Katie is growing up. She thinks she is a little bit old for a magic Easter Egg hunt. When the holidays start, she is delighted that Paul asks her out to the cinema. She is all set for a special evening, and even takes some of her mother’s magic chocolate – but it does not work out quite as she intended. Katie discovers that growing up is not all fun and roses. And Paul finds this out too when Katie and her friends decide to teach him a lesson.
Story by Bertie.
Read by Natasha.
Proofread by Jana Elizabeth.
It was a lovely time of year for two very good reasons:
1) It was Spring
2) It was the start of the Easter Holidays.
“Oh joy!” thought Katie, as she woke up, “what could be more beautiful?” Solomon lay curled up at the end of her bed, too fast asleep to share her pleasure – no doubt the naughty cat had been out on the tiles all night.
At breakfast, Mum was also in a cheerful mood.
“Who shall we invite to your Easter egg hunt?” she asked.
“Oh,” thought Katie, suddenly feeling a bit strange. For a moment she couldn’t quite figure out what it was. Every year her mum put on a very special Easter Egg hunt. Four or five of Katie’s best friends would come over, and they would search the house and the garden. It helped that Katie’s mum was a witch, because she could have all sorts of extra fun – she could make the eggs appear and disappear quite suddenly – she could even make them roll along the ground, grow bigger and smaller, or change colour in your hand. When the children were very young, they just accepted all this as something that happened only at Katie’s house – but as they grew older they of course realised that her mother had some powers that were a bit out of the ordinary. They didn’t actually ask “Is your mum a witch?” because that would not be polite, but it was an open secret. Katie had always looked forward to the Easter Egg hunt in the past, but this year – well – she wasn’t quite sure.
“I hope you don’t mind,” said Katie, “I really don’t want to be rude or anything, but I think I’m getting just a bit old for a Magic Easter Egg hunt.”
“Well, alright then,” said her mum, obviously a bit disappointed. And then she studied her daughter more closely than usual. Not only was Katie taller than a year before, but her face was less impish and more grown up. Eventually she said: “yes, you’re quite right Katie. I suppose parents are always the last to notice that their children are growing up.” And then she sighed, “Childhood is so precious – you only realise that when it’s gone.”
Katie went up to her room. The only sign of Solomon was a few cat hairs on the bedcover – he had obviously moved on. She picked up her old teddy bear and thought: “Now what shall I do this holiday? It would be nice to have something to look forward to. Perhaps I could go to the cinema with Isis. But then, I see her every day at school. Maybe if… I know, what if Paul got back in touch? – that would be great.”
Paul had gone to her school until he had got himself expelled – not for anything too terrible thought Katie with a smile as she remembered – “Well, for messing around with magic spells partly – yes I must be careful about that myself.”
But as Katie didn’t know a spell to make Paul call or text her, she spent her day tidying her room, reading a book, listening to music, and eventually dropping in to her mum’s magic shop to see what was going on there. On the counter, by the cash register, she saw that her mum had lined up something new to sell: bars of classy, gorgeously wrapped chocolate.
“I didn’t know you sold food,” said Katie.
“Well I don’t sell baked beans yet,” replied her mum. “But the chocolate is magic. This one,” she said, “Is supposed to make you more intelligent.” It was called “Mind Bar,” and was wrapped in dark paper with lots of mysterious loops and whirls on it.
“That one looks prettier,” said Katie. The other was called “Love Bar,” and was decorated with a heart. “What does it do?”
“What it says,” replied her mum. “It’s supposed to – well, you know, make you fall in love.”
“Interesting, can I try some?”
“Yes of course,” said her mum. “Take a couple of Mind Bars. You never know, eating chocolate might yet make you into a genius at maths!”
That evening, when Katie sat on her bed, she tried a square of the Mind Bar. It tasted dark and bitter. Solomon purred and she gave him a little bit to nibble on. When he had finished eating it, he licked his paw, and jumped up on to Katie’s desk where he tapped the keyboard of her computer. Katie came over and helped him find a website about ingenious mousetraps. He sat and looked at the pictures thoughtfully.
“Well perhaps it does work,” thought Katie, and she ate another square. She didn’t actually feel any cleverer, but then, what does it feel like to be clever? “I’ll have to ask Paul one day,” she thought – because she considered him to be ever so smart, even if he was a bit lazy at school.
The next day, the weather was more overcast, and she didn’t feel quite so cheerful – but then – oh wonder! Her phone sang out “Ping-a-Ling!” and there was a text from Paul.
Very excited, she tapped it open:
“Would you like to come to the cinema this evening?” he asked.
“Yes! That’s fab-ul-ous!” exclaimed Katie punching the air. Solomon jumped down and hid under the bed. She immediately replied:
“Yeah, alright then..”
