Claire and Luna Bundkin are thrilled when they find out their grandparents have been invited to an all-seniors golf tournament in Scotland, and they want the twins to come along. Claire and Luna can’t wait to set eyes on a real Scottish castle, with horses, armor, and tea at four o’clock. But this castle offers one amenity they weren’t expecting—a ghost! Claire, Luna, and their grandmother are all witches, and Grandy is better at popping ghosts than any other five-star witch. Claire and Luna may only be one-and-a-half-star witches, but they’re about to get a tutorial in ghost-busting that they’ll never forget. This ebook features a personal history by Adele Griffin including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s own collection.
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Witch Twins and the Ghost of Glenn Bly
By Adele Griffin
OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIACopyright © 2004 Adele Griffin
All rights reserved.
The Real Exciting News
THE BABY HAD A fat face and was bald. He was not very cute. In fact, Luna Bundkin thought he looked like a toad.
She shook her head at her identical twin sister, Claire, who was cradling the baby in her arms.
"Little toady!" Luna whispered.
"Little Tony?" Their father, Louis Bundkin, scratched his head, thinking. "Hmm. Tony is a nice name. But I think we will stick with Bert."
"Can I give Bert back to you now?" Claire asked their stepmother, Fluffy, who was sitting in her hospital bed. "My arms are tired."
"Wait! First let me hold him," said Justin.
Claire handed baby Bert to Justin. Luna kept her own hands clasped behind her back. She stepped closer to their mother. She did not want to hold Bert. He looked like he might do something loud or smelly or gloppy.
"Thanks, ya'll, for coming to visit us," said Fluffy. "Bert is a whole lotta lucky to have twin half sisters and a half brother in his family!"
"Kitchy, kitchy," cooed Justin. "Hey, Bert. Hey, little guy!"
"Um, isn't it time to go?" asked Luna. "Doesn't this place close for business soon?"
"Luna, we're not in a restaurant. We're in a hospital!" Claire rolled her eyes at her twin.
"It is almost eight o'clock," said Jill Bundkin. "I'm sure Fluffy and Bert want to rest. Let's get going, kids. Good night, everybody."
They exchanged hugs and said good-byes. Then Luna, Claire, Justin, and their mother trooped out of the hospital and into the drab November night. Their mother whistled between her teeth. "Taxi!" she yelled. Immediately, a cab screeched to the curb.
"Did any of us look like toads when we were born, Mom?" asked Luna as they taxied down the streets of Philadelphia, heading back to their town house at 22 Locust Street.
"Oh, Bert will improve," said their mother. "He just needs to fill out."
"He needs more hair, too," added Claire.
"Mom, are you sad?" asked Justin as they walked up the steps to their front door. "You know, since Dad has a new family with his new wife, and all?"
"No, I'm not sad. I don't need any more children than you wonderful three," answered their mother. "Anyway, life is always an interesting mix of surprises. Bittersweet, I'd call it."
"Like, if you and Dad didn't bitterly divorce, he never would have met sweet Fluffy, and you never would have met sweet Steve?" asked Luna.
"Well ... that's not exactly what I meant," said their mother as she unlocked the door. "But definitely, you three kids are the sweetest things in my life. And Steve is very sweet, too."
Steve was their mother's boyfriend. He was a chef. Right now he was using the Bundkins' kitchen to create his newest food experiment, hot chocolate-cauliflower soup. (When Steve made his own kitchen too messy, he used the kitchen at 22 Locust.)
"I smell something bittersweet!" Claire sniffed the air as they walked into the front hall.
"The gang's all here!" called Steve from the kitchen.
"The gang" turned out to be Grandy and Grampy, who were plunked at the table slurping up large bowls of Steve's soup.
"Mom and Dad! What a surprise. I didn't see your car out front." Their mother looked mystified. "How did you get here?"
"Oh, we were in the neighborhood," said Grandy.
"But why are we in the neighborhood, Arianna? We live twenty-five miles away!" grumbled Grampy. "Oh me, oh my. My memory's on the blink again. I must be getting old."
Luna and Claire exchanged smiles. They knew Grampy's bad memory was not to blame. The reason that their grandparents were in the neighborhood was because Grandy was a five-star witch, and she had secretly instaported herself and Grampy from their home in Bramblewine straight to Philadelphia. Grandy usually cast this spell during rush hour, because she hated traffic.
