Authors: Adele Abbott
Witch Is When
All Was Revealed
Published by Implode Publishing Ltd
© Implode Publishing Ltd 2016
The right of Adele Abbott to be identified as the Author of the Work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
All rights reserved, worldwide. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.
The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, dead or alive, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.
When I arrived at Cuppy C, the twins had quite obviously been arguing
. They were standing at opposite ends of the counter—deliberately not looking at one another. I wasn’t about to take sides, so I stood in the middle.
“Ahem. Any chance of service?”
“Amber can serve you.” Pearl pointed at her sister. “I’m very busy.”
“No you’re not,” Amber said. “You’re not doing anything.”
“You’re not doing anything either.”
“Girls, please! What’s wrong now? Why have you fallen out, this time?”
“It’s all Pearl’s fault.” Amber huffed.
“No it isn’t. It’s your fault. You’ve got no imagination.”
“I’ve got plenty of imagination, thank you very much. You don’t have any vision.”
“I do so have vision.”
“Please come here, both of you.”
They shuffled slowly towards the centre of the counter until they were standing side by side. Neither of them would look at the other; instead, they stared straight ahead, at me.
“Which one of you is going to explain what’s happened?”
“She can,” Amber said.
“No, she can.”
“Okay, this is what we’re going to do.” I didn’t try to hide my exasperation. “We’ll toss a coin. Call, Amber.”
“Heads it is. Pearl, what’s going on?”
“Are you sure that wasn’t a double-headed coin?”
“Pearl!” I was about to lose it.
“Sorry, Jill. We’ve decided that Cuppy C needs a new name.”
“What? You can’t rename Cuppy C! It’s a great name! Why would you want to change it?”
“It’s a bit old and tired,” Amber said, and then in a whisper, “A bit like Grandma.”
“Yeah. We need something new and exciting,” Pearl agreed.
“No, you don’t. Look where
new and exciting
got you before. It got you the deluxe chocolate fountain that flooded this place, and a conveyor belt which managed to cover all your customers in cake.”
“Yes, but that was different,” Amber said. “We need a new brand; a new image.”
“What name did you have in mind?”
“That’s the problem.” Pearl sighed. “Amber wants us to have a ridiculous name, while I’ve come up with a truly inspirational one.”
“No, you haven’t.” Amber objected. “Your name is rubbish. My name is far better.”
“Why don’t we see which one Jill likes best?”
“Keep me out of this. I don’t think you should change it at all.”
“I think it should be Cake Calypso.” Amber beamed. “Don’t you think that’s great?”
Before I could answer, Pearl jumped in. “I think it should be BunBun.”
“Yeah, you know? Like the French sweet, bonbon, but BunBun.”
“It sounds like ‘bumbum’.” Amber giggled.
“No, it doesn’t!” Pearl looked daggers at her sister.
“I see. So it’s between Cake Calypso—”
“Which is brilliant, isn’t it?” Amber interjected.
“Which is much better,” Pearl insisted. “Which one do you like best, Jill?”
“I don’t like either of them. I like Cuppy C.”
“We’re not keeping Cuppy C. We’re going to put it to the vote.”
“And who exactly is going to vote?”
“The customers, of course. We’re going to put up a poll on the notice board with both names on it, and ask them to pick the name they like the best. Whichever one has the most votes at the end of the week, will be the one we use.”
“And that will be Cake Calypso,” Amber said.
“No it won’t. It’ll be BunBun.”
Oh dear. This had all the hallmarks of a disaster, but maybe there was still a way to avert it.
“Girls, I think the vote is a good idea, but I have a suggestion.”
“Mrs V? Whatever’s the matter?” As soon as I walked into the office, I could tell that something was amiss.
“It’s nothing, Jill”.
“There’s obviously something wrong. Is it your sister? Has she taken a turn for the worse?”
“No. G’s fine. She’s back home, and as good as new.”
“What is it then? What’s the problem?”
“What about him? He’s not ill, is he?”
“No, he’s okay.”
“So, what is it?”
“It’s just that—” She hesitated.
“It’s that Gordon Armitage, again.”
“I might have known. What’s he done this time?”
“The other day when I went to Armi’s office, Gordon must have seen me. Gordon told Armi that he didn’t think it was a good idea for him to associate with anyone who worked with you.”
“What a thoroughly horrible man Gordon Armitage is.”
“You’re right there.”
“What does Armi have to say about all this?”
“He agrees that it’s none of Gordon’s business, but I get the feeling that he’s a little intimidated.”
“Why? Isn’t Gordon his younger brother?”
“Yes, but you’ve seen the two of them. Gordon is an overbearing bully, and Armi is a meek, kind, quietly spoken man. He’s no match for Gordon.”
“How did you leave it?”
“Armi said that he’d give me a call, but I can’t help but wonder if I’ll ever hear from him again.”
“You can’t allow a bully like Gordon Armitage to come between you and Armi.”
“It’s out of my hands.”
“Would you like me to have a word with Gordon?”
“No! Please, don’t. I know that you feel you have to solve everyone’s problems, but this is something that Armi and I have to resolve.”
“But, I just—”
“No, Jill. Promise you’ll keep out of it.”
“But I could—”
“No! Let it go. We’ll be okay. We’ve just got to ride this out.”
“Okay, but keep me posted.”
Despite the fact that she’d said I shouldn’t get involved, I was sorely tempted to go next door, and give Gordon Armitage a piece of my mind. But that probably wasn’t a good idea. If my track record was anything to go by, I’d only make things worse.
