Katie, The Ordinary Witch - Katie and the Big Row

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Audiobook Katie and the Big Row
03.05.2022
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Katie, The Ordinary Witch - Katie and the Big Row book summary

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How old is Katie? Lots of people have asked us that question. She has grown up as the stories have progressed, and now she is almost a teenager. As you know, Katie is very close to her mum, but now she is a little older, they sometimes have differences of opinion.

And for those who ask what happened to Katie's dog - we answer that question too in this story.

Story by Bertie.
Read by Natasha.
Proofread by Jana Elizabeth.

Hello,

This is Natasha, and I’m here with the latest story about Katie. As you perhaps know, Katie and her mum are witches, but they do their best to fit into ordinary life. Usually they are very close to one another, almost like best friends, but Katie, well she’s getting older, and she’s almost turned into something pretty dreadful - Uggh!

A teenager!!! Yes, I’m ashamed to say it happened to me too - I was a teenager once. I couldn’t help it. And neither could Katie.

At seven o'clock, on a cold winter’s morning, Katie’s crystal ball chimed its call to rise and shine. At first Katie buried her face deeper into her pillow, then she reached out with an arm and knocked the ball off the side-table. It carried on chiming until her cat, Solomon, jumped off the bed and whacked it with his paw.

“Thank you, Solomon,” said Katie, who turned over to face the wall.

Katie’s mum pushed open the door and said: “Come on Katie, time you were out of bed.”

“Uggh! But Mum I don’t feel well,” moaned Katie.

“Well you can’t have another day off. Miss Vile’s already written to me about your attendance. You’ve got to get up, like it or not.”

“I told you, I feel sick,” said Katie, who still had her eyes closed and did not see her mum wink at Solomon. The cat sprung back up onto the bed and stuck his claws through the blankets into Katie’s bottom! She screamed and jumped up.

“Come on, get in the shower!” ordered her mum.

Katie was still grumbling when they drove to school. “You’re so heartless Mum! You don’t seem to care about your daughter being sick, and you force me go to school when my head’s hurting and oh, hang on, I think I’m going to throw up!"

But fortunately she didn’t.

In the afternoon Katie emerged out of school with a disgruntled look on her face. She sat in the car next to her mum and asked: Can I pop over to see Paul this evening?"

“Have you done all your homework?” asked her mum.

“Yes."

“Really, all of it?”

“Almost.” Katie replied nonchalantly.

“Well finish your homework, and then you can see him another day.”

“That’s not fair Mum! You just don’t want me to be friends with him. Tomorrow you’ll come up with another reason why I can’ see him,” moaned Katie.

It was true that Katie’s mum did not regard Paul as a reliable character. And she had good reason, because he wasn’t. But Katie liked him because he was artistic and seemed to be deep, unlike most of the other boys she knew.

They drove back in silence and when they reached home, Katie went to her room, lay on her bed, and listened to music. Her stupor was interrupted by a loud scream from her mother’s room. She dashed across the landing to see what the matter was, and saw her mum with smoke coming out of her head - in fact - oh no - part of her hair was actually on fire! Katie pointed her fingers at the ceiling and a great dollop of water - about enough to fill a bucket - fell down on her mother’s head. She wasn’t on fire any more, but she was drenched - and she was furious.

“Katie,” she screamed, “I told you not to borrow my hair straighteners. You broke them again, didn’t you?”

“I didn’t… well actually I did,” said Katie, remembering how she had got the straighteners tangled up in her hair, and then when she had pulled them out, they had flown across the room, hit the wall, and bent out of shape. “But I mended them,” she insisted.

“I knew it. How many times have I told you that it is dangerous to use magic on gadgets? You need a special certificate in electrical magic. No wonder they heated up so much. My hair actually caught fire! I could have been burnt! Now look at me?! I’m supposed to see Shumash in fifteen minutes. I’m in a total state.”

“Sorry Mum," said Katie with a shrug. “I didn’t mean any harm.” But then she wished she hadn’t apologised because her mum said: “No iPad or TV for the rest of the week. Learn how to use your crystal ball properly.”

“But there’s nothing on the crystal ball that’s at all interesting,” protested Katie. “Just soaps about boring old wrinkly witches and wizards. Who wants to follow their stupid lives?”

“Well it was good enough for me when I was your age,” said her mum, as she gingerly picked up the hair dryer. “You haven’t sabotaged this have you?” she asked.

“No,” said Katie as she stomped back to her room. “Mum is so rude!" she said to Solomon as she sat on the bed, fuming. “You know, sometimes I wish I lived with Dad.”

