. When Mona came into view she smiled. New Witches were rare maybe ten were born a year in the entire world/ Looking at the girl her mind fell back to when she first discovered she was different. She lived in Haiti with her Grandmother a powerful witch who acted as a counselor and seer for the Prime Minister of the Island a French man she new as Monsieur Jean Paul. It was just after the early 1960’s and she was just becoming a teenager when her grandmother noticed that there would be a rainstorm every time her “Little Claudette” was upset. Her Mother also a witch had fallen to a mob of Witch hunters and her father was a sailor from Spain who had abandoned her before birth his only gift her coffee and cream colored skin and piercing green eyes.
Claudette learned magic the way it was taught in the Caribbean’s and Africa. Dancing and chanting. Dust and dolls. It was a fun time for her under her grandmother and the other witches on the island watchful eye. She was treated special for she for the last of her kind born on the island was her mother over fifty years ago. People would bring her flowers and candies hoping she would give them good luck Mothers brought newborns for her to touch and say good things about so they would grow up healthy. It was the old way of magic, older than the witches of Europe and their books of spells and riding brooms.
When she was turned twenty Claudette fell in love with a musician and left the island to travel to America with him and his band. The Musician called her his Muse and wrote songs of her beauty and her magic. But there love did not last and Claudette found herself in America no longer a Muse. Claudette had a little money, which she used to open a small shop selling potions and card readings. A few years later she registered with the great Coven as a practicing Witch and found many more people coming to her. The Great Coven rarely asked for favors but thought Claudette would make a great counselor for old and young witches as she had not only charisma but experience on her side even despite her young age. Her first and only assignment was an old witch living in New England who hadn’t left her house in over a decade. Claudette was a bit afraid of Alexis Minerva when they first meet but over time they became great friends discovering they had a lot in common.
“Hello Mona come inside”, The green eyed witch smiled wide as she spoke wanting the girl to see her as a friend even despite their age difference and the fact Mona was obviously intimidated by her.
Mona walked in and greeted Ms. Minerva with a hug and shook the other witches hand. Though she didn’t dislike Claudette she was afraid of her. Miss Minerva though odd in her own way reminded her of a wildly but good heart eccentric grandmother while Claudette had the bearing of queen and looked like she should be a movie star or at least a model. “So TJ, how’s your room”, asked the grey haired witch with a twinkle in her eye.
“Its clean, I promise” He blurted out fast. This time he sat quietly as he could next to his sister and tried not to make eye contact with either of the older witches.
“It Is Ma’am, So clean I think Abe is starting to suspect something”, Mona added.
The grey-haired lady looked at the, “well I’m sure it’ll be find if you left a sock or two out, after all we mustn’t draw suspicion to ourselves” The woman watched the closely enjoying the way she made him fidget.
“Yes Ma’am”, he responded.
“It seems our little canary isn’t as talkative as last time I was here”, Claudette looked at the boy, “That’s sad, because I was hoping he would ask what’s in the box on his lap”
TJ knew there was nothing on his lap yet as he looked down there was a box there in green wrapping paper and a gold ribbon.
“ Wow”, the boy held up the small box “Is this for me?”
“yes Dear, Claudette said since you didn’t ask for anything in return for fetching Mona for us the first time She’ll bring you something from her shop” Ms. Minerva looked as eager as the boy to see what’s inside.
“Its not going to explode is it, or suck out my brain?”, he gave Claudette a wary glance.
“No, now open it “ it was the most polite and intimidating command the boy has ever heard.
Removing the ribbon with a few tugs the boy tore open the paper . Inside was a wooden box about as wide as his hand. Looking at it he saw it had a brass latch on the front and TJO carved on top in a fancy letters.
Opening the latch le looked in side to see egg shaped stone , White crystal with light blue veins. It glowed when he touched it.
“What is it”, he asked.
“It’s beautiful”, Mona leaned in closer, she could actually feel the dancing energy in it, a sign of enchantment.
Claudette gestured levitating it up eye level to the boy, “a Dreamers Egg” she said, “Tell it what you want to dream of , place it under your pillow and you’ll dream a dream so real so complete you’ll swear it really happened”
“Cool”, The boy snatched the Stone from the air and placed it in the box.
“Say thank you”, Mona spoke to her brother as if he was still six.
“I was”, TJ looked at Mona as if he was insulted then at Claudette, “Thank you Ms. Claudette”. The ten year old them stuck his tongue out at his sister.
