Shy ten-year-old Belle Wilson always knew she was different, but she never imagined it was because she was a witch. After hearing the news, she sets out to learn everything there is to know about being a Wilson Witch and about the Book of Spells. But before she can, her strange and nosy neighbours pay the family a visit. They begin to secretly snoop around the house looking for something. Belle must figure out what they’re searching for. Will she solve this mystery before they find it, or before they find her?
Did you ever pinch yourself to see if you were dreaming or awake? I did. Actually, I just did it twice and it really hurt! But I still can’t believe this is happening!
My name is Isabelle Wilson and I’m ten years old. My family and I just moved into my great Nana Wilson’s home on Salmon Beach, New Brunswick a few days ago. And from the very moment I stepped into this house, a funny feeling washed over me. There was something strange about this place. And now I know why.
It’s haunted. Yup, it is. By my great Nana’s ghost.
I know it sounds like I’m crazy, but I’ll telling the truth. I’m sitting here, right now, on her Chest of Secrets, in her secret room that I accidently discovered less than ten minutes ago.
I’m a natural born klutz and when I tripped and hit my head on my bedroom closet’s wall a short time ago, I made a huge hole in it. That’s when I uncovered this room. I slipped in here and found her Chest of Secrets. In it, there was this old leather book. And when I opened it, something weird started to happen.
Words began to appear on the blank pages, as if someone was writing them at that very moment. I soon found out it was my dead great Nana Wilson’s ghost that was doing the writing. With each word that appeared on the paper, the harder it was for me to believe it was true.
I scratched my head and stared at what she was writing. She wrote that from the moment I opened her magical book, I became a Wilson Witch.
I should have freaked out when I read those words. Me, a witch! All my life I thought witches weren’t real. But somehow I knew it was true. Something had changed in me. I can’t explain it, but I felt different. Stronger, more aware of everything around me. As crazy as the news had been, I believed it because of that. But I needed to understand it. So I asked her to tell me everything from the very beginning.
Now I waited with my eyes wide open as letters began to appear...
She wrote, It`s a long story and you won`t understand it all at once. You must learn before I can tell you everything.
“Learn? Learn what, Great Nana Wilson?” I said.
Please, just call me Nana, Isabelle. And you must learn to be a witch of course.
“Cool, Nana. Call me Belle, too. Everyone does.” I paused as an idea came to me. “So you will teach me how to make potions from all these ingredients you have here?” I waved my hand towards the shelves filled with bottles and bags to the right of the room. “And how I can fly on a broom?” I started getting excited imagining myself flying around the world on a broom and visiting all these amazing countries and cities I had heard or read about in school.
Witches flying on brooms is a thing of fiction.
“Really? Darn,” I said snapping my fingers. That would have been the best part.
But, yes, I will teach you about potions later. Now, I must tell you about the Legend of Salmon Beach.
Something clicked in me head when I heard those words. I pointed at the open book. “Oh, I know about that. Is that the story you told my dad?”
Yes, but I only told him a little, to prepare him for more. Now that you will become the Wilson Witch instead of your father, you need to know everything.
I brought my hands together and leaned forward to get a better look at the ink appearing on the paper. “Okay, I’m ready when you are.”
Like I told your father, there are many portals to other realms around the world where creatures and beings from those worlds can enter our world and we theirs.
“Wait a minute. Dad didn’t say we could enter their worlds, only that they can enter ours.”
I didn’t tell him everything not to scare him, or have him going in search of the portal that is here on Salmon Beach.
“The portal is near here, for real?” I said, my voice rising as I wondered where it could be. I had inherited my dad’s curious nature. I could understand why Nana feared he’d go searching for it, because that’s exactly what I wanted to do right now.
Nana Wilson must have sensed my wishes since she next wrote, If you’re thinking of going in search of it, then you will have to wait until it reopens. But once I tell you more about it, you’ll want to stay far away from it.
A cool chill crawled up my spine when I read that. “Why, Nana?”
I told your father of some of the nice creatures from that world, the ones we know as the Loch Ness Monster, mermaids, and ghosts, but there are many more that are evil and far scarier than you could ever imagine.
Okay, now that chill crawling up my spine turned into an avalanche of coldness choking me in fear. I wanted to speak, but my teeth chattered too much for me to say anything.
And these evil ones are the ones that must never make it past the threshold into our world.
“Why?” I was able to squeak out.
Because they would never want to go back. They are waiting to exit their world and enter ours, wreaking havoc wherever they may.
“Why do you know about it, Nana? Why are you the only one who knows about it? Why doesn’t the world know about these portals and do something to make the evil ones never come here?”
Others have been doing just that! I’m not the only one who knows. Witches around the world have known of the portals for centuries, Belle. They and their families after them have protected the portals and our world from these evil beings.
“You, Nana? You protected the world from them?”
I was responsible to protect and continually monitor the portal here on Salmon Beach, like my mother before me and other witches in our family have been doing for centuries.
“How, Nana? How did you do that?”
Through magic, I was connected to the portal and through magic I protected and kept an eye on it.
“But now that you’re dead and a ghost, how can you still do that?”
Until the next Wilson Witch is ready and can fully protect our side of the portal, then my job here on Earth is not done and I cannot pass over to the spirit world.
I pointed to myself. “So I’m the next witch, then?”
Yes, my dear, you are, and you are the perfect candidate, too!
I couldn’t help but smile at the compliment Nana just offered me. Before I could ask her why, I heard footsteps on the second floor approaching the stairs to the attic and my room.
Nana wrote, Quick, out of here. No one must know of this place. Come back later and I’ll tell you more.
I jumped off the chest and ran the fastest sprint in my life to get out of the secret room before whoever was now coming up the stairs could catch me in here.
I just made it out and had time to close the closet door behind me when I heard my dad say, “Did you see it?”
I turned with my mouth hanging open and stared at him in panic that he knew everything!