In the morning, her mum was still in a rotten mood. Her evening with Shumash had not been a success. He had talked about “what a cool kid Katie was," and that had annoyed her. They even had a minor argument. And now, although she didn’t mean to, she was taking it out on Katie.

“It wouldn’t hurt your face to smile occasionally,” she said as Katie came into the kitchen. Katie pulled a grotesque expression. “I showed my mother more respect,” said her mum. Katie did not reply, but sat at the table and ate her cornflakes quietly. After a while she said:

“I’ve done all my homework. Can I see Paul this evening?”

“No,” said her mum grumpily.

“Why not?” asked Katie.

“Because I said so,” said her mum.

“Oh I see,” said Katie. “What you really means is that you had a bad time with Shumash and now you don’t want me to have a nice evening with Paul. That’s it, isn’t it?”

“Nothing of the sort,” said her mum, feeling a hot flush coming on. She was furious with her daughter. How dare she compare a grown man like Shumash to a sulky schoolboy like Paul?

It was raining at lunch time. A bored Katie looked out of the classroom window on the second floor and saw the top of an umbrella that she did not expect to see. The magic symbols on it were unmistakable. It was her mother’s.

“So Mum's coming to see Miss Vile,” she thought. “Everyone is against me. Even my own mother consorts with the enemy!”

It was true that Katie's mum had been summoned by Miss Vile to discuss Katie’s school record, which had slipped over the past couple of terms. But she stuck up for Katie, saying that she had had a few bad colds, and would surely bounce back. Katie did not know this. She texted Paul saying: “Mum and Miss Vile are plotting against me. I wish I lived with Dad.”

And Paul texted back saying: “Well why don’t you go and live with him? He’s your dad after all.”

Her hands trembling, Katie texted her dad saying: “Mum’s so moody these days she’s making me miserable and I feel desperate. Can I stay with you for a bit? I’d be ever so grateful. Your darling daughter, Katie XXXX.”

And a few minutes later her dad texted back.

“Well of course Katie. I can relate to that. Come on over.”

That evening, Katie packed a suitcase and a small bag, and sneaked out of the front door while mum was making supper. She met Paul at the end of the street, and he helped her carry her things to the bus stop. They took the number 94 up the hill to the part of town where her father lived. They found his flat and Katie rang the bell. She was slightly surprised when the door was opened by a woman. Had she rung the wrong bell? Or did her dad have a house maid?

“Hello, you must be Katie. I am B,” said the woman. Her hair was long, straight and blonde with dark roots. She spoke with an East European accent. “No need to look so shocked. I am your dad’s girlfriend. Ah, he hasn’t told you about me, I bet! I shall tick him off.”

Katie stepped in with Paul following, carrying her suitcase. They found Katie's dad in the living room. “Ah Katie, lovely to see you darling,” he said, as he came over to kiss her. And then looking at Paul he asked: “Who’s this?”

“Paul,” said Paul. “Didn’t Katie tell you about me?”

“Well you can’t live here. There isn’t enough room,” said her dad bad temperedly.

“He’s just a friend who is helping me bring my things over,” said Katie hastily.

“Oh, I see, well you can go now,” said her dad, who didn’t always have the most polite way of putting things. Paul gave Katie a hug and left. When the door had clicked shut her dad said:

“Is he your, er, boyfriend?”

“We are just friends,” said Katie firmly.

“Good,” said her dad.

“Unlike you and Bianka,” said Katie.

“Ah yes, Bianka, she’s very important to me, and I am sure you two will get on like a house on fire,” said her father looking at the blonde woman with a sort of gooey gaze in his eye.

Somewhere deep down Katie thought: “Hmm, I came over here for love and affection, and Dad's clearly got only one thing on his mind and that is fake blonde Bianka who is only about 10 years older than I am.” She was far from happy.

She looked around the room and saw that there were plants in every corner and on every table. Katie was sure that they were HER influence. And on the wall there were half a dozen silver framed photographs all of HER. “He’s gone potty about her," thought Katie. And then she asked:

“Dad, where’s Muffin?”

Muffin was her dad’s dog, whom he adored, and used to take everywhere with him, even to work at the University.

“Oh Bianka's allergic to dogs so he went to live with Andrew,” said Dad. Andrew was his brother.

"Well," thought Katie, "if he loves Bianka more than Muffin then he really must have gone crazy." She looked at her dad’s love. Was she so very pretty? She wondered. Her mouth seemed way too large for her face. She was a tiny bit cross-eyed. She was even chewing gum, and that was a habit her dad hated, although he did not seem to mind when the blonde woman did it.

