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Remote for Life

Do you ever wish that you could rewind life? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, when something goes wrong, you could take out your remote and wind time back just like a DVD? You would always be in with a second chance. Most of us would never be able to even think of doing something like that – but Katie is a witch and can do magic spells.

Story by Bertie.

Read by Natasha. 

Proofread by Jana Elizabeth.

Katie and the remote for life -

It was Saturday morning, and Katie got up late. She finished her breakfast and suddenly remembered that “The Amazing Journey” was on television She did not normally watch a lot of TV – she preferred to see 360 Degree animations on her mum’s crystal ball – but this programme was a favourite. It was a Japanese animation about a boy and girl who were making a journey through amazing valleys and mountains. On the way they met all sorts of magical creatures, witches and demons. Cute animals, including a kung-fu rabbit and a souped-up squirrel, helped them fight off dangers. It was very fast, very colorful, way-out, exciting, and funny.

She ran upstairs and hunted around for the remote-control TV zapper. Eventually she found it down the side of the sofa. She pressed the red On button – but oh no! – the programme was almost over.

“Never mind,” thought Katie. “It’s one of those smart TVs that you can rewind.” It was just like a DVD. You pressed the reverse button on the remote and watched all the characters run backwards very fast. Once you found the place you wanted, you could press “play” and sit back and watch. It was like magic. But unlike most other things in the house, it wasn’t actually magic. It was technology.

After the programme was over, she held the zapper in her hand and thought: “This little magic wand is very clever, as far as it goes. … If only I could use it in real life… but hold on, perhaps I can.”

On Monday, Katie and her mum got in the car and headed off for school. Half way there, Katie’s mum remembered that she had promised to take Isis that day. She turned round and headed back to Isis’s house. Then they got stuck in a traffic jam. In short, Katie and Isis were both 15 minutes late for school. Registration was over when they got there, and the children were getting up and leaving for their first lesson.

Miss Vile said: “Katie, Isis, why are you both late?” Katie began to tell the story, but somehow, as she spoke, it all sounded like a made-up excuse. She could see that Miss Vile did not believe her. It was so unfair, because it was true. All the other pupils had already left for their first lesson and now they would be both late for that one as well, and get into trouble twice over.

“Thank you,” said Miss Vile, when Katie had finished explaining. “You will both report for lunch-time detention.”

“But Miss Vile,” said Isis, “It wasn’t even my fault.”

“Enough! Don’t answer back. And Katie, what is that you are holding in your pocket?”

But Katie did not reply. Suddenly Miss Vile started to talk very fast and very strangely. Her body made rapid jerky movements, a bit like a robot gone wrong. She started to move backwards to her desk, still talking gibberish. Isis’s eyes were popping out with amazement and Katie was sniggering.

All the rest of the form started to come backwards into the class and sit down at their desks. Katie and Isis were the only ones acting normally. It was as if they were not part of this strange happening, just watching it like on TV.

“Quick, sit down at your desk,” said Katie. And Isis, who only knew that Katie’s magic powers must have something to do with this, sat down.

Then Miss Vile and everyone froze and they looked like those dummies you see in shop windows. Isis shivered. It was rather spooky. But a moment later they started behaving just like normal. Miss Vile took the register and Katie and Isis were signed in – just as if they had arrived on time.

Katie smirked from ear to ear, and Isis had to try ever so hard just so as not to giggle. “sshhh” whispered Katie, and Isis kept her lips absolutely sealed. It was not until break time that she was able to catch her friend alone in the corner of the playground and say:

“Wow Katie, what you did this morning was amazing… is there any point in asking exactly what happened?” And Katie pulled out her magic gadget and said:

“I did it with this. It’s my remote for life. I can reverse or pause people – just like TV. But the only thing I really can’t do is fast-forward. That’s against the witch’s code.”

Isis knew that if there was one thing in the entire world that she wanted it was that remote.

“Oh please, Katie, can I try?” she begged.

“I’m sorry,” said Katie, “but I’m not supposed to let a non-witch use it. You see, it doesn’t just reverse people, it reverse’s time too. You have to be really careful about that sort of thing.”

“But can I just see?”

“Well… I suppose so. It’s just an ordinary TV remote you know. I made a few little improvements with some spells I learnt last night.”

Isis took the plastic remote in her hand. It was true – it looked like nothing particularly special. She held it out and pointed it at some boys who were playing football.

