Alys was admiring the flowers which Agatha of Agador had sent to thank her for sorting out the shoddy builders who’d made such a mess in her house. The flowers were still as fresh as when they’d arrived several weeks ago. The young witch was wondering why Agatha hadn’t come for her monthly cosmetic order when the Retired Cauldron burst into a fit of coughing.
Alys hurried over. The Retired Cauldron spluttered and coughed up a crumpled note. Sparky flew across the room and scooped up the note, handing it to Alys.
The diminutive dragon perched on her shoulder as she read: ‘Agatha of Agador has vanished. Please come quickly!’
The note turned itself over revealing Agatha’s doormat address.
‘Why ask us?’ asked Alys.
An excited puff of steam issued from Sparky’s nostrils. ‘Only one way to find out.’
Giving the Retired Cauldron a farewell pat, Alys stepped onto the doormat and announced the address.
‘Hello? Anyone here?’ called Alys hopefully. But there was no reply.
The room was dominated by an expensive cauldron standing between a huge book case and a large wooden table. Assorted ingredients were strewn over the tabletop where a golden ladle had spilled its contents across a well-thumbed spell-book.
Alys peered into the still-warm cauldron while Sparky hovered over the mess on the table craning his neck to read what Agatha, presumably, had been working on.
‘Look at this, Alys.’
Alys read the title: ‘Vanishe Away: for Prettie Youthefull Hands’. Alys frowned. ‘Why didn’t Agatha come to me? I could have easily made something like this.’ She shook her head. ‘I wonder what happened.’
‘Maybe she overdid the vanishing bit,’ suggested Sparky.
‘But she’s such an experienced spell-mistress.’
At that moment the curtain over the doorway to the next room started to flap wildly.
‘Is that you, Agnes?’ Alys called out.
The curtain flapped again.
Alys and Sparky exchanged glances. ‘What happened, Agnes?’
The curtain stopped moving.
The curtain dangled unresponsively.
‘I’m sure that was her, Sparky.’
Sparky blew out a little cloud of purple smoke in agreement.
‘But what can we do?’
‘Undo the spell?’
‘But Sparky, undoing another witch’s spell…’ Alys shook her head. ‘I wouldn’t know where to start.’
‘You could ask one of the Sisters…’
The curtain flapped violently.
Alys shook her head. ‘No, we have to find a way. Maybe that’s why Agnes asked us. She’d be mortified if other members of the Western Coven found out that she’d vanished herself.
The curtain nodded in agreement.
‘Okay. Let’s think.’
‘Could we go back in time and stop her?’ asked Sparky.
‘Hermione used a time-turner in one of the Harry Potter books.’
‘Sparky, that’s fiction. It’s not real.’
‘There are real things in the Harry Potter books… like dragons,’ replied the diminutive dragon through a shower of indignant sparks.
He flew up to the bookshelf and began examining the titles, while Alys fingered the sticky spell-book.
Tucked away on the top shelf, Sparky found what he was looking for. He tugged at the leather-bound volume with his claws. It teetered on the edge of the shelf before Alys came to the rescue.
‘Tweeking Time, a beginners guide,’ read the title.
Together they pored over the contents page. Spotting a promising description, Sparky turned to page 288. They read in silence for a moment. Alys started to nod. ‘Sounds like a plan, Sparky.’
Alys looked up from the flowers she’d been admiring to see Agnes of Agador standing on her doormat smiling at her.
‘Alys, darling, thank you for the wonderful cream. It works like a dream!’ She admired her hands. ‘You know I almost cooked up a hand lotion from my old spell book. I know you’re busy and I didn’t want to trouble you, but then before I could start your little pot arrived…’
Alys looked over her shoulder at Sparky and winked.
Written in response to a prompt from Susan T. Braithwaite
Genre Scribes Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #43
The challenge this week was plan. Photo credit: clipart-library.com