Macy Vickers and the Book of Spells, page 1
and the Book of Spells©
Paul R Melia
Macy Vickers and the Book of Spells©
by Paul R Melia 2018
First published in 2004 by Lightning Source, under the title Altered Lands©
Published in 2018
Kindle Direct Publishing
All rights reserved; no part of this publication can be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author. Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.
This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the author and/or publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher assumes no responsibilities for errors or omissions, or for damages from the use of information contained herein.
Other books by Paul R Melia
MAX BUCKLE and the School Prank Club
Adventures in Bear Knuckle Wood: Albert and London’s Good Deed Day
Number Cruncher: I can count and add up to TEN
Bedtime Dreams: Rhymes and Stories
1. The Sleepover
2. Underway and Time to Play
3. Things That Go Bump
4. The Storyteller
5. All in Agreement
6. Photographic Memories
7. Smells, Scares and Lucky Escapes
8. Strange Land and Strange Creatures
9. Snails and Trails
10. Firefly Intervention
11. The Hangout
12. They Came from Above
13. The Road to Help
14. How to Fly a Zynador
15. Magic and Potions
16. The All-Seeing Eye
17. The Hat of Invisibility
18. The Stormy Crash Landing
19. The Drawbridge Dash
20. The Flying Carpet
21. Airborne Combat
22. The Dungeon Reunion
23. A Captive Strategy
24. The Great Hall of Nerves
25. Chandrapaul Knockdown
26. A Test of Loyalty
27. Good Friends, Good Food, Goodbye
28. Back in the Room
— CHAPTER ONE —
Twelve-year-old Macy Vickers lived on the outskirts of Manchester in the small village of Fernley, with her mum Janet, dad Callum, and older brother by two years Jordan, and the family pet, a golden retriever called Seymour.
The family home was a terraced three-bedroom white pebbledash house situated halfway down Belmont Road.
Macy’s was one of the smallest in her class, but her lack of height never bothered her. Though her flowing shoulder length auburn hair, splayed out unevenly across her neck and shoulders and a lopsided fringe, did. It was an embarrassing reminder of her mother’s inability to cut her hair in a straight line.
Macy’s two closest friends, Jack Tyler and Olivia Hamilton, were in the same school year as her and shared the same Gemini birth sign. In true Gemini tradition all had a stubborn and single-minded quality about them.
Jack, a fresh face, blond hair, blue eyed boy, was a loveable young rogue, and always one for getting into trouble at school with his practical jokes. Jack stayed two streets away from Macy’s house, along Helier Drive, and shared his home with his dad and mum, Michael and Rosie Tyler.
Olivia Jackson, the final member of the trio lived around the corner from Macy, in a two-bedroom bungalow along Charles Crescent, with her mum Wendy.
Olivia liked sports and was known for being one of the fastest runners in her school year. It was no surprise really, she was built like a matchstick and had long gangly legs, like a gazelle. Unlike Macy, she always had her jet-black hair cropped as she believed it was more streamline and gave her an advantage on sports day.
With the school summer holidays in full swing Macy, Jack and Olivia had been invited to spend a week at Macy’s aunt and uncles home, Chandler House, in Torquay.
Macy had spent many happy times there before with her parents and brother, but it would be the first time without them. It was also going to be Jack and Olivia’s first holiday without their parents too.
The day was ending and Macy, dressed in her favourite full length grey nightgown, clasped her chin between the palms of her hands and stared out of her bedroom window. Her gaze fixed firmly on the deep orange glow of the sun as it began its final journey down behind the rooftops of a row of houses on the opposite side of the road.
The beep of a car horn and blinding full beam from its headlights broke her trance like state and the ends of her mouth curled up into a smile.
The car was a blue ford fiesta, and Macy instantly recognised it as belonging to Jack’s parents, Michael and Rosie.
Macy withdrew her head from the window, dashed out of the bedroom, bolted down the stairs and rushed up to the front door.
“Mum! Dad! They’re here.” She flicked the Yale lock, yanked the door open and flew down the pathway to meet the new arrivals.
“Macy!” shouted her mum. “Come back inside. You haven’t got anything on your feet.”
Macy dropped her eyes. She could scarcely believe she’d been so stupid as to forget to put her slippers on before leaving the house.
The pathway was awash with a deep coating of small granite chippings which dug painfully into the soles of her feet and left dozens of indents on her skin.
Macy tip-toed slowly back to the safety of the soft fibres of the hallway carpet. She had finally realised the best option would be to wait inside and let the guests come to her.
Not only was Jack and his parents in the car, but Olivia and her mum, too. Michael had kindly stopped over at Olivia’s house and picked them up on the way.
Eager to welcome everyone in, Macy patiently stood guard at the front door, watching and waiting as all four car doors sprang open at once and everyone spilled out.
Jack’s dad opened the boot and hauled out two medium size suitcases, one red, the other blue and a pair of black holdalls and led everyone up the pathway to the house.
