And I’m here with the latest Katie story which is set around the time of new year. As it happens it is also around the time of Sylvia’s birthday - and her family are our latest supporters on Patreon. Sylvia also suggested an idea for this story. So thank you Sylvia !
It was New Year’s Eve, and Great Aunt Chloe had come to stay with Katie and her mum. And Shumash was also there. We haven’t heard about him for a while, but he was still Katie’s mum’s best friend.
They enjoyed a traditional witch’s dinner: nettle soup, roast trout garnished with sorrel leaves, fried wedges with lots of garlic, and yoghurt with sweet dates and honey. Shumash cooked too - he made Indian dal and spicy aubergines to add a little warmth to the meal.
When they had finished eating, there were still three hours until the chimes of midnight and the New Year.
And so they started to talk about their New Year’s Wishes.
Shumash wished that Katie and her Mum would have everything they wanted in the coming year.
Katie’s mum was hoping for a ring, but she just said that she would like a nice surprise in the summer.
Solomon the cat wished that business would pick up at the Magic Shop so that Katie’s mum could afford to buy premium quality cat food.
Aunt Chloe said that at her advanced age, she would be happy just to enjoy good health and to keep her balance on her broomstick.
Finally it was Katie’s turn to make a wish.
Katie knew exactly what she wanted, but she was afraid to say. It was something she had been thinking about all year when things happened that made her like she was weird:
Like the time when her teacher, Miss vile, accused her of using magic to pass her maths exam
And when she accidentally put a spell on the semolina pudding at school and made some people come out in purple spots.
And when a bunch of kids from the primary school followed her around chanting “Katie is a witch, Katie is a witch, witch, witch!”
And practically all the time when certain kids at school didn’t want to hang out with her.
When Katie thought of all these things that had happened over the past year she thought: “I just wish that I could be ordinary.”
She wasn’t sure if she should say this out aloud in front of her mum and aunt Chloe but it was the only wish she could think of - because she had been thinking about it so much:
“I just wish I could be ordinary.”
“But darling you are extraordinary already!” Exclaimed great aunt Chloe.
“No, aunt Chloe, you misheard me, I don’t want to be extraordinary. I want to be ordinary.”
“Ordinary - why on earth would you want to be that?”
“Because…” said Katie - and she did her best to explain just how difficult it was to be the only witch at school.
When Great Aunt Chloe had heard Katie out, she said: “Well in that case I have a suggestion. For the first week of January you must promise not to do any magic, and see how you like it.”
“But don’t you see?” Said Katie, “everyone knows that I am a witch already. It doesn’t matter if I don’t do any magic for a week - they still think I’m weird.”
“Well that’s no problem,” said Aunt Chloe, “We shall make them all forget that you’re a witch - and then you can really see what it feels like to be a normal boring person.”
“I’m up for that!” said Katie. “I want to be boring.”
“And boring you shall be,” declared her Great Aunt - “and in the second week of January we shall see how much you are enjoying it.”
“I will be enjoying it a lot,” declared Katie.
The New Year chimed in with fireworks, cheers, Champagne corks, hugs, and kisses, and everyone went to bed.
A couple of days later, School began again. Katie was looking forward to being just an ordinary girl, because nobody would remember that she was a witch. The first person she saw was her best friend Isis. She hurried over to catch up with her as she walked into school. If anyone knew for certain about Katie’s magic powers, it was her - so she was interested to see if Isis had forgotten all about extraordinary things that Katie had done in the past.
“Hello Isis, Happy New Year!”, Katie called out.
“Oh Hi Katie,” said Isis, before carrying on talking to Ellie and Alex. She was explaining how she had the worst christmas ever. Her parents had given her a new mobile phone, and then on Boxing Day she went ice skating with her mum, and some thieves stole her bag with her new phone inside.
Now normally, it wouldn’t be so hard for Katie to help in a situation like this. She had a strong connection with Isis and therefore with her possessions too. If she used her mother’s crystal ball when she got home, there was a very good chance she could discover the whereabouts of the phone.
But this time she couldn’t help Isis because she wasn’t using magic. And Isis didn’t even ask Katie for help. In fact, Isis didn’t seem that interested in talking to Katie at all.
Isobelle was one of those people who normally didn’t like Katie at all. She was either jealous of Katie’s powers, or perhaps afraid of them. Either way, she and her friends kept away from Katie as much as possible. Katie wondered how Isobelle would treat her, now that everyone had forgotten that she was a witch.
“Hi Isobelle, Happy New Year,” said Katie.
“Same to you,” replied Isobelle, which seemed friendly enough.
Isobelle and her friends were talking quite intently about something. Normally Katie would have hurried on past, but this time she stopped and listened.
“Have you ever noticed,” said Samantha, “that when you feel hungry, you really want to eat?”
“Yea, that’s so true,” said Isobelle, “Like this morning, I woke up, and my stomach felt like it was empty, and I went downstairs and started eating cereal straight from the packet.”
“Yeah, I did that once too,” said a boy called Milan. “But only because I was really hungry.”
“But when I don’t feel hungry in the morning,” said Samantha, “I don’t eat so much breakfast , and then around about 11 O’Clock I’m like, “Oh come on, when is it going to be lunch time?”
“Yes, I get that feeling too sometimes,” said Isobelle.
“Why do people eat at lunchtime?” asked Milan, “When you come to think about it, there’s no reason why lunchtime shouldn’t be at 11.00 O’Clock. I mean, I think a lot of people would like to eat lunch at 11.00, but the school has it at 1.pm because they’ve always it done that, like for all history, but there’s no reason for it, they just do it because nobody ever thought of having lunch in the morning.”
