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HOWLS MOVING CASTLE BOOK PDF

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You can easily download Howl's Moving Castle Pdf, Howl's Moving I discovered this book after having seen in the cinema its adaptation in. Read “Howl's Moving Castle”, by Diana Wynne Jones online on Bookmate – Sophie has the great misfortune of being the Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl's castle. Related books All. Howl's Moving Castle is the first novel in the series of books called the Howl Series. This series also titled The Moving Castle." (Howl's Moving Castle By: Diana Wynne JonesChapter 1. Download PDF. Downloading.


Howls Moving Castle Book Pdf

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She found herself thinking more and more of a comfortablechair and a fireside, and also of darkness and wild animals. But if shewent back to Market Chipping, it would be the middle of the nightbefore she got there. She might just as well go on. She sighed andstood up, creaking. She ached all over. Imust be far too dry and tough. The wind was also sharper. She looked up blurrily. Black smoke was blowing up in clouds from behind itsblack battlements.

It looked tall and thin and heavy and ugly and verysinister indeed. Sophie leaned on her stick and watched it. She wasnot particularly frightened. She wondered how it moved. But the mainthing in her mind was that all that smoke must mean a large firesidesomewhere inside those tall black walls. He only takes young girls. The castle obediently came to a rumbling, grinding halt about fiftyfeet uphill from her. Sophie felt rather gratified as she hobbled towardit. The castle was uglier that ever close to.

It was far too tall for its height and not a veryregular shape. As far as Sophie could see in the growing darkness, itas built of huge black blocks, like coal, and, like coal, these blockswere all different shapes and sizes. Chill breathed off these blocks asshe got closer, but that failed to frighten Sophie at all. She justthought of chairs and firesides and stretched her hand out eagerly tothe door.

Her hand could not come near it. Some invisible wall stopped herhand about a foot from the door. Sophie prodded at it with an irritablefinger.

When that made no difference, she prodded with her stick. The wall seemed to be all over the door from as high as her stickcould reach, and right down to the heather sticking out from underthe doorstep. That made no difference to the wall. But she could not get around the corner. Theinvisible wall stopped her again as soon as she was level with theirregular black cornerstones. There was no barrier there. She turned that. There was a barrier over that door too. Sophie glowered at it. Black smoke blew down form the battlements in clouds.

Now she was angry. She was old, frail, chilly, and aching allover. Night was coming on and the castle just sat and blew smoke ather. There was not barrier there-evidently you had to goaround the castle clockwise-but there, bit sideways in the next wall,was a third door. This one was much smaller and shabbier.

The castle started to move again as Sophie got near the back door. The ground shook.

The wall shuddered and creaked, and the doorstarted to travel sideways from her. She ran after the door and hit itviolently with her stick. The door sprang open inward, still moving sideways. Sophie, byhobbling furiously, managed to get one foot up on its doorstep.

Thenshe hopped and scrambled and hopped again, while the great blackblocks round the door jolted and crunched as the castle gatheredspeed over the uneven hillside. Sophie did not wonder the castle had alopsided look. The marvel was that it did not fall apart on the spot. She had to drop her stick and hang on to the opendoor in order not to be jolted straight out again.

When she began to get her breath, she realized there was a personstanding in front of her, holding the door too. He was a head tallerthan Sophie, but she could see he was the merest child, only a littleolder than Martha. And he seemed to be trying to shut the door on herand push her out of the warm, lamplit, low-beamed room beyond him,into the night again. Therewere a number of probably wizardly things hanging from the beams-strings of onions, bunches of herbs, and bundles of strange roots.

There were also definitely wizardly things, like leather books, crookedbottles, and an old, brown, grinning human skull. On the other side ofthe boy was a fireplace with a small fire burning in the grate. It was amuch smaller fire than all the smoke outside suggested, but then thiswas obviously only a back room in the castle. Much more importantto Sophie, this fire had reached the glowing rosy stage, with little blueflames dancing on the logs, and placed beside it in the warmestposition was a low chair with a cushion on it.

Sophie pushed the boy aside and dived for that chair. It was bliss. The fire warmed her aches and the chair supported her back and sheknew that if anyone wanted to turn her out now, they were going tohave to use extreme and violent magic to do it.