“Hocus Pocus”, Incanted the girl holding up a finger at the boy causing his tongue to latterly stick in place. Miss Minerva looked at Claudette then to Mona, her eyes showed how proud she was of her student.
“Bravo, Mona, you’ve been studying”, she said clasping her hands.
“Thanks”, the girl blushed then looked at her little brother and snapped a finger to break the spell. Undoing a spell was easy for a caster it was just a matter of letting reality flow back to the way it was suppose to. Witches snapped a finger to reabsorb some of the energy that was used to cast the spell.
“Hey, I’m telling Mom”, the boy looked at his sister
“You better not”, Mona looked at the boy and made her best Witches glare at the boy.
“What’s wrong with your face?” laughed TJ
Claudette giggled and looked at Miss Minerva who in response was about to same something. A Witches glare was one of her greatest tools. It was her looking into a mortals energy allow that mortal to feel her power and her presence. Usually at the very least intimidating it was something it seemed Mona needed to work on.
“Mona we must work on that…”, before she con continue the door bell ringed. Ms. Minerva came to her feet straightened her dress with a pat and walked to the door
“That’s strange; I’m not expecting any more company”.
Slowly opening the door the Witch wondered who would are knock on her door uninvited. Was the people of Elm Book Hollow after her lack luster mischief making on Halloween starting to think she’s going soft?
On the other side of the door was a rail thin young man in a ill fitting coat, slack and tie. his wavy blond hair shined with oil.
“Hello Madame. I’m Roger Stiles with The Philips- Long Insurance Company out of Connecticut . I’m traveling through Elm Brook and saw on my lap top we’ve never visited your house and I was hoping…” The man had a demeanor so pleasant it was obviously phony and spoke as if what he had to say was the most important thing you would ever hear. Ms. Minerva recognized him instantly as one of the few things she truly despised in the world, a salesman!
“Good-day”, Ms. Minerva growled before starting to close the door. Instinctively the man wedged his foot in the door to stop it.
“Madame, what we offer if full coverage, home, auto , life, health and dental.”, he smiled a toothy grin and the door opened.
“Really?” Ms. Minerva smiled back and opened the door letting the man in. She had no need for insurance. She never got sick, A Witches teeth always stayed white and clean. her house had spells on it that made it immune to natural disasters and fire. Life insurance to a witch was joke.
Roger looked about the woman who answered the door looked to be in her late fourties early fifties, tall looked to be in good health, clear eyes, clear teeth . He was trained to observe the frailty in would be clients health and home to use that make the sell.
Eyes darting quickly he saw all the antiques and the kids her children or grandkids if he guessed their age wrong. No man around no men things maybe a divorcee or a widow.
The information and assessments came fast it was one of the reasons Roger stiles was Agent of the month three years running.
“Really, By the look of your house I can tell you are a woman of taste”, The man walked to a table by the door and picked up a vase , looking under it quickly he saw the name of its Dutch manufacture and the date 1851, “And as a woman of taste you need the protection of a good insurance “. He looked at the woman and saw what he thought was boredom cross his face.
“Madame, think not just about your home but the children”, he walked to TJ.
“Hey dude, can’t you see your not welcomed”, Suddenly the boy was his usual self
“Come on kid, help me with the old lady”, Roger leaned in close to boy to speak.
“Alexis would you like me too..”, Claudette looked at her friend and made motion with her fingers at the man.
Miss Minerva looked offended, she could more than deal with this annoying man, after all she invited him in so there wouldn’t be any outside witnesses to her mischief if Mischief was needed. Not that there was much a chance of that anyway but she always believed its better safe than
“Mr. Stiles do I’m not interested. Now please be quiet this is for the sake of the children I’m giving you one last chance”. Alexis Minerva tried not to sound threatening. She wanted to teach Mona that when dealing with pests politeness should precede magic.
The salesmen saw the politeness as an open door and started to ramble again, “Miss…you know I didn’t get your last name” the man had to keep her talking if he could do that he had a chance to make the sell.
“Minerva, Alexis P Minerva to be exact”, The witch spoke calmly.
“What’s the P for?”, TJ looked at his hostess who was now standing arms crossed in front of the man.
“Penelope”, sighed the witch.
“Did kids call you Penny, I knew a girl in third grade with that name and everyone called her Penny”. TJ continued until Mona elbowed him in the side.
The man laughed,” Penny, I see the boy is a little firecracker and I bet you want to be around long enough to see him grow up”, He paused quickly opened his brief cased and pulled out a document. This full coverage Health insurance has a not only a low premium but we throw in an extra 25% off for none smokers”. He had them he could feel it.