“No, Isis, look don’t… give it back!” pleaded Katie. But Isis laughed and said “Just one little try.” Her finger pressed pause, and the boys all froze. It looked like they had just decided to play statues or something. Isis ran towards them and kicked the ball into goal. then she turned round and pressed play. A boy called Ivan shouted “GOAAAAAALLL!”

Now Katie started to chase her friend. But Isis thought it was all the funniest joke ever and fled across the playground. In doing so she bumped smack into Mr Phillpot…

“Hey lass, look where you are going!”

“Sorry Sir.”

She ran into the school and skidded down the corridor SMACK right into Mrs Hepworth the head teacher. Now, everyone knew that it was against the rules to run inside the building – let alone to go bumping into teachers.

“Isis…..DETENTION ON FRIDAY!” said Mrs Hepworth, more flustered than she had been for a long time.

“Sorry Miss…. er, hang on a moment… I just want to show you something… and she took out the remote and pointed it at the headteacher.

“Isis – what’s that about?” stuttered Mrs Hepworth. Isis’s fingers fumbled on the buttons… for a moment she fast forwarded Mrs Hepworth and saw her snarl rather scarily “Give that to me young madam!” But then she fingered the right button and reversed the head teacher back down the corridor. It was a chance to run the whole scene again, only differently. Next, Isis pressed play and calmly walked passed her. Katie saw all this happen and was powerless to do anything about it.

“How dare you do that!” she almost screamed when she caught up with her in the class room. “Give that back to me.” She lurched for her remote, but Isis pulled her hand away.

“What’s all this – are you two fighting?” said a stern voice. It was Miss Vile, standing in the door. If they were caught fighting, they would have to go to the timeout room while the office called their parents.

“No Miss,” said Katie. It’s, er, just a game.”

“Well it had better be,” said Miss Vile and walked on down the corridor. They had been lucky. It was not like Miss Vile to let people get away with just a ticking off.

“Na -Na -Na-Na-Na! “ sung naughty Isis and in an instant Miss Vile was back at the door. That surely meant detention – or worse. But ZAP! Isis paused her.

“Oh Isis!” said Katie. “Will you please stop doing that? You’re not a witch. You’re not supposed to. It could all go horribly wrong.”

“I will return it in just a moment,” said Isis as she made Miss Vile walk backwards out of the room. Only then, she handed over the remote to her friend and said, “Sorry Katie, I just So wanted to have a try. I can see it could be a bit dangerous!”

“A BIT!” said Katie. “You’re an amateur. You don’t know what you’re doing. You haven’t studied the rules of relativity. Anything could happen.”

“Well I did say sorry.”

“Humph,” said Katie. She didn’t actually want to fall out with her friend over a silly prank. After all, what had happened had been quite funny.

“Look,” said Katie. “I’m putting it back in the inside pocket of my blazer, and it’s staying there. Not I, not you, not anyone is ever going to use it at school again. It’s too dangerous. Right, now are we friends?”

“Friends,” said Isis. “Truly, I’m sorry.”

And of course Katie really did mean to leave the remote in her pocket. There were several occasions when it was really tempting to take it out and use it – like when Trish accidentally-on-purpose bumped into her when she was carrying a tray at lunch time. Katie slipped over, landed on the ground, and pink blancmange splattered all over her shirt. It would have been tempting to play that one back and trip Trish over. But she didn’t. And then, in the afternoon, they had Katie’s least favorite lesson of all – PE. It was like a kind of aerobics class where the teacher played the most naff music and everyone had to jump up and down like they had ants in their pants. Quite frankly, it was just exhausting, and Katie would have loved to fast-forward the teacher so that the class could stand still and watch just her jump up and down at super-speed. But she didn’t.

After PE, it was always a rush to get changed in time for the next lesson. Katie hurried along to Geography, but Isis took her time. In fact, she was 15 minutes late for class. Luckily, Mr Hobsborn especially liked Isis and didn’t put her in detention. He accepted her feeble excuse that she was late because she had to talk to the Art Teacher about something secret. “Who would believe a tall tale like that?” thought Katie.

But as it turned out, Isis’s story was true. It was finally the best time of the day of all – going home time. Isis said:

“Katie. I need your remote. It’s for something really important. I promise.”

“Not on your nellie!” exclaimed Katie. “No Way!”