The welcome everyone received on entering was a firm handshake for Michael and Jack once Michael had dropped the cases and holdalls in the hall of course. And an embracing hug for Rosie, Wendy and Olivia. Macy and her parents were like that, very affectionate and friendly.
Macy’s brother, Jorden, was nowhere to be seen. He was having a sleepover at one of his friends as he knew Macy was having one of her own, with Olivia and Jack. Even though he was only two years older, Jorden didn’t want to ruin his image by hanging around with a bunch of twelve-year-olds.
They threaded their way through the hallway, to the living room, and Macy’s mum drifted off to the kitchen … returning moments later with a tray of snacks, drinks and a sumptuous fruit trifle she’d prepared earlier.
The mini buffet was well received, though it didn’t last long as Macy, Jack and Olivia demolished most of it, leaving a few hot drinks, tea and coffee, and some digestive biscuits for their parents to consume.
Several hours past and after listening to their parent’s
But before departing, they did spare the time to say their goodnights to Macy’s family, as they were going to see them again in the morning. And give, see you later hugs, for Jack and Olivia’s parents, who they weren’t going to see again until they arrived back from their holiday.
Macy’s bedroom had been set-up so that each of them had a separate bed to sleep in. Macy had her own bed, as you would expect, whereas Jack and Olivia were going to have to rough it for one night.
Their bed arrangements consisted of two spring loaded camp beds. Macy’s dad had rescued them from beneath a pile of old garden machinery and fishing magazines in the back of the garden shed.
The bedroom was dimly lit with the assistance of a low voltage lamp on the wooden dressing table next to the bedroom window. The main ceiling light had blown the day before and Macy’s dad hadn’t got around to replacing the bulb.
With everybody washed, changed and in their respective nightwear, Macy climbed into her bed and began to talk about how excited she was. And how she was looking forward to tomorrow, when the holiday really started.
“We’re going to have such a great time. You just wait until you meet my aunt and uncle. I know you’re going to like them.”
“We’ve met them before you know,” mentioned Jack. “It was at your ninth birthday party, when they decided to pay a surprise visit.”
Olivia backed him up. “Yes, that’s right. And my ninth birthday was four days after yours. I remember the look on your face when they walked through the front door; you were jumping around so excitedly, I thought you were going to burst.”
Macy moved her pillow higher up the headboard and rested her back against it. “I’d forgotten about that. Come to think of it … you weren’t the only one who thought that I was going to burst… I did too.”
A volley of laughter rang out from all three of them ... but was short-lived as Macy spotted that the hall light had come on, through a gap in the half open bedroom door.
A voice called up from the bottom of the stairs. “Is everything all right up there?”
Macy recognised it immediately. “Yes, Mum. We were just talking about Aunt Doris and Uncle Charlie, that’s all.”
“Well, it’s getting late … and gone ten o’clock,” her mum called back. “It’s time you got your heads down for a good night’s sleep. Remember, you’ve got a long day ahead of you tomorrow, travelling down to Torquay.” The hall light went off and the living room door clicked shut.
Macy eased herself off her bed, glided effortlessly over to the dressing table, and switched off the lamp.
The bedroom was immediately cloaked in darkness and caused her no end of problems as she threaded her way back. Her sense of direction was way out, and she bumped into Jack’s bed, fell back, and landed on Olivia’s legs.
“What’s going on?” called out Jack irately.
“Sorry,” cried Macy.
“Why are you apologising to Jack?” asked Olivia, forcefully pushing Macy off her legs. “You fell on me … not him. I thought we were trying to go to sleep, not start a wrestling match?”
“Sorry,” repeated Macy as she climbed to her feet. “It’s hard to know where you are in the dark.”
Jack spoke again — he didn’t want Macy knocking into him a second time. “I’m right next to you, so make sure you don’t fall on me.”
“Give it a rest,” snapped Macy. “I didn’t do it on purpose.” Even though she couldn’t see him, she managed to steer clear of his bed, using his voice as a reference point.
Eventually, she found her way back to her own bed, climbed under the sheets and settled down to sleep. “Night, everyone.” She leant back and adjusted her pillow flat down.
“Night,” replied Olivia, tiredness evident in her voice.
Jack’s reply was slightly longer but delivered in a grunt. “Yeah … night.”
Morning arrived in a blaze of sunshine. Jack and Olivia woke in unison. Olivia flopped out of bed, stretched her arms and released a hippo size yawn and groan. “It’s here. The day we’ve been waiting for.” To hear her speak it was hard to believe she was about to embark on an extra special holiday, such was the drone in her voice.
Jack gathered his thoughts and raised himself up. Half stumbling, and still not fully alert, he used the end of one of his pyjama sleeves to soak up a sliver of white dribble from the corner of his mouth.
