It was a bottle. Just a bottle made of bevelled glass: small, and coated with a silver lacquer that had flaked off in places, not enough to reveal its contents. The cork stopper was crumbling, but tightly wedged in. There was something looped around its neck with string; a stained label, coiled with damp.
Kitty reached past me and hooked it out. A mouldering smell reached my nose as she unfurled the label. '"They say there be a witch inside it,'" she read. '"And if you let her out, there'll be a peck of trouble."' She let the paper spring back and grinned the grin that I loved. The grin that usually meant she was about to do something reckless. 'Let's smash it.'
Michelle Harrison is the author of eight novels for children and young adults, and her work has been translated into 17 languages. Her first book, The Thirteen Treasures, won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize. The Other Alice won the Calderdale Book of the Year Award. A Sprinkle of Sorcery is her eighth novel and a sequel to the best-selling A Pinch of Magic.
Prior to being a full-time writer, Michelle worked as a bookseller and then an editor at Oxford University Press. She lives in Essex and has a son, Jack, and three cats: Marmite, Sorsha and Widdershins.