Katie and Mr New Part Two
Description Katie and Mr New Part Two
Part one of this story is here.
Katie’s mum (who is a single parent) has fallen in love with Shumash, an estate agent (or “real estate agent” as we believe people say in American English). She didn’t tell him that she’s a witch. His grandmother – who is a bit witchy herself – knew that she had magic in her veins right away. Shumash was shocked. It looked like the romance was all over.
We left you with the question, do you really think Shumash minds that Katie’s mum is a witch? This story gives the answer.
A big apology to all Katie fans for keeping you waiting so long for this story. Bertie had a bit of trouble writing this one. He was trying to think of a big enough spell to really impress Shumash that magic isn’t all a waste of time. We hope you think this one does the trick!
We will soon be bringing out a new recording of the Katie song.. “Don’t be Scared of Halloween” – so listen out for that.
Story by Bertie.
Read by Natasha.
Proofread by Jana Elizabeth.
Katie and Mr New Part Two -
When Katie woke up in the morning, she knew that there was something she felt pleased about – but she couldn’t remember what it was.
“Oh yes,” she thought, “as she pulled back the curtain. “Mum got dumped by Shumash.”
In all truth she hadn’t exactly liked Shumash coming into their lives. There was nothing wrong with him – apart from the fact he was an estate agent – but he took up all of her mum’s attention.
At breakfast, Katie’s mother was unusually cheerful. She was even singing a little song while she made the tea.
Don’t be scared of Halloween
Or the things that go unseen
There’s no need to feed the fear
When the ghosts and ghouls are near.
Katie was amazed. “Anyone would think she was glad she’s been dumped,” she thought. And then she said: “You seem like you’re in a good mood.”
“Oh well, you know darling… life goes on,” replied her mum. And Katie could see that her eyes were a touch watery, and she immediately felt guilty for being glad that her romance was at an end.
It was the weekend. Katie was going to the pony farm with her best friend Isis, and her mum would be opening up the shop. “Cheer up Mum,” said Katie as they set off in the car. “Perhaps Shumash will pop in to see you and say it was all a big misunderstanding.”
“He’d better not,” said her mother. “I’ve already sent a text telling him to stay away.”
“But I thought you liked him?” said Katie, quite baffled.
“I do. But don’t you see? We witches can’t ever get too close to ordinary people. It never works. They just can’t cope with the whole idea of magic. Shumash is a lovely guy, but it’s for the best that we don’t see each other. Even his own grandma freaks him out, and she’s not even a witch… just a tiny bit, you know, psychic.”
“I know the sort,” said Katie. “I think Mrs Hepworth our headmistress is like that.”
“Listen darling, don’t you worry about it. We’re happy together, aren’t we? Let’s go to the cinema tonight shall we?”
“Oooh yes,” said Katie, who loved going to the movies with her mother.
But that evening, the only thing on at the Odeon was a romantic comedy called, “Lorry and Rory” about two star-crossed lovers in the music industry. Katie’s mother wasn’t really in the mood for that sort of film, so they stayed at home and watched Celebrity Dancing on TV instead.
Sunday was on the dreary side. Katie did her homework, and her mum swept up leaves in the garden. Katie looked out of her bedroom window and saw her sitting on the garden seat, with her head in her hands, thinking deeply. Katie’s cat Solomon said:
“Mrrr, she’s not over him yet you know.”
And Katie said: “Oi you naughty cat. You’re not supposed to speak,” and Solomon leapt off the bed and ran out before she could put the silent spell on him.
On Monday night Katie did something a little bit naughty. She looked into her mother’s crystal ball and saw that she had two Facebook messages from Shumash. Her mother hadn’t opened either of them.
“He still likes her,” thought Katie. “And I know that she likes him, even if she is ignoring him. I know she does.”
On Tuesday her mother actually admitted it: “You know what I miss about him most,” she said, as she pasted magic spells into her recipe book. “He made me feel normal. Not a freak. Or at least he did, until he found out about me being a witch.” She looked so sad when she said the last part, that Katie had to put her arm around her and say “Oh Mum!”
The following Wednesday was Halloween. It’s the time of year when witches are meant to feel the best vibes and fly around full of high-jinks. The shop was full of customers buying magical props and costumes. But Katie’s mum couldn’t help looking double glum as she ringed up the cash register.
Katie changed into her witch’s costume. Of course she was wearing party sort of clothes – a pointed hat and a cloak with moon shapes on it. No self-respecting witch would go around like that these days – except for a joke.
