Having taken on the feedback received from some of you which I found very helpful, thank you all. I have finished the first chapter which will still need an edit, but I hope you like it. Comments/feedback please. Approx 1300 words.
Chapter 1 – The Birthday Party
The BBQ was in full swing. Archie and his friend Green Eye, both stared longingly up at the sky as a string of pork sausages, crackling and popping, whizzed through the air. Green Eye winked at Archie. ‘Come on, let’s chase those sausages.’ As they followed the direction of the sausages, bumping into guests on the way, one of the sausages turned to look at them and laughed and said, ‘Ha, ha, you can’t get me!’. That only made Green Eye even more determined. Archie found himself having a fit of uncontrollable giggles, he had to stop running, he was laughing so much. ‘Come on slow coach’ said Green Eye, just at that moment he leapt high into the air, grabbed a couple of the sausages and tossed one to Archie. Over on a nearby table were some tasty looking sauces and buns. Archie was ready to fill a bun with the ‘runaway sausage,’ but stopped as he got closer. The buns appeared to have ants in them, and the sauces were all made from different types of bugs and spiders. He decided to give these a mis.
The waft from the meat cooking nearby made Archie’s mouth water. His tummy rumbled in anticipation. ‘How do you like your steak cooked, Archie?’ called Ruby. Archie thought about the steaks his aunt cooked at home, oozing with blood, almost alive. His stomach turned over at the thought of the blood. ‘Ruby, can I have it very, very well done, please’ Ruby laughed and replied, ‘OK burnt it is!’
Archie smiled to himself, who would believe a witch and a cat could be his two best friends in the world. Archie remembered his mum and dad. They would have loved Ruby and Green Eye. Yes, his slightly unusual friends may have taken them time to get used too, Ruby, a Witch, and a cat that talked, but eventually they would see what he saw, friendly, caring and loyal friends. He missed mum and dad so much. If only they weren’t driving that night. He pushed these thoughts to the back of his mind. Today, he didn’t want to be sad, not at Nanna Witch’s two hundredth birthday party.
He had counted the number of witches, wizards and children who were there to celebrate this fantastic occasion, but he gave up as he couldn’t keep track of who he counted and who he hadn’t. There were so many, more than a hundred people, and of almost as many cats. He wasn’t a witch or a wizard, and not a direct member of the family, however Nanny Porshina had insisted that Ruby invite him to her birthday party. She gave him a big wet slobbery kiss when he arrived. Quickly, as his face reddened, he had wiped the spit from his face while she wasn’t looking. Although embarrassed, a warm glow filled his heart, as he was part of an extraordinary group.
‘Archie your steak is ready’ said Ruby. She had cooked it to perfection. Archie looked over at Green Eye and he was tucking into a juicy tuna burger, which oozed tomato ketchup. ‘How can you eat tomato ketchup with Tuna’ thought Archie, yuk. His steak was like biting into butter, tender and juicy, but thankfully no red bits. As he savoured every mouthful, he watched a game the children were playing, called ‘Jump the Broomstick’. The game involved jumping over a broomstick hanging in mid-air. Now and then the broomstick would say something trying to put them off their jump like ‘Susan’s got dirty knees’ or, ‘Nora’s a cry baby’ or it would suddenly move higher to make it more difficult. Whoever made the most jumps without falling off, won the game. Over in the distance two wizards played some sort of sword game. Archie couldn’t believe what he was looking at, both wizards were fighting with their heads cut off, they were tucked under their arms!
The famous band ‘The Bogey broomsticks’ played music at the back of the garden, the atmosphere was happy, happy, happy! A drum sounded, and a cake the size of a house arrived in the garden. All eyes turned to look, as Nanny Porshina exploded through the top, arms up and laughing! Everyone clapped and cheered and started singing happy birthday. She had long dangling spider earrings on, a red pointed hat and wore a fashionable green cloak over a mini skirt and crop top! Archie thought she was amazing for her age! As nanny Porshina looked around the vast number of guests she seemed overwhelmed. She thanked everyone for coming and blew kisses out to the crowd. A strange thing then happened, she stopped, looked around again and said, ‘Why are you all here?’ There were a few giggles from the children, and the adults seem to think she was joking, Ruby ran forward. ‘Mum. Mum, it’s your birthday, don’t you remember?’ Nanny Porshina thought for a moment. Archie glimpsed a look of confusion in her eyes before she said ‘Of course, of course, silly me, now everyone must have a happy time’. As she climbed down from the top of the cake he still didn’t know if she had been joking. The laughter and fun quickly resumed, but Archie saw that it had worried Ruby.
Green Eye looked fleetingly at Ruby. There was a knowing look shared between them, one that Archie was not a part of. ‘Archie come on, let’s go get some cake’ said Green Eye. It was a good attempt to stop Archie from asking questions, but Archie knew something was wrong. He decided not to press for more information, but would at a better time, not when everyone was having fun at the party.
Some adult witches enjoyed a three-legged race, but their race was nothing like the one at school sports day. Each Witch had cast a spell and grown a third leg; Archie couldn’t stop laughing. They looked so funny with their black pointed hats and three legs protruding from their long black robes. Even Nanny Porshina was taking part! Her mini skirt looked even funnier with the extra leg, and her crop top kept falling down as she ran!
The band continued to play, and people were now dancing in a circle. Green Eye grabbed hold of Archie and pulled him into the centre. He scowled at his friend; dancing was not his thing.’ Green Eye get me out of here’ he shouted. Green Eye just giggled and carried on. Watching Green Eye try to do the ‘Worm’ dance on the floor was hysterical, followed by a dance Archie had never heard of, called ‘The Futsal Shuffle’ which was even funnier.
Archie slipped out of the circle and left his friend to it. Nanny Porshina was sitting on her own looking a little lost. ‘Are you OK Nanny’ asked Archie. She seemed to be in a far away land, her eyes kind of empty. After a few moments she turned to Archie and said, ‘Is it my birthday today?’ Archie replied, ‘Yes Nanny it is, have you had a good time?’ She ignored his question and said, ‘Are you Peter, Wizard Davey’s boy?’ Archie was totally confused. Why was she asking this, she knows his name is Archie? After some discussion he managed to get her to remember who he was, the two of them sat for a while laughing and chatting about some of things they had done in the last year. Nanny Porshina suddenly stood up and said, ‘Well Archie, it’s time for me to go and see some of my other guests, do you realise it’s my birthday?’ and off she skipped. Archie felt a mixture of emotions, pleased she had remembered his name, but he also felt a deep nagging sensation, something just wasn’t quite right.