magic

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Potion Adventure Story

Published August 24, 2014 by ElisaChristy

You take another look at the three glass vials in front of you. You can’t remember what each one does, but you know of one way to find out. Do you:

1A) Drink the red – You pour the contents of the red vial into your mouth in one gulp. Nothing seems to happen at first, you sigh and assume you got the mixture wrong again. You decide to go for a walk outside, when the first person you see outside runs over and starts kissing you. Do you:

1B) Drink the blue: Nothing seems to happen at first. You sigh and reach out to try another vial only to find that your arms have turned into wings and you are now a bird. You seem to be a raven or crow. Do you:

1C) drink the green: You drink the green vial and as you drink it the room seems to become larger, though it is in fact you becoming smaller. You shrink to a height of about three inches. Do you:

Drink the red:

2A): Let them keep kissing you – They finally stop kissing you, and you’re a little disappointed. The reason they stopped kissing you is to ask you to marry them, you haven’t even met them five minutes ago. Do you:

2B): Stop them from kissing you and ask them to explain why they are kissing you – “Because we are meant to be together” is the reply, then they try to kiss you again. You realise this must be because of the red potion you drank, but they are quite pretty and you could just let them keep kissing you even if it is immoral, you’re already a witch after all. Do you:

2C): Stop them from kissing you and run off to find someone normal. – Everyone you speak to tries to kiss you, you realise this must have something to do with the potion you drunk and you need to find an antidote fast. Do you:

2A)

3A): Say yes – They run with you to a church, but half way through the impromptu ceremony the potion wears off and they no longer have any idea why they wanted to marry you. They declare that they were bewitched and you now face trial for witchcraft. Good luck.

3B): Say no and run away – They chase after you and pin you down on the floor in a puddle and you drown.

3C): ask them their name – “Who needs names when they’re in love?” they ask you. “Um, me?” you say in return. “Oh, ok. my name’s Horatio. What’s yours?” Horatio asks you out on a date and you accept now you know his name. He is now your boyfriend.

2B)

3D): Let them kiss you until the potion wears off – You continue kissing but when the potion wears off, they say they were bewitched and stage their own witchcraft trial by ducking your head in the water until you drown.

3E): Stop them kissing you and try to explain what has happened – Trying to explain what has happened is difficult when they keep trying to kiss you but you persevere, eventually they stop and listen. Then as it;s a potion they decide to leave you alone and they walk off leaving you alone just as before.

3F): Go back inside your home and ignore them – They attempt to climb in through the window, but you push them back outside using a broom. They attempt to knock down the door but you place your bed in front of it. When nightfall comes they fall asleep outside your house and you must sleep on the floor as the bed is barricading your door.

2C)

3G): Go home to try and mix an antidote – In a panic, you pour all the ingredients you can find into your cauldron without even looking at the labels. You drink down whatever you have made and it works! No-one is trying to kiss you anymore. You have also turned into green goo on the floor, but you can’t have everything.

3H): Go to the shop to buy an antidote – The shopkeeper tries to kiss you. You push him off you so you can explain you need an antidote, but unfortunately you knock him into his own potions and there is an extreme magical explosion which somehow manages to turn both of you into trees and you are rooted to the floor of the shop. On the plus side the shopkeeper says as you’re stuck here anyway you can work for him.

3I): Go home and just wait for the potion to wear off – You bump into twelve different people on your way home who all start following you. You have to barricade yourself in the house until nightfall when the potion wears off. You are tempted to try one of the other vials still on the table.

Drink the blue:

2D): Fly out through your window into the street – You fly through the town into the countryside where some people are shooting. Do you:

2E): Fly out through the window into someone else’s house – You fly into someone’s house, but they are out at the moment, you hear the door turning in the lock. Do you:

2F): Stay in your house and make use of your wings to clean the cobwebs in the high corners. – You put a duster in your beak and start to dust the corners, you find one cobweb with the spider still in it. Do you:

2D)

3J): fly down to the ground and walk so they don’t shoot you – you start walking along the ground. A child runs along and picks you up before running inside and placing you in a birdcage. You are now the child’s pet and answer to the name of Squiggles.

3K): Try flying past them before they shoot you – A bullet hits your wing and you fall to the ground. The pain from being shot causes you to turn back into a human and the owners of the grand house take you inside and care for you until your arm is healed at which point they give you a job working in the kitchens.

