Fabulous Five 020 - The Witches of Wakeman

Fabulous Five 020 - The Witches of Wakeman by Betsy Haynes Page A

Book: Fabulous Five 020 - The Witches of Wakeman by Betsy Haynes Read Free Book Online
Authors: Betsy Haynes
    "He's so cute!" Melanie whispered.
    Beth nodded and watched him walk up onto the stage carrying
a paper grocery bag.
    "What's your act, Chet?" asked Mr. Levine.
    "He doesn't need an act," Melanie said softly,
sighing. "He can just stand there and look gorgeous."
    Katie, who was sitting next to Melanie, rolled her eyes and
shook her head.
    "I'm going to juggle," Chet announced.
    "How is that appropriate for Halloween?" asked Mr.
    Chet grinned. He took out an old-fashioned coat from his bag
and put it on over his head, leaving his head inside.
    "It looks as if he doesn't have a head!" Jana
said, giggling. "The coat is stitched so he can't pull his head through."
    "He's the Headless Horseman," Christie said. "Look,
he's wearing riding boots."
    "But he's got eyeholes in the coat," Beth
whispered back. "See?"
    Sure enough, a patch of cloth from the coat had been removed
and a dark, gauzy fabric sewn in so that he could see out of the costume
without its being obvious from the audience.
    The kids sitting in the auditorium began laughing and
murmuring "What a great costume!" and "He looks so funny!"
    "What are you juggling?" asked Mr. Levine.
    Chet reached into his bag and pulled out three round
objects, each about ten inches across.
    "Oh, gross! " someone yelled. "They're heads! "
    A murmur went through the auditorium, then gasps, then
laughter. When Chet tossed the objects into the air, the kids could see that he
had painted faces on the three balls. On two of them, he had glued yarn hair,
and as he juggled his heads, the "hair" flew wildly around in the
air. The third head was bald.
    The kids applauded loudly, and Mr. Levine laughed.
    "He's in," Christie said to Beth. "What a
great act!"
    "It sure is," agreed Beth. She was impressed with
Chet's imagination. That was important in the theater.
    "Next up is Paul Smoke," Mr. Levine called out.
    Paul, a ninth-grader, had prepared a magic act, using props
that were appropriate to Halloween. Wearing a black cape, he made a giant
pumpkin disappear; he cut a goblin-partner in half. But the very best was the
finale, when he reached into a big top hat, which had been empty seconds ago,
and pulled out something.
    "What's that?" Christie asked, leaning over to
Beth. "That's not a rabbit in his hand!"
    Somebody down front shrieked. "It's a bat ! "
    Sure enough, the bat spread out its scalloped wings.
    "A flying fox bat!" Paul announced, grinning, and
held up the bat so everyone could see its wingspan, about twelve inches.
    "Wow, a real bat," Melanie cried gleefully. "What
an incredible act."
    Beth agreed. This was going to be a terrific show. She
forced herself to concentrate on the witch character that she'd silently been
practicing through the rest of the variety-act tryouts. She thought about the
facial expressions she had worked on and the voice and the cackling laugh. She
wanted to be ready for her own tryouts. She didn't even know how long it was
before her thoughts were interrupted by Mr. Levine's voice.
    "Let's keep moving now," he announced. "We'll
go next to the three emcee witches. Laura McCall, you're up first, Beth Barry
second, Dekeisha Adams third, and Alexis Duvall fourth. Also, to save time,
will you please exit backstage after you read your lines and come back into the
auditorium through the stage door? That way the next person can begin
    Laura stood up, smiling sweetly at Mr. Levine.
    Beth leaned over to Christie. "Couldn't you just barf?"
she whispered.
    Christie burst out laughing and passed Beth's comment on to
the other members of The Fabulous Five, who laughed, too. Mr. Levine looked in
their direction and frowned, and Laura looked back at Beth and scowled.
    Handing Laura a script, Mr. Levine said, "Laura, please
read at the top of page one."
    Laura flashed another sickening smile at Mr. Levine. "Sure,"
she said.
    "Now, remember," Mr. Levine said, "I'm
looking for witches. I'd like to see what kind of characterizations you can
project for

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