“Bye Mum. I”m going round to Isis’s house,” she said. She and her best friend were going trick or treating together. But as she stepped out of the shop, she had an impulse. She decided to pop into Shumash’s estate agency. She knew her mum would simply hate her to talk to him – but she also knew it was just silly for two people who liked each other so much to stay apart.
As she came in, a long-faced woman looked up from behind her computer and said: “The sweets are on the desk. Don’t grab the lot mind! We’re expecting a few more witches and ghouls tonight.”
“Actually,” said Katie “I haven’t come to trick or treat – even though I am wearing this silly hat. I’ve come to see Shumash.”
“Oh,” said the woman. “Who shall I say is here?”
“Katie,” said Katie.
The woman pressed a button on her phone. “Shumash. There’s a girl here dressed as a witch. Her name’s Katie. Says she’s come to see you.”
Shumash opened his office door. “Well well well,” he said. “is this a trick or a treat?”
“Neither,” said Katie. “I’ve come for a chat.”
Shumash ushered her into his room. She sat down opposite his desk. “I suppose you’ve come to talk about your mum,” he said.
“Yes,” said Katie. “I’ve come to ask.., ummm, do you really mind that she’s a witch?”
Shumash sighed. “Well, I really like your mum. We got on so well together. I thought we looked at the world through, you know, the same eyes. And I liked you too of course, Katie… but yes, I suppose I do mind that she’s a witch.”
“But why?” said Katie. “It’s not her fault. She was born that way. I mean, there are worse things than being a bit witchy you know.”
“Like being a vampire for instance.”
Shumash felt his throat and laughed. “Well I suppose that would be worse,” he said. “Look, let me explain. All my life, I’ve been annoyed by witchcraft. I suppose you know that my grandmother thinks she’s a witch. As long as I can remember, she was always doing some strange sort of hocus-pocus stuff. Like she was sprinkling smelly oils around the house to ward off evil spirits, or more specifically our bad neighbour. Then he had a fire in his house and she said that proved her magic worked. On Halloween, like tonight, our whole home would reek of garlic. I’m not sure why. And then she would get an idea that somebody or other had the evil eye. Unfortunately, one of them was my best friend’s dad – so I was banned from going round to his house. I wasn’t allowed to play with my buddy anymore. He never understood why. That’s when I really decided that all that witchcraft business was just silly. In fact, it’s more than silly, it’s completely irrational and it’s… it’s harmful.” He said this last part with quite some feeling. He was tearing up a post-it as he spoke.
“Oh I see,” said Katie, “It doesn’t sound like she’s a very good witch. I mean, my mum’s not like her at all.”
“Well that’s why I was so shocked,” said Shumash. “Your lovely mother seems too clever to believe in magic. You know, when I was sixteen I went to see a psychiatrist. I said, ‘Doctor, I think I’m crazy.’ He asked me some questions, and called in the other doctors to see me. At the end, he said, ‘There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re perfectly normal. It’s your family that’s crazy. You should get them to come round here.’ So you see, I really don’t want to get too involved with more of that insane sort of stuff. I’ve had quite enough of it. It does my head in, you know?”
“Honestly, we’re not like that!” protested Katie. But Shumash was getting carried away now. He opened a drawer.
“Look I haven’t told you the worst,” he said. “Look at this.”
He pulled out an estate agent’s description of a house. Katie could see from the pictures that it was a sumptuous and elegant building made of large sandy coloured blocks of stone. Pillars held up the porch. Most striking of all, the French doors opened up onto a stunning view of the sea.
“A few years ago, my family wanted to buy a house by the sea. I’m an estate agent, so you might think that they would have listened to my opinion. But no. They found this place. It’s lovely of course. There’s only one thing wrong with it. It’s on top of a cliff. Every year the wind and the sea wears away the chalk, and the house gets closer and closer to the edge. Eventually it will just fall into the sea. I begged them not to buy it, but Grandma said she could use her magic powers to stop the cliff eroding. She even said she could make it grow back. I mean, can you believe it! They trusted in her crazy magic so much that they actually bought a house that is going to disappear beneath the waves! It’s so frustrating!”
“Well I suppose,” said Katie thoughtfully, “that if my mum and I concentrated really hard, we might be able to move it back about fifty meters. Would that help?”
At first Shumash looked puzzled, and then he chuckled nervously. “Oh I see, you’re kidding, right?”
“Yeah, just my little joke,” said Katie. “Well it’s time for me to go trick or treating. So er, thanks for the chat. Sorry your grandma’s not much of a witch. Don’t judge my mum by her, honestly, she’s quite different.”