The twins knew about the instaport spell because they were witches, too. In fact, Grandy, Luna, and Claire were the only witches in the whole family. Nobody—not even the twins' own parents—had any idea about this huge, important secret.
"It doesn't matter how we got here," said Grandy. "The reason we are here is to share some exciting news."
"More exciting than our half brother, Bert Bundkin?" asked Justin.
"I think so," Grandy answered in a huff. "But I don't like brand-new babies. They all look like toads. Tell them the real exciting news, Fred."
"The real exciting news," announced Grampy, "is that next week, your grandmother and I have been invited to play golf at the Seniors Silver Loch tournament in Scotland."
"Oh, wow, that's great," chorused everyone in not-very-excited voices.
"And we're taking our three fabulous grandchildren," said Grandy.
"OH WOW! THAT'S GREAT!" yelled Luna and Claire in very-very-excited voices. "Scotland! Scotland!"
Justin looked upset. "But I can't go to Scotland," he said. "Next week is Thanksgiving. That's the team's most important football weekend ever, and I'm a running back. Sorry, Grandy and Grampy. I can't let the guys down. You'll have to count me out."
The twins went silent, feeling sorry for Justin. Then they started jumping around again and yelling, "Scotland! Scotland!"
Their mother leaned against the kitchen counter and put on her most serious face. Jill Bundkin was a doctor, and she knew how to make a serious face if she needed one.
"Even if you only took the twins, this is still a very expensive trip, folks, don't you think?" she asked.
"Not really. We can pay for tickets with our frequent-flier miles, and we get to stay for free at a Scottish castle," Grandy explained.
Grampy frowned. "Which just happens to be run by Arianna's old flame, Mac."
"Oh, hush, Fred," snapped Grandy. "I married you, not him, didn't I?"
"A castle?" Luna squealed. She had never heard of anything so romantic. "With gardens and moats and tea at half past four in the drawing room?"
"Absolutely, Luna, dear," assured Grandy.
"It's creaky and leaky," said Grampy. "We'd be better off at the Holiday Inn."
"Mac's castle, Glenn Bly, is one thousand years old," said Grandy. "It's quite spectacular. There's even a stable of horses to ride."
"It's not his castle," grumped Grampy. "He had to sell it. He's only the curator."
Luna put her hand to her heart. Although she had never been horseback riding before, she was sure she would love-love-love it. To live for a week in a castle and go horseback riding was a dream come true. As long as the horse didn't go too fast.
Justin's mouth twitched in suspicion. "Wait a minute! Isn't Scotland where they make boys wear those plaid skirts?"
"Tartan kilts," Grampy corrected.
"Isn't Scotland where they make you eat those dry crackers?" asked Claire.
"You mean shortbread," said Grandy. "It's yummy."
"And doesn't a monster live in some lake in Scotland?" asked Justin.
"The Loch Ness monster," said Grampy. "Her name is Nessie, but nobody has seen her for years. She keeps to herself."
"It'll be Thanksgiving week, but the twins would still miss two and a half days of school," said their mother, running a hand through her hair so that it spiked up like a toothbrush.
"Oh, phooey. What's a couple of days?" coaxed Grandy. "And with Justin playing football, that leaves you and Steve lots of time without kids underfoot."
Luna could tell from her mother's eyes that this was an interesting thought.
Now Steve held up a dripping ladle. "Who else wants to test my soup?" he asked.
"Not me," said Luna politely.
"Not me," said Claire, less politely.
"I'll try it!" said Justin, who was growing an inch a month and always on the lookout for extra food. But Luna and her sister knew better. Steve's recipes needed lots and lots of practice to be perfect.
The twins sprang upstairs to their bedroom, where they squeezed onto the one desk chair, turned on their computer, and logged online to check out a few Web sites about Scotland.
"I wish we had a coat of arms like a real Scottish family," said Luna.
"I wish we had bonny blue eyes and curly ginger hair, like True Scottish Lasses," said Claire.
Luna shrugged. She preferred having brown eyes and matching-colored hair. She liked to match, period. Claire did not mind messes and guesses, but Luna treasured tidiness. It was just one of the ways that the twins were as different on the inside as popcorn was from cornflakes.
There was a knock on the door, and then Grandy peeked her head through. "Girls, I want a witch-word with you," she said.
Immediately, the twins bounced to attention. A witch-word was no joke.
Grandy slipped into their room and shut the door, then set her ear against it to check that Justin was not eavesdropping.
