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Doughnuts and Doom

Doughnuts and Doom by Balazs Lorinci

The book Doughnuts and Doom by Balazs Lorinci is sitting on an open box of glazed, chocolate and caramel doughnuts. There is one chocolate doughnut with sprinkles sitting outside the box and a snake coiled on the top of the box with a glazed doughnut in its mouth.

At the Witch Hub, Margot Grapes is trying to perform magic on a plant for her spell license but it’s not working and the snide hag, sorry, the examiner, is being particularly unhelpfully sarcastic about it. Luckily she still has her potion license. Margot stomps out, collecting her hat, broom and familiar Stanley the snake from reception and she decides together, she and Stanley will drown their sorrows in a pile of sweets. 

Margot and Stanley fly to Midnight Froth Doughnuts, or MFD, where the doughnuts look perfectly glazed. Elena works there, she’s distracted and burns her hand on the hot doughnut pan dropping all the pastries. She’s been working long hours and had a last minute band practice so she’s tired and distracted, but she so wants their set to be perfect at the big gig. Her colleague Sue offers to make a fresh batch if Elena cleans up the mess and serves the customer who has just come in who just so happens to be Margot. 

Margot asks for their largest bag to be filled with chocolate doughnuts. Unfortunately, it was the chocolate doughnuts that Elena dropped. Margot complains that she can’t believe MFD, which she had to literally fly across town to, doesn't have the most basic doughnut ever. Elena points to a poster on the wall confirming that, in fact, the most basic doughnut is, in fact, either a plain or sugar one. Dang. Well, Margot still feels sassed. 

Frankly, Margot is acting like a bitch taking her rough day out on Elena, but Elena isn’t helping with her sassy quips. As they’re arguing over doughnuts, Elena gestures to all the other delicious flavors they have and spots a snake, Stanley, in the cabinet eating them. Stanley manages to sneak off and has devoured three. Margot shouts at Elena for touching her snake when she picks him up, and Elena is in shock that the snake is both this annoying customer’s snake and called Stanley, and then she drops him. Stanley is unbothered by the fall as he’s munching on a doughnut, but Margot gets scary. Her eyes start to go wild and glow, magic pours out of her as she shouts at Elena that she only wanted a bag of doughnuts not attitude, not her snake being molested, and no doughnuts. Doughnuts start to fly, the lights explode, and Elena ducks for cover behind the counter. 

Sue comes in which stops Margot’s rage and she leaves followed by a happy Stanley eating another doughnut. Sue orders Elena to sit and eat something before her low blood sugar causes her to murder someone because murder is bad for business. Elena takes a sprinkle doughnut and eats it in the alley out back. 

Later that night, with her guitar on her back, Elena heads to Tizzy for the gig. Bob, the drummer, is already there and set up. The crowd is light so they decide not to start their set yet, however Vince the club owner tells them they only have an hour before the DJ gets there. Elena is not amused and gives Vince a piece of her mind but he doesn’t cower at her anger. Frankly, they both make good points about actually advertising the gig, though Bob, ever the optimist, points out they have eight people to play to, and that’s three more than last time. Quickly they set up and start, but as Elena strums her guitar, a pulse of electrical energy explodes through her and everything goes black.

The next morning, Margot is still in bed when Dave the delivery driver rings her door bell. They have a coffee together and Dave commiserates with Margot on failing her spell exam but points out her website is showing great reviews of her potions and this is the second delivery he’s made this week. As Dave is looking at Margot’s reviews on his phone, a notification pops up. Apparently someone else had a worse day yesterday than Margot. A guitarist was zapped onstage and it was caught on video. 

When Margot sees Elena on the video thumbnail she spits out her coffee, asks Dave to send her the link, and makes an excuse for him to leave before running to her laptop. Margot pulls up an interview Elena gave about her band, Bird! Bird! Bird!, before watching the video from Tizzy the night before. Yeah, this isn’t good. 

At the hospital, Elena has had a massive round of tests and been given the all clear to head home. As she's having a juice box, Margot flies through her window to apologize, making her drop the juice box. Elena stops Margot’s long explanation to tell her her day got way worse than when she was in there being a mean customer, but then Margot explains she may-have-possibly-though-most-likely cursed one of the doughnuts in the cabinet because she was having a crappy day and isn’t very good at charms and had ironically failed her charms exam earlier that day and that Elena probably ate the cursed doughnut and as a result, she was shocked at her show. Elena is pissed, she could have died and should report Margot to the Witch Ministry, but she’s glad she survived and it might drum up publicity. As Margot makes to leave, she hands Elena a potion to counter any lingering effects of the curse, but Elena is wary of Margot’s magic. Regardless Margot leaves it on the window ledge and flies off, but before she goes, Margot tells her how good Bird! Bird! Bird! is. 

Bob picks Elena up from the hospital and she shows him the potion from Margot. He thinks she should drink it and doubts it’s poisoned because it has Margot’s name and address on the tag. Also, they have a gig on Friday at Tizzy, not because Vince feels responsible in any way shape or form for the electrocution on his equipment, but out of the kindness of his heart. Also he’ll promote their gig because of kindness not liability. Besides, a witch from the Witch Hub claims to be able to trace the magic so she can't sue him for getting shocked. Anyway, Bird! Bird! Bird! needs her at 100%, so she needs to drink the potion. Sigh, bottoms up. Instantly Elena feels buzzed. She feels reborn! 