3L): Fly into the woods so they can’t shoot you – You fly into the woods and take a rest in a tree. You fall asleep and when you wake up the potion has worn off and you are human again. You cannot remember how to get out of the woods and are now lost in the woods (Link to previous story)

2E) 3M): Fly out into the street again – You fly out into the street and see a group of birds who look like you flying past. You join them and fly with them until the potion wears off at which point you fall to the ground and realise you are miles away from where you live. You aren;t hurt though, so you start to walk back in the direction you flew.

3N): Perch somewhere and say “Nevermore” when they enter – The owner sighs “Oh, no. Not another one.” and calmly picks up a poker from by the fireplace which they point towards you like a sword and start screaming about plutonian shores. You decide to fly away before they skewer you with the poker and go back home until the potion wears off.

3O): Start looking through their belongings for shiny things because you’re a bird now after all – You search through their belongings and find a shiny bracelet, when the owner of the house enters. They shoo you outside, but you still have the ring in your beak. As the owner didn’t notice you had the necklace you decide to wear it to market the next day when the potion has worn off and are accused of burglary.

2F)

3P): Scream – The spider screams back. You are still screaming at each other.

3Q): Eat the spider – As you are a bird you realise you could eat the spider and do so, but when you turn back into a human, you are horrified that you ate a spider and throw up on the floor making your cleaning pointless.

3R): Dust it away – You swat away the spider with the duster in your beak and the spider is blown out the window. You continue cleaning until the potion wears off and you try another vial on the table.

Drink the green:

2G): Go outside to see what the world looks like at three inches – You can’t reach the door, but you manage to crawl under the gap beneath it. Do you:

2H): Try climbing up your stairs – It takes you an hour and a half to climb two steps. Do you:

2I): Try crawling through one of the holes in the wall that you’ve never been able to fit through before to see what’s in there. – You crawl through a hole in the skirting board and start crawling through to see where it takes you. After a while your eyes get used to the dark and you can see a family of mice up ahead of you. Do you:

2G)

3S): Go to the river – You go to the river and find a leaf to use as a boat. You climb in and start to drift downstream. By the time the potion wears off you have sailed into a city and you decide to stay there for another adventure.

3T): Go to the market – You go the market where there are lots of other people. you end up getting stuck to someone else’s shoe and are taken back to their house where the potion wears off, so you can peel yourself off from the shoe, but must explain why you are in their house and that you weren’t trying to burgle them. They don’t believe you and call the police. You are now on the run.

3U): Go to the meadow – You go to the meadow where you befriend a colony of ants and help them gather food until the potion wears off at which point you say goodbye to the ants, go back home and try another vial.

2H)

3V): Keep climbing – You finally reach the top of the stairs, at which point your cat comes along and pushes you all the way back down them. The potion wears off and nothing has changed.

3W): Look around for something to help you climb – You find a piece of string with a drawing pin pushed through that would make a perfect grappling hook for you at this height. You throw it up to the stairs and start to climb, but it wasn’t secured properly. You fall and hit your head on the stairs knocking yourself out until the potion wears off.

3X): Give up and go back to the table – You are too small to reach the table or climb the chair to try another vial. You must wait for the potion to wear off before you can reach anything.

2I)

3Y): Scream and crawl back out of the hole – You crawl back out of the hole and are covered in dust which makes you sneeze. For some reason with every sneeze you grow a bit until you are your own size again or a little bigger. For this to happen it must mean there’s something wrong with your mixture. You consult your books and try mixing the potion again.

3Z): Scream but stay where you are and hope the mice are scared away – The mice are scared away. Unfortunately they run away past you and the shock of having mice run over you makes you faint. When you awake you are your own size again but still stuck in the hole with no way of getting out unless you can shrink again.

3AA): Crawl towards the mice because you aren’t scared of mice. – You crawl towards the mice and listen to them. They are plotting to murder your pet cat! The plot involves one mouse putting some of your own sleeping potion in the cat’s food and pushing it down the stairs while it’s asleep. You rush out to get rid of the cat food before it can eat any. Unfortunately the cat is angry that you disposed of its food and instead the cat eats you.

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Books My Mother Gave Me: Well-Wishers (Edward Eager) Review

Published August 12, 2013 by ElisaChristy

Unlike the other books in this series, this one is written in first person, by all of the characters individually, as they all have their own chapter.

“Another rule is not to put in things that don’t mean anything and are just there to make it more exciting. Like saying, “There I stood, my heart beating.” Naturally your heart would be beating. Otherwise you wouldn’t be standing there; you’d be lying down dead.”