"Our trip to Scotland is not all fun and games, young witches mine," whispered Grandy. "Golf is the official reason. But anyone who has seen your grandfather and me play knows we are awful golfers. In fact, I had to use a three-star spell to snag us an invitation to this tournament. It's very exclusive."
"Isn't that called cheating?" asked Luna.
"No, it's called an emergency," Grandy answered, "because there is also an unofficial reason we are going to Scotland. And that is to help Mac. He wrote me an e-mail explaining that he is having a problem with ghosts." She patted her hair. "Helping him out is the least I can do. I broke Mac's heart when I ran off with your grandfather, you know."
"Why are you taking Luna and me along?" asked Claire.
"To watch and learn, obviously," Grandy answered. "Every witch needs to know how to pop a ghost."
"'Pop a ghost'?" Luna shivered. "That sounds gross."
"It's the only way to handle them. Ghosts are pesky. Plus, they'll complain your ear off if you give 'em half a chance."
"How does Mac know that you're a ghost-popping expert?" asked Claire. "Isn't that a secret, witch-y skill?"
"Of course." Grandy blushed. "But back when I was young and foolish, I might have bragged a little, teeny bit about my skills with popping and summoning ghosts. I was a bit surprised myself that Mac remembered. Then again, everything about me is hard to forget. Now, girls, are you helping or not?"
"Five-Star witch Arianna of Bramblewine," said Claire, excitedly, "as a one-and-a-half-star apprentice witch, I offer my service!"
"Me, too," squeaked Luna.
"Thanks, girls. I knew I could count on you." Then Grandy clapped her hands together and instaported herself back down to the kitchen.
"Gosh," said Claire after Grandy had gone. "I never met a ghost before. This'll be fun!"
"Fun? Fun? I don't want to meet any ghosts!" exclaimed Luna. "And I especially don't want to pop any! Ick!"
"Oh, Loon, don't be a doomsday prophet," chided Claire.
But Luna knew that she had a point. Never in her life had she caught sight of a spirit or a glimpse of a ghost, or a peek at a phantom.
Now, the idea that she'd soon be meeting up with a real, castle-haunting, Scottish spookster made her scalp prickle and her toes curl.CHAPTER 2
Daphne Bly, T.S.L.
CLAIRE HATE-HATE-HATED THE COLD. She was glad to leave behind a drab November in Philly for the green lands and blue skies of Scotland. She'd downloaded a lot of pictures of Scotland, and the weather looked divine.
So Claire was shocked when she stepped off the plane at Inverness Airport to discover that it was gray and cold and very, very damp.
"Hey! Where's the sun?" Claire frowned up at the sky. "Where are all the sheep and grass like what I saw on those Scotland Web sites?"
"Don't be a nincompoop," snapped Grandy toggling up her overcoat. "Scotland in November is just like Philadelphia in November, only Scotland has more rain. Oh, what a nice, cloudy day! I hope you packed snuggly clothes."
Claire didn't answer. Suitcase-packing was a chore and a bore, and she had waited until the last minute to do it. Her swimsuit, cutoff shorts, Camp Bliss T-shirt, and wraparound movie-star sunglasses weren't exactly snuggly. In fact, the warmest clothes Claire had with her were the jeans, purple sweater, and rainbow-sleeved parka that she was wearing now.
But she forgot about all that when she looked again at her stiff new passport with its first stamp ever.
As they entered the airport lobby, a jolly airline employee waved to them.
"Ta! Enjoy your holiday!"
Ta! Claire had never heard that expression before. It sounded very Scottish.
"Fred! Arianna!" In the Arrivals section of the airport lobby, a short, plump man in a tweed cap waved from behind the ropes.
"Why, it's Mac!" Grandy leaped ahead, leaving Claire and Luna to trundle behind dragging the canyon luggage. Grampy took up the rear and walked the slowest.
"Cheerio! I'm Michael MacCorckle Bly, otherwise known as Mac!" Grandy's old flame spoke with a Scottish brogue. His bright blue eyes were like two chips of the Scottish sky Claire had been hoping to see. "You must be Claire and Luna!" he said. "But how will I know which from the other?"
"I talk more," Claire offered helpfully. That was what kids at the twins' school, Tower Hill Middle, always said—although she herself didn't really believe it.
Mac laughed and led the way to the Baggage Claim.
