“I’m Mandy Simon. I’m thirteen, I have brown hair, green eyes, I’m tall, I’m thin, shy, quiet, creative, calm, smart, and a witch.
What? You need me to repeat what I just said?
I’m a witch.”
I’m Mandy Simon. I’m thirteen, I have brown hair, green eyes, I’m tall, I’m thin, shy, quiet, creative, calm, smart, and a witch.
What? You need me to repeat what I just said?
I’m a witch.
I know it makes no sense, but it’s true. I have the power to bake a boy. All witches have one main power and a bunch of other little ones, and my main power is to bake a boy.
What? That doesn’t make sense?
Fine, fine. I’ll explain it.
Thirteen years ago, I was born. As the daughter of a wizard and a poor baker, I became a witch. And because I’m boy crazy and a hopeless romantic, I have the power to create a male human through baking. Like, I can turn vinegar into bravery, and sugar into strength. Just tell me your ideal male human, and I’ll bake him! And don’t worry, I’ll do it great. I’ve been mixing up beaus and cooking up guys since I was three. So, sit back, relax, and let me create your perfect bachelor.
Just stop by my family’s Matchmaker Bakery and we’ll turn flour into falling in love!
And, you’ll get to hear about a crazy adventure I had a few months ago.
Or you could read this book.
But don’t tell my mom, I’m writing this, I’m supposed to be making flyers right now.
Okay. First of all, you should know a little bit about my family. I’m the youngest of ten kids, for one. My siblings are Olivia, Talia, Tara, Fanny, Felicia, Sam, Sarah, Emily, and Nina. Olivia and Talia are twins, and Fanny, Felicia, Sam and Sarah are quadruplets. Emily and Nina are fraternal twins. I don’t understand WHY my parents were willing to have ten kids. Or why they had two sets of twins, a set of quadruplets, Tara, and me. And why did all my siblings end up having white blond hair and crystal blue eyes, just like my mom, while I have dark brown hair and green eyes like my dad, who by the way, ran off somewhere when I was two. So I have nine siblings, only one person to take care of us, no father, and no friends. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention I’m friendless ‘cause everyone at school thinks I’m a weirdo. My mom calls it quirky, but I know I’m just a weirdo. Good thing me and my sisters got pulled out of school.
The only friend I have is Fanny. Of course, the rest of my siblings love me and are nice to me, but Fanny’s the only one who gets it. She’s the only one who realizes how hard it is to be the youngest of ten kids, to look nothing like them, to not have a father, and to be bullied and friendless. She also makes me happy and brings out the best in me. I’d say she’s the best sister ever, but I have eight others, so I can’t. Let me tell you about them. Olivia’s the brains. Her main power is having a brain twice the size of a normal human’s brain. She read War and Peace at three, and Pride and Prejudice at six. To kill a Mockingbird came at eight. She’s been doing physics and chemistry for as long as I could remember. She’s won awards and prizes and trophies for everything in academics. She could walk at six months. Her first word was “obstreperous. ” Honestly, Olivia’s smarter than Einstein. His IQ was 160, Olivia’s is 200. She is smart.
Now I’ll tell you about Talia. She’s the athlete. Her power is being good at sports. She does Track, Soccer, Basketball, Baseball, Swimming, Dance, Golf, Bowling, and Croquet. You name it, she does it. She’s Varsity in all of those sports and all her coaches say she could go to the Olympics now, if she wanted, even though she’s only fifteen. That girl is strong.
Now I’ll tell you about Tara. She’s the creative one. Her power is the arts. She paints, acts, sings, dances and plays seven different instruments. She does concerts, plays, and art galleries all the time. Her voice is like angels, her dancing is incredible, her paintings are amazing, her acting is perfect, and when she plays her instruments, it’s like an orchestra. She’s so talented that I don’t know any person more talented than her. Honestly, I don’t.
