Before Amsterdam, there was London:
A city full of shady business.
Nan and Anaïs loved London. It was such a vibrant city.
If there was one place in the world where you could let your hair down, it was the British capital. There was so much to do. In the few short months they had been there, they had painted the city purple more times than they could remember. However, this time Anaïs knew she had overstepped the mark. She had gone too far.
Nan sighed. ’Anaïs, why have you turned that cat purple?’
‘I just wanted to see if I could do it,’ said Anaïs.
The caretaker inhaled deeply through her nostrils. ‘Anaïs, you may be in the body of a five-year-old, but you don’t have to act like one. Animals should never be toyed with. It’s cruel.’
‘But—,’ stammered the little witch.
‘No buts, the fun’s over,’ said Nan sternly. ‘Change it back now.’
‘I can’t,’ said the little witch and shoved her hands in her pockets.
The caretaker folded her arms. ’Why not?’
Anaïs shuffled her feet nervously and avoided looking at her caretaker. ‘It will have to wear off.’
‘How long will that take?’
‘I don’t know,’ said Anais sheepishly, staring at the ground and dropping her shoulders. ‘I didn’t ask him.’
‘Him!’ exclaimed the caretaker. ‘I told you not to see him again without me.’
‘I didn’t see him,’ said Anais defensively. ‘He sent it by courier.’
‘That’s it, no more computer privileges for you.’ The caretaker knotted her brow. ‘Or did you use your promptuary?’
Anaïs continued to eye the ground.
‘Great! Next time I have contact with the Organisation, I’ll ask them if there is any way to block some of its functions.’
Sulking, Anaïs glanced up at her caretaker. ‘Fine,’ she mumbled. ‘I won’t contact him without asking you.’
‘That’s better,’ said Nan. ‘Now, what are we going to do about the cat?’
The animal look forlornly at its fur. It could not see purple but was definitely aware its coat had acquired a different shade. It licked the knuckle of its paw and examined it for any change. Disappointed at the outcome, It pulled a pitiful face at the two women.
‘Sorry,’ said Anaïs to the cat. She bent to pick it up. The animal sprang out of her reach and shot off around the corner.
‘Fantastic!’ cried the caretaker. ‘Now you’ve scared it away!’
‘I told you, it will wear off, Nan,’ said Anaïs.
‘I hope you’re right. What if its owner decides to take it to a vet or something?’
‘How did you do it anyway?’
Anaïs pulled a small atomiser out of her pocket. ‘With this, it’s a spray.’ She waved it in front of the caretaker’s face.
Nan threw up her hands in defence. ‘Don’t point it at me!’
‘Jeez Nan! It’s not a weapon,’ Anaïs retorted.
‘I wouldn’t be so sure of that. Give it here!’
Reluctantly, Anaïs conceded and handed the little bottle to the caretaker.
‘Thank you,’ said Nan. She dropped the atomiser in her coat pocket. Dusting her hands she checked to see if they had changed colour. She narrowed her eyes at the little witch. ‘Don’t do it again, okay?’
Anaïs shook her head. ‘I won’t.’
Nan regarded the witch, not entirely convinced. ‘Good,’ she said. ‘At least I think so. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, though.’
Anaïs nodded. She sighed. ‘I’m bored. What are we going to do?’
‘Anaïs I can’t entertain you all the time. But I can see that if I don’t keep an eye on you, you will get into even more trouble.’
Anaïs’s shoulders slumped in submission.
The caretaker took a deep breath. ‘I did have a surprise for you, but now I’m not so sure we should do it.’
The witch’s interest was sparked. ‘C’mon Nan, please tell me? I’ll be good.’
‘I have tickets to a concert.’
‘I got them the legitimate way. They cost a fortune. Otherwise, I probably would decided we shouldn’t go.’ She narrowed her eyes again. ‘I’m still not sure I can trust you. Or that you deserve it for that matter.’
The little witch begged her. ‘Nan please tell me.’
The caretaker brought a finger to her lips. ‘Shh—give me a moment, please? I still have to decide whether it’s worth the risk.’
‘The risk of you screwing up things.’
Anais pursed her lips. The caretaker eyeballed her and waited, letting her simmer in silence. Deciding the witch had waited long enough Nan pulled two bookmark-sized sheets of thin white cardboard out of her coat pocket. She showed them to Anaïs. ’I have tickets to the Rolling Stones.’
Anaïs looked at the tickets, disappointed. ‘The Rolling Stones?’
The caretaker looked hurt. ‘I thought you’d be pleased. You told me you liked some of the songs I played for you?’
‘I do, but aren’t they a bit old?’
‘Who, the Stones? Old? Sure, they’re not as young as they used to be but I’m certain they can still put on a great show.’
‘If you say so,’ said Anaïs, taking a ticket from the caretaker.
‘I thought you’d be more excited,’ said Nan.
‘It’s ok, I suppose.’
‘Good, then we’ll go, but you must promise to be on your best behaviour. I’d like to enjoy the concert without having to worry about you.’
‘Worry about me? You don’t have to worry about me.’ Anaïs winked and smiled at the caretaker. ‘I’ll be an angel.’
Nan rolled her eyes. ‘I doubt it.’ She looked down the street. ‘First things first, we need to sort out your current magical mishap. Come on, let’s see if we can find that cat.’