Edna's Crash Course in Broomstickery
Edna the Witch flicked despondently through the pages of her large spell book. Older than mouldy cheese, Edna had been practising spell-making for as long as she could remember and, by rights, she should by now have been an extremely successful, accomplished Witch. But the Brain Tree she wasn't, and mostly her spells never worked out they way they were supposed to.
Her lifelong ambition was to be a Super Model. Surprising perhaps, considering Edna wasn't exactly the prettiest of Witches, with her rather snotty green coloured fur, and mismatched eyes (one was disproportionately large and the other almost nonexistent, giving her a face an alarmingly hideous expression). But Edna was quite certain that one day she would finally discover the magic ingredients needed for the spell which would make her the prettiest Witch in the Haunted Woods, perhaps even in the whole of Neopia!
Her endeavour for said ingredients, however, was a costly exercise and, in an effort to fund her dream (or folly, as some Haunted Woods citizens cruelly snickered), she ran a reasonably successful business making simple spells for Neopians who were either to busy to make their own or too inexperienced to attempt such witchery.
Naturally, Halloween was her most profitable time of year, due to the massive increase in visitors flocking to the Woods, eager to sample anything haunted, spooky or just downright scary. And her worst time of year was now. With Spring just around the corner, most Neopians tended to visit lands with sunnier, warmer climates, and the dank, gloomy, rain filled atmosphere of the Haunted Woods just didn't seem to appeal to the fickle tourists at this time of year.
Alone in the dark confines of the Witches Tower, Edna exhaled loudly. "Oh how ghastly this is!" she moaned aloud. "How disgustingly bored I am!" Still flicking through the spell book, she considered making a spell, any spell, just for something to do, but once glance at her ingredients cabinet put paid to that idea, for the shelves were empty, save for the odd cobweb or too.
Suddenly the bell above the Witches Tower door rang, dull and monotonous. Edna pretended to look busy, for it would be bad for business should word get out that she was receiving no customers. People might think it was because she was incapable and inept. Crimson flooded her cheeks as she recalled her last few spell-making disasters, but really, it hadn't been her fault they had gone so dreadfully wrong. Well, not entirely her fault. Maybe the ingredients had been off.
Her new customer was a well dressed Neovian who coughed politely, snapping Edna from her reverie. "Yes?" Edna enquired, fixing him with her oversized eye.
The Neovian seemed momentarily taken aback. As mentioned earlier, Edna was not exactly a welcoming sight. But his good manners meant he quickly recovered and he offered a charming smile. "I need a Glowing Potion of Negg Frazzling," he said, "preferably ready for this evening. Can you help?"
Edna cackled. "Certainly, Sir. Your spell will be ready for you tonight at moonrise."
The Neovian nodded. "That is satisfactory. I bid you farewell."
Once the customer had departed and was safely out of earshot, Edna howled with despair. How ever was she to make the potion in such a short space of time when her cupboard was bare? Frantically, she flung open the cabinet doors and rifled through the thick cobwebs. A sleeping Spyder was rudely awakened in her search and he snarled angrily at her. She snarled back with equal venom. "Oh, rats, bats and slorgs," she spat, slamming closed the cabinet doors in disgust.
Her overgrown eye caught sight of something passing by the window of the Witch's Tower. "Aha!" she cried gleefully, and hobbled outside as quickly as she could, where she found a small Halloween Ixi ambling by.
"You there!" she cackled loudly.
Startled, the Halloween Ixi stopped in her tracks and observed Edna suspiciously. "Me?"
"Yes, yes, you! I need you to go and hunt for some missing spell ingredients for me." Edna tried to copy the charming smile of the well dressed Neovian, but her oddly placed facial features made the smile something more of a grimace. "If you do it," she continued, "I will reward you with something special."
"I don't think I should..." the Halloween Ixi said, shaking her head, moving away slightly from the deranged Witch.
"Yes, yes, you should!" Edna nodded her head vigorously, causing her black Witch's hat to slip over her eye. She jerked her head and fixed her eye on the trembling Ixi again. "Scary soup and mashed eye potato, that's all I need. Go quickly!" She rapped her cauldron tongs on the stony path.
"Er, I don't think so..."
Before she could stop her, the Ixi had fled into the dark Wood. Edna roared with frustration and leaned back against the slimy grey walls of her tower, flooded with dejection. Her hand touched something hard and cold. Her broomstick!
Should she? Could she?
"Oh, eye of Mortog," she cursed, knowing it was her only option. Unlike most witches, Edna hadn't really taken to flying particularly well. She had spent over two hundred moons just learning the basics of broomstick travel and still hadn't quite mastered the art of broomstickery, something to which the Brain Tree would testify, since he had suffered a number of broken branches after an unfortunate incident last full moon when Edna had been feeling unusually confident about being airborne.
