There was a loud popping sound, followed by a heavy thump.
The kitchen had been silent and empty. Now a witch was sprawled across the oor. Her hat was crooked, and her long hair stuck out as if she’d been electri ed. In one hand she was still holding a book of spells. The pages were smoking at the corners.
‘Oh!’ the witch cried out. She used her sleeves to pat the book until the smoking stopped. Then she stood up and looked around the room.
A moment earlier, Witch Gem had been at school, practising her travelling spells. But she did not seem to be at school any more. She was standing in a strange, empty house. Gem wiped at her knees, which were covered in dust and grime.
‘Where am I?’ she said.
Her voice echoed off the walls. The kitchen was small and cosy. There was a wood stove in the corner, just as dusty as the oor. The stone sink was green with mildew. Old pots and pans hung from hooks on the walls. Spiders hurried along the ceiling beams, and the windows were covered with cobwebs. Gem could see that the cottage had been empty for a long time.
She placed her spell book carefully on the dirty dining table, checking for smoke. Her travelling spell must have gone wrong somehow, Gem realised. She had only meant to magic herself from one classroom to another.