This book follows James, Lydia, Laura, Gordy and Deborah who were also in a book entitled Magic or Not? which is the one book in the series I never owned. It follows on from Magic or Not? though, as the children find a magic wishing well.

“Magic doesn’t seem at all like the kind that would be true, when you come to think of it. Still, neither do airplanes and electric lights and outer space.”

The magic in this book seems to be of a more ordinary variety. There are no quests to olden times, instead the wishes coming true could be seen as mere coincidence, but they would be quite big coincidences.

Through the wishes the children help a depressed young girl and reform the school bully.

While the changing of the viewpoint did annoy me slightly, though it didn’t as a child, it is done well. Each chapter has a distinctly different voice as it is written by different people, you don’t confuse them easily.

The main adventure of the book comes from a new family who want to move into town. There are a number of people who want to stop them. It is never explained why they do not want the family moving in, but reading it now, it seems kind of obvious. Although, it is left to the reader to decide why some people do not want the family moving in, the most likely reason seems to be because the family is black, but because this is never explained outright in the book, a younger reader might not make the connection. The book handles it well. The main characters are not against the family moving in, which is of course important, because when the book was written in 1960, racism was a big problem, and having the children on the side of the new family makes clear the moral of this book, which is don’t be upset with who you are.

“The books tell all about knights and musketeers rescuing beautiful damsels. But they never put in what Lancelot said to Elaine on the ride home.”

The last adventure seems as if it is a ‘proper’ adventure, with a girl locked in a tower by an ogre, however it soon turns out she was in fact grounded by her father and the children help her escape to meet her boyfriend at the cinema, but a gas leak at the cinema means she then actually does need rescuing making it a good updated damsel in distress adventure.

When I was younger, this was one of my favourite Edward Eager books, so I was surprised how much of it I had forgotten. Having read them all again I think I now prefer the The Time Garden but as this book is the only one with a clear moral at the end, it seems like a fitting end to the Edward Eager series.

Books My Mother Gave Me: The Time Garden (Edward Eager) Review

Published August 5, 2013 by ElisaChristy

This book was the Edward Eager book I remember the most from when I was a child, but reading it again, I seemed to have forgotten much more about the story than I thought I had, forgetting one of the main characters (the Natterjack) completely!

The book follows Roger, Ann, Jack and Eliza again, as they are sent to a house for the summer, while their parents work in London.

Jack has grown up since the last book, and is convinced they dreamt it. He would much rather spend his time chatting up girls than going on magical adventures.

“Anything can happen when you’ve all the time in the world.”

The garden of the house has various kinds of the herb thyme growing in it, and a sun dial  bearing a cryptic message. They meet the Natterjack – who looks like a toad but can talk and are sent back in time by the thyme, but only in time, not space, so the house still stands behind them, and they are in the middle of The War of Independence.

As it turns out there will be a battle that night, the children realise maybe they are the ones who have to make sure everyone is ready to fight, and that if they wern’t there it might not have happened.

They appear as people of olden times, to avoid them constantly being asked why they dress so oddly.

To have an adventure somewhere else, they take a load of the magic thyme in a box with them to Boston for the day and go to the house where Little Women was set. Of course, the children use a wish to take them back in time to meet some of the people from Louisa May Alcott’s book.

I have never read Little Women , but you are immersed into their world in such a way that it doesn’t really matter, as you understand everything that is going on anyway. Though I have never read Little Women, I remembered this adventure of theirs perfectly.

In the adventure they are sent to help a woman who is supposedly ill, but is really just lazy, while there, her child steals Ann’s ring and refuses to give it back, leading to an argument and the Natterjack turning into a dragon. I won’t say how, because you should read it. Maybe if this part had made it into Little Women, I’d have been more tempted to read that book as a child as well.

“Suppose you were up in an airplane. You could look down and see us, here on this beach, and you could see the Boston road, over beyond the woods, too. But it’d take us half an hour to walk from here to there. Time’s like that. It’s all there, Henry the Eighth and Lincoln and yesterday and today, all happening over and over all the time. Only it takes time to get from one to the other.”

This also explains how they met with their parents in Magic by The Lake. It isn’t done in the most obvious way, that is the children don’t wish to see their parents as children. They just wish to see their parents, but do not specify when. 

Once there, they realise who the other children are, this is done well, with many of the sentences being the exact same ones as in Magic by the Lake, but told from Roger, Jack, Eliza, and Ann’s point of view rather than the other children’s.

