A Short Excerpt From Penelope Parker: Witch In Training”

This is just a short excerpt from my novel, to give you a taste of what is to come.


Penelope soared
through silver filigree clouds set in a cobalt sky. Off in the distance she
could see a prism of colour glowing in the night. Looking down, she was
astonished to see herself astride Hec’s back; a Hec with wings!
“What are you
staring at?” came a familiar voice in her head. “Haven’t you ever seen a cat
with wings before?”
“Err…no,” said
Penelope, somewhat taken aback at the turn things seemed to have taken.
“Well, for your
information, I’m a cat-bird,” said Hec. “It comes from my father’s side back
ten generations or so. Every two or three litters one of us is born, and it’s
no joke, I assure you!”
“I didn’t mean
to insult you,” stammered Penelope. “I was just very startled. It’s the first
time I’ve ever seen you with wings, you know. I think they’re beautiful!” And
indeed they were. Feathers of iridescent blue edged with silver, quite a
magnificent sight!
hrrumphed Hec, “I suppose I forgive you. You are the daughter of the Arch
Wizard after all.”
“Are you deaf,
girl? I said you are the daughter of the Arch Wizard. It’s him we’re going to
see, you know.”
“Umm…why is he
called the Arch Wizard?” asked Penelope.
“Good gracious,
girl, you are full of questions, aren’t you? He will tell you himself if he
sees fit. Now, be quiet and watch where you’re going.”
            Penelope rather thought it was Hec
who should watch where she was going, but she wisely said nothing and turned
her attention to the landscape below. It was dominated by the light of the
prism, and was a desolate landscape indeed. Dead tree stumps, foul looking
pools of stagnant water, and things moving around she didn’t want to look too
closely at.
            Shivering, she pulled her cardigan
tighter around her, realizing the air was freezing cold. She wondered how on
earth she got here. The last thing she remembered was being on the train with
her mother. Remembering that, she also remembered the gift from her father.
Looking around her, and being an observant child, she saw, with a catch in her
breath, that the clouds resembled the silver filigree work on the box, as did
the sky resemble the box’s colour. Looking ahead, her eyes widened as the prism
came ever closer. It looked just like the prism she had seen in the centre of
the crystal ball! What on earth could it mean? Just as this and other questions
started to collide in her head, she jumped and grabbed the nearest thing she
could, which just happened to be the scruff of Hecate’s neck.
“Sorry, Hec, but
you startled me, diving like that!”
“Rrowww! Silly
girl. Wouldn’t have fallen!”

            As this last was said, Hec swooped
in for a perfect four-paw landing in front of the prism, shaking her beautiful
wings and folding them against her side, whereupon they promptly dissolved into
her fur.

About Susan McCaskill

Susan (or Sue, as she prefers to be called), was born in post war England, and lived there until the age of nine, when she and her mother emigrated to Canada. Her father died when she was nine, and left a huge impression on her. Both her parents encouraged her to read, and learn. She has always believed in fairies and elves, and probably always will, and as a child, she saw things many others didn't, and as a result she was thought to be a little strange.

Sue currently lives on beautiful Vancouver Island with her husband and three demanding cats.

Although she has been in Canada for so many years, she still misses the English and Welsh countryside, and because of this, her novel is based in the ancient, picturesque town of Betws-Y-Coed.

About herself, she says:

"I think I was born a writer, and got more confidence thanks to my grade five teacher, who was wonderful, and fostered my love for writing. I didn't write for almost 40 years, because of raising kids, life happenings, the usual drama. I started again sporadically ten years ago, and finished my first Mid Grade fantasy in 2013. Currently working on book 2.

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