I have written a story about Old Mother Charm before, which is necessary reading
to find out the background of the witch. You can find this story here.
However this is a completely different story, though it might be hard to understand
without reading the first.
Landri and Dayon slowly walked up the pathway to Old
Mother Charm's door. Landri, a small spotted Kougra, was chatting and giggling
excitedly as usual, but Dayon, a tall silver Zafara, was silent. This wasn't
the first time he had gone to visit the witch, but he was much more nervous
than his big sister.
"I can't believe this witch saved my life,"
Landri was saying. "I mean if she hadn't given you that potion, I probably wouldn't
be here today."
"Yeah…" Dayon said vaguely, his mind elsewhere.
"You're not listening, are you?" Landri asked,
amused. Her brother smiled sheepishly.
"Sorry," he said. "I'm just a bit worried, that's
all. Oh here we are, shall I knock?" He rapped on the door with his paw, and
immediately Old Mother Charm appeared in the doorway.
She was a small, wizened old Chia with large
grey hair and a grey battered cloak, and on her shoulder a Frogarott perched.
It burped as a message of welcome.
"Good afternoon," Old Mother Charm said, looking
very tired. "I am pleased to see you again Dayon, I knew you would be back.
And I take it this is your sister Landri?" She eyed them closely. "Come in,
come in." She stepped backwards for them to enter, and Dayon followed Landri
up the corridor into the familiar living room.
It was just the same as last time, with its
towering bookcase and simmering cauldron in the corner. The Chia witch followed
them and brought out stools for them to sit on, before she sat down herself
on a moth-eaten old couch.
"I just came to say thank you for rescuing me,"
Landri said politely. "That potion you made -- well I would have died otherwise.
You are very kind."
"I am glad my pathetic life has some use at
least," Old Mother Charm smiled sadly, before looking down at the floor. "I
am glad to see you're looking well."
"What's wrong?" Dayon asked quietly, staring
at the witch. "Please don't say that nothing is the matter, because I can tell."
She sighed heavily.
"I know child," she said simply. "You are one
of the best empathisers I know. You are good at interpreting emotions."
"Meaning what?" Landri demanded, who couldn't
understand big words. "Sorry, I'm a bit stupid."
"No you're not," Old Mother Charm said sharply.
"Don't put yourself down. I mean that he's good at telling how people feel inside.
"Well my problem has no solution- at least not
that I can think of." I don't know if you have heard of the company NeoShoe
Deluxe? You probably have, it's huge. Well anyway, they are moving to this part
of town and need some building blocks for working. There is little spare land
around here, so my home is going to be knocked down to make way for their new
factory." She glanced around her bitterly. "It's not much here, but it's all
I have. It pains me to know I will have to leave it forever."
"That's awful!" Landri gasped. "They can't do
that, can they?"
"Yes they can," the witch said grimly. "I don't
own this hut, I only moved here when I was homeless. They can do whatever they
want, and I'm being turned out this Saturday."
"Is there nothing we can do?" Dayon asked quietly.
"No," she answered, shaking her head. "The boss,
a certain Mr. Sanwell, as he calls himself, is a rogue and a monster. He takes
no pity. There are some things I could tell you about him that would shock you
"Tell us," Landri urged.
"No," Old Mother Charm said firmly. "It is none
of my business really, and I am not supposed to use my powers to that sort of
use. Forget it."
"We'll try and help in any way we can," Dayon
promised. "It's time for us to head home, but I am determined to try and solve
"Thank you," Old Mother Charm said sadly. "But
I really think it's hopeless…"
"Good morning girls and boys of Neopia," the headmaster announced to the rowdy
assembly hall. Immediately a silence fell on the crowds of pets- even Landri
stopped talking. "We have a visitor today- he's the Chairman of the famous company
NeoSchool deluxe, and he's going to be doing a talk on the changes happening
around Neopia soon. Please welcome- Mr. Sanwell!" Everybody clapped politely
as a large green Skeith took to the stage.
