When a witch child heals young Emmet Smith of spots, a new friendship leads to astonishing discoveries about themselves, their family, their friends and the world they live in.
This is a rich story of myth and magic in the Human Realm and the Realm of Faery.
Inspired by the Pendle Witch Trials of 1612.
Age Range: 10+
Size: 198mm x 129mm
Format: ‘B’ paperback
Pages: 208 pages
Word Count: 40,000
Published: March 2019
Standing in front of him was a girl, about his own age but small and finely made. She had long, wild red hair and her eyes were emerald green.
The overgrown ground in front of them began to tremble a little and the children could just see the outline of three mounds, barely visible beneath the undergrowth. Out from the graves, slowly, like blind moles emerging from their tunnels, came three ancient ghosts, so worn and tattered there barely seemed any substance to them.
“Who calls us?” the first said, in a hoarse and windy voice. “Who calls us from our deathly sleep?”
As they fully emerged from the graves, the children could see that the ghosts were three ancient women, stooped and skinny, almost bald and completely toothless.
“Well?” the second spoke querulously. “It had better be good. We like our sleep.”
“Who wakes us?” demanded the third. Her voice was stronger and younger than the others. “Who comes and disturbs the Demdike Sisters? Speak up!”
“Demdike!” Hetty whispered to Jennet excitedly. “That’s your name!”
Pa had made a box bed for her which fitted against the wall, covered with a gay, patchwork quilt. It had a tiny shelf for a candlestick with her name carved on the headboard. There was an oak cupboard and a chest along one wall for clothes, with a jug and basin on top of it and a stone jar full of roses. Bunches of lavender hung from the beams and there was a sheepskin on the floor between the two beds by way of a rug. On the windowsill was Saffron, sunbathing in her usual spot. Lily had thoughtfully gathered some sheep’s wool to make a mattress for her. She looked up as the girls entered.
The Elven King replied, “At this moment Alison Demdike is denouncing Old Demdike and the Chattoxes for all she is worth. She has changed her tune and is singing like a blackbird in Spring. The song she sings is of black arts, poppets, familiars, bewitchings and murders. She confesses readily to all. The second oldest Demdike is nothing if not inventive. I suspect she is enjoying herself enormously. Indeed, she goes so far that I wonder how an educated man like Nowell can swallow it all.”
Mistress Demdike leaped to her feet in a rage.
“The second oldest Demdike means to destroy us all! You must stop her Atterlothe. Have you taken leave of your senses?”
Joy Pitt is a professional storyteller and puppeteer in the oral tradition.
When she isn’t busy storytelling in schools, festivals and libraries, Joy spends her time painting and writing. Home is a small, dusty cottage on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds where she lives with her husband, who is a woodcutter, and a bad-tempered cat called Annabelle.
Joy has three children who have gone out into the world to seek their fortune.
This is her first book.