Katie picked up her coat and started to go. Shumash said: “Look Katie, tonight I’m going to, well, it’s quite ironic really, a Halloween fancy-dress party. Do you think you could persuade your mum to come with me?”
“I don’t know,” said Katie, “but I’ll try.” And she ran back to her mother’s shop. “Mum,” she said. “Shumash wants to take you out tonight – to a Halloween party. You’ve got to go dressed as a witch.”
Her mum looked at Katie for a few seconds trying to take in what she had just said.
“Don’t you see?” pleaded Katie. “Just make a joke of it. Laughter is the best magic of all. Oh go on Mum. You know you really miss him. This is your chance. It’ll be hilarious.”
And her mum smiled sincerely for the first time in a week and said: “Well that is actually quite funny. Yes Katie. I’ll go.”
When Katie had finished her round of trick-or-treats with her friends, she went back home. Her mum was on the way out, dressed up as a very glamorous witch.
“She looks quite ridiculous,” said Great Aunt Chloe who was staying with them.
“No you don’t,” said Katie to her mum. “You look beautiful.”
And her mother left with a serene expression on her face.
When she was gone, Katie and her Great Aunt went into the kitchen for some pumpkin soup. Chloe said:
“Halloween gives people all sorts of silly ideas about witches. It’s not for us to go around dressing up in over-the-top costumes. Leave that to the ignorant folk.”
And katie replied: ”Actually, people have funny ideas about witches anyway.” And she related everything Shumash had told her about his grandmother.
“Ridiculous woman,” said Aunt Chloe. “She’s a bit psychic, like lots of people, and she thinks she’s a witch. No wonder the poor boy has such a low opinion of us.”
And then a slightly wicked glint came into Great Aunt Chloe’s eye. Katie knew that look. It meant one thing. And that was trouble.
“I know just what we should do,” said Great Aunt Chloe. “Get the crystal ball and find that house for me. We’ll get on our broomsticks, fly over there, and move it. Tonight’s the night to do it. It’s Halloween. And besides, your mother’s out and can’t stop us.”
And Katie thought that was one of the most deliciously naughty ideas she had heard in her whole life.
At quarter to midnight, Great Aunt Chloe and Katie landed their broomsticks in the field behind the house that was about to fall into the sea. Katie shivered with cold.
“Here have a super-strength magical mint,” said her Great Aunt. “It will warm you up.”
The salt air filled Katie’s nostrils. The sound of the sea crashed against the rocks. Katie could even feel the moisture on her skin. Behind the house, she could see the silhouette of a large oak tree. In the house itself, there were one or two yellowy lights on.
“Well first things first, that tree’s in the way,” said Chloe. She pointed her broom stick at it, and “Whoosh!” the tree moved into the next field. Katie thought that surely somebody would hear, but nobody came out. Perhaps they thought it was the sound of the wind.
“Let’s dig a trench for the foundations,” said Chloe. “Jango Mango JCB!” and a whole load of earth swept out of the ground behind the house and formed a dark hill. Still nobody inside seemed to notice. It was dark after all.
“I’ll need your help for the next part,” said Chloe. “This is real magic, no footling around. Concentrate really, really hard. Can you feel the psychic chains around the house. Now pull with your mind,… PULLLLLLLLLL!”
And Katie closed her eyes and heaved with all her concentration. There was a terrible creaking sound, like a tree falling in the forrest. She opened her eyes in fright expecting to see the house coming apart – but no, it was sliding elegantly back into the huge trench that Chloe had dug with her spell.
Two minutes later, it stopped moving. “Just a bit of tidying up to do,” said Chloe. And Whoosh – the earth that she had dug up from behind the house filled in the chasm that was now at the front.
Of course by now, the people inside had noticed – and were in a terrific panic. Four figures came out of a side door. Katie could see that one of them was elderly and had a stick. They got into a four-by-four car and sped off down the drive as fast as they could.
“Well, that’s gratitude for you,” said Chloe. “We save their house from falling into the sea and they don’t even stop to say thank you.”
“I expect they were terrified,” said Katie laughing.
There was no time to hang around. They had to get back home before Katie’s mum returned from the party. In the morning, her mother was in a happy mood, and Katie felt it was genuine. As they were going out of the door for school, her mother’s phone rang.
“Hello Shumash,” said Katie’s mum. “Oh yes, I had a lovely time…. what did you say? How strange… no I don’t know anything about that, I promise..honestly. Nothing to do with me”
“Come on Mum,” said Katie nervously, “We’ll be late for school.”