"Ta! All the cars' steering wheels are on the wrong side," observed Claire after they had picked up their bags and started for the parking lot. As of five minutes ago, ta was Claire's new favorite word.
"Yes, yes," said Mac. "You see, here in Scotland, our steering wheel is on the wrong side. Or, as we call it, the right side. But not to worry! It's all quite safe."
Claire bounced in her shoes as she climbed into Mac's compact green minivan. Scotland! Then she glanced at Luna, who looked scared. Claire guessed it was on account of the wrong-sided, right-sided steering wheel. Poor Luna got nervous about the very same things that seemed cool to Claire.
During the winding drive to Glenn Bly, Claire kept her gaze fixed out the window so that she could shout out what she saw along the way.
"There's a funny red phone booth! Ta, I see some goats! I see a moss-covered bridge! Now I'm looking at a sign for a petrol station. Petrol means gasoline. Ta! I spy teensy-weeny purple flowers!"
"My, my," Mac remarked. "You are very observant, Claire. But actually, 'ta' is the Scottish word for 'thank you'."
"Is observant the Scottish word for annoying?" asked Luna.
"Shut up, Loony-goon," Claire answered.
"Why don't you shut up, stinky-ugly?" asked Luna.
"Why don't you shut up, creepy-icky?" Claire retorted. "You are already making my Scottish highland adventure bittersweet."
"If both you girls don't hush," said Grandy, twisting around on the front seat, "I'm going to feed you toes first to Scotland's famous fang-toothed, water-dwelling barge rats."
For a while, the twins kept silent.
"There it is!" squeaked Luna. She tapped the window glass. "The castle!"
"Good eyes, Luna," said Mac.
Claire's head snapped around. No fair! She had wanted to spot the castle first! She stared. Up in the distance, Glenn Bly rose in a splendor of stone walls and towers.
"Crenellated," said Grampy, "is the name for the special jagged cut along the roof."
Crenellated—what a word! It reminded Claire of the sound of teeth crunching into a buttered English muffin.
Mac turned through the castle's open iron gates and slowed the van so that everyone could enjoy the sight of the castle's surrounding fields and woodland.
"'Glenn Bly Welcomes You.'" Claire read the hinged sign that swung from a post. "I see the horse stable! I spy a watchtower!"
"Mac, it's just as beautiful as I remembered," said Grandy as they parked behind the castle and piled out of the van. "You must be running a profitable bed-and-breakfast business."
"I don't see any guests," grumped Grampy.
"Aye. November is a slow time for tourists." Mac cleared his throat and, in a louder voice, called, "That's why young Daphne will be glad for a bit of company. Right-o, Daphne?"
"Daphne?" repeated Claire. She looked around. All she saw was brown lawn bordered by green pines. "Who's Daphne? Where is she? Does young mean she's older than eleven or younger than eleven?" The twins had celebrated their birthdays last month, on Halloween. Claire was happy to be eleven, finally!
"Daphne is my granddaughter. She is ten," answered Mac.
Now Claire's ears picked up a rustle. She looked up-up-up into the branches of the evergreens. She could not spy anyone.
"Who goes there?" Claire shouted.
"I go here! And I'm turning eleven in two days!" said a voice from above.
"Daphne, not too high," warned Mac. "Daphne's a bit untamed," he explained. "Right-o. I expect everyone could use some refreshment."
With a hand at Grandy's elbow, Mac led them all around to the front of the castle and through its iron-hinged front doors.
The inside front hall of Glenn Bly was larger than Tower Hill Middle's lunchroom cafeteria.
"Crumbs! You could do ten backflips in a row across this floor!" Claire exclaimed, hoping someone would invite her to try.
"Look!" Luna shrieked, and everybody jumped. She pointed. "A hanging tapestry, a stone fireplace, and a curving staircase! How castle-ish!"
"Er, yes," said Mac. "The drawing room is this way. I've set out an early supper."
Claire walked across the flagstones to get a better look at the large, faded tapestry.
Excerpted from Witch Twins and the Ghost of Glenn Bly by Adele Griffin. Copyright © 2004 Adele Griffin. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Contents1. The Real Exciting News,
2. Daphne Bly, T.S.L.,
3. Bold Night, Shy Knight,
5. The Shrillingbirds,
6. Popped and Foiled,
7. Ancient Room, Secret Book,
8. Midnight Haunting,
9. Strawberry Birthday Surprise,
A Biography of Adele Griffin,