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“You have to stop doing that,” said Mr Marsden, a touch of irritation now in his voice.
“Doing what?” asked Ayls.
“Telling me what spell I have used, it’s very disconcerting you know.”
“Oh, I didn’t think of that. You want me to do as you are asking which is fine by the way, but I have this sense of magic about me, and I can detect a spell as soon as you apply it.”
“I don’t understand how you could do that,” said an increasingly frustrated Mr Marsden.
“Well you remember me saying mum was a bit of a witch, well it comes from that knowledge. I don’t know why but I was always aware of what mum was doing. It helped that mum rarely applied a spell. The first one I remember was when I was a baby and mum had had a tough day at work, and I wouldn’t settle for the night, and she used a sleeping spell on me. I slept well, but I was aware of the spell. As I got older, it became easier. Drives her crazy when I jump a step in front of her when she’s casting something.”
“I can imagine,” said Mr Marsden chuckling to himself imaging Ayls’ mother’s frustration and at the same time gaining a clearer understanding of what might be making Ayls tick.
Her abilities were indeed profound, and Mr Marsden was at a bit of a loss to understand what he might be able to do.
Ayls was curious there was no doubt. She wandered about his house picking up things, looking inside the multitude of containers lining his shelves, reading the spines of the many books on his shelves, and touching his spell volumes with great reverence.
Mr Marsden was concerned that Ayls and her ability in one so young could land her in more trouble than anyone wanted to think about. Maybe he thought it best if he did not practice any magic around her as there was little point in hiding it from her.
“Let’s go into the garden,” he announced thinking the garden would be a good place to teach her the consequences of dabbling foolishly in magic.
He led the way out his back door and towards the container which by now was overgrown with a very healthy jasmine whose aroma from the multitude of flowers it produced gave Ayls a rather heady experience. Basically, she breathed in the fragrance, and her head did the rest.
They passed the geraniums who by now had been moved to a spot outside the container as their provocative nature was creating a sour mood among the less provocative and more conservative plants. They did, however, wolf-whistle Ayls as she went by which induced a giggle from her and a pout during which she said: “And the same to you.”
“Ignore them,” said Mr Marsden, “They are a reason for having you out here. They are the result of what happens when you mix the plants with an inappropriate potion.”
“What potion was that Mr Marsden?” asked Ayls as one geranium swirled and rubbed a very seductive red bloom against her leg to which Ayls screamed and stepped back.
“As it turned out, Love Potion No 4, which I have since discontinued but it appears to be having a lifelong effect on the geraniums,” said Mr Marsden as collectively their winked their petals at him.
At that, he ushered Ayls inside the container where the plants inside collectively made a deafening cacophony what with their singing, their arguments and the protestations of the Peace Lilies urging restraint, peace and harmony.
As they entered the container the heads of every plant turned at once towards Ayls.