"Needs must," Edna told herself resolutely, gritting her teeth with steely determination. She placed her cauldron tongs against the tower wall and took hold of the dreaded broomstick. The wood was damp and mildewy, from the perpetually foggy air, and she groaned outwardly at her stupidity of having left it outside after her last disasterous flight, for all witches knew that a damp and mildewy broom made for an extra hazardous journey, due to the added risk of sliding off.
"Oooooh, broomstickery tomfoolery," Edna whimpered, feeling frightened.
With much huffing and puffing, she finally managed to manoeuvre herself onto the slippy broomstick and, after taking several deep gulps of stale air, she uttered a few magic words and the broomstick lurched off the ground at a sickening speed. Edna turned an even greener shade of green as nausea rushed through her, her stomach tightening into knots as the broom juddered and shuddered higher and higher until the safe haven of her Witches Tower was far, far below. She couldn't help but close her eyes, wailing all the while. Few witches, if any, will sing the praises of flying blind, whether their eyes be equally shaped or otherwise. It is not a practice that is recommended, for danger of the obvious.
Unbeknown to Edna (her eyes were shut, after all!), the Brain Tree, alerted by the wailing Edna was emitting, looked up in horror and hurriedly tried to cover his head with his branches, the memory of what happened last time still etched into the forefront of his vast brain. Deeper into the Haunted Woods in the Stone Battledome, a Halloween Uni, usually unbeatable, lost a battle to a Baby Kacheek, too distracted was he by the sight that dipped and dived above him and the terrible screeching he heard from the sky.
Eyes still firmly closed, and clinging onto the broom for dear life, Edna raced through the air, up, down, left, right, every which way. She tried to slow the broomstick with a few choice words and, for a second or two, the broomstick seemed to steady itself. Edna cautiously opened her gargantuan eye then quickly closed it again, for hurtling towards her was the large spiked iron fencing leading to the Deserted Fairground.
"Helpppppp!" she screamed.
But miraculously, the broomstick narrowly missed the metal fencing and shot through the gates into the fairground.
Sssidney, busy sorting through his scratchcards on his stall, hissed with fright. "Ssshe will ssslay usss all!" he lisped, diving under a large pile of discarded losing scratchcards for safety.
Over at the Test Your Strength stall, Arnold watched the sky with interest. What was it that was hurtling towards him at such great speed? A new kind of flighted Neopet? And what a strange noise it was making! His eyes widened in surprise as the thing raced nearer, its shape becoming more distinct. Why, it was Edna the Witch! On her broomstick!
The true horror of the situation struck him harder than anyone had ever struck his Strength machine with his mallet and he jumped quickly out of the way as Edna flew at his stall. There came a huge crash as Edna crashed into the mallet, causing it to slam down on the hitting surface below, suddenly followed by an even louder bell which rang and rang. Arnold looked first at the bell atop his machine, then down at the crumpled heap which lay beside the plate below.
"Jackpot," he muttered. "It's the jackpot."
Sssidney slithered over to the crash scene, surprisingly fast. "Isss ssshe hurt?" he hissed warily, thinking about the negative impact an accident would have on his scratchcard sales.
Edna groaned woefully. "The bells, the bells," she cried, sitting up and clutching at her ears, her hat askew and her mammoth eye seemingly larger than ever.
Arnold flicked a switch and the bell stopped ringing. "You hit the jackpot," he said in disbelief.
Edna stared up at him in confusion.
Sssidney stared at him, aghast. "Againssst the rulesss, sssurely," he hissed. "No one getsss the Jackpot. It'sss imposssssible!"
Arnold, still in awe, consulted his rule book. Nowhere in the rules did it say that the mallet couldn't be hit by a witch on a broomstick hurtling through the sky at a great velocity. "Edna," he gasped, "you did it! You hit the Jackpot! You're rich!"
"Rich?" Edna exclaimed. She gingerly got to her feet and inspected herself for broken bones and found none, although the broomstick lay in a sorry pile of splintered wood. "I'm rich," she cackled gleefully.
Sssidney hissed his displeasure. "Who ever heard of a rich witch?" he lisped, slithering back to his stall. "It's outrageousss! Thisss will bankrupt usss all!"
With her plentiful winnings, Edna hobbled over to the Spooky Food stall and bought the necessary ingredients for the Neovian gentleman's potion, plus a plethora of extra ingredients to fill her cabinet.
True to her word, the Glowing Potion of Negg Frazzling was ready and waiting for the Neovian customer by moonrise. After he had gone, Edna, with her cupboard well stocked, set about working on her life long ambition, confident that she soon would create the Super Model potion she so desired. A rich witch, she could now afford to experiment a little.
Did she fulfil her ambition? Well, have you visited Edna in her Witches Tower recently? Why not pay her a visit and take a look? Remember, though, she was never the most able of witches.
As for the stall holders of the Deserted Fairground, they swore no one should ever win the Jackpot on one of their games in such an unusual fashion again, and hastily rewrote their rulebooks, making winning a Jackpot almost impossible. Well, honestly, tell me, when was the last time YOU ever won a Jackpot over there?