Magic and Mayhem….

12 Apr

Today on the GSP Wee Folk Promo another relelase in the Jason series from Violetta Antcliff, Magic and Mayhem.


Jason thinks he is going mad when he meets a talking cat, and a man who insists he is really a Genie. With the help of his best mate Wayne, Jason goes in search of a missing lamp and finds himself in troubles of the worst kind. An evil Hobgoblin, a Witches broomsticks and a Wizard’s book of magic spells, are just some of the things the boys’ find themselves up against. Could this dangerous escapade possibly be the chums’ last?


Chapter One
                                                      A Bizarre Encounter

Jason had a strange feeling something was about to happen. He didn’t know what it was, or why he should be worried, but he was.

Sitting on the back doorstep with his hands over his ears, he tried to shut out the sound of a whispered argument taking place between his sister Alison, and her friend Tracy. He knew the squabbling was nothing more than a power struggle taking place as to who should be the one to push little Emily Louise’s pram, when they took her for a walk.

He was in a bad mood, it wasn’t only the constant bickering he’d had enough of, it was the way everybody tiptoed around the house talking in whispers since the new baby had arrived. He glanced over at the shiny new pram and the newcomer sleeping so utterly contented and peacefully in it, and grudgingly had to admit she really did look sweet. Nevertheless, he reminded himself with a scowl, she was the one to blame for all the sleepless nights he had to put up with, plus the fact that he now took second place in the family. And if that wasn’t enough, he was sick and tired of listening to all the cooing and baby talk that went on. He had never been so down in the dumps, and just when he could have done with his friend being around, he had to be at the dentist having a brace fitted.

“Mum,” he shouted through the open back door. “I’m off to see Gran, do you want me to take anything?” The only answer he received was a chorus of shush, a warning to keep his voice down so as not to disturb the baby. “It comes to something when I’m not even allowed to open my mouth,” he grumbled.

The girls finally reached an agreement as to who was going to do the pram pushing, and Alison was the one with the biggest grin on her face.

Jason dragged himself to his feet. “I’m going,” he called needlessly, and without a backward glance, mooched off.

Slump-shouldered, he ambled along trying to remember what it had been like before the new baby arrived. Grumpily he chewed over the fact that as it was mild, sunny, and the first day of a mid-term holiday, if it hadn’t been for little Emily Louise, the whole family would most probably have been on a day trip out somewhere by now.

He couldn’t shake off the sense of foreboding he woke up with. A dented Coke tin in the gutter got the benefit of the toe of his trainer. Hands in pockets, he stood watching as it clattered noisily down the deserted street.

“Mind what you’re doing, you big bully. You nearly did me an injury then.”

“Did somebody say something?” he cried.

“I did. What’s the matter, are you going deaf?”

Jason peeked over the garden wall of the house he was standing next to, but apart from a dog snoozing with its nose on its paws in the shade, he could see no one.

“All right Wayne, you can come out; I know it’s you,” he yelled and waited for his pal to pop out from his place of hiding. But the street remained deserted and eerily quiet. He quickly walked on.

“Going anywhere interesting?”

Lightening fast, Jason spun round hoping to catch the phantom joker, but all he saw were two pigeons squabbling over a crust of bread, and the cat he’d seen earlier, sat on the pavement edge scratching itself. “Don’t worry I’ve not got fleas,” it said through a stifled yawn.

Although the voice sounded as if it was coming from the animal, Jason refused to believe it. “All right, come out, come out, whoever you are; you can’t kid me, you’re a ventriloquist aren’t you? You’ve been throwing your voice. I was fooled for a bit but not anymore, so you might as well come out and show yourself.” Jason stood grim-faced and waited for the culprit to appear.

“Who are you waiting for kid?” The cat rubbed itself round his ankles.

“I’ll give you this much,” shouted Jason, “you’re good, and if I didn’t know any better I’d say it was this mangy old moggy talking.”

“Who are you calling a mangy old moggy?”

“Scram.” He shooed the cat away, but it refused to go. Determined to find out who the guilty party was, Jason strode resolutely down the road looking over hedges, peering through gates, and spinning round at unexpected moments. When he’d walked the length of the road one side, he continued his search on the other. Baffled, and no nearer solving the mystery, he shook his head and flopped down on the pavement edge, his feet in the gutter. “It’s all these sleepless nights I’ve been having,” he mumbled to no one in particular. “Either that, or I’m going daft.”

“Stop making excuses and accept the fact it’s me talking to you.”

Crouched as he was, Jason slowly turned his head until he was on eye level with the cat. Any doubts he’d had about his sanity before, he felt were now fully justified. Mouth gaping, eyes glazed, he watched spellbound as the animal’s mouth opened, and closed in perfect synchronization to the spoken words. This was just one coincidence too many for him, and in blind panic he scrambled to his feet and belted down the road, running faster and harder than he had ever run before. It wasn’t until he was standing outside his grandparent’s house panting for breath that he stopped, leaned on the garden gate, and gulped in air. Doubled over he massaged his side to ease the pain of a stitch.