Katie's phone started to vibrate. It seemed to be almost angry. She took it out of her bag and saw, as she expected, that her mum was calling. What could she say to her? She handed the phone to Dad.

“Er, hello Doreen,” said her dad sheepishly.

“Bernard! Why are you answering Katie’s phone?” asked her mum.

“Er Doreen, don’t go wild. Stay calm. She’s just come to stay with me for a bit. That’s all.”

Katie closed her eyes as she heard her mother’s voice hit a register that would have done an opera singer proud. Her dad winced and held the phone at arm’s length. Eventually, he tapped the red button to hang up. “It will probably be another half an hour or so before she notices,” he said. He set the phone to “silent” and handed it back to Katie.

“So your mum is a real witch?” asked Bianka.

“Yes, she is,” said Katie narrowing her eyes. “And so am I," she added.

Bianka looked uncomfortable. Her dad made an attempt at a friendly smile.

“Are you hungry? Bianka has cooked some delicious goulash,” he said. Katie went into the kitchen and Bianka ladled some of her lumpy stew into a bowl for Katie. Katie tried to eat it, but suddenly she did not feel hungry any more. She pushed the bowl away. “I’m sorry, I feel sick,” she said.

“It is because you are anxious,” said Bianka.

“No it’s not! How do you know how I feel? You’ve only just met me,” snapped Katie. And she made haste to her room to unpack.

Later, when she was lying in bed, she thought: “Oh poor Mum. I know she’ll be really upset. But if I call her, she’ll go ballistic.” And it was a long while before she fell asleep.

She was roused to semi-consciousness by her dad thumping on her door: “Wakey, Wakey, Katie,” he called out. She looked at her crystal ball. It was half past six.

“But it’s so early,” her voice creeked sleepily.

“It’s a long bus journey into school from here,” replied her father. “And besides, you need to jump in the shower before Bianka gets up.”

“Can’t you drive me?” asked Katie.

“I don’t have a car anymore,” replied her dad - who had lost his licence for dangerous driving.

Katie found herself standing by the bus stop on a dark and frozen morning. The first bus was so packed that she could not get on. She thought of her dad making toast and butter for Bianka.

At lunchtime, she was again gazing out of the school window, this time wondering how her mum was getting on without her, when she saw her dad walking up the drive.

“Dad!" she thought. “What’s he doing here?”

There was only one reason he could have come to her school, and that was to see Miss Vile. Her teacher was no doubt poisoning his mind against her. That evening, she was not surprised when her father gave her a lecture:

“Katie, this year your attendance record has fallen to 80%, which put another way means you’ve missed one out of five days at school. And your grades have suffered - not surprisingly. It’s a good thing you’ve come to live here, so I can get some strict routine back into your life. You must do two solid hours of homework between five and seven o’clock, have supper, read a book, and be in bed with lights out by nine o'clock.”

“But Dad, when will I see my friends?” she pleaded.

“And no boyfriends,” said her dad. “They are too much of a distraction.”

“I don’t have a boyfriend yet. Isis is my best friend. She has top grades. She’s practically perfect. And she’s a girl. What reason can there be for me not seeing her?”

“You can invite her to Sunday lunch after church,” said her father firmly.

Katie normally went riding with Isis on Saturday morning, but there was no way to get to the pony farm without a car, besides, her dad made her stay at home and do her homework. He and Bianka went to the designer shopping centre and came back in the early afternoon laden with shoes, handbags, and clothes - none of them for Katie. In the evening they went out to an Italian restaurant, and Katie had to watch her dad and Bianka gaze into each others eyes. On Sunday, Isis could not come over because she was having lunch with her family. Katie had the most boring weekend of her life. But she couldn’t call her mum yet, because, well, she had her pride. Instead she texted Paul.

“Dad only has eyes for his woman. He hardly takes any notice of me,” complained Katie.

And Paul replied:

“She’s just a gold digger, and your dad’s gone soft in the head for her. I’ll come round and we’ll play some tricks on her. We’ll see her off - no problem.”

After lunch, Dad and Bianka went out for a walk over the common. Paul was already lurking around the corner: “The coast is clear,” texted Katie, and he hurried round to the flat.

The first thing they did was to make a list of possible tricks they could play, ranging from silly to outrageous. Finally they whittled the plan down to three ideas:

Put used chewing gum under dad’s pillow. He would think Bianka had left it there and would surely see that she was disgusting.
Put a spell on Bianka's shampoo to make her hair fall out after she used it.
Rub stinging nettles on her underwear to make them itchy.

