Molly Miggins mum and dad (A High Witch and a stage magician,) have disappeared in a fairground magic show accident. Molly is told by a wizard that only she can rescue them from where they have been sent. To achieve the task Molly must become a junior witch and join the witches academy a year earlier than she should.
Molly and the housekeeper, Mrs McCraggity, go to the Witch’s outfitters to get her a new uniform. Molly accidentally sits on her hat and crushes the tip. Mrs McCraggity isn’t pleased when Molly chooses a yellow tunic instead of a traditional black one. As it is Molly birthday, her grandmother Granny Whitewand has asked her to come to her room to get a special present.
When she got home, Molly changed into her new witches uniform and went to look for Granny Whitewand. She found her in the garage arguing with two official looking men.
‘Of course it’s safe,’ she told them, ‘I should know, I’ve had it for sixty years.’
‘I’m sorry but it has failed the WOT test,’ said the taller of the men. ‘You need to get it repaired or buy a new one.’
Granny Whitewand was outraged.
‘A NEW BROOM! ‘she shouted. ‘You won’t see me on one of those plastic and alloy abominations. Give me a good old hazel and birch twig broom any day of the week.’
‘I’m sorry, but we can’t pass it,’ said the smaller man. ‘It’s falling to bits.’
‘Can’t you just twiddle the twigs at the back end?’ asked Granny Whitewand.
‘There are very few twigs left to twiddle,’ said the tall man. ‘Get it fixed or you’re banned from flying.’
When the men had gone, Molly followed an angry Granny Whitewand back to her room. ‘What’s a WOT test?’ she asked.
‘Witches Overhead Transport test,’ said Granny Whitewand. ‘You need a certificate of air worthiness to fly a broom. They reckon mine’s too old. It’s all nonsense of course, there’s nothing wrong with my broom that a few new birch twigs couldn’t cure.’
‘Can you fix it, Grandma?’
‘Yes, I think so,’ said Granny Whitewand,’ I’ll nip to the woods later on.’
Granny Whitewand opened the door to her room and ushered Molly inside. Before closing it she stuck her head around the door and looked up and down the corridor. ‘Can’t be too careful,’ she said.
Molly looked around the old witch’s room. There was a large four poster bed in one corner and a big old trunk on the floor under the window. The curtains were pulled together allowing just a tiny crack of sunlight into the room.
Granny Whitewand looked Molly up and down with a critical eye.
‘So, this is your new uniform is it? Goodness me, don’t you look a picture?’ she said.
‘I sat on my hat and Mrs McCraggity doesn’t like my yellow tunic,’ Molly complained.
‘The flop-over tip on your hat gives you a very individual look,’ said Granny Whitewand. ‘As for the tunic, yellow is just fine, I wish I could have worn a bright colour when I was a young witch. In my day it was all black and grey.’
‘It still is, Grandma, I was lucky to get this one. It’s the latest fashion,’ said Molly proudly.
‘It’s lucky they had it in small sizes too eh, Millie?’
‘Yes, yes, Molly, Millie, it’s all so confusing. Why didn’t your mother call you Griselda, or something? Maybe you can change your name?’
Molly didn’t like that idea one bit. ‘I like my name, Grandma.’
‘Suit yourself,’ said Granny Whitewand. ‘There was a very famous witch called Griselda.’
She was silent for a while; lost in some old memory, then she gave Molly a quizzical look. ‘What do you want anyway?’
‘You told me to come and see you.’
‘This morning. At breakfast?’
‘Did ? hmm, are you sure? ‘
‘Positive,’ said Molly.
Granny Whitewand thought for a while. ‘No, can’t remember.’
‘Was it something to do with a birthday?’ Molly suggested.
‘It isn’t my birthday, my birthday is on Halloween.’
‘No, my birthday,’ said Molly patiently.
‘When’s that then?’
‘Today,’ said Molly, beginning to get confused herself.
‘Is it? I suppose you want a present then?’
‘Yes please,’ said Molly glad they were getting somewhere at last.
Granny Whitewand hobbled across to her trunk. ‘Help me with the lid, it’s a bit heavy.’
Molly pulled on the strap handle of the old trunk. It opened with a long creak.
