by Amneet Mann, Junior Fiction Editor for jaBlog!
Artwork by Katie King
“Double, double, toil, and trouble-”
“Sis, come here! You gotta see this!”
“Sissy, I’m busy!” Wendy whipped around to face her older sister and give her a deathly glare.
“Yeah, yeah, I know how much work you have to do.” Melanie retorted. “Now, come! This is important!”
Ruefully, Wendy left her cauldrons, which were just beginning to boil over with a sticky purple substance and followed her sister.
Melanie led her to a small window, the only break in their long hallway that led from their rooms to the family room area. It was on the second floor and overlooked the front drive, which was filled with innocent trick-or-treaters tonight.
“What?” Wendy snapped. “Make it quick, please. You know Halloween is the only night the ‘Werewolf Whereabouts” potion works!”
“Look, Sis! It’s him.” Melanie said, ignoring her indignant younger sister.
Grudgingly, Wendy peered over her sister’s shoulder and squinted to separate the dark figures. He was a tall, pimply, blonde klutz dressed as a giant robot. Wendy observed as he clunked around the neighbourhood, apologizing to all the kids he accidentally bumped into down the street.
“Please, don’t tell me-” Wendy began.
“What d’ya mean?” Melanie gazed at Wendy with hurt puppy-dog eyes. “He’s perfect! Can’t you see how adorable-and polite-he is?”
Wendy surrendered under her sister’s pleading look. Between their father’s obsession with trick-or-treating youngsters (he was downstairs dressed as Frankenstein and handing out candy right now), and her mother’s fixation over slobbering infants, Wendy didn’t know why she was surprised that Melanie had a thing for a-ugh-mortal.
“Can you help me?” Melanie urged. Wendy blinked. “Come on, everyone knows you’re the best witch on the block. Anything I whip up won’t even be close to what you can do!”
A sly smile crept across Wendy’s face as realization dawned. “You’re not asking me what I think you’re asking me, are you?” Wendy raised an eyebrow.
Melanie blushed. “Just a temporary love potion!” She pleaded. “I just want to spend some time with him to see if he’s worth the trouble.”
Wendy shook her head at her sister’s flimsy justification. “Well, as you’re not going to let me concentrate on the werewolf potion until you get this boy, I guess I have no choice,” she replied coyly.
Wendy retreated back to her room and pulled a couple of books off of her bookshelf, which was practically overflowing with volumes. She thumbed through them, muttering to herself. “Aha!” She pointed to a yellowed page of one of the smaller books. “Here it is-‘Changing Perspectives.'” She knitted her eyebrows together in concentration as she examined the ingredients and methods.
Melanie hovered around as Wendy prepared the foul ingredients: pig’s heart, dandelion root…and chocolate?
“Chocolate?” Melanie questioned.
“Well, we need to package it as a treat,” Wendy rolled her eyes. “How else are we going to get him to eat it?”
Melanie nodded vigorously. “Right,” she agreed.
Wendy measured and added and stirred and chanted as the liquid slowly changed colour from clear to turquoise to purple to finally, a very muddy brown.
Wendy clicked off the heat and continued to stir. When the potion gave off its last crackle, Wendy sucked up some of the liquid with a syringe. Carefully, she inserted the tip of syringe into the folds of the foil of the chocolate and gently pushed the sharp needle into the centre. She pushed the plunger and emptied about half of the syringe’s contents.
“There.” Wendy held up the devilish treat and flashed her older sister a wicked grin. “This will be a treat unlike any he’s ever tasted.”
“And then he’ll like me?” Melanie confirmed. “I mean, for tonight?” Wendy patted her older sister.
“Well, he’ll definitely have a change of heart,” she assured.
That’s all Melanie needed to hear. She rushed across the hall and down the stairs, taking a seat by her father to wait for one particular robot to show up.
“Trick or treat!” The sing-song chorus rang out multiple times, but each time Melanie’s hopes were dashed. It wasn’t him. Forcing a smile, she handed out lollipops and bubble gum.
Finally, when she was about to go upstairs, certain that the apple of her eye had already left the neighborhood, she heard a familiar clunking noise. She yanked open the door before he had even made it all the way up the driveway.
He paused, uncertain. “Um, trick or treat?” He held out his candy bag.
“Oh!” Melanie rushed to him with a box of candy, and she proceeded to fill his bag with all sorts of goodies. And then she paused, giving him what she hoped was a mysterious smile. “This one,” she held up the foil-covered, potion-laden chocolate. “This one is my absolute favorite. Have you ever had one of these before?”
The pimply teenager shook his head, stupefied under the gaze of this pretty girl.
Melanie placed it into his open palm, her gaze never leaving his eyes. “Try it.” She urged. The excited boy quickly unwrapped it and popped it into his mouth without a moment’s hesitation.
Melanie watched him, her gaze intense. She wasn’t sure what was supposed to happen, but she figured she’d be able to spot it.
Moments after swallowing the treat, which had an interesting taste, the boy felt tingly. He looked at his hands. What was happening? As Melanie watched, tufts of hair began to emerge from the surface of his pale skin.
“What the-” Horrific realization began to dawn on Melanie as she looked up at her beaux’s face to find his pupils strangely dilated. His blonde hair darkened and grew longer. He was much taller than he used to be, and his clothes were more than a little tight. His nose began to grow longer, and as he reached up to scratch his snout, Melanie noticed that so had his claws.
“Aroo?” The newborn werewolf whimpered, clearly confused.
Melanie whirled around and looked up at the second story window. Sure enough, there was Wendy, a mischievous grin on her face.
“Wendy!” Melanie cried, equal parts horror and anger fighting for control. Wendy finally lost it and burst into laughter. She pulled up the window, leaned out, and yelled back.
“At least he’s not pimply anymore, Sis!” She took another look at the naive werewolf and laughed even harder.
Melanie moaned hopelessly as she took in the sight of her would-be boyfriend, now on all fours, trying to catch his tail. “What a Halloween,” she mumbled to herself.