It was the first time that Katie had ever been to the cinema without her mum, let alone with a boy. She spent longer than usual getting ready to go out. Her hair was as tangled as ever, and her mum helped her to brush it.
“Now make sure you are back by nine,” said her mother. “And call me if you need anything.”
“Oh Mum!” said Katie. “The film doesn’t start until half past eight. We’re meeting at the cafe first.”
“But we witches don’t drink coffee, it interferes with our magical powers.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll have tea, like I always do.”
On the way out, Katie noticed that there was a cardboard box in the hallway. She lifted up the flap, and saw that it was full of chocolate.
“Hmm,” she thought. And not knowing quite why – and feeling that it was just a bit naughty – she slipped a Mind Bar into her right coat pocket, and a Love Bar into her left pocket.
When she met Paul on the High Street, he gave her a little kiss on the cheek which was, oh, rather grown-up.
“I know a good place we can go,” he said. And he led her to a cafe called The Waffle Palace where she had a waffle with strawberries and banana on top, and he had one with ice cream. They both drank milkshakes. Paul started to say:
“When a witch makes a wish does ..” and he laughed…”That’s quite a tongue twister, I mean do your wishes come true?”
“There’s only one thing worth wishing for,” said Katie, “And that’s to be happy. What else?”
“Well,” said Paul, “I wish that Andy Murray could win Wimbledon, because my grandfather was a Scot and it’s about time a Scot won something. And I wish that I can make my parents proud of me, because so far I’ve let them down quite a bit..”
He finished his sentence, but Katie sensed that he still had one more wish. Deep down she felt it was a wish that concerned her… she really wanted it to be.
“And what else do you wish for?” she ventured.
“Well,” said Paul, “I wish that you won’t be my first girlfriend, because I want to marry you, and it would be too soppy and too soon to marry my first sweetheart…”
“Wow!” said Katie, “is that a proposal? I mean, aren’t we a bit young to plan that sort of thing.”
“It’s not a plan,” said Paul, “it’s a prediction. We’ve both got magic in our families. Yours has got more than mine, but neither of us can marry anyone else, because nobody else would understand us.”
It was time to go to the cinema. Katie was a little overwhelmed by what Paul had said, and not really sure if it was good or bad – I mean, did he like her? He hadn’t really said so. He seemed to be saying that they were sort of stuck with each other, like it or not. It wasn’t exactly romantic.
In the foyer of the cinema, a gaggle of girls about their age were hanging around. They were dolled up with loads of make-up, fancy hair-dos, and glittery clothes. “I’m so glad you didn’t come out looking like those girls,” said Paul. It was about the nearest he had got to a compliment.
They found their seats in the screen room. As Katie was taking off her coat, she felt in her pocket for the chocolate bars. She asked Paul:
“Left or right?”
“Left,” said Paul. “Left is the side that deals with intuition, creativity and magic.”
“You chose well,” said Katie. She gave him the Love Bar, and kept the Mind Bar for herself – “If nothing else, I’ll leave the cinema a whole lot smarter than when I came in,” she thought.
It was a fantasy sort of film in 3D. The special effects were so good that they almost looked like real magic. Katie and Paul both easily got lost in the movie, and they both ate all their chocolate almost without thinking about it. At the end of the film, they stood up in a good mood, and headed out through the shopping centre. Katie remembered the Love Bar and wondered if it had any effect on Paul. Would he say something a bit more -well you know – romantic? She felt excited. There was a big fountain in the middle of the mall – the statue was of two centaurs dancing in the water, and entwining their necks around each other. They sat on the marble bench around the pool. Paul said:
“Katie, do you think I should go out with one of your friends? What do you think about Isis and me?”
Katie was shocked – “But Isis is my best friend – you can’t go out with her – we would gossip about you.”
“Well what about Samantha?” asked Paul.
“Samantha! She’s my worst enemy! I’d never, ever forgive you so long as you lived!”
“All right,” said Paul. “Be like that then.” And they both got up and walked along in silence. He walked her to her house, and said:
“Thanks. See you soon,” without any little kiss on the cheek.
As she came through the door, her mum popped her head out of the kitchen and said:
“Did you have a lovely time darling?”
“No!” said Katie, and stormed up to her room. Solomon saw what kind of mood she was in, and he jumped off the bed and ran out.
The following day she was determined not to the think about Paul, because it made her too furious and would spoil her holiday. She busied herself with her holiday project from school. In the late morning, Isis texted her:
“Did you give Paul my number? He’s invited me out to the Waffle Palace on Wednesday evening.”
Solomon was sitting on Katie’s lap. He looked at the text message and said:
“Yes, that’s right,” said Katie. “You are a whole lot smarter than Paul. He should have known that Isis would exchange notes with me. Why are boys so faithless?” She texted back:
“He didn’t get your number off me. Have a lovely time.”
