The Last Sorceress and the Amulet

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Emma Realises How Cool Her Mum Is

A few days later, Meghan had to work again, but Sam and Emma had to go into town to do some shopping. They grew as much as they could in the garden, but there are some things which can’t be grown such as soap for the washing machine and notebooks and pens so that Sam could make notes for her writing.

When Sam actually wrote up her books, she typed them up on the computer in her study, but when she was researching and making notes, she preferred to handwrite them. She even wrote her whole first draft with pen and paper.

It would sometimes annoy Meghan because she would come home after work having left a clean house, and when she came home the sitting room would be a mess.

It would sometimes be full of what looked like hundreds of loose sheets of lined paper all filled with neatly written notes numbered in the bottom left corner, as well as dozens of books and journals, all scattered around the floor all open at the right pages, and Sam would be sat in the middle casually reading an old book with her a biro between her teeth as if there was nothing wrong.

It drove Meghan crazy! But that was just the way that Sam worked.

Emma and had to leave the house soon after breakfast, and drove into Dorchester which was about half an hour away. It was a beautiful old market town full of old buildings.

As it was a Saturday, the town was packed with families doing their shopping.

‘Oh no!’ groaned Sam as she parked the car.

‘What’s wrong?’ asked Emma, ‘don’t you like crowds?’

‘No,’ said Sam abruptly, ‘and you’re about to find out why.’

Emma knew that Sam was a published writer and had even seen a few of Sam’s books scattered around the house. But what Emma hadn’t known until that morning, was just how successful Sam’s books were.

They had hardly even made it out of the car park when it started.

A teenage boy, started jumping up and down like an excitable toddler, pointing at Sam, who was doing her best to ignore him.

‘It’s Samantha Collins-Llewelyn!’ he yelled.

He was walking on the other side of the road, but he was calling so loudly that Sam easily heard him.

Sam wanted to try and sink into a hole in the ground as the boy came darting across the road narrowly avoiding several cars and followed at a safer speed by his Dad.

‘You’re so cool!’ exclaimed the boy his eyes wide in amazement

‘The author information said you’re from Dorset, but I didn’t think I’d actually meet you! I just took my History GSE, I want to be just like you when I grow up.’

‘I just bought your new book,’ said the boy pulling a glossy hardback copy of Sam’s latest book Mary and Elizabeth Tudor- Two Very Different Queens.

It seemed as if the boy was so excited to meet her and talk to her that he was forgetting to stop to breathe. Sam though was not enjoying herself, she loved writing and always had done, but over the last few years, they had started becoming very popular.

She didn’t mind giving lectures at the odd university, that was fine, or even doing interviews for a documentary on the television. But she couldn’t even go shopping in the local town without being run up to by at least a few eager fans these days.

It was even worse when she went up to a bigger town like London, where she couldn’t go five minutes without people asking for autographs or asking when her new book would come out.

‘Could you sign it?’ begged the boy, ‘please!’

‘I’m afraid you’re a bit of a role model to our young Sean,’ chuckled the boy's Dad.

Emma’s mouth had dropped open in shock, and Sam was trying to compose herself from the sudden shock and control her breathing.

‘Sure,’ stammered Sam smiling nervously and pulling a pen out of her pocket, ‘it’s Sean, right?’

Sam signed the book on the frontispiece and gave the book back to the boy with another nervous and slightly awkward smile.

‘I hope you enjoy it,’ said Sam.

‘Thanks again,’ beamed Sean before heading off with his Dad to get on with their day.

‘That was so cool!’ exclaimed Emma as Sean and his Dad walked away.

‘You’re so cool Mum, you’re famous!’

‘You might find it cool,’ chuckled Sam, ‘but I don’t. Having random people I’ve never met before running up to me is really annoying, and my social anxiety doesn’t help.’

‘It’s still pretty cool,’ said Emma.

‘It is kind of cool yeah,’ laughed Sam.

They went to several different shops, including Sainsbury's for some essentials such as washing powder, shampoo and soap. They also got several packets of Quorn mince for the freezer and a few packets of veggie sausages.

They also went to the butchers, to pick up Sam’s favourite sausages. She was making toad in the hole for tea tonight. Then they went to the bakery to get a loaf of bread, and some cream cakes to have at home.

Then they went to visit Sam’s friend in the stationers where she got her notebooks and pens. Sam could have bought these in Sainsbury's, but she liked talking to her friend Amy who owned the shop.

‘Hi Ames,’ beamed Sam coming into the shop.

‘Hi Sam,’ said Amy.

‘Congrats on your new book,’ smirked Amy, ‘I’ve been telling everyone to go and out and buy them.’

Amy knew how much Sam hated the fact that she was famous because of the writing.

‘So are you the reason I’ve had half a dozen people asking for autographs today?’ asked Sam raising her eyebrows.