He was rather fat and wearing a pinstriped suit
with a large bowler hat that balanced precariously on his head; he carried a
leather suitcase despite the fact he didn't need it, and he had a smug grin
on his face that made Dayon hate him straight away.
"Hello children," he said greedily, contorting
his face into a smile that almost looked like a grimace. "I am sure you will
have heard of my company, it makes shoes all around Neopia and has sold millions.
Indeed, even Princess Fernypoo is rumoured to wear our brand!" He paused expectantly,
waiting for applause. A few people in the back row clapped once and stopped.
"Thank you, thank you," he continued. "Yes, as I was saying, we're very popular.
We're going to move in around here and build a factory, so we can sell you our
lovely footwear. Isn't that great?" He grinned toothily, once again expecting
applause, only this time not one person even bothered. "Well there is little
land around here, and so we're going to build it on the edge of the forest.
I know this is the home of an old crone, and so we are afraid she has to be
moved away." Everybody began talking loudly at this point -- everyone hated
Old Mother Charm, but only because they feared her.
"Does this mean she's moving away from our town?"
one loud pet shouted out in the front row.
"We don't know for sure," Mr. Sanwell answered.
"But we hope so, yes." Most people in the crowd started cheering. Dayon felt
sickened. "She's very strange isn't she? She's being "kicked out" so to speak,
at 2PM NST tomorrow -- you may all watch if you like." This time the whole crowd
erupted in applause and laughter, cheering and excited joy. Dayon and Landri
remained defiantly in their seats as everyone began racing up and down- this
was not a cause for celebration.
I'll have to go see this Mr. Sanwell,
Dayon thought. Before it's too late.
After assembly Landri and Dayon rushed up to
Mr. Sanwell, who was looking at some files in his suitcase.
"Err… sir?" Dayon asked timidly. "These plans?"
"Yes? Marvellous aren't they?" Mr. Sanwell beamed.
"If that's all you have to say, then scram, I'm very busy."
"We want you to stop!" Landri frowned. "Look,
that Chia is old and she'll have nowhere to go."
"Think I care?" Mr. Sanwell growled. "All that
matters to me is the land is clear for the factory. And it seems everyone hates
the woman… gives me publicity."
"You're evil," Landri glared.
"Yeah, yeah," Mr. Sanwell sneered. "Whatever.
I have things to do."
"You're a cruel and heartless man," Dayon said
quietly. Mr. Sanwell said nothing. Landri and Dayon walked away, leaving the
That boy's strange, he thought to himself.
It's like he can almost sense my feelings… Shaking those thoughts away,
he carried on with his work.
That night Landri sat in Dayon's bedroom with
him, discussing the events. Dayon was trying to do his homework, but his mind
was elsewhere. Landri was browsing her current favourite book, Evil Plots for
Beginners, both of them chatting to one another.
"Poor Old Mother Charm," Dayon said. "Mum will
let her stay with us for a while, but she can't stay forever. She'll need to
find somewhere else to live."
"It's hopeless," Landri answered. "Sure Mum
will let her sleep here for a while, but not for long. The old witch has so
many things too! Like her cauldron and all her spell stuff…" Landri turned a
page, and then let out a small scream. "Dayon, look at this!"
Dayon peered over her shoulder at the book,
Evil Plots For Beginners. On the page was a small picture of a large green Skeith
with a sneering face and squashed nose. It was Mr. Sanwell. Both of them read
the text underneath the photo:
Edward Vil happens to be one of the best plotters in Neopia's history.
Brought up in Haunted Woods, Mr. E. Vil had an unhappy childhood, but was
extremely intelligent. He was always playing tricks on people. As he got older,
he decided he wanted to become a trader on the black market industry of Neopia.
