In an instant, he waved his little black paw and Melia felt her world growing… or rather, she was shrinking. Excitedly she remembered when he had transformed her into a lady bird, but desperately hoped she wouldn’t be a dung beetle again.
“Well come along! I haven’t got all day! You’ve got wings…use them!” and with that he hopped back onto the window sill and flew out. Flapping what she hoped were pretty little wings, she followed him. As she did so, a buzzing filled her ears. Glancing at her reflection in the window pane before flying into the sky, she saw what he changed her into.
“A mosquito! Why not a little bird… a sparrow or something like that?” the cat flashed his wicked sharp teeth at her.
“Really? You think a bird would be a wise choice? And they say humans are intelligent creatures…” sighing to himself he slowed down and flew beside her.
“Where we are going, you do not want to be seen. Seeing as you insist on coming along, I have made you as inconspicuous as I can.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means just don’t get in their way, and don’t get noticed!”
Melia managed to keep up with the moggy as they flew to a wood that she knew as the Wily Woods and onto a less familiar setting…Hantree Forest.
There was a full moon and as they flew closer and closer, Melia felt her little heart flutter in her chest. She wasn’t sure if it was fear or excitement. Whichever it was, she didn’t really get time to think about is as she glanced down into the unusual shaped trees to see dozens and dozens of witches gathering around a fire with an enormous cauldron bubbling away.
“As you can see… a dangerous position for any mortal, never mind a child, so keep your wits about you. There’s my witch closest to the cauldron. I have duties to perform. You can watch.
And with that, they drifted in silence towards the chattering lot.
Moggy’s witch looked like what Melia thought witches looked like. She was green with an enormous wart on the end of her nose. She wore a black cape, a long black skirt with a tatty hemline, had stripy red and black tights on, black ankle boots and on her head she wore a large black hat. They were all dancing around the cauldron and making a really loud racket. Melia watched as sparks of pink, green and blue whizzed out of the cauldron.
Suddenly the cauldron burst to life and a pumpkin flew out! It, whizzed into the air and spun around while the witches howled and hooted in glee. Hats were thrown into the air in celebration and to Melia’s surprise, she saw that the witch’s hair didn’t float downwards like everyone else’s, but flew upwards towards the sky!
“Happy Halloween!” they cackled one after the other. It was then that Melia noticed a black cat come out from behind some bushes, perched on a witch’s broom. He drew closer to the fire and waited for his witch to hop on.
“Off into the night’s sky, where the moon is riding high!
Off to meet our destiny and the child who hears our cry!”
With the mention of a child, Melia froze in fear for it was a well-known fact that witches hated children. In fact, in some books, she had read that witches could sniff children out… that they smelt revolting. But then, she was a mosquito, so surely she as safe?
“Through the night as black as fright, as black as sin, as black is white!
Through the air on Hallow’s Eve, through the clouds astride our steeds.
Melia landed on a nearby branch above the fire to listen to the witches chanting. And as she watched, other cats materialised from the bushes in puffs of pink magical dust – a cat for every witch… and in their paws, they held broomsticks, or perched on the end of one, all waiting for their witches.
The fumes from the fire smelt sweet like sugar, and Melia felt herself getting very dizzy. She decided to fly lower and landed on the pumpkin that had flown out of the cauldron before the chanting started. It was leaned up against a tree. She saw a witch close by her singing. Melia watched as the witch’s ugly features seemed large and swirly as the tiredness began to take hold. The pumpkin seemed enormous and bright orange in the firelight. A wand leaned under the pumpkin and it was then that she had a brilliant idea.
Why couldn’t she do a little magic too? How hard could it be? Pink and blue sugary flames befuddled her tiny brain as her mosquito feet landed on the white tip of the wand. But instead of muttering any magical words that she thought she knew, her mind was filled with the enormous orange pumpkin. And before she knew it, sparks flew out from the wand!
Whizzing and popping in all directions! Pink, blue and gold fizzed and crackled as silver balls sprung out from the tip! Squeaking in shock, she fell off the wand. Flapping her tiny wings, she flew frantically to a small branch and hid behind it to watch.
The silver balls began to grow and grow and grow!… they slowly turned orange, and when they were large and Melia recognised them as pumpkins! Pumpkin after pumpkin began rolling along the floor like gigantic marbles, towards the fire. Rolling in circles, banging into each other, bumping into witches’ feet, while the wand spat out more and more silver balls that were rapidly growing into more huge orange pumpkins!
“Uh –oh…” she whispered to herself as she watched as the area became overrun with rolling pumpkins. The witches looked around confused. Where had they all come from? Some of them didn’t care, hopped onto their brooms and took to the skies, and some waited and watched.
“Helga!” one witch shouted with yellow eyes and long black hair that floated up into the midnight blue sky. “That’s your wand! It’s gone crazy! Why haven’t you got it under control?”
“There’s nothing wrong with my wand!” Helga shouted back angrily. She was just about to hop onto her broomstick where her black cat was perched obediently at the tip before anyone could begin to blame her when her moggy hopped off! He carefully strode towards the wand that was still shooting silver balls. His sleek black fur shimmered in the moonlight and firelight. Side stepping the rolling pumpkins, he strolled towards the wand and very closely towards Melia who was hidden behind a bush, she held her breath.
“What?” she shouted angrily….
“You’re a witch…” her cat calmly said… “Tell me… what do you smell…?”
Suddenly the forest fall quiet. The silver balls stopped growing, the pumpkins stopped rolling…the wand stopped sparking and the fire stopped crackling. The silvery moon rode high watching silently.
“I smell … a child…” At her words, it was as if electricity was in the air. The tiny hairs on Melia’s little body stood on end. The witches that had taken to the skies heard all the commotion, they swooped in loops down on their broomsticks, trailing golden magical sparks from behind, yelping and howling in excitement as they landed back down in Hanover Forest.