Audrey Bloom

Written by Alanna Rossi, Illustrations by Jaclyn Simon

Audrey Bloom was a witch. 

In fact, all the women in her family were witches. Audrey lived with her mother and grandmother in a lovely home on a lovely street in a lovely town that loved witches. The Bloom women were valued members of their small community and were beloved by all. Their garden grew a variety of plants, like angelica and rosemary, that the women used in their potions. These potions were purchased by people in the town to cure ailments of both the body and the mind. The house was painted yellow and had a big porch that wrapped around the whole thing. It was the happiest looking house on the street. The garden always had something in bloom and neighbours would stop and admire it on their evening walks. When Audrey’s dad died when she was a baby, her grandmother, Ingrid, insisted that she and her mother come live with her. It’s the only home Audrey has ever known. 

Audrey was turning thirteen. When you were a witch and you turned thirteen, you were considered “of age”. It was an important part of any witch’s life, and Audrey was both excited and nervous. She had enjoyed the previous twelve years being an ordinary kid and not worrying about the sort of stuff her mother and grandmother worried about. Now, with her birthday mere hours away, she felt a sickening sense of insecurity. What if she weren’t really a witch? What if the magic skipped a generation? She had spent the day before her birthday outside in the garden, lying under the giant ginkgo tree that she loved so much. She watched the fan-shaped leaves dance in the breeze and felt the warm afternoon sun on her face. She knew her mother and grandmother would be in the house fussing over her birthday tomorrow. It was a big deal, your thirteenth birthday, and she knew they would want to make it feel as special as possible. Even with plenty to look forward to, Audrey felt like she had a bird trapped in her stomach, fluttering around looking for a way out. 


 So far her life as a witch had been relatively uneventful. Because she was not yet of age, she had no real ability. Anything that happened, happened because she couldn’t control it. The worst thing that happened was at school when she got mad at a boy in her class for sticking gum in her hair. In her anger, she accidentally turned his entire head of bright red hair, white as snow. Until she turned thirteen, she wasn’t allowed to use magic. Audrey had friends and she loved her school and all of her classes. She loved to read and write and spend time outside in the garden. She wondered how much of that would change when she became a “proper witch” as her mother said. Would her friends still want to hang out with her? Would she have time to read? Would she still go to school? She realized that she didn’t know the answers to these very important questions so she immediately went to seek out her mother. 

Inside the house, which had been in the Bloom family for generations (according to her grandmother) she found the two women in the kitchen baking up a storm (yes, witches baked too, it wasn’t always potion making.) 

“You’re not supposed to be in here!” her mother said when she saw Audrey standing in the doorway. “We’re working on your cake for tomorrow, it’s supposed to be a surprise.” 

“Oh, I’m sorry,” said Audrey. “I just wanted to talk to you about something.” 

Her mother took one look at her and put down the bowl of cake batter she was mixing and walked towards her daughter. Audrey loved her mother. Her name was Hannah, after her great-great grandmother. She had long hair and Audrey always said that it was the same colour as the bark on the ginkgo tree in the garden. Her mother always smelled like cinnamon and had dark green eyes that were the kindest Audrey knew, and when she looked at Audrey with them she had the strongest feeling that her mother knew exactly what she was thinking. Audrey had the same colour eyes as her mother, but her hair was long and black, like her grandmothers was when she was younger. 

“Come with me, love.” 

Audrey followed her mother out of the kitchen and onto the back porch. Sheltered from the weather it was a place of respite for all of them. Cozy wicker chairs with threadbare blankets offered a place to sit and it was Louis, their cats, favourite place to nap eighteen hours of the day. 

“What’s on your mind?” her mother asked, sitting down in one of the chairs. Audrey sat in the chair across from her. 

“I realized a few things and I just wanted to… to ask you about them.” 

Her mother nodded, encouraging her to go on. 

“Well, after tomorrow… will I still be allowed to have friends? Will I still go to school? What about my classes and my teachers? Can I still read books? Books that I want to read?” 