Next is Fanny. She’s a comedian. Her main power is making people laugh. She does corny jokes, adult jokes, kid jokes, bad jokes, weird jokes, prop jokes, knock knock jokes, riddle jokes, you name it, she does it. She has a joke for every person she meets. Like our pediatrician. “Laughter is the best medicine!” she always says. She’s performed skits and stand-up comedy and anything that will make you laugh. With Fanny, nothing’s ‘not funny’. With Fanny, there’s always time for a joke.
Now you’ll hear about Felicia. Felicia is a psychologist. She’s really smart and wise, and she totally understands people. (That’s her main power, understanding people). And she will always listen if you’ve had a bad day. And she knows lots of metaphors and exercises. She could be a therapist right now. No PhD needed.
Now it’s Sam’s turn. She’s an engineer. She can build clocks, mechanical toys, blenders, she can even fix a car. She’s got a gift with mechanical things. She could totally fix a car, if she wanted to. Her power is understanding how all these things work and being able to build them. She’s really smart.
Now here’s Sarah. She’s a designer. She can make shirts, bottoms, accessories, you name it she can make it. That’s her main power. Clothing design. Who’s next? Oh, yeah, Emily. She’s a baker. She’s the only one of the family who has more of a normal talent, right? Wrong. She can bake cookies in two seconds, cakes, brownies, and cupcakes in one, and honestly, her pastries are the best thing you’ve ever tasted. There’s nothing better than her cupcakes, and her cookies are heaven in my mouth. If you don’t want to believe me, then fine, but you’re the one missing out on her INCREDIBLE, AMAZING, STUPENDOUS, DELICIOUS HEAVENLY SWEETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay, I’m calm now.
Now I’ll tell you about Nina. Last but not least, Nina. She’s a copper. Out of all the weird talents, my sister knows about how to be a cop. She’s a genius at finding clues, a prodigy at seeing if people are speeding, and if you put one toe out of the line of the law, she’s got you. My sisters have straaaaaaaaaange powers. Okay. Now that I’ve told you about my sisters, I can get on with the stor-
Uh-oh. Gotta go. I’m supposed to have two hundred flyers for the bakery, and my mom’s really mad I was writing this book instead of making flyers. Gotta run!
Okay, now that I managed to get my mom off my back, I can keep writing. But I’m not sure what to write next, because I don’t exactly remember that well what happened at this time. Oh! I remember now! This is when the real fun began: I had just finished a long, hard day of baking boys, and I was exhausted. People had wanted all sorts of kind of guys, and the more you ask me to bake, the more tired I get. So at that time, I just wanted to flop on a bed and do nothing. But when I did flop on my bed, I realized something.
All the time, every day, people come into my family’s bakery and ask for their ideal man. I bake it for them, and they go off and live happily ever after. Meanwhile, I just work and work. But then I realized that I don’t ever think about the kind of guy I would like.
“Oh, wow,” I said to myself. “I can’t believe I’ve never realized this before.” So then I thought, well, what kind of guy would I like? “Well, he’d be tall. With dark brown hair and green eyes. He’d have freckles, too.” Then I thought some more. “He’d be funny, sweet, passionate, sensitive, and romantic.” Then I thought a little more. “He’d be kind and honest, too. He’d also be open-minded and understanding.” Then I thought one last time. “He would also be sympathetic and caring. And going out with him wouldn’t be awkward. And I would be able to tell him anything. I could always confide in him. And when I have a bad day, he’ll bring out my favorite movie, or give roses or chocolates. And most of all, he’d care about me and accept me, flaws and all.” Then, before I knew what was happening, I’d fallen asleep.
The next morning, I’d completely forgotten what I thought about the night before, so I just sleepily stumbled out of bed and pulled on some clothes. I brushed my teeth and my hair and went downstairs. Nina was sitting at a table, using her magnifying glass to look at something on the table. Olivia was at a booth, reading a book about advanced Physics. Emily was in the kitchen, taking out a tray of cookies from an oven with one hand while balancing a bowl of brownies on her head and taking out a tray of cupcakes with another hand out of another oven. Sarah was in a corner, working on our bakery’s uniform on a dress form. Talia was outside, kicking soccer balls. And Fanny was trying to tell a joke to our Yorkie, Cutesicle. (Sarah’s idea, not mine).