“But Katie, listen… look don’t worry .. I’ll explain, it’s a chance to do some good in this big bad world.”

And Isis told her what had happened. After PE, she had heard somebody crying in the next-door changing room. She had thought it was a child and so she went in to find out what it was about. But it wasn’t a child. It was Miss Gupta the super-nice Art Teacher. Isis, who was brilliant at getting people to open up, got the whole story. Class 4E had run riot in the art room. Jossinda had started a play paint fight with Josh. Soon everyone was throwing paint and water and some of the tables had been over turned. The headteacher and two deputies had rushed in and restored order. But now Mrs Hepworth was furious with Miss Gupta. She said she had no control over children, and that she had had her last chance, and would have to leave the school.

Katie and Isis both loved Miss Gupta. She was an amazing Art teacher who often gave up her lunch time and breaks to help pupils and sort out their problems.

Isis felt that she could talk to Miss Gupta like she was a friend. This is what she said:

“Please don’t cry. You know my friend Katie? Sometimes some strange stuff happens when she’s around. But you’re our favourite teacher and we’re going to help you. So get ready for something VERY weird to happen – You WILL have another chance, and this time – put the whole class in detention as soon as Jossinda so much as flicks a bit of paint.”

When Katie had heard the story she felt ever so sorry for Miss Gupta, but she was firm:

“No Isis. You’re asking me to wind back the whole school’s afternoon by an hour and a half. That’s a massive thing to do. It’s just not on.”

“Oh please!” said Isis. “We don’t want Miss Gupta to get the sack do we! Look I’ll do it. I’ll take the responsibility.”

“No you won’t.” said Katie. “If anyone is going to do a major piece of magic like that, it had better be a witch.”

“Great! So you will do it,” said Isis brightly.

“Well maybe…” Katie glanced at her watch. “I do feel sorry for Miss Gupta…”

“FAB!” said Isis. “Let’s hurry.”

To do such a big piece of magic, Katie had to stand back from the school. The two girls ran out into the playground. A few boys were staying late after school to kick a football around. Most of the other kids were pouring out of the front of the school.

Katie firmly held the Zappa and pointed it at the building.

“I’ll be summoning up all my magical energy,” she said. “So you watch the school clock and tell me when it gets back to five to two.”

She pressed the reverse button and concentrated super hard. The hands of the clock were going backwards. The boys played football in reverse and then backed into the school. It took at least a couple of minutes to wind back the whole afternoon. Katie muttered her spell, making sure that the only people who would see that time was gong backwards were herself, Isis, and Miss Gupta. Everyone else would not have a clue. It would be like they were going through the afternoon for the first time.

“Now!” said Isis. And Katie stopped reversing at exactly at five to two. She pressed pause, and the two girls walked calmly past all the frozen teachers and children to their lesson. Isis stuck her tongue out at the headteacher as she went past her. And then for a moment she got a fright when she thought she saw her move… but it was just her imagination.

They went to their lesson. The nasty PE lesson. And Katie and Isis and all the other children had to jump up and down like lunatics again. it was SO exhausting. Katie thought her legs would drop off. But at the end of PE, things were looking good. Isis listened out for the sound of crying in the next changing room, and didn’t hear it.

“Brilliant,” she said. “She’s done it.”

And the gossip in the corridor confirmed that the whole of 4E were in detention for playing up Miss Gupta. Samantha said:

“Good for Miss Gupta. She’s come out fighting at last.”

Then they had to sit through the really boring Geography lesson again. In fact, it was even more boring the second time around, but at least Katie now knew that the river Nile flows into the sea in Egypt, because she had heard it before. For the first time ever, she got all the answers right in a Geography test.

It was the end of the school day for the second time. Katie and Isis were both totally tired out.

“That was the most boring Geography lesson EVER!” said Isis. “But it was worth it if we saved Miss Gupta.

They dragged themselves over to the art room. There they found a happy looking art teacher tidying up. She saw the two exhausted girls standing in the door.

“Thank you,” she said, “I really owe you one.”

“That’s okay,” said Katie. “Just don’t ever tell anyone anything about it. Not even your boyfriend!”

“I promise,” said Miss Gupta.

As they headed for the school gate, Isis said:

“That was worth it. But doing the school afternoon twice was torture. It was worse than double detention.”

“I know,” said Katie. “Messing around with time is way too tiring – even for a witch like me.”

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