The boy shut the door. Sophie realized that there was nowno sign at all that the castle was moving across the hillside: How odd! Can I help you instead? It was probablytrue too. He hovered over her a little helplessly. To make it plain to him thatshe had no intention of being turned out by a mere boy apprentice,Sophie closed her eyes and pretended to go to sleep.

Since thiswas exactly what Sophie wanted, she pretended not to hear. In fact,she almost certainly fell into a swift doze. She was so tired from allthat walking. After a moment Michael gave her up and went back tothe work he was doing at the workbench where the lamp stood. Since Howl was such awicked man, it probably served him right to be imposed upon. Butshe intended to be well away from here by the time Howl came backand raised objections.

She looked sleepily and slyly across at theapprentice. It rather surprised her to find him such a nice, polite boy. After all, she had forced her way in quite rudely and Michael had notcomplained at all.

Perhaps Howl kept him in abject servility. ButMichael did not look servile. He was a tall, dark boy with a pleasant,open sort of face, and he was most respectably dressed.

In fact, ifSophie had not seen him at that moment carefully pouring green fluidout of a crooked flask onto black powder in a bent glass jar, she wouldhave taken him for the son of a prosperous farmer. Still, things were bound to be odd where wizards were concerned,Sophie thought. And this kitchen, or workshop, was beautifully cozyand very peaceful. Sophie went properly to sleep and snored. She didnot wake up when there came a flash and a muted bang form theworkbench, followed by a hurriedly bitten-off swear word fromMichael.

She did not wake when Michael, sucking his burned fingers,put the spell aside for the night and fetched bread and cheese out ofthe closet. Then he put a log on the fire with equal politeness and went away tobed somewhere overhead. In the middle of the night Sophie was woken by someone snoring. She jumped upright, rather irritated to discover that she was the onewho had been snoring. It seemed to her that she had only dropped offfor a second or so, but Michael seemed to have vanished in thoseseconds, taking the light with him.

And he had left thefire very low. It was giving out irritating hissings and poppings. She shivered and cranked her stiff old neck around, but there was onlydarkness behind her. Her cracked voice seemed to make no more noise than the cracklingof the fire.

Sophie was surprised. She had expected it to echo throughthe vaults of the castle. Still, there was a basket of logs beside her. Shestretched out a creaking arm and heaved a log on the fire, which senta spray of green and blue sparks flying through the chimney. Sheheaved on a second log and sat back, not without a nervous look or sobehind her, where the blue-purple light form the fire was dancing overthe polished brown bone of the skull.

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The room was quite small. There was no one in it but Sophie and the skull. She turned back to the fire, which was now flaring up intoblue and green flames. She settled herself more comfortably, putting her knobbyfeet on the fender and her head into a corner of the chair, where shecould stare into the colored flames, and began dreamily consideringwhat she ought to do in the morning.

But she was sidetracked a littleby imagining a face in the flames. But those curlygreen flames on top are most definitely your hair. Wizards can lift spells, I suppose. And thosepurple flames near the bottom make the mouth- you have savageteeth, my friend. It was definitely the fire that spoke.

Sophie saw its purple mouthmove as the words came. Its voice was nearly as cracked as her own,full of the spitting and whining of burning wood. It had a distinctlycunning look as it made this proposal. Everything she had readshowed the extreme danger of making a bargain with a demon. Andthere was no doubt that this one did look extraordinarily evil. Thoselong purple teeth. That spell had shortened your life by about sixtyyears, if I am any judge of such things.

This was a nasty thought, and one which Sophie had tried not to thinkabout up to now. It made quite a difference. Its voice took on a bit of a whine again. I have to maintainthe castle and keep it moving and do all the special effects that scarepeople off, as well as anything else Howl wants. On the otherhand, the demon was probably quite as wicked. She thought of herself making hats for Fanny while Fannywent gadding. How do I break it?

The orange eyes glinted at her and looked away. Part of thecontract is that neither the Wizard nor I can say what the main clauseis.

She opened her mouth to tellthe demon that it could sit in the fireplace until Doomsday in thatcase. The demon realized she was going to.

Iimplore you to try. And I do keep my word. Sophieagain felt a great deal of sympathy. Now find an excuse. It thought aloud, in a little crackling, flickering murmur, whichreminded Sophie rather of the way she had talked to her stick whenshe walked here.