“Yeah, that’s so true,” said Samantha. “You’re onto something Milan. Hey Katie, what do you eat for breakfast?”
“Mmm, I eat toast,” said Katie.
And the conversation went on like this, and soon they were discussing what kind of breakfast cereal they would like to eat for lunch. Katie thought, “Well it’s nice that they include me in their conversation now, but is this what they talk about all day? I don’t really have much to say on this subject.”
The first day back at school passed quite slowly and uneventfully. At lunchtime, Samantha and Isobelle were talking about whether you can ever look good wearing the colour gray. Again, Katie didn’t have a lot to say on the subject, but she did suggest that gray was a good colour for school uniform because nobody looks absolutely terrible in gray.
“Yes that’s so true,” said Samantha. “Gray is not a great colour, but it’s not absolutely like yuck that makes me want to puke, either.”
“Katie’s right. That’s why they chose it for the colour for school uniform,” agreed Isobelle.
At the end of school, Katie normally took the bus home with Isis - but this time Katie just missed the bus because she was talking to Samantha about what colour stockings she wore at the weekend. And so she walked home on her own. As she went down the high street, she had a feeling - it was like a little tingle in her ear. What was that? She stopped and looked around to see if anyone was following her. There didn’t seem to be anyone. Then she noticed that she was standing by the window of a mobile phone shop. Her gaze fell on a new and attractive wafer-thin, edge to edge, pink model. It was an expensive phone, but it was selling at a third off the usual price. Right away she knew. That was Isis’s stolen phone.
She took out her own phone, and called Isis on her home number. Isis had just got in.
“Hey, Isis I’ve just seen your phone in a shop window.”
“How do you know it’s mine?”
“Is that all? There must be lots of pink phones.”
“But this one’s yours. Just trust me. Come over quick and bring the receipt and the serial number and we’ll prove it to one of those crooks. If they don’t hand over the phone we’ll call the police.”
“That sounds really embarrassing,” said Isis. “What if it’s not my phone? We’ll just end up looking really dumb.”
“Listen, I know it’s your phone,” insisted Katie - but oh - it was frustrating - she could not say how or why she knew.
“Look we’ve been friends for ages, have I ever let you down?”
“Have we been friends for ages?” said Isis. Katie was stunned. They had indeed been the very best of friends almost forever. “I hardly even know you,” added Isis.
Katie had to give up. She had to go home without challenging the shop about the phone, because without the receipt she couldn’t prove anything. That evening she called Great Aunt Chloe on the crystal ball and complained: ‘I thought you were going to make everyone forget that I am a witch, not forget about me altogether.”
“Well I’m sorry dear,” said Chloe, “but almost everything you have ever done with Isis has involved you being a witch. Even when you haven’t actually been doing magic it has been an important thing about you, perhaps the most important thing about you. If Isis is to forget all about you being a witch she is going to have to forget almost everything there is to know about you.”
“Oh,” said Katie, “that’s a pity.”
And for the rest of the week she spoke to Samantha and Isobelle about TV, the weather, clothes, and boys - but to be honest - she wasn’t that interested in anything they had to say because in truth she did not feel any connection with them. They were really rather boring when they weren’t being spiteful.
The week dragged on - it felt like ages and ages - and on Saturday, when Great Aunt Chloe asked Katie if she wanted her to renew the forgetfulness spell, Katie replied that no thank you, on the whole she would preferred it when people did remember who she really was after all.
And so she called Isis again. And this time Isis said that she could not understand why she didn’t want to go with Katie to the phone shop earlier on. Perhaps she had just been feeling a bit blue because of the weather. She printed off the receipt for the phone, and the two friends headed for the high street.
When they reached the shop, they asked to see the pink phone. The man who worked there took it out of the glass cabinet and showed it to them. The girls turned it on - found the serial number - and showed him the receipt to prove that it really belonged to Isis. The man got angry and said that he would call the police because they were accusing him of being dishonest in front of his customers. But when Katie took her phone out and started to call the police herself, he started to back track, and offered the girls a “special deal” so that they could buy the phone back really cheap. Katie called Isis’s dad - and when he turned up the man handed over the phone without any charge. There was a scratch on the screen, and Isis’s dad demanded that the man pay for it to be repaired - so he took out £100 from the till and gave it to them. Now it was all very friendly. There were lots of handshakes all round, and the man said that honest to God, he was an hard working businessman, and he would never knowingly sell stolen goods, and that he was only too happy to help a young lady find her lost christmas present.
And Katie felt that although it was sometimes hard being a witch, it was actually a wonderful thing to have special powers, and to be able to help her friends from time to time.
And that was Katie and the Forgetfulness Spell.
And I am delighted to dedicate this story to Sylvia Imbens in California, who is just turning 7 years old around Christmas 2017.
Originally Sylvia’s brother Andrew wrote to us telling us
My sister Sylvia loves Katie the Ordinary Witch stories. A lot. Her birthday is right after Christmas, I was hoping maybe you could write a Katie story dedicated to her or featuring her. It would make a great birthday/Christmas present
And then Sylvia often makes up her own Katie stories, and she suggested that we do one about Katie or some other characters forgetting some important things and making her magic go all wrong. Thanks Sylvia for the great idea ! We hope you had a super Christmas and a very happy Birthday.
And we would like to thank Sylvia and Andrew's family for becoming our latest supporters on Patreon. We very much appreciate your generosity.