“Where are Tara, Felicia and Sam?” I asked my mom, who was sitting on a stool behind the counter in the kitchen.
“Oh, good morning, sweetie! Talia’s painting in her room. Felicia has a meeting with a client that has a fear of clowns. And Sam’s asleep. Why do you ask?”
I looked around at all my weird sisters using their crazy talents. “Oh, I was just curious.” Then, before I could go over to Emily and ask her for a brownie, the wind chime that plays when the door opens tinkled.
I turned around. A tall, brown haired, green eyed, freckle-faced boy walked in. I almost passed out. He walked toward me.
“Hi, I’m George. Are you Mandy?”
For a split second, my jaws seemed to be seared together with cement. “Y-yes,” I stuttered.
“Well, I was wondering if you would want to go out sometime.”
Fanny looked up and scanned George from head to toe. She raised an eyebrow and crawled behind the counter so he wouldn’t notice her. She popped up from behind the counter next to me.
“She’d love to go out sometime!” Fanny said. “Right Mandy?” Fanny said.
“Um-um-yeah,” I muttered.
George beamed. “Great! I’ll pick you up tomorrow at six. Will you be here?”
“Yeah, I’ll b-be here.”
“Awesome. See you soon.” Then he walked out of the shop.
Sarah, Nina, Olivia and Fanny all crowded around me. “What was that all about?” They said in unison.
“I don’t know! He just came out of nowhere.”
“You have any idea where he came from or how he knows your name?”
“No! He just-” I stopped.
“What?” Fanny said.
“Well, last night, after work, I just went up to my room and realized that I have the power to bake a boy, and I bake boys for other people, but never thought about the kind of guy for me. So I thought of my perfect boyfriend and went to sleep. Then he just… showed up!”
“Mandy! When a fantastical sorceress born with the blessing of engineering a male human through pastries, that fantastical sorceress can never create a male of her own through the power of imagination, or the male she invented through imagination will be born out of magic and wonder!” (Of course, this was a comment from Olivia).
“WHAT?” We all said in unison.
Olivia sighed. “A witch that has the power to bake a boy can’t dream up her own or he’ll come to life. It’s a side effect of having a non-magic being for a parent.” Mom glared at Olivia. “I mean…a wonderful little quirk! Right, Mom?”
Mom shook her head and drove her attention back to me. “So…you just made up the perfect boyfriend for you and he just showed up and asked you on a date?”
“I do not understand magic,” my mom said, and walked away.
My sisters drove their attention to me again. “I can’t believe a guy asked you out! We have to help you pick an outfit! Oh my gosh, can I do your hair?”
“Well, if this is going to be a conversation about sexist and superficial face goop, I’m going to do some algebra problems.”
“I’m going to the highway to see if people are speeding,” Nina said.
“Well, I’m going to help Sarah help you get ready!” Fanny squealed.
So Fanny and Sarah steered me to where Sarah keeps her makeup and hair stuff. Fanny wanted to give me clown face paint in case George had a sense of humor, but Sarah wouldn’t let her. Sarah gave me purple eyeliner and curled my eyelashes with some eyelash curler thing and put on some blush, but I don’t know what affect any of that stuff have. (I might be boy crazy and a hopeless romantic, but that doesn’t mean I understand makeup!) Then they put three hundred different kinds of lip gloss on me for an hour until they decided that they liked the first one. After that you would’ve thought they would be done, but they had barely started. They spent nearly four hours trying different hairstyles on me before realizing they hated them all and that I should just wear my hair the way I wear it everyday. Then the actual important part: the clothes.
I went into my closet and emerged with a short, light green tank top and jeans. Sarah took them into her room and returned empty-handed.
“Where are my clothes?”
