Chapter 4: The Sister-witch



Jenny hurried along the Purple Path. She was feeling more nervous with every step she took. She wasn’t sure she felt brave enough to meet a witch, let alone a whole Council of them. Actually, she wasn’t really sure how many a Council was. She wanted to ask Molly, but Molly was hurrying ahead and Jenny was having to run to keep up with her. Jenny was also quite worried about the errors and terrors. She knew that errors were mistakes and she couldn’t imagine what kind of mistakes might be waiting at the end of this Purple Path. And then there were the terrors. What exactly were they? And the wasted time? Grandma Lily hated wasted time and Grandma Lily was mostly right about everything.

Jenny looked around her as she hurried along. There wasn’t much to see in this OUTSIDE place. Just the Purple Path and, on each side of it, long grass stretching away into the distance. Not a house, not a tree, not even flowers. Just grass. And Blue sky. Jenny assumed it was sky because it was above her head and it reached down to touch the grassy distance whichever way you looked. And Molly had said this was OUTSIDE and OUTSIDE is where the sky usually is. But there were no clouds in it. And no birds. Not anywhere in this sky. And, oh!  There was no sun! How can you have daytime without the sun? But she would have to save all her questions up until they stopped running. Running …

Then, all at once, Molly did stop running. She stopped so suddenly that Jenny nearly bumped right into her.

‘We’re here!’ said Molly.

Jenny looked around her. ALL around her. But there was just the path and the grass and the possible sky. ‘Where’s here?’ she asked, feeling very confused. In fact, she was about to complain that they didn’t seem to be anywhere at all, but then she noticed that Molly was pointing her finger at the empty air in front of her. She was tracing a shape. And to Jenny’s great surprise, as Molly’s finger moved through the air, first up and then down and then across, it left a Silver line behind it, like a shiny spider thread. When Molly had finished she stepped back and there in front of her hanging in the empty air was a perfect Silver triangle. And it seemed to be getting bigger.

Jenny was not really sure what to do, so she just carried on watching. And the triangle grew bigger until its bottom touched the Purple Path and its pointy top was higher than their heads. And as the triangle grew bigger and bigger Jenny could see through it into somewhere else. ‘What is that triangle thing?’ asked Jenny.

‘It’s A SPACE,’ said Molly, holding out her hand. ‘Shall we go inside?’

So hand in hand Jenny and Molly stepped through the Silver triangle into A SPACE that most people might never be able to imagine. It was an INSIDE space but it was as big as the OUTSIDE. And it was as light as day. And there were trees and houses. And buildings that looked a little like small castles. And there were lots of people and strange animals and birds flying above the rooftops. And, still beneath their feet, the Purple Path carried on into the distance.

Jenny tried to see everything but there were so many things that it was impossible to notice them all. But the one thing she could not fail to notice was the sound of a distant drum.

Boom … Boom … Boom …

It was all very strange. So, Jenny waited for Molly to tell her what to do next. But Molly also seemed to be waiting for something. Then, from out of the crowd, came a boy, dressed all in Green: Green shoes, Green socks, Green trousers, Green shirt, Green tie. And he had a mop of curly Green hair. He was quite old, perhaps ten, even eleven, years old. He walked straight up to Molly and stood to attention. Then he bowed low.

‘Princess Molly Berry,’ said the green boy, ‘you have returned just in time. I will take you straight to the Queen. We must hurry because she is most impatient. She sits with the Council of Witches and all is not well.’

Molly touched the boy’s arm with her hand: ‘Thank you Sir Lucas,’ she said. ‘Tell me, has the King remembered anything at all?’

The boy, Sir Lucas, shook his head: ‘I am afraid not, your Highness. His memories are still LOST.’

Molly nodded: ‘Then we must lose no time, Sir Lucas. Please summon our carriage. But first I must explain to my Sister-witch.’

Sir Lucas hurried away. Then Molly turned to Jenny and Jenny could see that there was sadness in Molly’s eyes. And that made Jenny feel sad too. And it also made her want to put things right, although she had no idea what things needed to be put right. Molly began to explain:

‘Jenny, the Kingdom of Raggedy Lyme has fallen upon difficult times. The King has lost his memories and without them nothing can happen: no LOST things can return, because it is the King who must remember where they came from. And no errors can be repaired because the King has forgotten what went wrong. And no terrors can be cured, because the King cannot tell anyone how to make things seem right. And, even worse than that, we fear that all of the time that was wasted will remain wasted forever.’

‘Do you think we’ll be able to help find the King’s LOST memories,’ asked Jenny.

Molly sighed: ‘Jenny, the Council of White Witches believes that you and I are the only people that will be able to find them.’

Now that made Jenny feel frightened and proud and excited all at the same time. And she really wanted to help. But first she had a few questions that she needed to ask: ‘Molly, why did Sir Lucas call you Princess Molly Berry? Does that mean that you have the same name as me? And does it mean that you are really a Princess?’

Molly smiled: ‘Yes, I am a Princess. But there are quite a few Princesses in Raggedy Lyme and each one of the Princesses has a Sister-witch from beyond the CUPBOARD UNDER THE STAIRS. And a Princess and her Sister-witch always share the same name. So my Sister-witch’s name is Berry.’

‘Is that me?’ said Jenny.

‘Of course it is,’ said Molly.

Jenny frowned: ‘But does that mean that I’m a witch?’ said Jenny, not feeling at all like a witch.

‘You will be one day,’ said Molly. ‘But I will explain later. Our Carriage is now here and we must hurry to the Council before all is LOST.

Jenny wanted to ask so many things, especially about the noise of the drum, but she realised that there was probably no more time to be wasted.