“You got battery-operated trainers on your feet, kid? It took me all my time to keep up with you.”

“A-a-a-h-h!” Jason yelled and stared in horror at the cat that had not only followed him, but now sat coolly licking its paws, washing behind its ears and he could have sworn, grinning at him.

Not bothering to close the gate, he raced up the path and hammered with both fists on the front door. He heard his grandmother tutting in annoyance as she turned the key and fumbled with the door chain. Come on, come on, hurry up and let me in, he urged silently.

His gran came to the door with flour on her hands and a scowl on her face. “Haven’t I told you before about using the front door?” she asked. “I was in the middle of taking a tray of jam tarts out of the oven when you started trying to beat it down, I thought somebody had been murdered.” She brushed a smudge of flour from her cheek before pausing to look at him. “You’re out of breath, sweaty and you’ve got dark circles under your eyes. Are you feeling all right?” She asked, placing a cool, floury hand on his forehead.

“I’m fine, Gran, honest. I’ve just been running, that’s all.”

“Why? Has somebody been chasing you?”

Jason recognized the glint in his gran’s eye, but he knew the last thing he was going to tell her was he’d been running away from a talking cat. “No one’s been chasing me, honest. I’ve taken up jogging that’s all; I’ve heard it’s good for you,” he said and began to jog on the spot.

“Not if it makes you look like that it isn’t, so stop it this instant and take yourself inside where it’s nice and cool. I’ll get you a glass of lemonade and if you behave yourself I might even give you a jam tart.” She ushered him into the house, replaced the chain and locked the door.

A cold drink and time to collect his thoughts sounded like heaven to Jason. But he wasn’t prepared for the surprise that was waiting for him when he entered the living room. Knocked for six, mouth gapping, he stood and stared at the cat curled up on his granddad’s favourite chair as if he had every right to be there.

But sleeping peacefully as it was, it looked no different from any other cat and Jason began to suspect it was just lack of sleep, he was suffering from. “Puss, I said puss, can you hear me?” he whispered.

At that moment his gran entered the room carrying a glass of lemonade in one hand, and plate of jam tarts in the other. She set them down on a coffee table in front of him. “Who’s that you’re talking to?” she asked.

“Just a cat,” replied Jason, taking a tart from the plate and biting into it.

“Now, how did that get in here?” Jason’s gran shook her head in disbelief. “I know I didn’t leave any doors open.” She leaned forward and cautiously stroked the sleeping tom’s head, receiving a body-vibrating purr in reward. “You poor thing,” she cooed picking it up and cradling it in her arms. “I can feel every bone in your body.”

A pitiful meow trembled in the air and the cat nuzzled its head under her chin. With one paw round the woman’s neck, the other resting on her shoulder, it lifted its head and winked at Jason.

The wink was just too much of a coincidence for Jason. “I’d put it down if I were you, Gran,” he said. “It could have worms.”

Although the cat hadn’t said a word since it had followed him into the house, he was worried that if it did start talking while his gran was holding it, it might give her a heart attack. “Put it down, Gran,” he insisted. “It could have fleas as well.”

Jason’s grandmother peered at the cat’s head, before planting a kiss on a tuft of white fur between its ears and declaring, “There’s nothing wrong with this cat a good feed won’t put right. I don’t know who you belong to, puss, but I know a plate full of leftover chicken pieces won’t do you any harm.” She strode purposefully through to the kitchen, the cat purring at full throttle in her arms.

Jason shook his head in disbelief. Although the cat had behaved itself since coming into the house, he still didn’t feel he could trust it. Warily, he poked his head round the kitchen door and saw that the cat was tucking into a plate overflowing with chicken pieces, and his gran was in the middle of skimming the cream from a bottle of gold top into a dish.

Feeling in need of a drink himself, he went back for his glass of lemonade and bottomed it. Less than ten minutes later the cat waddled to the front door, and stood there meowing long and loud.

About the author:

Violetta Antcliff has been a member of the Nottingham Writers’ Club for the best part of Twenty years. She is the winner of numerous short story competitions and was area short listed in Waterstone’s WOW factor story competition. She took first prize in Nottingham short story competition with a story called Irish Mouse Tales and has read her poetry and short stories on local radio



One Response to “Magic and Mayhem….”

  1. chalaedra April 12, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    Reblogged this on Chalaedra's Weblog and commented:

    Jason finds out for himself why one should always be careful what he wishes for. Magic and Mayhem, a short story by Violetta Antcliff. Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, other fine eBook vendors and Gypsy Shadow Publishing at:

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