‘Maybe,’ shrugged Amy innocently.

‘Tell you what,’ said Amy, ‘I’ll give you a free pack of pens to apologise.’

‘You’ve got a deal,’ laughed Sam hugging her old friend.

Amy had known Sam since before she was famous, they shared a room for three years at University and were best friends. Sam had stayed onto to do a Master’s degree, and then become a famous writer afterwards, but she would always find time for her old friend.

She knew that Amy wasn’t a fake friend who only liked her because she was famous, as they’d been friends for five years before Sam even published her first book.

‘And who is your young friend?’ asked Amy noticing Emma.

‘Oh this is Emma,’ said Sam, ‘I would have rung you, but we’ve been so busy.’

‘Amy, this is Emma Smith, Meg and I adopted her a week ago. Emma, this is my bestest friend in the world, Amy Prince.’

‘Hi,’ said Emma waving.

‘You and Meghan have finally adopted!’ exclaimed Amy.

‘Why didn’t you tell me! I’m so happy for you! Why didn’t you bring her round earlier?’

‘We’ve been a bit busy,’ said Sam, ‘Emma’s been settling in, and I’m editing.’

‘It only takes five minutes to pick up the phone Sam,’ said Amy with her hands on her hips.

‘You’re not writing another book are you?’ asked Amy raising her eyebrows.

‘I’m afraid so,’ laughed Sam.

‘You’ve got to slow down,’ said Amy, ‘I still haven’t read the last two!’

‘Even if you have been selling them,’ smirked Sam.

Emma couldn’t help but giggle at the playful banter between the two old friends, who had known each other half their lives.

‘So, are you a writer Emma?’ asked Amy, ‘like you new Mum?’

‘I like reading,’ said Emma, ‘and I have a great imagination!’

‘I haven’t tried writing, but I’d love to try!’

‘Now’s as good a time as any,’ said Sam nodding approvingly.

She found a leather journal with plain pages which she picked up for Emma.

‘I want you to write down about all the exciting adventures you go on,’ said Sam winking knowingly.

Sam picked herself up a multipack of five ruled exercise books and two dozen assorted blue and black ballpoint pens.

‘You’ve got enough paper there to write twelve books!’ exclaimed Amy raising her eyebrows.

‘Romantic chic lit you read on a sun lounger in Ibiza maybe,’ muttered Sam.

‘Send me a picture of Meghan’s face when she comes home to her pristine house full of your notes, I still remember last time.’

Amy pulled a face, that looked scarily like Meghan when she was glaring at Sam.

‘Bring her in sometime when she’s not busy at the hospital,’ laughed Amy hugging Sam goodbye.

‘She’s always busy at work,’ said Sam shaking her head.

‘I’ll have to invite myself round for dinner then won’t I?’ said Amy.

Before going home, they stopped in an old sweet shop. It had shelves full of glass jars of sweets. Emma was in paradise. There were jars full of tiny hundreds and thousands in different colours, huge gobstoppers in every colour imaginable for 10p.

‘You can get five pounds worth,’ said Sam, ‘but hide them in your room, and don’t tell your Mummy. If Meghan finds out I’ve bought you sweets she’ll be livid!’

‘Thanks, Mum,’ beamed Emma.

She got a pound’s worth of hundreds of thousands in assorted colours, as they were really small and would last her ages. She got ten gobstoppers, and another pound’s worth of jellybeans and one of chocolate caramels. With her last pound, she picked some blackcurrant and liquorices which were purple and Emma’s favourite colour and she also loved both blackcurrant and liquorice.

Emma watched in fascination as the shopkeeper measured out her sweets on the scales, and sorted each type into a little paper bag. He even let her pick which gobstoppers she wanted to buy, and then he gave her the five brown paper bags which she put with the rest of the shopping.

On the way back out to the car, Sam was stopped again by another enthusiastic fan. This man was older than Sam was, at least early fifties, his hair was greying slightly.

‘Do you want to go for dinner sometime?’ asked the man casually leaning against the wall with his hands in his pockets.

‘First off,’ said Sam glaring at him as she gave the man back his signed book, ‘this is my daughter.’

‘Fine by me,’ said the man, ‘she can come if she wants.’

‘Secondly,’ said Sam ignoring the last comment, ‘I’m married.’

‘You don’t have to tell him; it can be our secret.’

‘Thirdly,’ seethed Sam, ‘as, as you say you’ve read this book ten times, you’ll have read the author information on the jacket cover, which says that I am lesbian and live with my wife.’

The man’s mouth seemed to be hanging open as if struggling to think of an answer to this.

‘And finally,’ said Sam, ‘you are old enough to be my Father. Now go away!’

‘And that,’ said Sam as they headed back to the car leaving the man dumbfounded behind them, ‘is how you deal with creeps like him!’

‘You are so cool Mum,’ gushed Emma.

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