Tuesday, 5 November 2013

A Short Excerpt From Penelope Parker: Witch In Training"

This is just a short excerpt from my novel, to give you a taste of what is to come.

Penelope soared through silver filigree clouds set in a cobalt sky. Off in the distance she could see a prism of colour glowing in the night. Looking down, she was astonished to see herself astride Hec’s back; a Hec with wings!
“What are you staring at?” came a familiar voice in her head. “Haven’t you ever seen a cat with wings before?”
“Err...no,” said Penelope, somewhat taken aback at the turn things seemed to have taken.
“Well, for your information, I’m a cat-bird,” said Hec. “It comes from my father’s side back ten generations or so. Every two or three litters one of us is born, and it’s no joke, I assure you!”
“I didn’t mean to insult you,” stammered Penelope. “I was just very startled. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen you with wings, you know. I think they’re beautiful!” And indeed they were. Feathers of iridescent blue edged with silver, quite a magnificent sight!
“Well,” hrrumphed Hec, “I suppose I forgive you. You are the daughter of the Arch Wizard after all.”
“Are you deaf, girl? I said you are the daughter of the Arch Wizard. It’s him we’re going to see, you know.”
“Umm...why is he called the Arch Wizard?” asked Penelope.
“Good gracious, girl, you are full of questions, aren’t you? He will tell you himself if he sees fit. Now, be quiet and watch where you’re going.”
            Penelope rather thought it was Hec who should watch where she was going, but she wisely said nothing and turned her attention to the landscape below. It was dominated by the light of the prism, and was a desolate landscape indeed. Dead tree stumps, foul looking pools of stagnant water, and things moving around she didn’t want to look too closely at.
            Shivering, she pulled her cardigan tighter around her, realizing the air was freezing cold. She wondered how on earth she got here. The last thing she remembered was being on the train with her mother. Remembering that, she also remembered the gift from her father. Looking around her, and being an observant child, she saw, with a catch in her breath, that the clouds resembled the silver filigree work on the box, as did the sky resemble the box’s colour. Looking ahead, her eyes widened as the prism came ever closer. It looked just like the prism she had seen in the centre of the crystal ball! What on earth could it mean? Just as this and other questions started to collide in her head, she jumped and grabbed the nearest thing she could, which just happened to be the scruff of Hecate’s neck.
“Sorry, Hec, but you startled me, diving like that!”
“Rrowww! Silly girl. Wouldn’t have fallen!”

            As this last was said, Hec swooped in for a perfect four-paw landing in front of the prism, shaking her beautiful wings and folding them against her side, whereupon they promptly dissolved into her fur.

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