Katie’s Great Aunt Chloe is coming to stay for Halloween. Unfortunately her Great Aunt always makes Katie embarrassed by being just too “witchy.” She can’t resist flying on her broomstick and doing other tricks that draw attention to the fact that the family are witches.
This story features incidental music by Gabriella and Jay.
Story by Bertie.
Read by Natasha. Duration 20 minutes.
Proofread by Jana Elizabeth.
Katie’s Halloween Aunt –
Hello, this is Natasha, and I’m dropping by with a Halloween Story about our own Katie the Witch. I was just wondering, do you have any relatives that make you feel, well, just a bit embarrassed? You know, perhaps they dress in bad taste, or dance terribly at parties, or make awful jokes. Katie had a relative a bit like that. Her name was Great Aunt Chloe, and you can meet her in this story.
The trees were turning golden brown, the squirrels were busy burying conkers in the park, and the witches were getting ready for Halloween.
For Katie’s mum, this was the busiest time of the year in her shop called the Magic Lantern. If you wanted to be a classy witch or a snazzy goblin, The Magic Lantern was the place to come and browse for a costume. Katie helped her mum cut out pumpkins, and at night, when the shop was closed, the door was guarded by ghoulish glowing faces. In the day, it was packed with mums and kids stocking up for Halloween. Many of them were from Katie’s School, which was holding a Halloween Ball.
Jennie’s mum came into the shop to buy some Halloween Lights, and as she was paying she said to Katie’s mum: “Of course your daughter doesn’t have to dress up for the Halloween Ball. She can just go as herself.”
And Katie’s mum fumed because she didn’t think that remark was meant as a compliment.
In fact, Halloween was far from Katie’s favourite time of year. It was the time when nobody would let her forget that she was a witch. Even her best friend Isis asked her:
“Katie, what do witches actually do for Halloween? I mean, they don’t really fly around on broomsticks, right?”
And Katie replied: “Don’t be silly. Of course they don’t.”
But actually, that wasn’t strictly true. Katie knew at least one witch who liked to take her broomstick for a spin on Halloween. And unfortunately, that person was her Great Aunt Chloe.
Great Aunt Chloe was the sister of Katie’s Grandma. But she was a very different sort of person. Grandma was extremely polite and proper. Aunt Chloe, as everyone in the family knew, had been a bit of a wild witch in her youth. She had been the first person to fly around the world on a broomstick. And she had been a member of The Red Sticks – a team of witches that did formation broom flying and death defying stunts, like loop the loop and vertical take-off.
And although these days she did not do so much flying, she still liked to keep up the tradition on Halloween.
People said that she had been extremely beautiful back in the old days, and she still was, in a witchy sort of way. And although it was good that she was proud of her magical heritage, it could also be a bit embarrassing for Katie and her mum who preferred to keep that sort of thing a bit hush hush.
Great Aunt Chloe had invited herself to come and stay. And the time she had picked for her visit was the Halloween weekend. Katie lay awake at night hoping that her Great Aunt would not do anything too embarrassing. But she knew that she probably would.
The school’s Halloween Ball went off just fine for Katie. One or two people – like Jennie and Jake – were nagging her to pull off a magic stunt or two, but most people just said how pretty she looked in her costume. She was wearing a blue and yellow caftan with lots of magical signs embroidered on the collar and cuffs. There was nothing too witchy about it at all. And everyone loved the pumpkin dance that she performed with Isis.
This is how Katie and Isis did the pumpkin dance, to the song: “Don’t Be Scared of Halloween.” Firstly, they held their hands out to the side, holding pumpkins in their palms like weighing scales, and they swayed at the waist. They did a tap step from left to right, then they moved their shoulders up and down, they did a full turn and swivelled their pumpkin hands. For the verse beginning Witch’s Love to Fly on Sticks, they imagined they were flying on broom sticks, flinging sweets with flicking gestures of their hands.
