A Wizard in the Kitchen – An excerpt from the story

His music teacher was potty, as potty as a pot potato in a potter’s potted meat sandwich and you cannot get much pottier than that can you?   She lived in the village of Runnynose which was full of potty people. There was Honor Shufflebottom who had never had to buy a pair of shoes in her whole life and there was Willy Gotobed.  A friend once told me that he had been sitting at the top of the stairs in his pyjamas for the last thirty years.  And then there was his music teacher, Ingredient Kitchen who… Well, you will meet her for yourself in a minute.  Most people thought that she was very funny indeed but, to her student, there was something else about her too.  Just a little something.  A little something that he just could not quite put his finger on…

Ingredient Kitchen may have looked odd in her stripy socks and chef’s hat but she also looked sad.  “So, tell me, Herring, was that really your last lesson?” she asked, her voice bubbling like a pan of thick gloop on a stove.  The reply could not have sounded more quiet and ordinary.  “Yes, but my name’s Harry, not Herring,” said Harry, looking rather puzzled.  The unusual woman sat in silence at her piano, or ‘panini ‘as she liked to call it, and then stood up and walked over to a table.  “Well, before you go,” she whispered, “I have a little gift for you.  I’ve composted you a piece of music.”   “No thank you Mrs Kitchen,” Harry said politely, “but I won’t be playing again.  I’ve only been having lessons ‘cause my mum and dad have been making me.”  He quickly gathered his things and walked over to the door.   Mrs Kitchen looked horrified.  “Isn’t your father pickling you up tonight dear?” she asked breathlessly.  “Oh, please do be careful.  It’s very foggy outside and well, one hears such… fishy tails.” 

It was then that, as Harry stepped out into the darkness, he experienced the first of the evening’s very peculiar events.  He heard his teacher’s voice behind him but it sounded very different, almost as if it were a thousand years old and full of fear.  “Beware!” it warned.  “Beware ‘The Witch’s… Omelette!”  “Oh please!” cried Harry.  “Please Mrs Kitchen, you’re confusing me.”  He remembered a game he had played on his Xbox a month before and said helpfully, “Do you think you might mean amulet?  It’s like a thing that protects against evil.” “Omelette, amulet, ambulance… who cares?” she boomed. “It’s feeling it that counts, but for your benefit…” And then, with the same strange voice and with her bony finger pointing into the distance, proclaimed “Beware! Beware ‘The Witch’s…Amulet’!”  The young boy trotted into the night.  “I’m sorry Mrs Kitchen but I don’t believe in witches,” he said.