The Shimmery Witch
The Wizard’s Vanishing Wand
There was a small clearing nestled behind Mystical Falls. The old wizard Krayto had lived there as long as the falls existed. No one remembered a time when he wasn’t puttering around in the garden in front of his topsy-turvy cottage. It looked like large barrels of different colours had been piled on top of each other, some vertical, some horizontal and some slanted haphazardly. Each barrel was a different shade of purple or red, with small windows and doors cut into them where needed. His chimney; which was of course shaped like a barrel as well; was constantly churning out large puffs of silvery smoke as he worked on his potions inside.
The garden outside was full of plants and flowers that he had created himself. They didn’t exist outside his small, little magical garden. His special wand allowed him to grow these magical plants. The flowers were completely unique. Some were completely round, with small beads embedded in them. The beads looked like bubbles and each one was filled with a special nectar. These beads were Krayto’s secret ingredients. Every potion with the nectar lasted twice as long as the others and his cart was always empty after he went to sell his wares at the Carnivalo market each week.
One morning as he was gathering the beads, he heard the fluttering of small wings above him and waved hello to the Fairy Fish who were heading to the market.
“Good morning Krayto,” they said in unison as they swooped by him. “The fairies have already reached with their enchanted glass and we heard the witches from Marberry are selling some new spells today. Hurry along!” They sped by him as he muttered to himself and rushed to his cart.
“Yes, yes, I see the Fire potion. Very good. Two sachets of Flotsa petals.” He fumbled absentmindedly as he checked his pockets.
“Where is that pesky wand?”
Poor Krayto. When it came to mixing potions and remembering spells, there was no one else with his level of skill and talent. He was just clumsy and forgetful with everything else. Especially his wand. He always forgot where he had left it and a lot of times it ended up in the most bizarre places. He had actually found it buried in his vegetable garden and hidden deep inside the chimney. Once the Fairy Fish had come and returned it to him when they found it amongst the rocks and crystals at the bottom of Mystical Falls.
“I just don’t understand where it keeps flying off,” Krayto exclaimed frantically while looking all over his cottage. Suddenly he caught a glimpse of the carved end of his wand wedged into the highest branch of the tallest tree in his garden. “How on earth did it reach up there?” He was exasperated and tired of constantly retrieving it. A magic wand shouldn’t be able to wander away from its witch or wizard. He finally got it back and zoomed off in his cart, eager to reach the Carnivalo Market.
The market square was buzzing when he arrived. Magical creatures from every corner of the kingdom filled the square and the chattering voices could be heard all over. The crowd drew around his cart excitedly as loud cheers acknowledged Krayto’s arrival. Within mere minutes his potions, spells and unique flowers and plants were sold out. He popped his purple, starry hat on his head and wandered around the different stalls.
“Aha! The Mayberry witches may be able to help me with my vanishing wand problem.” He walked over to them and explained his dilemma.
“That is indeed a bad situation to have,” Mari, a bony old witch whispered. Her voice was croaky and hoarse and she grabbed Krayto’s arm with her long, wrinkly fingers. “When a wand loses control, the wizard loses power. You must control the wand before someone else does.”
“What does that mean?” Krayto sputtered angrily. “I just keep leaving it in places. No one is controlling the wand!”
“Are you certain of that?” Mari murmured in her rough whisper. “It seems to me as though someone else’s power has seeped into the wand.”
Krayto realized that his beautiful wand was now in the old witch’s hands. She grabbed one of her potion bottles and let a tiny drop fall on the wand. It immediately sizzled and sparks flew out the tip.
“Someone has been playing tricks on you Krayto. The wand has been enchanted. Every time you set it down, it disappears and reappears somewhere else. This is strong magic! The spell aims to send your wand to a new master and every time it disappears, they’re getting closer to it changing hands forever.” With those menacing words, Mari sniffed dismissively at the audacity of the spell caster. “You better put to a stop to this before you lose your wand and your special, magic nectar.”