Later on, when it was dark, the streets were full of excited kids going Trick or Treating. The little ones were all sugared up on sweets and shrieking like demons. The older ones tried to help their parents keep the smaller ones in check.
On the doorsteps of people’s houses, the kids screamed: “Trick or Treat,” and if the people were nice, they gave them sweets.
But Katie and Isis collected the best haul of sweets because they charmed everyone with their pumpkin dance.
Great Aunt Chloe came along with Katie and her mum. She was wearing a black cloak and a pointed hat with red magical writing on it. Her eyes were covered with a mask, and she carried her broom stick in her hand. And although she blended into the general melee of weirdly dressed people, Katie could not help feeling anxious that she might do something just a bit embarrassing.
Two small kids ran past chanting: “Katie is a witch! Katie is a witch!” And Aunt Chloe said, “I don’t think that’s very nice.”
“Oh I take no notice of little brats like them,” said Katie. “They’re only small, and besides, they’ve scoffed too many sweets.”
Aunt Chloe dismissed them with a shrug.
But then one of the kids turned around and threw something at Katie. Isis shrieked. And Katie said: “Er what’s that?”
It was a Goo Bomb – a new kind of nasty toy that exploded with gooy green slime. Poor Katie was covered in it, and her hair was all sticky.
“HA HA! Look at the ugly Slimy Witch!” shouted the kids.
But they weren’t so amused when Great Aunt Chloe raised her arm and pointed a lengthy index finger at them.
“No don’t, Aunt Chloe, Please!” pleaded Katie. But her Great Aunt was not listening. A green beam shot out of her finger and zapped first one and then the other kid. They both staggered backwards and sat down on a door step. When they tried to stand up, they couldn’t. They were stuck there.
“That will teach you to mess with a witch. You can stay on the Naughty Step until I release you …. which might be sometime next week if I am in a good mood. But on the other hand, I might just fly home and forget all about you.”
Both the children started to cry and their mothers rushed over and tried to help them to stand. But try as they might, they couldn’t. People were staring at Great Aunt Chloe, and Katie, and her mum, and accusations were starting to fly around.
“What have you done to our children?” demanded one of the mums.
And Great Aunt Chloe said, “I haven’t done anything. They are just naughty children. They threw goo all over my niece.”
Katie was so embarrassed, she wished that the road would open up and swallow her. Then she remembered that she shouldn’t wish too hard for anything like that because, after all, she was a witch, and it could actually happen.
Katie’s mum pulled Chloe away from the crowd. “Please Aunt Chloe. Release them at once.”
“In my day, children knew how to behave,” retorted Chloe.
“But if you don’t let them go now, there will be a terrible scene and people will boycott my shop and bully Katie at school.”
“Oh all right then,” sighed Chloe. And she muttered the spell to unglue the two terrors from the step. The naughty kids were able to stand. Their parents were hugging them. Nobody was quite sure what had happened. But a few people suspected.
Katie was fuming with her Great Aunt as they walked home with a bucket full of sweets. “It’s just awful,” she thought. “Now all the teasing and taunting about my family of witches is going to start all over again.”
She was glum when they got home, and went straight upstairs to sulk on her bed. Her cat Solomon wasn’t there.
“I wish he hadn’t gone out tonight,” thought Katie. “There will be fireworks and they might scare the life out of him.”
Soon she heard some cracks and bangs in the sky. ”Oh dear, poor Solomon,” she thought.
And then she heard a loud screech like a rocket going off – only it wasn’t quite like a rocket – it was more like a cat – “Oh NO!” exclaimed Katie, and she ran out into the garden.
The sound was coming from somewhere up on the roof. She looked up and saw not Solomon, but Great Aunt Chloe standing astride her broomstick on the tiles. A stream of red stars was pouring out of the back of her stick and she was waving her hat and screeching for all she was worth. Then she and her broomstick shot up into the sky, not quite vertically, but almost.