They giggled as much as they plotted, and just had time to put the tricks into action before they heard the door latch. There was a moment of panic. Paul had to climb out of Katie’s window and swing onto the branch of an apple tree. The branch began to creak, and finally break. Katie just had time to magic a big soft pillow onto the ground to provide a soft landing.
“Who is in the flat?” asked Bianka as she came in.

“Only me,” said Katie with her most innocent expression on her face.

“Funny,” said Bianka wrinkling her nose. “I was sure I could smell a boy for a moment.”

“And she thinks I’m the witch.” thought Katie.

The fun began that evening. Katie had to go to bed at nine o'clock, but she made sure she stayed awake. She smiled broadly when she heard raised voices from her dad's bedroom. She pressed her ear against the wall. Bianka was saying:

“Bernie, I swear to you, I would never park my gum under the pillow. It’s horrid. Katie must have done it.”

And her dad's disbelieving voice said:

“But Katie doesn’t chew disgusting gum, and she doesn’t come into this room.”

Katie fell asleep a happy witch..

It was a shame that she was the first to leave the house on Monday morning, but she fully expected to return to a bald Bianka who was itching and scratching herself like a mad woman. “Dad’s sure to dump her faster than I can say abracadabra,” she thought with a sense of evil satisfaction. She stopped on the landing, hoping to hear an early morning scream from the shower, but Bianka was still fast asleep.

When she did come home, she was surprised to see a man with a shiny head sitting in a chair and reading the news on his tablet. It took her a moment to realise that this was her father.

“Dad, what happened to your hair?” she asked. Normally he had a silver mop of the stuff that often grew a bit too long and covered his forehead.

“I was going to ask you that?” said her dad.

“Me, why?” replied Katie.

“Because this morning I used Bianka's shampoo, and ended up soaping a smooth pate where before there was a thriving growth. I just wondered if it was sabotage intended for someone else?”

“Of course not,” said Katie. “Why are you accusing me of such a thing?”

“And you wouldn’t have left chewing gum under my pillow?”
“No,” said Katie, as she walked across the room to close the window. Her dad liked fresh air, even in winter, but the rich smell of burning leaves was coming in through the window. She looked out to see if there was a bonfire in the communal garden and saw Bianka standing by an incinerator, and throwing her underwear onto the flames.

“What on earth is your girlfriend doing?” asked Katie.

“She’s burning her undergarments,” said her father. “Because somebody made them itchy.”

Katie went into her room, changed out of her school uniform, and tried to read a book. She could not concentrate. Her mind kept wandering anxiously about the trouble she was in. She was not entirely surprised when somebody pushed the door open and screeched:

“You Witch! Why did you make me itch like that?!"

“Who are you calling a witch?” asked Katie. “You smell like one, I don’t mean you pong, I mean only a witch could have such a heightened sense of smell.”

“I don’t do magic tricks, I have always had a highly sensitive nose, that is all, besides are you admitting that your boyfriend was here on Sunday?”

“Yes, and no,” said Katie, glad that the subject had changed. “Yes because he was here, and no, because he’s not my boyfriend.”

“So you say,” said Bianka, twirling her hair. “I am fortunate not to be bald right now. Your poor father is not so lucky."

“I think it suits him,” said Katie. “He’s a proper smoothie now.”

“Why are you trying to split me up with him? I love him and look after him, unlike your mother.”

Katie went red with anger and seethed like a kettle: "You leave my mother out of this!” She might have flown at Bianka, and even scratched her face, but her father came in, holding some shopping bags. He glared at Katie and she stopped in her tracks.

“I thought you might like to see these,” he said, and threw the bags to Katie. “Bianka bought them for you on Saturday, but I said she shouldn’t give them to you until you have finished your school project.” Katie looked inside the bags. There was a sparkly top, a pretty cosmetics bag, and some cosy winter socks. They were just right. There was no way her father could have chosen them.

“Oh,” said Katie. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know. Thank you Bianka.” And she gave her a hug.
Everyone was quiet that night. The emotions had made them all tired. But the next day, when Katie was at school, she texted her dad to say:

“Thanks ever so much for having me to stay. I think it’s time for me to go back to Mum now. Love to Bianka. XXX Katie.”

And that was the story of Katie and the Big Row. What do you think? Will Katie be best friends with her mum again? I think she will be, but do drop by soon to find out, here on Storynory.com.

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