“Mandy, don’t tell me you seriously thought I would let you keep those? Oh my gosh, why do you think I hate you? Sweetie, relax, I burned those clothes. Literally burned them.”
I frowned at my sister. “Fine, what would you prefer, Miss Queen of Fashion?”
Sarah inspected my closet. “I think it’s time I show you my closet.”
I didn’t breathe for a full minute. “Your clo-clo-closet?”
Sarah nodded. She gently tugged my arm in a dark room. She shut the door and flicked on a light. For years, if I stepped within even six feet of Sarah’s closet, she would give me an electrical shock for two minutes. (We’re witches, so it doesn’t kill us, but it still hurts. A lot.) So obviously, this room was off-limits. You go in without Sarah’s permission? You just signed your own death warrant. And now, after thirteen years, I was in it. And being in it now, I suddenly felt sorry for Dorothy when she found Oz, because she couldn’t find Sarah’s closet instead. It was fifty times bigger than six football fields put together. The walls were painted in order of the colors of the rainbow, in a wavy pattern. It had 500 different kinds of televisions all over the walls with beanbags of every color of every shade all over the room on the floor, with a pool table in the back and a ginormous basketball court. There was also a Mcdonald’s and a KFC. And there was a escalator that lead to a room two hundred times bigger than the room with the Mcdonald’s, the KFC, the pool table, and the basketball court. The entire room just had clothes clothes clothes clothes clothes clothes clothes clothes CLOTHES! Every single inch of it had clothes. Not one part was empty. All there was was clothes, clothes, clothes.
As I gazed around, not moving, breathing, or doing anything else, Sarah disappeared into a corne. When she came back, she was dragging a rack of clothes behind her.
“Okay, Mandy. These are all the clothes I have that are good for first dates. Pick one.” There was a pleated denim dress, a strapless light blue dress, a red knee-length dress, a jade blazer with a denim bellbottom, and a flower patterned skirt. I looked at all the clothes thoughtfully. I didn’t really know which outfit to pick. I don’t know anything about fashion, so I was kind of stuck.
But finally, FINALLY, I decided that I wanted the blue strapless dress with the jade green blazer. So I put on the outfit I chose with the makeup Sarah wanted to put on me and I put on my favorite high-tops. Sarah thought I looked perfect, and Mom said I was stunning. Olivia said that according to a recent study at Stanford University, I appeared to be what the male population desires. And Fanny, of course, said: “Sarah’s done it! She’s waved her wand, said Bippity, Boppity, Boo, and changed you into a princess! Or, a really pretty teenage witch. You look good either way.” Then she gave me jazz hands.
Everyone who’s had or has a boyfriend/girlfriend knows that your first date can turn into your worst date in two seconds. That’s why the best thing to do on your first date is go to a movie. It melts anxiety and you can say you only have the money for one popcorn bucket as an excuse to hold hands in case you reach into the bucket at the same time. So George and I went to see The Amazing Spider-man. It was awesome and we both loved it. And, luckily, we held hands in the popcorn bucket! Yes! And while he walked me home, he let me wear his jacket when I was cold. And then, when we were at my door, he asked me out to play mini golf next Saturday. I said yes and dreamily walked inside.
Olivia, Nina, Emily, Talia, Tara, Sam, and Felicia were totally weirded-out and did not understand, but Sarah, Fanny and my mom totally got it. We spent hours giggling, whispering, and squealing. I know that sounds girly, but I’m not really like that. I’m a little girly, but most of the time I don’t act all sexist. Sure I’m boy crazy and a hopeless romantic, but what I wear is totally tomboy, and my favorite hobbies are using my power and playing soccer. Not to mention I don’t understand fashion or makeup. But when you have your first date, being girly is allowed.
So I went to Sarah’s closet and decided to wear a red peplum with jeans and my favorite hightops. Then I resumed giggling, whispering, and squealing with two of my sisters and my mom. The next day, I didn’t pay attention to the customers at the bakery. I kept talking in this high, soft, floaty voice. Everything I saw was pink and had butterflies flying around it. And I don’t remember one thing a person said unless it was about George.