He attempted to steal two hundred Neggs from the Neggery, but was caught at
the last minute. His escape was legendary; he managed to trick the police
and wormed his way out of the situation, before fleeing and never being seen
again. Nobody knows of his whereabouts, and it is believed he has changed
his name. Mr. E. Vil has been looked up to for many years and there have been
hundreds of copycats attempting to do the crime he never completed.
"Can you believe it?" Landri whispered. "That's
Mr. Sanwell -- or should we say Edward Vil! He must have changed his name…"
"Landri," Dayon said suddenly. "I have a plan…"
"Welcome ladies and gentleman," Mr. Sanwell's voice boomed over the loudspeaker.
"For a long time, people in this town have lived in fear of this witch. Now
you can watch as she is kicked out of this town, and her little hut is knocked
down thanks to this machine!" He pointed to the large machine behind him that
was going to destroy Old Mother Charm's home.
Thousands upon thousands of people had gathered
to see Old Mother Charm's misery. Landri and Dayon stood at the front of the
crowds, glancing at each other nervously.
"You ready sis?" Dayon asked. She nodded, and
he turned and ran away, eager to do his part of the plan to help the witch.
"I expect you're all eager to see the witch
leave!" Mr. Sanwell shouted and the crowd cheered. "This is the part where I,
"Don't you mean Edward Vil!" Landri's voice
shouted. She had climbed up onto the wooden platform where a dumbfounded Skeith
stood. The crowd went silent.
"This is Edward Vil, evil crook and criminal
on the run!" Landri shouted.
"Don't be stupid little girl!" Mr. Sanwell said,
panicking. "Complete nonsense, really don't know -- er that is, well-"
"The girl is right," Old Mother Charm croaked,
stepping out of her hut. The Frogarott on her shoulder burped loudly and glared
at Mr. Sanwell. "See, even Warty can tell you're a fraud!" The witch shouted.
The crowd gasped.
"That's right!" grinned Landri. "And my marvellous
brother Dayon has Neomailed the Neopian Police, so you can look forward to a
lifetime in prison!"
At that moment a police came and Dayon arrived
also, looking expectant. Three Chia policemen and women got out looking pleased.
"Why hello, old friend," one of them smiled.
"You've put on a right goose chase, I can tell you. I'm glad to see you
again. Grab him guys." Two of them seized a fighting Mr. Sanwell (or Mr. E.
Vil, whichever you prefer) and threw him into the police wagon.
"Let me out!" he wailed.
"No chance sonny," one of them glared. "You
won't see the light of Neopian day for a couple of years, I can tell you that
As the wagon left, all the thousands of people
started clapping and cheering. Dayon blushed violently as he and his sister
were hoisted onto the stage. Old Mother Charm was waiting there.
"Well done both of you," she smiled. "And thank
you. You have both shown remarkable talent at such a young age."
"It's okay," Dayon said. "I'm going now though,
I'm a bit shy of crowds." He grinned sheepishly and walked away, heading for
home. Landri stayed to chat to the witch.
"This is Warty," Old Mother Charm introduced
the Frogarott. "He is a bit shy."
"I am not, dear woman," the Frogarott spoke
in a strangely articulate English accent. "What rot. I have just been watching
the events." He burped again.
"I didn't know Petpets can speak," Landri exclaimed,
"They can't usually," Old Mother Charm explained.
"But Warty is a familiar to me, and can speak. He picked up his accent from
a toad I once knew. Don't ask," Old Mother Charm said, before Landri could.
"I have far too many stories to tell you."
"That brother of yours," Warty said. "He's jolly
clever, isn't he? He's special, I have no doubt."
"Yes," Landri agreed. "I don't really understand
him. I don't think anyone does."
"Someone does," Old Mother Charm said. "Look
out for him, Landri. Things will be happening soon -- strange things. You won't
be able to stop them, but help him when you can. Goodbye, young Kougra. We shall
speak again soon." And with a last goodbye burp from Warty, Old Mother Charm
vanished into thin air.