Abie Longstaff is the eldest of six children and grew up in Australia, Hong Kong and France. She knows all about squabbling, chaos and bossing youngersisters around. So she logically began her career as a barrister.
She started writing when her children were born. Her favourite childhood bookswere Hating Alison Ashley, A Little Princess, Maura’s Angel and The BlackStallion and she sneakily reads them again sometimes. Abie lives in North London with her family and a very pesky cocker spaniel who chews the post.
What would you do if you had magic for a day?
by Abie Longstaff
Oo I love questions like this! And this one is so much better than ‘What would you do if you had three wishes?’ because (unless you cheat and wish for more wishes) three really isn’t enough.
But magic! Wow – if I worked hard, I could make so much happen in only 24 hours.
First, in order to be fair, I think I’ve got to pick my branch of magic, because witches usually specialise.
Do I want:
Elemental magic? This would let me control fire, wind, earth and water. I could make it winter all year round, like Narnia – and keep a cosy warm fire going in my lounge without lighting a single match. But then again, I’m not sure I should be trusted with fire. I burnt my finger on a candle the other day.
Mind magic? I could move objects just using my brain. Enchant people till they did exactly what I said. Or see into Donald Trump’s head… actually no. Scratch that one.
Potions magic? This kind of witch is often called a ‘kitchen witch’. Mixing up all those elixirs and powders sounds fun – a bit like Great British Bake Off. I’d pick a whole load of witchy ingredients like cocoa (which brings joy. That’s my excuse for eating chocolate, anyway) or nettle (for energy. Useful but slightly less yum). Only thing is – I’m quite messy, and if I’ve only got 24 hours I think I’d spend half the time covering myself with flour or getting coriander (alleviates sickness) in my hair.
Shape-shifting? I quite fancy being a bird for a day. I’ve always wanted to fly. I’m less keen on being gobbled up by a bigger bird though. Or I could grow gills and swim to explore the very bottom of the ocean (did you know less than 5% of the ocean has been mapped?). But I bet my internet reception would be rubbish under there and, really, how long could I survive without twitter? (Answer: not long.)
I think I’m going to pick wand magic. I’ll get myself a funky retractable wand and go round doing secret good deeds all day. I’ll:
Make the trains run on time
Magically recharge any phones with low batteries
Turn unused buildings into safe houses and soup kitchens
Stop all umbrellas from turning themselves inside out
Heal anyone with conjunctivitis (I had it recently and it really sucks)
Turn a few frogs into princes
Then, at the end of the day, I’ll conjure up a cup of tea, and Fairy-Godmother myself a very cool dress.
Charlie and her family have moved from the big city to a small country village, and everything feels wrong. Their cottage is old and creepy. Anxiety about her new school is causing Charlie’s stutter to return. And the villagers are just plain weird. Not least, Agatha, who may not have a broomstick or a cauldron, but is definitely a witch…