I was about to go through to my office when I spotted the newspaper on Mrs V’s desk.
“How come you have a copy of The Bugle? Surely, you haven’t started reading that awful rag?”
“I don’t normally buy it, but they’re running a yarn feature all this week—covering knitting and crocheting in Washbridge.”
“Really? I wouldn’t have thought that was The Bugle’s kind of thing.”
“Me neither. I was quite surprised when I saw it. Your grandmother has an article in here.”
Wow! Grandma really did have Dougal Bugle wrapped around her little, bony finger.
“I say article, but it comes across as more of an advert for Ever A Wool Moment.”
“That doesn’t surprise me.”
Just then, I noticed the front page headline: ‘
Where is Starr?
“Typical! They can’t even spell Star,” I tutted, but on closer inspection, I realised the article was actually about a reality TV celebrity called Starr Fish. She’d gone missing two days earlier, and no one knew her whereabouts. The article gave some background. Apparently, her real name was Carol Smith, but she’d changed it just before she took part in a reality TV show called ‘Life At The Top’, in which several young people were forced to live on the top floor of an apartment block. Essentially, they were stuck there together for six weeks while the cameras followed their exploits. Thankfully, I hadn’t had the misfortune to see that terrible TV show, but apparently Starr Fish had won, and was now considered a Z-list celebrity. The speculation was that the pressure of ‘fame’ had got to her, and she was hiding from the glare of the spotlight.
The reason The Bugle was covering the story, which was probably more suited to the national tabloids, was because Starr lived in Washbridge. It seemed that Kathy wasn’t the city’s only reality TV celebrity.
Half way through the morning, Jack turned up at my office.
“What a nice surprise. Do you want a coffee?”
“I can’t stay. I was just passing, and wanted to say that I’m looking forward to tonight’s murder mystery evening.”
“Kathy called me earlier. She seemed to think I already knew about it.”
“I said you must have forgotten to mention it.”
“Yeah, I must have.” Kathy was going to die a slow, lingering death.
“It’ll be nice to pit my wits against yours. Anyway, like I said, I’m on my way somewhere. See you tonight, pet—”
“Don’t you dare.”
“Later.” He grinned.
I waited until I heard him leave the outer office, and then called my sister.
“What’s going on, Kathy?”
“Morning to you too, Jill. Yes, I’m very well—thanks for asking.”
“Never mind that. What’s all this about a murder mystery evening?”
“I thought I’d told you.”
“Well, you didn’t!
“Whoops! Silly me. It’s being held at The Old Trout in Middle Tweaking.”
“What’s that when it’s at home?”
“It’s the name of a village. It’s about thirty miles from here. I’m surprised you haven’t heard of it.”
“I’m pretty sure I’d have remembered that name.”
“I thought it sounded like fun. What with you being a P.I, and Jack being a detective.”
“That’s what we do for a living. It doesn’t mean we want to spend our leisure time investigating murders. It’s like asking Peter to go to a gardener’s question time evening.”
“Pete would probably enjoy that.”
“So, what happens exactly?”
“First, we have a meal—the food is apparently excellent at The Old Trout. Then some local thesps entertain us. One of them pretends to have been murdered. We get to ask the others questions to work out which one of them is the murderer. Don’t you think it sounds like fun?”
“I suppose so, but it would have been nice to have been asked. And don’t say you forgot because I don’t believe you.”
“It’s about time the four of us had a night out together. How else are we ever going to get to know your future husband?”
“Jill, wait! Have you seen the main story in The Bugle?”
“About Starr what’s-her-face who’s disappeared? What about it?”
“I can empathise with what she’s going through.”
I laughed. “Are you seriously trying to compare yourself to Starr Fish?”
“We’re both reality TV celebrities.”
“Yeah, but she’s on the front page of all the national tabloids. You’re on the back page of Crochet Monthly.”
“I might have known you’d be jealous. Anyway, I
understand what it’s like. All the fans—all the adoration. The pressure must’ve got to her. She’s probably gone somewhere quiet to recuperate.”
“All the fans? Are you kidding me? So far, you’ve had two old ladies ask you for an autograph.”
“You’re not counting all the autograph hunters who come into Ever A Wool Moment.”
“How many have there been?”
“More than ten?”
Mid-afternoon, I took myself out of the office for a while. There was something on my mind which I needed to think about without a crazy cat interrupting my thoughts.
I’d been shaken by what I’d seen on the top floor of The Central. If I’d understood the wall-calendar correctly, someone planned to take me out, in only a few days’ time. My father had warned me that TDO was likely to act soon, but that could have been a double bluff to steer my attention away from him. I still couldn’t shake the idea that
I found a quiet bench in Washbridge Gardens. I’d only been there for a few minutes when a little bird landed at my feet, and seemed to be waiting for me to feed him.
“Sorry, boy. I don’t have any food.”
It was as though he’d understood because he immediately flew away.
I needed help, but had no idea who to turn to. Normally, I would have gone to Grandma, but what could she do against TDO? The more I thought about it, the more I realised that I was on my own this time. I was going to have to face this threat alone, and hope that my new enhanced powers would be enough to see me through. It wasn’t only my personal well-being that I feared for. I felt as though the future of Candlefield, and maybe even witchcraft itself, was on my shoulders. If I did succumb to TDO, and he absorbed my powers, who would be able to stand in his way?