Which Witch Wich was the largest chain of magical elements; all condensed into condiments and easily digestible processed meats. Spencer led Zach and Clare into the large box store. An old witch was at the door greeting everyone as they walked by. Spencer nodded with a smile as he picked up a wicker basket.
“You don’t honestly think the answer to this family’s problems is going to be found in aisle eleven next to the cauldrons, do you?” Zach asked.
“No,” said Spencer. “But somebody might be able to help.”
“We don’t even know what caused their curse,” said Clare.
“Oh ye of little faith,” said Spencer. “Here we go.”
He walked toward an older woman with a pointed hat and a purple vest. Her name tag read Barbara the Good.
“Barbara, hi!” said Spencer. “I hope you can help me out. I’m looking for something to break a curse that turned a family into furniture.”
“Oh dear,” Barbara the Good chuckled. “That sounds like powerful stuff.”
“Anything that’ll help?” Spencer asked.
“Do you know what caused it?” asked Barbara with a sweet high pitched voice.
“Nope,” said Clare.
“Where it originated?”
“Not that either,” said Zach.
“It could be any number of things then,” said Barbara the Good. “Possibly a true love needs to kiss one of them to break the transformation.”
“Would a love potion shortcut that?” Spencer asked.
Barbara shook her head, not disagreeing with the idea. “It would be better if you found the true love.”
“These people are jerks,” said Spencer. “That’s not happening.”
“Without knowing what the curse is it’s difficult to say how to break it,” reiterated Barbara. “Perhaps if they came down here themselves we can get to the bottom of it.”
“That’s probably not going to happen,” said Zach. “At least not with us.”
“Wait! What about putting another curse on them?!” said Spencer. “Just curse them into looking like people.”
Barbara shook her head. “That’ll be too much for the body. That would shave years off of their lives.”
“Darn,” said Zach.
Spencer nodded, mulling over his options. “I mean it’d still be quieter.”
“We’re not cursing them,” said Zach.
“Curses,” said Spencer.
“No,” said Zach again.
“No, I was just saying ‘curses,’” corrected Spencer.
“Oh,” said Zach.
“Still, they did hurt us,” said Spencer. “They deserve something.”
“Do you have any suggestions, Barbara?” Clare asked.
“It’s sweet you’re trying to help this family,” said Barbara, “But it sounds like a very powerful spell. Anything here probably won’t help. You’d need a specialist.”
“What about just making them quieter?” asked Spencer. “Lighter maybe? Any diet spells?”
“We can’t curse them,” said Zach.
Spencer looked over at Zach. “Look at the circles under my eyes. They make noise all day and night. I haven’t slept well in a week. Have you? I’m ready to put an estate sale sign on their door and watch them get taken away.”
Barbara the Good gasped at Spencer’s small outburst. She cut in to try and calm the situation. “If it’s silence you want we have a variety of products that can help.”
“Show us the way,” said Spencer.
Barbara the Good took the three of them to aisle nine. Several canned meats decorated the aisles with magic spatulas and cookbooks.
“Cook the ham for fifteen minutes at a high temperature,” said Barbara. “When the smoke begins to rise it’ll create a seal around your apartment blocking you from the outside world.”
“That’s a bit extreme,” said Zach.
“But it’s super effective,” said Barbara. “Seals up every hole.”
“Every hole? What about doors?”
“Even the doors,” said the witch.
“How would we get out?” Spencer asked.
“There are spells to break the silence,” said Barbara. “Only 19.99 a can.”
“What else you got?” asked Spencer.
“Spells to make people deaf,” said Barbara in a lower more scolding tone. Her patience was running out.
“You’re not going to help us are you?” Clare asked.
“This poor family is cursed and all you are thinking about are yourselves,” said Barbara. “Even suggesting you would sell them is ridiculous. You all deserve to go deaf.”
“I wasn’t going to sell them,” said Spencer.
“Even the idea,” said Barbara.
“Well, I have an idea to leave you a bad review,” mumbled Spencer.
Barbara stomped her feet. She lifted her wand and touched Spencer’s nose before anybody could react. In an instant, Spencer was transformed into a puppy dog.
“What’d you do?!” Clare asked.
“Bad boy!” Barbara yelled down at puppy Spencer. Spencer yelped and whined.
“Turn him back!” Zach pleaded.
“No,” said Barbara. “He was rude.”
“Our apartment doesn’t allow dogs,” Clare said. “He can’t stay like this.”
“That’s a shame,” said Barbara. “He should have been nicer.”
“We’ll leave you a nice review,” said Zach.
“And I work on commission,” said Barbara the Good.
Spencer growled. Zach tapped his foot in frustration. “Fine. I’ll take that, that, that, and that over there. Is that good?” He pointed at several higher shelf items down the aisle.
“Wonderful,” said Barbara with a smile. “Thank you for shopping at Which Witch Wich.”
Zach and Clare walked out of the magic market with Spencer scurrying around their feet. Barbara said the effects of the spell would wear off in a few days.
“What did you buy?” Clare asked, nodding at the items in Zach’s arms.
“I don’t know,” said Zach. “But we have to stop by the grocery store on the way. We need to get some pee pads for Spencer now. Gotta watch the floors before we lose more of the deposit. And some dog food.”
“Yeah, you’re getting dog food,” said Zach.
Zach looked at the items in his arms. There were several cans of dried beef meant to help with hair growth, a block of cheese for ten seconds of luck, bread to clean a clogged drain, and topped off with a mustard of transfiguration.
“Not bad,” said Clare, trying to relieve the situation.
Suddenly, Spencer yipped. He jumped up and put his front paws on Zach’s leg.
“What is it?” Zach asked. “You have an idea? Something extra?”
Spencer barked back; his tail wagging furiously.
That was what Zach, Spencer, and Clare heard in the apartment. Spencer was back to normal. Being a dog lasted four days, but some side effects were still present. Spencer scratched behind his ear with his foot as he basked in his accomplishment.
The three of them enjoyed lunch. They ate sandwiches prepared by Spencer. His was particularly delicious with a hint of mustard.
“How’d you do it?” Clare asked after taking a bite of her food.
“He made amends with the family by turning their carpet to hardwood floors,” said Zach. “It was very generous.”
“You changed their floor?” Clare double checked. “Did they want that?”
“No, it was something I surprised them with,” said Spencer.
“Wait. You changed their floors without permission?” Zach asked. “What did they say? Are they pissed?”
“Possibly. I can’t read their facial expressions. Besides, who doesn’t want hardwood floors? What are they doing to do? Complain to everybody that I generously gave them hardwood floors? I’d like to see that go down,” said Spencer. “They look wonderful. They are a bit of upkeep though. Can’t be too harsh on them with your furniture.”
Spencer looked up at the ceiling. “Soft, careful movements. Enjoy your upgrade. Jerks.”
The three sat in silence again. The neighbors above forced to take careful steps over Spencer’s magical generosity.
“Isn’t remodeling without permission against the lease?” Clare asked.
“Oh yeah, they’re deposit is gone,” said Spencer. Then he took another bite of his sandwich.