“Where are the car keys?” I shouted upstairs, as I was trying to find them in the bowl in the hall where they should be in the first place. I was absolutely furious. I was going to be late.
“You are not taking the car. Simple.” Janine stood upstairs, looking me down, literally. She always looked authoritative, no matter what. Like now, her bathrobe barely hiding her centuries-old pyjamas.
“What are you trying to suggest? Should I teleport myself or what? I will look like I have no manners at all!” I objected. She had to be kidding me.
“Hey, no need to be shouting. I am sure it will be all right.” Arlene the Peacemaker emerged from the kitchen door. I almost expected her to offer a cup of hot chocolate straight away. She didn’t have any.
“Arlene, it’s bloody 50 miles. I need to be there by midnight. I simply can’t run it as a cat, I would be dead by the time I made it there.” I tried to sound reasonable.
“Just use the broom,” Janine said sternly. She didn’t move towards us, simple humans on the ground floor. No, she would use the advantage of three meters to stare us down, as if we were little kids.
“You see, Georgie? Here is your solution. Use a broom.” Arlene smiled at me encouragingly. In her simple world, the problem was solved. Janine won. Not so easy girl, you might have won the battle, but the war is still on. And I am going to win that.
“What broom?” I asked innocently. You want to play tricks with me? Here I am. The youngest child, unaware of the dangers of the big world. Or whatever." Arlene looked at Janine. Janine looked back at me. You see now.
“The broom,” Janine repeated.
“Oh, you mean the heritage, 300-year-old broom, made out of willow branches cut by the full moon, lovingly handcrafted, cherished by the generations of witches in our coven broom?” I asked, my sweet voice could give you sugar overdose. Janine nodded. The bitch. She forgot.
“Oh, where are thou, you beloved broom?” I lifted my hands dramatically as if I was calling it from far, far away. Which I was, because as both me and Janine knew, that broom was far, far away indeed. As far as where Janine forgot it last year and it ended up going up in a bonfire, that far away. Of course, what Janine didn’t think of, was first: I would never bother to replace it—that’s why I have a car; second, I would never bother to tell Arlene, because although she was the Peacemaker, she would kill us both on the spot.
“Where is the broom?” Arlene asked coldly. Janine was now standing next to us, trying to look innocent. She was not good at it.
“At repair,” said the voice of reason. Well, it would take quite a significant repair to get that broom back, but I didn’t argue. I did feel like I was getting at the thin ice myself. After all, I backed her up when she lost it.
“Repair. Hm,” Arlene mused.
“Oh, but Georgie could just use the new one, couldn’t she?” Janine enthusiastically offered. To prove her point, she took out the broom from the cleaning cabinet under the stairs. We all looked at the broom. There was nothing special about it. It was standard, mass-produced, plastic broom you can buy at any corner shop.
“Janine, why do you insist that Georgie takes the broom again?” Ah, the voice of Peacemaker.
“Because it is a traditional way of transport and we are a traditional coven?” Janine said, way too mechanically. I bet she wished she’d just let me take the car in the first place. I could see Arlene thinking, examining both me and Janine like we were small children. Maybe I won the war, but we were really close to the world apocalypse.
“You know what? You are right. We are traditional. And eco-friendly. I am just going as a cat.” I backed up, salvaging my bare life. Janine could deal with the situation herself. She should have let me take the car in the first place.