‘Now then, what can I give you,’ said Granny Whitewand as she rummaged about in the trunk.
Molly looked at the contents and shuddered. The trunk was full of Grandma’s old clothes. There were drab old tunics, thick woolly socks and some very strange looking items of underwear. Molly couldn’t see anything she wanted; the old bloomers were especially gross.
Granny Whitewand stopped rummaging and stood up as straight as her crooked back allowed.
‘What was I looking for?’ she asked.
‘A birthday present for me, Grandma?’
‘Oh yes, that’s right. Well it isn’t in there that’s for sure.’
Molly breathed a sigh of relief and looked around the room, there didn’t seem to be a present anywhere.
Granny Whitewand suddenly remembered. ‘I know what it was. Come here, Millie.’
‘Molly,’ agreed the old witch.
She hobbled across the room and picked up an ancient book from her bedside table. She held it upside down and gave it a shake. A piece of parchment floated onto the bed cover.
‘Ah, here it is,’ said Granny Whitewand.
She passed the faded old scrap of paper to Molly.
‘Thank you Grandma,’ said Molly, feeling more than a little disappointed. ‘What is it?’
‘That,’ said Granny Whitewand in a whisper, ‘is the oldest spell known to witch kind. It will do whatever you want it to do, so you must be very careful with it. A witch can only cast this spell three times in her life, so don’t go wasting it. Save it for situations when nothing else works. Only a very powerful wand can cast it and you’ll probably only get a learner wand to begin with, so the spell won’t be of much use to you for now. But once you graduate to a more powerful wand you should be able to use it.’
Molly put the parchment in her secret pocket. ‘Do you think the spell could bring Mum and Dad back, Grandma?’
‘It depends on the circumstances, Millie, under certain conditions it might work, but you would have to be with them at the time the spell was cast.’
‘When you use it, read the words backwards, from right to left,’ Granny Whitewand continued. ‘That spell is known to very few witches, so be very careful and use it wisely.’
‘I hope I’m up to this task, Grandma? ‘said Molly, quietly.
‘You’ll have to be, Millie. No one else can take it on, it was assigned to you. I’d like to help you, but I’m afraid I can’t. I am allowed to advise you on certain matters, but I cannot come with you into the void.’
‘What is this void, Grandma? What’s it for?’
The Void isn’t for anything, Millie. A lot of it is just empty, full of nothing, while other parts of it are full of things. There are some strange places there and even stranger creatures, it depends which bit you go to. One part of the void is where all failed magic is sent, not bad magic, but failed magic, there is a difference. Bad magic can never work. Failed magic is the term used
for the tricks and spells that have gone wrong. Successful tricks and spells have obviously served their purpose, so they can fade away. But failed magic hangs around trying to get it right over and over again, so it’s sent into the void to get it out of the way.’
‘So Dad’s vanishing act failed,’ said Molly, ‘and because they were part of the spell the void took them as well.’
‘That’s about it,’ said Granny Whitewand. ‘Something went wrong, that’s for sure.’
‘Once you’re in the void, that yellow tunic should help you. Bright colours stand out; there’s a lot of shadow.’
‘Have you been there, Grandma?’ asked Molly.
‘Once, many years ago. I had to find a lost spell. It got sent there by mistake.’
‘Did you find it?’
‘Yes I did, I’ve just given it to you.’
Molly patted her secret pocket.
‘I’ll look after it, Grandma.’
Molly walked to the door but then stopped and turned back.
‘Mum said she’d be there when I took my Witch’s promise, but she can’t be now. Will you come with me this afternoon?’
‘I’ll be proud to escort you to the ceremony, Millie. You’ll be a credit to the academy.’
Molly smiled. ‘I’ll try to be, Grandma, are you coming for lunch?’
‘What are we having? I could rustle something up; we’ll just need a few bats claws, a toad or two…’
‘We’re having ham sandwiches, Grandma, ‘ said Molly quickly, glad that Mrs McCraggity was preparing lunch.
‘In that case I’ll have some,’ said Granny Whitewand, ‘those bats claws get under my teeth.’
You can buy Magic Molly book one. The Mirror Maze for the Kindle or order it in paperback from LULU. You can also get in touch with me for a signed copy via THIS LINK