And then she tried to forget about the whole thing. Which she did – sort of – only it niggled her even when she wasn’t thinking about it.
But two days later something happened that cheered her up – a lot. Isis rang her. She could tell from her voice that she was furious about something.
“What’s up?” said Katie.
“Paul” replied Isis. “Why are all boys so… I mean… I bumped into Samantha in the supermarket and she said that Paul’s invited her out on Thursday.”
“And that’s not all, he took me out on Saturday,” replied Katie.
‘What!” exclaimed Isis, clearly seething. “I bet he’s invited out all the girls in our class, one evening after the other. He must think he’s a right Romeo!”
When she put down the phone, she sat on her bed and wondered – what had got into Paul – he had always been so nice. This wasn’t like him at all. She looked at Solomon, who was watching her like he understood her feelings.
“Just for once,” said Katie, “I would like to know your opinion, because there’s no denying it, you’re a smarter cat than most.” She uttered a magic spell to let Solomon talk.
“Murrrr,” he said. “In my opinion that magic chocolate is meant for grown-ups. Paul was too young to eat it all in one go. It’s too strong for him. He’s fallen in love alright, only with himself. Now he thinks he’s God’s gift to all girls.”
“Mmmm, yes, I think you’re right,” said Katie. “But if it works that way on him, he must be pretty vein in the first place. I know, we’ll teach him a lesson and make a better boy of him!”
She called Isis and told her the plan. Isis agreed it was a brilliant idea, and immediately called Samantha – which Katie would never have done herself, as she and Samantha were mortal enemies.
On Wednesday evening, Paul sat in the Waffle Palace waiting for Isis. He looked at his watch because she was five minutes late. Soon after that, Samantha walked in.
“Whoops!” thought Paul, “this could be embarrassing.”
“Oh hi Paul,” said Samantha suddenly noticing him. She sat down at his table.
“Er, aren’t we meeting tomorrow?” asked Paul.
“Oh have I got the day wrong?” said Samantha. “I must be getting skatty in my old age. Well since we are both here, I’ll have a waffle with Strawberry ice cream.”
Paul was squirming in his seat, thinking of the imminent catastrophe. When Isis turned up, she would see Samantha, and it would all come out that he was giving both of them the benefit of his charm and his waffles. He was sure that they would both be equally un-impressed. He understood enough about girls to know that they like to be the “one and only.” Oh, if only Isis would text him and cancel – but it was too late because she was walking through the door.
“Hi Samantha,” she said, kissing her friend – and then to Paul “Good evening Romeo!”
“Er, I can explain, I mean, it’s Samantha’s fault because she came on the wrong day.”
“Oh it’s my fault is it?” said Samantha. “Haven’t I got the right to visit the Waffle Palace on any day of the week I choose, same as anyone?”
“Er,” said Paul. And just as it couldn’t get any worse, Katie came in.
“Hi Paul,” she said. “What a treat for you. You’ve got three girls to keep you company. I’ll have a Royal Waffle with pineapple and passion fruit please.”
And the three girls sat down and chatted about film stars and make-up while Paul silently sipped on his milkshake. At the end of forty five minutes of pain for Paul, Katie said:
“This has been such fun. Why don’t you all come to my Easter Egg hunt on Sunday?”
“Ooooh yes,” said Isis, “I love Easter Egg hunts.”
Katie looked at Samantha:
“That sounds fun,” said Samantha, “but I… well alright then, I’ll come too.”
“And how about you Paul?. .what are you doing on Sunday?”
“Oh come on!”
“Well alright then.”
And when Katie’s friends came over on Sunday, none of them thought that the Easter Egg Hunt was too babyish because nobody is ever too old for chocolate, especially if it is simply scrummy, and not particularly magic – although all chocolate has a few magical properties. Katie wasn’t at all tempted by the box of bars in the hallway, and was a little surprised when a courier came to pick them up.
“Did you sell the whole box?” she asked her mother.
“No,” replied her mum. “There was a product recall. The whole box is going back to the makers. They put the wrong spell on the bars at the factory. Some people who have eaten the chocolate have been acting a bit funny. You didn’t have any did you, darling?”
“Just a square,” said Katie, “but I didn’t like the taste. Solomon had some too, but then he’s always a bit strange.”
“Oh well,” said her mum with a smile, “I don’t suppose it would do a cat any harm.”
“Meow, not at all,” said Solomon. “And why do you think I’m strange? I’m merely intelligent.”
And Katie remembered that she had forgotten to take the talking spell of him.
“Oh Katie,” said her mother, “It’s a good thing none of your visitors heard him speak. They would have been a bit shocked.”
“Yes, mum, I’ll be more careful in future,” said Katie.
You see, witches must never be careless, because when you make a mistake with a spell, all sorts of odd things can happen.