“Smells like peppermint,” Jack’s nose twitched, and he wafted his sleeve in front of it. A look of disgust broke out on Olivia’s face as he put the dribble drenched sleeve in his mouth. “It tastes like peppermint too,” he added.
“Yuck … that’s fowl, toothpaste face,” hissed Olivia.
Jack spoke through gritted teeth. “What are you on about?” He looked puzzled and removed the sleeve from his mouth.
“Toothpaste face,” repeated Olivia. “You can’t have rinsed your mouth out properly after cleaning your teeth last night.”
It finally dawned on him what Olivia was referring too. “Ah… I’m with you now.”
A movement of feet signalled that Macy was about to stir. Jack and Olivia’s antics had probably helped in that department. She rolled onto her back and an arm shot out from beneath the bedcovers.
Just then, the bedroom door flew open and Macy’s mum burst in, glancing at her watch in panic mode. “My goodness! I didn’t realise the time… We’ve slept in. Your aunt and uncle will be here in less than half an hour.” She threw her arms in the air. “Right, all of you need to have a wash and get dressed as quickly as possible. I’ll go down stairs and make your breakfast. Is porridge and golden syrup all right with everyone?”
A solid reply of, “Yes” came from all three children as Macy’s mum left the bedroom.
Macy, Olivia and Jack darted to the bathroom and after a frantic hands, face and teeth clean they dressed and bolted down stairs to the kitchen. Macy’s mum had just finished pouring a generous helping of golden syrup over the three bowls of porridge.
The sound of spoons clanking off bowls and a crescendo of unflattering slurping rang out as they filled their faces as quickly as they could. Macy’s mum couldn’t believe the amount of noise coming from the breakfast table and the speed at which the three children were eating, and let her displeasure known.
“That’s enough. You’ll make yourselves sick if you carry on like that.” She put a hand on Macy’s shoulder. “Anyone would think you hadn’t been fed for a week.”
Macy smiled and continued to consume her breakfast, though now at a much slower rate, and Jack and Olivia copied her.
It was a quarter past seven and the imminent arrival of Macy’s aunt and uncle had come. Uncle Charlie was a stickler for punctuality and right on cue his red Volvo estate turned into Belmont Road.
Macy, unaware of just how close her aunt and uncle were swallowed a final spoonful of breakfast and put her bowl in the sink. She then made her way into the living room to watch the television, where she was joined moments later by Olivia and Jack.
The living room window faced out onto Belmont Road, and it didn’t take long for Macy to catch sight of the car approaching the house.
Macy’s dad heard the roar of the car engine as it reversed onto the driveway and opened the front door, ready to welcome them in.
“Morning, Charlie,” he bellowed enthusiastically. “You couldn’t have picked a better day to travel.” He pointed up at the cloudless sky.
“Marvellous,” enthused Uncle Charlie. “It doesn’t get much better, does it.” The two men greeted with a firm handshake and Uncle Charlie noted Macy’s face pressed up against the living room window and gave a polite nod.
Uncle Charlie was Macy’s mums older brother … an internet entrepreneur and self-made millionaire. He was a tall, gangly man with pencil thin arms and long drain pipe legs.
“Are you two going to stand there all day? Or am I going to get some help in hoisting myself out of this damned vehicle?” The abrupt and unmistakable tones had come from Aunt Doris, sat tightly packed in the front of the car.
Aunt Doris was the polar-opposite of her husband, short and plump, and with a deep blotchy purple face. She suffered periodically from painful arthritis, and after the long car journey she had just been on her joints were well and truly playing up.
Uncle Charlie turned and glanced over at the car. “Sorry, dear. I nearly forgot about you.”
Macy’s dad saw the funny side of Uncle Charlie’s mishap, but kept his amusing thoughts to himself. And without further hesitation they both made their way over to the passenger side of the car and began to help Aunt Doris out.
“Be careful, will you—” she winced, “—I’m not a rag doll.”
“Sorry,” said Macy’s dad apologetically, as he realised he had inadvertently pulled a little hard on her arm. He hadn’t meant to. He’d just forgot his own strength.
After much toing and froing and a bit of a disagreement with a rubber floor mat, which seemed to have a mind of its own, Aunt Doris unceremoniously popped out like a champagne cork and rocked awkwardly onto the driveway.
Somewhat flustered she adjusted her beehive hairdo, which had taken a battering, and straightened her floral dress. “Thank goodness for that. If I’d known it was going to be such a palaver, I would have stayed where I was.”
Rushing to the front door to greet the new arrivals, Macy, Olivia and Jack watched excitedly as Macy’s dad, Aunt Doris and Uncle Charlie made their way up the garden path.
“Aunt Doris!” cried Macy finding it impossible to hold in her excitement.
It always brought a smile of pleasure to Aunt Doris whenever she had the opportunity to see Macy. And on reaching the doorway, crammed with three cheerful faces, she held her portly arms out and moulded her beefy hands and sausage fingers around Macy’s cheeks.