All my sisters tried to stop me from acting all weird, but nothing worked. But then, Mom had an idea. She took an enormous bucket of ice water and dunked my head into it. Then she shouted “SNAP OUT OF IT!” in my face through a bullhorn. I jumped about a foot in the air and then fell on the floor and fainted. When I woke up, my nine sisters and my mom were staring at me, confused and worried. (Well, Olivia wasn’t really confused. She never is.)
“Hi-hi guys,” I mumbled, shakily standing up.
“Are you okay?” Mom asked.
“Yeah, I think so.” Everything was back to normal. I wasn’t all weird and gross and day-dreamy.
“You’re sure okay?” Sarah asked. I nodded. “Great, Mom. She was finally perfect, after thirteen years, and you broke her!” Sarah stomped off in anger and frustration, and my mom and all of my other sisters but Fanny followed her. Fanny and I looked at each other for a few seconds, and then laughed. Then we went to Sarah’s closet and watched TV while sitting on Sarah’s beanbags. We laughed and joked around and didn’t mention George once. And, to tell you the truth, not thinking about George made me really, really, really, happy. Whenever I did, I started to have a panic attack. So Fanny thought was it was a good idea to pretend George didn’t exist. And it was a good idea. Well, it was a good idea at the time. Later, I realized that it was one of the worst ideas ever.
Sorry last chapter was so short! But I had to rush because Mom was on my case about writing this book instead of working. Anyway, this chapter is about my cliché, gross, and totally TV three-week relationship with George. My second date with George was only a couple days after our first date, so didn’t have a long time to prepare. Before the date, I was a nervous wreck. I couldn’t breathe normally, my heart was going at the speed of sound, and my voice kept cracking. Even Fanny, who always knows what to say, couldn’t help me. Mom told me there’s no reason to go crazy over a boy. Nina, Sam, Talia, Tara, Emily and Felicia didn’t care. Olivia told me that most teenage girls feel uneasy with a handsome male specimen, so what I was feeling was normal. And Sarah — shallow, gossiping, self-centered, drama queen Sarah — said: “Mandy, I know what you’re going through. On the first couple dates you have, you feel stressed. But the best thing to remember is that boys aren’t worth you feeling unhappy. You’re supposed to be dating George because he makes you happy, right? So break up with him if you need to, okay?” Shocking, I know, coming from Sarah. But I realized she was right. So was Mom. If George made me feel anything but happy, I should break up with him. Besides, life is more than boyfriends and crushes.
So when I heard somebody ring the doorbell, I marched straight to the door, prepared to break up with George.
I flung open the door and said: “George, we need to-” Then I saw it was a mailman with a package.
“Delivery for Mandy Simon.”
“That’s me,” I said. I signed something and took the package. I brought it to Sarah. Fanny and her were in her closet, playing Air Hockey.
“Hey guys, look what I-” I looked at them closely. “You guys didn’t tell me you had an Air Hockey table!” They blushed. I decided to ignore and I continued. “I got a package from… George.” The two stopped playing. I ripped open the package. Inside was a brand new Windows 8 computer. I pulled it out, opened it and turned it on. There was a video on the screen. I pressed play. It was George.
“Hi Mandy! Sorry i couldn’t play mini golf with you. I got busy at the animal shelter. You see, I volunteer with orphan animals. Anyway, I’m going to be pretty busy for a while, so I was wondering if we could date through videos on this computer. Email me if you want to do it!”
And the video ended.
I looked at my sisters. “No. I say no. I’m not going to date him. He can have his computer back. I don’t want it.”
“Um, Mandy, there’s something else in here,” Sarah said. I looked in the box.
“An opal necklace?”
“That’s real opals,” Sarah said. I believed her, because if anyone knows about accessories, it’s Sarah. “So are you going to do it?”
I took a deep breath, sighed, and opened my Gmail account.
