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Authors: Lexi Connor

The Superstar Sister

BOOK: The Superstar Sister
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B Magical
The Superstar Sister
By Lexi Connor

 

To Shirley

Contents

Cover

Title Page

Dedication

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Preview

POISON APPLE BOOKS

Acknowledgments

About the Author

Copyright

Chapter 1

Beatrix, or B for short, slid onto a kitchen stool and watched her mother work her magic. A brick of cheddar cheese shredded itself into a pile while an invisible knife diced a juicy red tomato. Her mother stood behind the counter, muttering spells under her breath.

“Tacos tonight, Mom?” B asked.

“Taco salad,” Mrs. Cicely corrected. “Guacamole … let me think … Ah. Here we go.

Chips, sour cream, refried
frijoles,

All we need is guacamole.

Mash garlic with avocado,

Onion, and a ripe to-mah-to.”

And before B’s eyes, two avocados peeled themselves in midair. They spat out their large round
stones, plopped themselves in a bowl, and blended in with a swirl of garlic, onion, and tomato. Mrs. Cicely added a dash of salt, and B scooped up some of the finished guacamole with a tortilla chip. Delicious! Her mom definitely had a talent for cooking.

A loud drumbeat rattled through the kitchen ceiling, shaking the hanging lamps. B recognized the intro to “Swagger,” a recent single from the Black Cats. They’d been her favorite band long before meeting her friend Trina, who turned out to be the lead singer. Trina had an amazing voice — and was also a witch, like B.

B pinched another chip and pointed it at the ceiling. “What’s up?”

“It’s your sister,” Mrs. Cicely said. “She’s been in her room ever since she got home from school, practicing her act for the talent show.”

The whole city was buzzing with the news that the TV show
You’ve Got It!
was hosting auditions in B’s school auditorium. The show was even bringing
out its mega-famous host, Clifton Davro, to judge the auditions.

“Of course.” B tried to snag more guacamole, but her mother whisked it away before she could reach the dish. “Everyone I know seems to be going crazy trying to find a winning act. George nearly choked on the bus trying to sing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ while eating Enchanted Chocolates.”

Mrs. Cicely made a face. “That can’t have been nice to watch.”

B laughed at the memory of her best friend George’s face smeared with chocolate, singing, “
Jo se can oo lee.
” At least that was what it had sounded like.

“Have
you
done any practicing for your performance?” her mom asked.

“Hah.” It was B’s turn to make a sour face. “My only talent is messing things up. I’m in no hurry to do that on national television. I’m pretty sure I don’t
have it.

“I didn’t mean the talent show,” Mrs. Cicely said.
B could hear the edge of a lecture creeping into her mom’s voice. “I was thinking of Friday’s Young Witch Competition.”

B’s spirits drooped. All the excitement since the announcement from
You’ve Got It!
had almost made her forget about her opportunity for humiliation at the annual witching event. B hated being up onstage, and this competition would force her to compete in front of a huge crowd. While all the other witches would be making up original rhyming spells for the contest, B’s magic was different. She cast spells by spelling words, and sometimes they had unexpected consequences. But the worst thing about the competition was that her sister had won it when she was eleven.

“I’ve been thinking about it a lot,” B said, “but I haven’t gotten far.” She knew she needed something U-N-I-Q-U-E and A-W-E-S-O-M-E but hadn’t come up with anything better than a spell about the weather.

“Oh, there are so many possibilities,” Mrs. Cicely
began. “I have an issue of
Spellbound Monthly
somewhere….”

“Mr. Bishop has offered to help me and Trina prepare. Tomorrow, after school, during our magic lessons.”

Mr. Bishop was B’s English teacher, but when B visited him after class for extra study help, the tutoring didn’t involve literature, or essays, or grammar. It involved potions, and spells, and magical travel to wonderful places. Lucky for B, she didn’t need extra help in English. It was already her best subject.

“Make sure you make good use of your lesson time, then,” Mrs. Cicely said. “Mr. Bishop can really help you out.”

“Help out with what?” Mr. Cicely appeared in the doorway and set down his laptop bag. He smelled, as always, like a walking, talking cup of cocoa. It wasn’t possible to work at the Enchanted Chocolates factory all day long and not have a little of it rub off.

“We were just discussing Friday’s Young Witch Competition,” Mrs. Cicely said.

“Ah.” He sat down and kicked off his shoes. “B will clobber everyone else. I know she will. It runs in the family.”

“That’s what Geo …” B bit her lip. She almost let it slip that George knew about B’s magic! It was a major rule of the Magical Rhyming Society to never let any nonwitches know about the existence of magic.

“Hm? What was that?”

“Uh …” B couldn’t think of what to say.

“Now, Felix,” B’s mom said. “Hands off that guacamole. And B isn’t going to ‘clobber’ anyone. That’s
not
what the Young Witch Competition is about.”

Mr. Cicely abandoned the guacamole and went for the cheese sauce instead. “’Course not. ’Course not. Not about competition. It’s about … er … teamwork.”

“It’s about learning,” his wife corrected him. “And doing your best. So long as B works hard and tries hard, she’ll have nothing to fear.”

“Absolutely.” Mr. Cicely scooped more guacamole when his wife’s back was turned.