As Bob pulls up at Elena’s house, a witch flies over on her umbrella. It’s Katie Banks, Margot’s snide hag examiner from the Witch Hub, there to investigate what she suspects to be “reckless actions of a certain witch!” caused by gross negligence and lack of skill. Banks clearly has a personal grudge and vendetta against Margot, and is determined to get her banned from the Witch Hub. With glee she shows Elena Margot’s picture, however Elena says the customer from MFD doesn’t match Margot’s picture and had a lizard familiar called Trevor or Thomas or something. Elena closes down the questioning and Banks flies away. The “old bat” was giving bad vibes, so Elena wasn’t giving her anything.

Elena uses the address on the tag to visit Margot. Margot is busy packing deliveries so she invites Elena in. Stanley is overjoyed Elena is there and comes over for scritches. Stanley has always been a good judge of character and as a witch’s familiar has an intelligence boost so he's basically the snake version of a golden retriever. Elena reassures Margot that what happened the other day is water under the bridge because they were both having bad days, but the reason for the visit is to tell her about the old bat with bad vibes. Margot is completely clueless as to why Katie Banks is out to get her, but Elena suspects she’s a busybody on a power trip. Suddenly Elena gets a weird magic zap. It seems the curse is still flaring but Margot reassures her it should pass in a day or two, and in the meantime, she’ll make another potion and drop it off in the morning. 

The next day, Margot flies to Elena’s where Bird! Bird! Bird! is clearly practicing. Bob is ecstatic to meet an actual witch. When Elena offers to pay for the potion, Margot declines because it’s her fault Elena needs it in the first place and says she should have baked her a cake. Well, if Margot won’t accept money, they’ll give her a song instead. Fantastic! She requests “I See You” because it’s her favorite. Bob tells her to sing with them which freaks Margot out. No! She has crippling performance anxiety, it’s why she struggles with charms. Well, this is only a practice so Elena throws her a microphone and tells Margot to look at her toes. 

The music starts and Margot starts to sing really quietly but soon gets louder until she’s really into it and really good. Suddenly Elena stops playing because Sue is messaging. She's late for her shift. Margot offers her a lift on her broom, guaranteeing they won’t get stuck in traffic, plus it’s the second safest way to travel (first is by shovel).

They arrive at MFD, both enjoying Elena holding on despite all the safe magic on the broom. Sue spots them, recognizes the witch who almost burned the place down, and Margot books it, shouting “text me!” Elena tells Sue she must be mistaken. That's not the same witch from before! Most witches are redheads riding brooms!

Later, when Margot gets home, Stanley has a letter for her in his mouth. It’s a Summoning…annnnd Katie Banks is calling her too. Sue called the Witch Hub and ratted her out which unfortunately gave Banks enough ammunition to get the council to agree to summon her to a mandatory priority exam Monday at 9 am. 

As Margot has a simultaneous rage and freak out, a text comes through for an urgent delivery for a case of relaxing autumn candles. Fine. Margot grabs the box, her broom and heads out… to Elena. Sitting on a bench. With chocolate doughnuts. Elena feels bad because she thinks she’s got Margot in trouble. Margot assures her it’s not her fault and the old bat is looking for any excuse to kick her out of the Witch Hub. Margot explains about the mandatory priority exam and that if she fails the spell exam she’ll be kicked out and forbidden from using magic. Well, if Margot would like more distraction, Elena will put her on the guest list at the Tizzy for the Bird! Bird! Bird! gig the following night. If Elena is going to flex, who is she to say no?

Friday night, Elena and Bob are set up, Margot looks great, and Tizzy is crammed. Margot manages to squeeze through the crowd to say “hi” to Elena and Bob as they’re setting up and being harassed by Vince. Soon they’re being introduced and they start playing. It goes great for like two minutes before the curse strikes, the sound system blows and static feedback wreaks havoc. Vince calls an end to the gig and for safety, he has to empty the club in case something blows. 

Margot runs to Elena. Though Elena is cured of the curse it seems the curse was also in the sound system. It passed to it when Elena’s guitar and mic were connected to the system, and her playing must have reactivated it. Elena is devastated and brushes Margot away. Bob tells Margot she has to do something because he’s never seen Elena this hopeless before. 

Margot psychs herself up, takes a deep breath and casts a charm into the microphone: she starts singing. The crowd, which had started to leave, turn at her singing. Margot emanates magic as she sings to a tearful Elena. Margot takes Elena’s hand, pulls her up and Bob counts them in. They absolutely rock the Tizzy and the crowd loves them, but they really lose it when Elena and Margot kiss on stage, and Bob looks so happy!

Outside the Witch Hub Monday morning, Margot is holding Elena’s hand. They walk in together, but Elena stays in reception with Margot’s hat, broom and Stanley while Margot goes to face the human-shaped Sauerkraut, Banks. Banks was not expecting Margot’s confidence as she turns to face the plant she is required to invoke physical change to with magic. Margot counts, one… two… three… four! ✨ MAGIC ✨ 

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