The next few weeks dating George through a computer was really weird. I would have to go on a romantic picnic by myself and talk to a computer, or go on a horse carriage ride by myself with a computer, and it was fun, but really weird. It was the strangest (and only) relationship I’d ever been a part of. I got to get to know George, and he got to get to know me. It was cool, but a little (okay, a lot) cliché. We would giggle constantly, and he would keep sending me presents, and I felt like some sort of girl in a TV sitcom. You would’ve thought it was perfect, but in reality, it was the worst. Talking to a computer screen just makes you feel weird, and I felt like I wasn’t really getting to know George. I felt like a weirdo with a computer. So, after a while, I realized that I had to break up with him. So one day, I started a Facetime chat and then started to say, “George, I’m really sorry, but-we-we have to-”
I turned around. I was in the bakery at the time, behind the counter, so how could somebody be behind me? Well, you tell me, ‘cause George somehow was there. “George, how…”
“I had to get into the bakery sometime. How else would I be able to hack into your family’s files and destroy your business?”
“You see Mandy, you didn’t create me. I was born the son of two convicts, who happened to also be magic. I wanted to get a good job, but with my parent’s reputation, it was impossible. So, I knew I had to break some rules.” George gave me an evil smile and continued. “Then I found you. You, a very smart, kind, sweet girl with a rare talent and a great business, who also believed I was a good guy. So, I went along with it and tricked you. I was secretly learning all about your family’s business, planning to destroy it. And then, one day, I managed to get in, and collapse the system. And now, all of this is mine. Say goodbye to this bakery, Mandy. ‘Cause I’m going to take it over and wipe you and it from existence!” I stared at him, stunned.
“But-how did you know so much about us?”
“That opal necklace had video cameras in the gems. I could watch your every move. That’s right, sister. My power is evil.” Then he started laughing a really creepy laugh. I shook my head and punched him in the face.
“Guys! Come here! Now!” My nine sisters flashed into the bakery. They read my mind and understood what was happening. “You know, George, you may have collapsed the bakery’s system, but guess what? Nine witches against one jerkface equals one jerkface loser.” I gave him a little smile. “GET HIM!” We all flew up into the air at the same time, and our powers went into action. Sam threw gears, screws, and other mechanical stuff at him. Sarah threw some accessories at him. Fanny threw prop comedy stuff at him. And I pelted him with eggs. “Okay, this is not so effective. Switch to elemental powers mode!” We all breathed fire, water, and ice. (Those are witch powers we use for emergencies.) We lifted him up in the air and threw him around with fire. Then we threw him to the ground. “Oh, and by the way, George, we have a backup system. So you did nothing to us. Ha.” We lifted him with ice, froze him, and threw him to the ground. “Turns out two can play at the jerk game, huh? Well, eleven, actually.” We lifted him up and threw him out the door. “And don’t come back!” we all said in unison. Then Mom came in through the back door. “I’m back from town — oh, good you’re all here, I got dinner, and snacks, oh, and unfortunately, Sam, they didn’t have a build-a-car-starter kit-” Mom stopped. “So, did you girls have a nice afternoon?” We flew down. “Yeah, Mom. We had a great afternoon,” I sighed.
I know you’re mind is blown after the last chapter and everything, but there’s more of the story. So I’ll keep going. In the next three days after my breakup with George, I tried to focus on working at the bakery and nothing else. And it kind of worked. My mind was completely into baking the boys people requested. And, after a little while, I felt better about the whole situation. I mean, there was no point in crying over George. He was a jerk and I didn’t need him. And there was one good thing that came from his arrival: I got eight new friends.
The eleven Simons lived in harmony. The girls fought from time to time, but that was all. They enjoyed running their bakery and all became good friends and sisters. And one day….
Emily was going through the bakery’s records in their family’s computer files, and she saw something odd. She squinted at the screen. She felt confused. Then, it hit her like a ton of bricks.
“OH MY GOD.”
To be continued…