“that’s to bad”, Ms. Minerva took a step at the man catching him in her witches glare.
“ah why’s that”, the man felt a chill up his spine.
“I’m a smoker Dearie”, the witch smiled and made a reached at the man who grew smaller as her hand got closer when it had reached where he was he was being held in her grasp
“Oh Crap”, the man struggled but he was held tight, Look lady Lets just forget…” in mid sentence his mouth vanished as he looked his arms and hands fused to his side. His legs became one boney stomp and his bones vanished. Mona watched in both horror and awe as the tiny man with but a few rolls between Miss Minerva thumb and finger became a black cigar. The witch made a snort of annoyance at her creation and was about to put it to her lips when her apprentice came to her feet.
“No, please don’t kill him” Miss Minerva she called out.
The witch looked confused, Dear any witch worth her salt would never take a life. Not only is it unconscionable but its also not very original”
Mona looked at the cigar then the woman holding it. “But wouldn’t smoking the cigar kill him?’ She expected a reaction but not the one she got. Claudette giggled as did Mis.. Minerva who placed the end of the cigar she would normally light near her lips and blew causing it to burn.
“Mona, does a cigar have a heart, a brain, lungs”, Claudette spoke from where she sat.
“No”, Mona still then understand what was so funny.
“Then how can it be killed “, Claudette came to her feet and sat on the Edge of the couch near TJ.
“When a person is transformed into an animal they have all the animals traits but maintain a humans thoughts”, she pointed down at TJ causing the boy to turn into a small yellow bird, “Right my little canary?”
The bird flew around the room circled Miss Minerva who was standing enjoying her smoke.
“Ah yeah I can fly, see really good and I have feathers”, chirped the bird as it landed on Claudette’s finger.
The beautiful witch in black then placed the bird on the couch and made it a boy before continuing her lesson.
“Birds have hearts, bones and like most creatures will perish if it takes to much damage”, Claudeted looked at TJ and her eyes shot lighting at him turning him in a tea cup As Mona watched she stood, sat next to her and poured tea into a cup.
“But a tea cup, or A cigar has none of those things that , no heart, bones, brains or lungs.”, Claudette took a sip, “ Of course TJ is aware of what he is and I if you listen closely you can hear his complaints. He feels the tea inside him and my fingers holding him but three isn’t any real pain at most discomfort”. Ms. Minerva nodded
“If Claudette was to break him, it would just be a matter of gathering up the pieces and turning him back to normal”. Miss Minerva voice eased Mona’s worries.
Mona looked at the tea cup, “Still that has to be worse thing ever, to be something not alive , I mean after a few years”. She was no longer afraid for TJ or the salesman but for the first time grasped the kind of power she would one day wield and it both fascinated and frightened her.
“And that dear is why most witches never kill, If you were truly that upset there are far worse things you can do. But keep in mind the idea is not to torture but to teach lessons at least most of the time so try to keep track of your transformation” Miss Minerva tapped ashes into an ashtray off the cigar.
“Sometimes I get really angry you know”, Mona looked at both women, “Mom says I picked it up from her side of the family”
“We all get angry dear it’s a powerful emotion and as I’m sure your learning emotion powers your magic”, Miss Minerva spoke in a relaxed tone. Mona listened carefully.
“The stronger the emotion placed behind the spell the more powerful the spell”, added Claudette, “When I transformed your brother I was felling a bit amused, a bit serious and tiny bit wicked. All those combine made spell as easy to cast as breathing”
Mona thought back to levitating and how tired she became, there was no emotion behind jus her practicing. Then it dawned on her when the Crow attacked TJ her terror came with the wind, maybe it was that emotion that made the bird get blown away.
“Enjoy your powers that’s the secret see it for the gift it is and that will Joy that feeling of anything is possible will power all your magics”, Ms. Minerva smiled and Mona did too, no wonder she the old witch was always smiled as she did or had a twinkle in her eyes all the time.
“And as for a temper, I have one”, Claudette looked at the tea cup, “But instead of just exploding all at once I release my anger in little bits of mischief like most witches”. The tea cup turned into a oil like substance that dripped to the ground sizzled and formed a full restored TJ .
“Now that you’re a boy again TJ would you like to do me a little favor?”, the dark haired with voice was honey and venom.
“Yes Ma’am anything, just not a tea cup again”, The Boy looked nervous.
“Would you mind washing my car while we work on a few things with your sister ?”, Claudette was barley finished when TJ nodded yes.