B was unconvinced.

Upstairs Trina’s recorded voice belted out the chorus to “Swagger” for the third time straight, while Dawn’s fancy footwork thumped with the beat. “Do your best” scarcely seemed like enough when your older sister was overloaded with both talent and magical skill.

“Dawn, come down for dinner!” Mrs. Cicely called up the stairs. “Dawn! Dawn! Oh, never mind.” She wiped her hands on a dish towel. “We’ll save her a plate. There’s no stopping her practicing. She’s one focused kid.”

B kept her face aimed down at the table. There was that lecturing tone creeping into her mother’s voice again.

“I’m sure that when
B
focuses on the Young Witch Competition, and decides what she wants to do, she’ll put together a performance we’ll be
very
proud of.”

“Yeah.” B swallowed a mouthful of dinner. It was
bad enough having to demonstrate her magical skills to an audience and panel of judges — that would inspire enough stage fright to render her clumsy and speechless for a week. But living up to Dawn was impossible, plain and simple.

“Why the long face, B?” her dad said.

“Oh, nothing,” B said. “Pass the nachos, please.”

Chapter 2

B entered the school building the next morning and wondered if she’d stumbled onto a Hollywood film set by mistake. Guys strummed unplugged electric guitars in front of their lockers. Two girls practiced their hip-hop dance while an eighth-grade boy belted out a rock ballad. Several cheerleaders practiced their backflips down the corridors, nearly annihilating an innocent sixth-grade bystander. A pimply boy walked around with his head tilted back, balancing a bowling pin on the bridge of his nose.

B ducked her head down and dodged the crowd until she reached her locker. She didn’t notice her friend approaching until Trina slid her arm through B’s.

“Hey,” B said, “what’s going on around here?”

“Everyone’s all wound up about the auditions,” Trina said.

“But they’re not until tomorrow.”

“Doesn’t matter,” Trina replied. “Clifton Davro’s coming. That’s all anyone can talk about. This hubbub sort of reminds me of being on tour. All the road crew running around, the dancers and backup singers practicing all over the place …”

“You haven’t considered doing the talent show, have you, Trina?”

B’s friend shook her head. She looked each way to make sure no one could hear them. “Even if it didn’t conflict with the Young Witch Competition, I wouldn’t do it. I already get to perform on TV. It wouldn’t be fair for me to take someone else’s chance away.”

“Yeah.” B grinned. “And I wouldn’t do it because I’m a chicken.”

“You are not!”

B just shook her head and finished putting her things away in her locker.

“Anyway,” Trina said, “I just saw Mr. Bishop. He said he’s looking forward to us showing him what we’ve prepared for Friday night.”

“Ugh,” B groaned. “None of my ideas are any good. I’m so not ready.”

“Well, don’t worry,” Trina said. “Mr. Bishop can help. You’ll see.”

The bell rang, and B and Trina headed toward their homerooms. A freshman ambled past them, letting out an earsplitting caterwaul.

“What was
that
?” B said.

Trina grinned. “Yodeling, I think.”

All through art, history, and English classes, B’s teachers battled bravely to keep everyone’s attention, but B’s classmates were far too interested in tomorrow’s talent show auditions. Even Mr. Bishop, who usually kept his classes spellbound with his comical teaching and his rabbit-in-the-hat-style “magic” tricks, gave up trying to discuss vocabulary words from
Harriet the Spy.
He threw up his hands in despair, and assigned his students an extra essay
on what they would do with the prize money if they won the national
You’ve Got It!
talent competition.

Lunch was in an uproar with everyone using every spare minute to practice their talents. After B, Trina, and George had eaten their food, they left the cafeteria early and headed down to the gym. George said he had something he wanted to show them.

The gym was empty when they arrived. George steered Trina and B toward a far corner, half-obscured by the collapsed bleachers. The overhead lights were off, so the room was only dimly lit by the overcast sky peeping through the skylights.

“Perfect,” George said. “No one should see us here. I want you guys to tell me what you think of my act. I practiced for hours last night.”

“Cool,” Trina said. “What are you doing?”

George pulled a loop of climbing rope from his backpack. “First wrap me around and around with this, will you, B?”

B started tying George up.

“Careful! Don’t cut off my circulation,” George yelped. “Okay, Trina, would you take this padlock
and fasten the clips of the rope together? Make sure the lock’s behind my back.”

B and Trina fussed with the rope and the lock until George was all trussed up.

“All right, ready? Here I go!” George began bouncing up and down, leaping high in the air and twisting. “I decided …”
jump
… “to be the bouncing …”
jump
… “joking …”
jump
… “escape artist.”
Jump.

“Oh, my goodness,” Trina said. “That’s quite a combination.”

“I call myself …”
jump
… “Jumping …”
jump
… “Joking …”
jump
… “George.”

“Let’s hear some jokes, then,” B said.

George kept on bouncing. “Well, I tried to think of some good ones,” he said, “but I’ve been pretty
tied up
lately. Get it?
Tied up?

B and Trina groaned.

“I’m not the only jumper in my family, you know,” George went on. “I’ve got a pair of twin brothers. The neighbors couldn’t believe it when my parents named them both Jack. But how else could we call them
Jumping Jacks
?”

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