Oliver Moon and the Spell Off

Chapter One

The Moon family were sitting down to breakfast one morning when they heard a familiar rattle from the front door. “Post-ghost coming!” the letterbox announced. “Late as usual, I see – what a surprise! Oof!”

There was a thud, as the post fell onto the doormat.

“No need to be so rough!” Oliver heard the letterbox scold the post-ghost. “Just because you’re in a hurry! Shouldn’t have overslept again, should you?”

Mr. Moon, Oliver’s dad, frowned. “That letterbox gets cheekier and cheekier,” he commented, with a slurp of his cockroach coffee. “Must get round to putting a magic muffler on it.”

The Witch Baby, Oliver’s sister, was straining to get out of her high chair. “Down!” she was saying excitedly. “Me see ghost!”
Mrs. Moon gave her a smile. “Not today, pickle,” she replied. “He’s already gone. Eat up your beetle flakes, there’s a good girl.”
Oliver finished his batwing toast, and got down from the table to collect the post.

“Not much this morning,” the letterbox told him, swinging open as it spoke. “A letter for your dad there, and your mum’s Witch Weekly magazine. Oh, and some bills, too, I’m afraid.” It shut again with a loud snap.

“Thanks,” Oliver said politely, gathering up the pile and taking it to his parents. It was a Saturday morning, so there was no rush for him to go to Magic School, or for his dad to fly off to work.

He sat back down at the table, and spread some jellyfish jam on a second slice of toast.

“Ooh,” his mum said, flicking through her new magazine. “Green capes are in this season. Nice… And, ooh, those pumpkin fritters look yummy, I wonder how you–”

She was interrupted by Mr. Moon jumping to his feet with a shout. “I’ve got it!” he yelled, waving his letter in the air.

“I’ve actually got it!”

“Got what?” Oliver asked with interest.

His dad had jumped up so quickly, he’d knocked the plate of batwing toast off the table.

“Fleas,” giggled his sister. “Daddy got fleas!”

Mrs. Moon dragged her eyes away from “101 New Pumpkin Recipes” to look at her husband. “What’s that, dear?” she asked distractedly.

“The job!” Mr. Moon cried, a grin on his face. He flung his arms wide, elbowing a vase of stinkweed off the shelf behind him in all the excitement. “I got the job!”

“Really?” Oliver’s mum jumped to her feet, fritters forgotten. “Let’s see!”

“What job?” Oliver asked. “What are you talking about? You’re leaving ValuStix?”

“I certainly am,” said Mr. Moon, passing the letter to his wife with a flourish. “I’ve been offered a job, Oliver. At your school!”