A witch is born when a candle is placed in a paper lantern and flown into the sky. Her first view of the world – not when she opens her eyes, for that happens much later, but when she becomes aware – is the knowledge of how it feels to float. Flying through the air on a candleholder, the witch feels the wind around her, and begins to understand.
I wake up. It is still dark outside, but it’s never really dark in my London bedroom, with its double windows surrounding the space. Rolling over, I see that the cat has jumped onto my chair and I mumble at her incoherently: ‘smychairgeroff.
She sat in the bath. The window was closed, and inside the house it was silent. The only sound was the faint rustle-pop of the bubbles and the swish of the water as she straightened her legs.
The girl stood outside the telephone box.
It was raining; one of those English nights where the light turns everything blue.
The girl was small. She could just about reach the handle of the red door behind her, but it was too heavy for her to pull open. She’d tried. It had earned her a stern look from inside the box.