Krayto was fuming inside. Who would want his wand so desperately? He knew time was of the essence. If someone managed to get the wand to switch allegiance from him, they could use the special nectar to make some very bad and dangerous spells. The old wizard would not allow that to happen. The nectars power was as strong as the crystals of Mystical Falls that were guarded fiercely by the fairies. He knew he must protect the wand with all his might. He was determined to catch the magic thief in the act. He quickly thanked the witches and promised to bring them some of his special nectar on the next market day. He hurriedly gathered his things and rushed back to his cottage.
The whole next day was spent inside the cottage, working feverishly on a potion to capture the mischief- maker. All night long smoke poured out of his chimney and bursts of sparkling lights could be seen through the windows. Finally he was ready! He submerged his entire wand inside the cauldron and recited the incantations. Green and yellow bubbles popped up on the surface of the cauldron and when they started emitting green and yellow goo, the wand was ready.
“Time to gather my beads,” he said loudly as he walked out to his garden, just in case someone was watching him. He purposely left his wand leaning against his cottage door and knelt down besides his flowers. There was silence for quite some time, broken only occasionally by the sounds of some birds babbling or the tinkle of soft laughter as fairies passed by. He resisted the urge to turn around and his patience was soon rewarded.
It started with a small sound.
Then a grunt.
And finally a loud cry for help.
“My feet! Oh my poor feet!
Krayto jumped up immediately and the sight in front of him made him lose control in seconds. He bent over and started laughing hysterically and loudly. His cackles drew the attention of not just the other creatures around the clearing, but also the tiny imp standing in front of his cottage. The wizard’s spell had worked wonders. The naughty little imp had come to try and steal the wizard’s wand again. He did not expect what would happen when he touched it. The yellow and green goo had spread all over the imp’s body and every part it spread to was immediately covered in flowers and leaves. It looked like roots were growing out of his feet and he sank into the ground like a flowering plant.
“Help me!” The imp howled.
“Oh do calm down,” Krayto said crossly. “You’re the one who has been playing tricks on me and trying to take my wand.”
The spell was actually quite harmless. The flora growing on his body was incredibly ticklish, so every time he took a breath or moved, they would tickle him more. The roots on his feet tickled constantly, like someone had taken hundreds of feathers and were running them over his feet at the same time. He didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Krayto examined the imp closely. “Imps don’t have the powers needed to be able to use this wand. Who sent you here on this fool’s errand?” The imp ignored his questions and continued wriggling as he tried to free himself of the vines that had slithered around him and even now held him in place.
“Now listen to me carefully,” Krayto admonished the imp. “I know you and all your imp friends work for the evil queen Mauvaisa. You may tell her that her attempts to steal my wand and power were unsuccessful. And now I know what she’s after, so I will make sure my part of the woods is protected from you and your mischief. BE GONE!”
Krayto grabbed his wand and with one quick swish sent the imp flying across the clearing, over Mystical Falls and all the way to the opposite end of the Kingdom. The imp landed with a thud outside Queen Mauvaisa’s castle, but he was covered in the constantly growing flowers. He couldn’t stop laughing as the tickling sensation continued. For days neither the other imps nor Queen Mauvaisa managed to get even a word out of him. He didn’t need to say anything. Seeing the strength of the potion on him was enough. Krayto’s power was still legendary, which was easy to forget because of how forgetful he was normally.
Mauvaisa grumbled and raged as she realized the wand had slipped out of her hands completely. She needed it to create the special nectar. That would give her enough power to defeat Krayto and the Fairies of Mystical Falls. She was fuming. Every attempt she made to increase her powers had been thwarted so far.
“I will find another way!” Mauvaisa swore loudly across the land. Every creature heard her angry words except for Krayto. He was busy working on his garden and caught up in his own world. He whistled away while he planted new special flowers, happily oblivious to Mauvaisa’s plotting.
“I can’t wait for the next market day,” he said softly to himself and laughed, giving a satisfied look at his wand lying on the grass by his side, safe and sound.