‘FZZZZZZZSHOOOOWOW!” went the broom stick, still pouring out stars like a firework. And she looped the loop, just like back in the old days.
“Wow, that’s cool flying,” thought Katie. “But I really really hope the neighbours don’t see, or if they do, that they think she’s a rocket.”
Chloe was writing twirly patterns of stars in the sky, and Katie was sure that lots of people must have noticed. She heard “oohs” and “ahs” from the next door garden – then she ran through the house and out the front and found that a small crowd of people were standing in the street gazing up at the magical display.
“That’s some firework,” said a bald man.
“Impressive,” said a woman. “Did it come from a back garden?”
But a little boy said something that Katie didn’t want to hear. “That’s not a firework. Fireworks don’t go on for a long time like that. Look it’s a witch!”
His mother ticked him off: “Don’t be silly, witches only exist in books,” but his sister shouted: “Yippee I’ve seen a real life witch!”
“Oh Yikes!” thought Katie. “I’ll never live this down.”
The bald man started taking pictures with his mobile phone: “I’ll put these on Facebook,” he said. “No better still, I’ll take a movie and send it to the TV Station. ‘Witch Flies on Halloween!’ They’ll pay good money for pictures like these.”
But then the broom stick started to swoop back down from the moonlit sky – it was coming down really fast, and very steeply – and Katie wondered how her Great Aunt managed to hang on, especially at her age. But then, she wasn’t hanging on any more – she slid off the stick and was dangling by one arm.
Katie put her hands to her face: “I can’t bear to look anymore” she said. But through a chink in her fingers she saw her Great Aunt come tumbling off her stick and fall down somewhere into the park.
Katie screamed “AAAHH THAT’S MY Aunt!” and people stared at her. She was too alarmed to care. She was running down the road to the entrance to the park. The gate was locked, but she managed to vault over it with a quick little weight-defying spell that made her bound like she was on the moon.
She wasn’t quite sure where her Great Aunt had landed, but she thought that she must have broken every bone in her body. Then, as she got near the lake, she had another fright.
A weird creature was wading through the water. Katie froze. “Could it be,” she thought, “some kind of ghoul that wakes up on Halloween?” – but of course it wasn’t a ghoul – it was her Great Aunt who had landed in the pond.
“YEE-HA!” she called. “Did you see me fly Katie? Just like the old days. Only I seem to have broken my broom. Pity. I’ve had that one since way back when. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.”
The next day, Isis sent Katie a link to a video on YouTube. It showed a Halloween Witch flying over the rooftops amid the fireworks and crashing. Only most of the comments were agreed on one thing: “NICE FAKE!”
This was one of the good things about magic. If people don’t believe in it, they will think it’s just trickery when they see it.
When Katie got to school on Monday, nobody was teasing her. Emma even said: “I wish I had a Great Aunt like yours. She was really cool in her costume. All my relatives are so boring they are just embarrassing.”
At first Katie thought, “If only my relatives were boring, I’d be so glad.” And then she realised: “Yes, people are often a bit embarrassed about their family – but usually there is no need, because other people see them quite differently.”
But all the same, she was glad that Halloween was over, and that her Great Aunt Chloe had flown home safely on a new broom stick that couldn’t go nearly as fast as the old one.
And that was the story of Katie’s Halloween Aunt.
Before I go, I’d like to let you know that Storynory is now putting some books on Kindle, to see if people would like to read our stories that way. Check out the Kindle store on Amazon for our story Katie and the Witch’s Swap, as well as some others we’ve put up there. And just in case you don’t know – you can download the Kindle app for computers and mobile phones, as well as the Kindle device.
And Storynory has a new Katie song out. It’s all about Katie and it’s called, “Don’t be Scared of Halloween.” It’s sung by our very own Gabriella, so do go to Storynory.com where you can download the mp3 for free!
For now, from me, Natasha Bye Bye!