Audrey prattled on, getting everything off her chest and her mother patiently listened to every word. When Audrey finally caught her breath her mother asked if she could speak. 

“My sweet girl, of course you can still do all of those things. Just because you’re turning of age tomorrow doesn’t mean you have to stop being you and enjoying your life. I want you to see your friends and go to school and read all of the books that you want to read. I want more than anything, for you to live your life the way you choose. The only difference will be you will learn skills and embrace certain abilities that are a part of you. How you use them, if you choose to use them at all, is entirely up to you.” 

Audrey looked at her mother, feeling a little foolish. “Oh.” 

She didn’t realize that she had a choice. 

Her mother smiled warmly at her. “I promise you, it will all make sense after tomorrow. You’re about to embark on an incredible part of your life, I want you to enjoy every moment of it. It’s what makes you special. It’s what makes our family special.” 

Her mother opened her arms, inviting Audrey in for a hug and she climbed into her mothers lap inhaling her sweet cinnamon scent. Louis stretched lazily on the rug nearby and walked over to get his head scratched. Now that she knew she wouldn’t lose the things she loved the most, Audrey suddenly found herself feeling very excited about turning thirteen. 




When Audrey woke up on the morning of her thirteenth birthday, the first thing she noticed was how she felt. She felt… different. She held her hands out in front of her face and she swore she could feel a tingling in the tips of her fingers. She wondered if it had any relevance to the day or if she just slept on her arms funny. When she walked down the stairs and into the kitchen both her mother and grandmother were waiting for her. The kitchen smelled like pancakes, Audrey’s favourite. 

“Happy Birthday!” they both said, rushing over to give Audrey hugs and kisses. Her grandmother held Audrey’s face between her wrinkly old hands and smiled down at her. 

“I am so proud of you, my precious granddaughter. I cannot wait to see what you become,” and she kissed Audrey on her forehead. Audrey blushed and gave her mother a hug. 

“Happy birthday, darling,” her mother whispered to her. 

 Audrey noticed that the kitchen table had some items on it she had never seen before. At her chair there was a shawl draped over the back, made of the softest silk Audrey had ever felt. It was dark blue and was woven with gold silk thread throughout. Audrey held it in her hands and immediately knew it was special. 

“Your grandmother made that for you,” her mother said, placing a plate of pancakes down in front of Audrey. 

“It’s beautiful,” she murmured. “Thank you grandma.”

Her grandmother smiled. 

“It’s for you to wear while you study, it has special properties,” she winked at Audrey. 

Audrey felt a flutter of excitement in her stomach. Also on the table was a box with a blue ribbon on it. Audrey untied the ribbon and took off the lid. Inside the box, wrapped in tissue was the most incredible leather journal Audrey had ever laid eyes on. 

“Oh my,” was all she could muster. 

“Now that,” her mother said, taking her seat at the table with a steaming cup of coffee, “will be your journal. It’s where you’ll keep all of your thoughts and dreams. It’s where you’ll track your progress and keep notes. You’ll learn to keep it with you wherever you go.” 

“My name’s on it,” said Audrey, noticing her initials embossed on the cover in gold. 

She gave her mother and grandmother a hug, thanking them for her beautiful gifts. After breakfast, her grandmother slid a small book across the table towards Audrey. 

“One last gift,” she said. “This is probably the most important one of all.” 

Audrey took the small book, which looked and felt old. When she looked at the cover, she gasped. 

“A spell book?” she asked. 

The other two women smiled at her. 

“Yes,” said her grandmother. “It’s the same one both your mother and I learned from when we were your age. It’s very old, you have to take good care of it.” 

“Of course,” Audrey said and when she opened the front cover, she gasped again. The page was blank when she first looked at it, but then words started to appear in the middle of the page as if someone invisible were writing it.



This book belongs to Audrey Bloom.



Audrey looked up at her mother and grandmother. 

Ingrid smiled at her.  

“We’ll start tomorrow.”

To be continued…