“Excellent there is a water hose out front and you’ll find a bucket with everything else you need on the porch”, Claudette snapped her fingers to make the bucket appear by the steps.
“Sure no problem”, the boy left through the front door quickly. Outside he saw Claudette’s car along with a newer sports model that obviously belonged to the salesmen
‘You know Mona, Claudette and I are only hard on TJ just to make sure he understands the cost of the knowledge he bares”. Miss Minerva extinguished the cigar in the ash tray.
“We’ll ease up on him once we think he’s learned that he’s just as much a part of our world as you are with what he knows.
Claudette nodded, “True, now that he’s out side lets get to work shall we? “. Claudette and Miss Minerva both acted as the teacher explaining and demonstrating to Mona basic spells and focus techniques. Mona learned quickly and surprised both women. Enjoying her powers came easy now that she saw understood more about the role of emotion in magic. Claudette taught simple elemental manipulation, summoning, wind, fire, water, ice sand the first half of the session. When they were done TJ was called for a lunch which consisted of Pizza his favorite food. Claudette actually made small talk with him and he wasn’t sure if that was a good or bad thing. The more he talked with her he thought the more likely he was to say something to annoy her.
After Lunch Miss Minerva sent the boy to do some weeding in her garden.
She then returned to teach Mona how to read minds and send more coherent mental messages. The girl was so caught up in the lesson she didn’t notice TJ returning to sit quietly while she was being instructed. As Five O’clock grew close Miss Minerva once again served tea and cookies. For some strange reason TJ avoided the refreshments.
“Oh Mona I have a few things for you too”, Claudette gestured and a clear space on the table now had several boxes on it.
“Alexis said you might be going to a school dance”, Claudette motioned her to pick up a small box, inside was a silver bracelet with smooth black stones, it was full of magics.
“I can’t take this’, Mona looked at it had to cost hundreds of dollars
“Don’t be silly, its yours”, The beautiful witch took the bracelet and snapped it on Mona’s wrist. “Its actually just a common magical device called a wardrobe bracelet
“What does it do?”, Mona looked at it
“Stand up”, Claudette watched the girl stand, “now touch one of the stones picture any clothing you can think of and say the activation words “.
“What are the words?”, Mona
“100% off of course”, Laughed the stylish sorceress.
Mona thought about a dress she had seen on TV, dark blue knee length with flared sleeves “100% off” she said and her clothing altered to match what she pictured.
“Wow this is cool”, Mona twirled in the dress
TJ yawned, “geek”
“I so can’t wait till I can turn you into a toad”, Mona looked at her brother again with her witches glare but got no reaction.
“Funny you would say that”, Claudette levitated the next box to the girl she now instinctively felt the energy inside and knew it was a book. Opening it up she saw a modern looking book with a colorful of a dark haired teenage girl waving a wand at toad.
“1001 one spells for the adolescent sorceress”, was written in silver raised letter.
“I think you’re looking for the spell on page 312”, Claudette
Mona held the book it was large at least 1000 pages long but as light as a feather.
“Now here’s a trick tap the cover”, Claudette spoke again looking as happy as Mona was
Mona tapped the cove suddenly it said”1001 romantic poems for the Teenage girl”.
Everyone but TJ laughed.
The Girl tapped the book again and it turned back to normal
“This is great Claudette”, Mona was giddy with joy, opening the book she turned to page 312 and read the title “Titania’s Toadful Truth”,
“Come on Mona I was just kidding”, TJ looked insulted.
The girl looked at the page then at the boy, “I’ll let it go this time”.
About that time a familiar horn was heard outside.
“That’s Mom” TJ came to his feet
“Thank You Claudette, Miss Minerva”, Mona gave both women hugs
“See you Monday evening dear” Miss Minerva spoke as she returned the hug.
The two left children left to join there mother in a car. All three waved at the two ladies on the porch . On Stone Hill road they drove slow watching leaves beautiful fall colors.
Molly Orland came to Elm-Brook to be with her Husband. She was satisfied in the city and had thought she would never get used to the country. But the oranges and reds in the leaves the cool breeze was on the verge of changing her mind. Between looking at the trees and the road the red haired woman eyes almost missed the sporty red car behind her. Zooming past the driver had a frantic look about him and if her eyes were not fooling her seemed too be covered in grey ash,.
“Wasn’t that car parked at Ms. Minerva’s place?” The Orland mother glanced back at her kids then the road.
“Yeah , I think”, Mona sounded no committal as she fiddled with her new bracelet.
“I wondered why he’s in such a hurry”, the driver sped up a bit and made the turn towards home.