Back in the Time/Thyme garden. Jack and Eliza find Old English thyme, which should surely get them to their parents in London. To make this wish, they break the rules, and find themselves not only in Elizabethan England, but everyone notices they are not wearing Elizabethan clothes. Eliza is sent to the Tower of London, while Jack is made a palace guard.

Back in the present, Roger  and Ann realise they may be in trouble, and set out to save them, but this will use up the last of their magic.

They get sent back to Victorian times and go on a tour round the Tower of London, where they see the letters “E-L-I-Z” scratched into the wall, while there is a chance this is just someone called Elizabeth, it could also be their cousin Eliza, so they wish for her to be in their time.

“Even last times don’t last forever, you know.”

While I remembered liking this Edward Eager book the most from when I was younger, and could remember the adventure into the book Little Women and the adventure into Elizabethan England, there was a lot I had forgotten completely, so it was surprising to read about it as if for the first time.

This book may in fact be better to read yourself, rather than having it read to you as it was to me, because of the frequent mentions of time versus thyme, which of course cannot be fully noticed when said out loud.

Books my Mother Gave Me: Review of Half Magic (Edward Eager)

Published July 8, 2013 by ElisaChristy

One thing I always used to like about these books as a child, and still do, was that the protagonists hardly ever believed in magic. They knew magic is something that only happens in stories and somehow that made it more believable and therefore more likely to happen to me.

“I Sherlock Holmsed the rest”

Another way Half Magic is made more believable is when the characters talk about other books, such as The Enhanted Castle by E. Nesbit, or Alice in Wonderland and the red queen, it somehow makes it feel less like a story, or at least a story that is taking place in your world rather than some far away place.

The book follows four children Jane, Mark, Katharine and Martha when they find a magic charm on the pavement. At first their wishes all seem to go wrong, as they can’t figure out how it works – as the title would suggest, the charm gives you half of whatever you wish for, so to get your entire wish, you have to wish it doubly so.

“I wish that Carrie the cat may in future say nothing but the word music”

On accidentally wishing that the cat could talk – and then finding out it could now half talk – they attempt to get her to “mew” again, but instead the poor cat ends up saying “sic” instead.

When I was younger, I could never properly understand the two times wishing that the children did, because as they mention; it is maths and I was never any good at maths, so could never understand what I would have to wish for to get exactly what I wanted if the charm ever came to me, something which may have put me off this book when I was first read it.

“People always wish those in stories, and it never works out at all! They either fly to close to the sun and get burned, or end up crushed under all the money!”

The children in Half Magic are very practical, and as they have read many stories about magic wishes – as all children have of course – they know not to wish for money or flying or world peace because wishes have a habit of not happening exactly the way you want.

The children do wish for the general sorts of things you may find in a story about magic. They travel back in time to King Arthur, and on making wishes they learn they have to be careful because their wishes can have repurcussions – such as Katharine wishing she were fighting in a joust, but not wishing she knew how to joust.

“It was like a story she had read somewhere and half forgotten.”

Having a charm that grants you half your wishes may seem easy, but as all the children find out, people wish things they don’t really mean, whether it’s that you could forget about something or wishing you weren’t there as Martha does at the cinema.

The children’s mother also accidentally makes a wish, and finds herself halfway home, but as she is a grown-up she does not understand that what happened was magic and instead thinks she must have fainted, she gets taken home by a kindly gentleman, who we later learn is called Mr. Smith – Jane does not like Mr. Smith at first, because she is the only one of the children who can remember their father and does not want him to be replaced.

Jane wishes she were part of another family, but finds her new family is nowhere near as fun as the old one, so she is rescued and restored to her rightful family by Mr. Smith, then she accepts him.

“Naturally you have to believe in magic – otherwise if it starts happening to you all sanity is despaired of!”

The story ends with a happy ending  though I won’t say what – and the charm stops working for them as it has done what it came to do, they give it to another little girl, but don’t tell her you have to wish for things twice as much, because they think that is something you are supposed to figure out for yourself.

While I am sure this was not my favourite book I was read as a child – probably because of the maths -, it was one of the ones I remembered the most  the image of a cat destined to say “sic” forever never failed to amuse me at six. Now I have read it again for myself, I think despite the fact it’s a children’s story about magic – as so many children’s books are – Edward Eager’s writing makes it very believable and therefore much more likely to happen to you, if you believe in magic.