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A farmhouse stood in the distance, complete with a large rusted weathervane decorating the tin roof of the nearby barn, and spotted cows grazing in the field beyond it. Tabitha, Theo, and Amias crouched behind a small section of shrubbery near the edge of the forest, watching the peaceful scene.

 

“Amias.” Tabitha hissed down the line. “What are we doing here?”

 

“We’re getting ingredient number one.”

 

“Is the first ingredient cows?” Theo asked, tilting his head at the creatures.

 

“No. This farmer has a little vegetable patch around the back of his house. That’s where we’ll find the first ingredient; garlic.”

 

“And how do you know so much about this farm?” Tabitha pressed.

 

“You wouldn’t like it if I told you.” Amias replied, sneaking out from behind the shrubs towards a small shaded hill.

 

Tabitha and Theo exchanged a wide-eyed look.

 

“Um what does that mean?” Theo scurried after him.

 

The pair flopped down beside him, lying flat on their stomachs behind the hill.

 

“Look,” he sighed, “this is where I come sometimes...for food.” He trailed off, his eyebrows raised towards Theo.

 

A light flicked behind Theo’s eyes as Amias’ implication clicked.

 

“Ah, right, okay, lovely.” He babbled.

 

“Yeah.” Amias grimaced.

 

“So, the garlic is in the vegetable patch. How do we get there without being seen?” Tabitha pondered, noticing an elderly man pottering outside the farmhouse.

 

“We need a distraction. Then one of us can sneak in and grab it.” Amias said.

 

Both Amias and Theo slowly turned towards Tabitha. She gazed back at them confused, only to realise what they were suggesting.

 

“Why me?”

 

“Tabs, it’s garlic.”

 

“Garlic and vampires don’t exactly mix well.” Amias added.

 

“Well just don’t eat it then.”

 

“That’s not how it works.” He grinned. “Plus if I go out there, I’ll get fried.”

 

She huffed for a second before letting out an exasperated sigh, “Fine. But you better make it a good distraction.”

 

“I think I have an idea about that.” Theo said, twirling his wand in his hand.

 

~

 

Tabitha peered out from behind her hiding place. She had skirted along the tree line and darted across the smallest stretch of open field to reach the fence line of the cow field from behind. At the forest’s edge, Amias raised his hand, giving her the signal. It was time. She dashed along the cattle pen, toward the barn. The old man still stood in the yard, raking leaves, unaware of any intrusion. Tabitha was drawing closer to him, when a loud animal call drew both their attentions.

 

In the meadow, one of the cows had been hoisted into the air, flipped onto its back, and dropped. Now it lay on the ground, wiggling its legs and mooing loudly in confusion. The farmer watched as more cows were thrust into the sky, inciting a deafening chorus of cow cries.

 

Theo and Amias could not contain their laughter. The pair were doubled over on the ground, giggling like a pair of school girls as Theo waved his wand towards another cow.

 

“Watch this, watch this!” He said to Amias, who was holding his stomach from laughter.

 

With a swish and flick of his wand, Theo sent a cow spinning in a cartwheel like motion out of the pen.

 

“Come back!” They could hear the farmer yelling as he sprinted after the pin-wheeling cow.

 

In the commotion, Tabitha was easily able to slip past the farmer, to the back of the farmhouse. There she found a lively garden, overflowing with a vibrant assortment of vegetables of every kind. Everything from aubergine to zucchini was there in front of her. In the sea of green, Tabitha wasn’t sure where to start. She started to pull random stalks from the ground, only to be met with celery, carrots, and other non-garlic plants, when she remembered something.

 

She was a witch.

 

Pulling her wand from her pocket, she said triumphantly, “Accio garlic.”

 

A leafy stalk ending in a collection of white bulbs came whizzing toward her. She snatched it from the air, and hurried out of the garden.

 

In the field, the scene had calmed down. Not as many cows were on their backs now, but Tabitha was pleased to find, the old man was nowhere to been seen. She started running toward the forest, loot in hand, when the farmer emerged from the side of the barn, towing a rather dazed looking cow behind him.

 

“Oi!” He shouted, pointing a bony finger at Tabitha. “What do you think you’re doing? Those are my crops!”

 

“Uh...sorry!” Tabitha clamoured, before bolting toward the forest, clutching to the vegetables.

 

The farmer tried to make chase, but in his old age, he didn’t stand much of a chance. “Stop! Thief!” He yelled after her, puffing as he hobbled along.

 

“Go, go, go!” Tabitha called out to the others.

 

They frantically stumbled to their feet, and hurried after Tabitha, who had rocketed past them, into the forest. Together, they darted through the trees, dodging and swerving until they could no longer hear the farmer’s angry shouts.

 

Theo collapsed against a thick oak, wheezing as he tried to catch his breath. Amias stood with his hands on his hips, staring up at the sky and breathing deeply. When he looked down, he noticed that Tabitha was carrying more than just garlic in her arms. Instead she also held a bunch of carrots, a few ears of corn, several brown potatoes and a handful of snap peas.

 

“What’s with all the vegetables?” He asked.

 

“Well you might not eat, but some of us do.” She said, a small smile creeping across her face.

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