Title: The Thirteenth Hour

Chapter 4

A Night Out

Ivan went up the stairs to his room, he knew she was in there, even before he reached for the door knob. This time he just shrugged, opened the door quickly and shut it. "How's it go'in" he said nonchalantly, or at least he hoped it sounded like that, to the pointy hatted figure standing in the middle of his room complete in her black cloak.

"The broom," she blurted out, "Have you got the broom? Did you fix it?" "The broom?" he thinks to himself confused for a minute and then remembers, "Umm…oh yeah… that. I gave it to a friend, he says he can fix it up for you."

"What!" she almost screamed. He scrunched up his face as her screech reverberated off the walls, which was quite something coming from a witch.

"What friend?" she said with slightly more calm. Ivan was listening for the impending sound of his mum's footsteps, but none came, maybe only he could hear her. "Umm…Ralph's got it. His a real expert when it comes to wood."

"Oh no!"

"Oh no, what?"

"Oh no, he can't, not tonight." She was visibly taking a deep breath before she continued "You see I thought you would have fixed it during the day…" For the first time he hears a tremble in her voice.

"Why what's wrong? It's not Halloween yet."

"No, but it's the first quarter of a new moon."

"So?"

"The broom it… it will try to fly back home."

"Back home?"

"Yes. I have to lock it away on the first quarter of a new moon."

"Fly home?"

"Yes!

She looks at his confused face, "Sorry I meant the broom's home, you know, the forest where it came from.

It escaped from me once before and I only just barely managed to get it back, it took me weeks to find it."

"Umm, cant-cha like buy a new one or something."

She gave him a pained expression. "No!… You only get one and, well that's it."

"Oh... crap."

"With no broom I might as well…" she didn't finish the sentence, but by now he had the gist of the situation.

"Okay I guess we have to get over to Ralph's"

He looked at her hopefully, "You can't kind of zap us over there or something can you?" "What! Oh no, that would be a real bad, really, really bad idea." He looked at her getting no explanation. He guessed knowing about the broken broom, the clock, and who knew whatever else she hadn't divulged to him yet, why zapping was out of the question.

"Okay then… we'll have to sneak out. By the way do you always have to wear that, hat and umm, cloak? "What do you mean?" she said, clearly not understanding, "Oh never mind. Come on lets go."

Ralph had calmed down at the sight of the broom handle stick bits still floating in the air above his work bench, even while his heart beat was still thundering inside him and going at a fast pace.

He gently tapped each piece watching them wobble about in the air. He had a strange feeling he shouldn't open the door of his basement.

He shrugged to himself, 'Well I guess I'd better try and fix it.' He grabbed a floating piece of the handle and with a trembling hand jammed it in his wood vice. Then he lifted a fine tooth saw off its peg on the wall and started working on splicing the handle back together.

He was concentrating hard, after having clamped all the other bits down and had almost gotten used to the idea of working on floating wood, when he was suddenly startled by the sound of tapping on glass. He looked slowly up to the window high on the wall, almost afraid of what he might see there. He gulped at the two faces looking down at him, from the dark outside.

Then he broke into a smile, "Ivan, is that you?"

A short time later they are standing with Ralph looking at the bits of the broom stick securely clamped together. Ralph carefully unscrewed the clamp and handed Ivan the first bit he had joined. Suddenly Ralph let it go, waiting to see the look on Ivan's face as it floated in the air between them. "See I spliced it like this, should be like new."

Ivan stared at it goggle eyed as it floated in front of him. Suddenly Brumhilda grabbed it. "Be careful!" "Oh, sorry," said Ralph looking at the little girl standing beside Ivan. She looked back at him with a cold stare. Eying her costume he said, "You do know Halloween's not till next Tuesday don't you?" She gave him back one of her special faces with a wicked smile and Ralph took a few paces back. He decided it was best to not say anymore about her attire and turned to Ivan.

"Yeah that looks real good Ralph." Ralph leaned in and whispered, "Who is she?" "Her name's Brumhilda, and she's, well… a witch." She suddenly turns towards Ivan, eyes glaring." Ivan let's out a sigh, "She's a real witch Ralph. In fact that's her broom." Ralph doesn't seem too surprised "Actually," said Ivan, "I didn't think you would be able to see her." Suddenly Brumhilda said, "He believes." "Oh." said Ivan and nodded his head, "Yeah I guess that makes sense."

Later that night the broom is fixed and Ivan is sitting on the back of it with Brumhilda in Ralph's parent's garage.

"Ready?" said Ralph. Ivan looked at Brumhilda, she gave a slight nod. "Okay then," Ralph clicked the remote. They all watched as the garage door slowly swung up showing the sparkling night sky. Brumhilda somehow felt more confident with the two boys there, and reluctantly felt the friendship they had forged together tonight. She looked up to the clear night sky and suddenly she felt a dark shiver, but held it at bay. "HOLD ON!" Ivan gripped the stick, not knowing what to expect, his nerves tingling as she triumphantly kicked at the ground.

They were off in a sudden flying shot.

Ivan gripped even harder, with his eyes shut tight as they leant back at a sharp angle. Despite his short hair, it along with his face, went backwards in the almighty rush of whistling wind...

Brumhilda turned around and smiled at him. "You can open your eyes now." He could barely return the gesture in the howling wind. He didn't dare to look down, and stared straight ahead at her hat. He can't believe he hasn't fall'in off. A short time later they landed with a 'flop.' He hopped off with intense relief on to his front lawn. "

"See you on Halloween." She said and took off like a flash into the night.