And it blazed while it thought with such a gladpowerful roaring that she dozed again. She thought the demon didmake a few suggestions. The demon at length fell to singing a gentle,flickering little song. Sophie fell into a deepsleep, with a slight suspicion that she was being bewitched now, aswell as beguiled, but it did not bother her particularly.

She would befree of the spell soon….. Since Sophie remembered no windows a t all in the castle, her first notion was that she had fallen asleep trimming hatsand dreamed of leaving home. The fire in front of her had sunk to rosycharcoal and white ash, which convinced her that she had certainlydreamed there was a fire demon. But her very first movements toldher that there were some things she had not dreamed. There weresharp cracks from all over her body.

She put her knobby hands to her face and feltwrinkles. At that, she discovered she had been in a state of shock allyesterday. She was very angry indeed with the Witch of the Waste fordoing this to her, hugely, enormously angry. It was above the workbench. To her utter astonishment, the view from it was a view of a docksidetown. She could see a sloping, unpaved street, lined with small, ratherpoor-looking houses, and masts sticking up beyond the roofs.

Beyondthe masts she caught a glimmer of the sea, which was something shehad never seen in her life before. It was quite a small room, with heavy black beams in the ceiling. Bydaylight it was amazingly dirty. The stones of the floor were stainedand greasy, ash was piled within the fender, and cobwebs hung industy droops from the beams.

There was a layer of dust on the skull. Sophie absently wiped it off as she went to peer into the sink besidethe workbench. She shuddered at the pink-and-gray slime in it andthe white slime dripping from the pump above it. Howl obviously didnot care what squalor his servants lived in. The rest of the castle seemed to be beyond one or the other of thefour low black doors around the room. Sophie opened the nearest, inthe end wall beyond the bench. There was a large bathroom beyondit.

In some ways it was a bathroom you might find normally only in apalace, full of luxuries such as an indoor toilet, a shower stall, animmense bath with clawed feet, and mirrors on every wall. But it waseven dirtier than the other room. Sophie winced form the toilet,flinched at the color of the bath, recoiled form the green weedgrowing in the shower, and quite easily avoided looking at hershriveled shape in the mirrors because the glass was plastered withblobs and runnels of nameless substances.

The nameless substancesthemselves were crowded onto a very large shelf over the bath.

Howl's Moving Castle, Vol. 4 (Howl's Moving Castle Film Comics, #4)

Theywere in jars, boxes, tubes, and hundreds of tattered brown packetsand paper bags. The biggest jar had a name. Sophie was not sure whether there shouldbe a D in that or not. She picked up a packet at random. It had SKINscrawled on it, and she put it back hurriedly. Another jar said EYES inthe same scrawl. Water ran into the basin when she turned a blue-greenknob that might have been brass and washed some of the decay away.

She dried the water with her skirt and then set off to the next blackdoor. That one opened onto a flight of rickety wooden stairs, Sophie heardsomeone move up there and shut the door hurriedly. It seemed only tolead to a sort of loft anyway. She hobbled to the next door. By now shewas moving quite easily. She was a hale old woman, as she discoveredyesterday. The third door opened onto a poky backyard with high brick walls.

Itcontained a big stack of logs, and higgledy-piggledy heaps of what. Sophie shut that door too,rather puzzled, because it did not seem to match the castle at all. There was no castle to be seen above the brick walls. They ended atthe sky. Sophie could only think that this part was the round sidewhere the invisible wall had stopped her the night before. She opened the fourth door and it was just a broom cupboard, withtwo fine but dusty velvet cloaks hanging on the brooms.

Sophie shut itagain, slowly. The only other door was in the wall with the window,and that was the door she had come in by last night.

She hobbled overand cautiously opened that. She stood for a moment looking out at a slowly moving view of thehills, watching heather slide past underneath the door, feeling thewind blow her wispy hair, and listening to the rumble and grind of thebig black stones as the castle moved. Then she shut the door andwent to the window.

And there was the seaport town again. It was nopicture. A woman had opened a door opposite and was sweeping dustinto the street. Behind that house a grayish canvas sail was going up amast in brisk jerks, disturbing a flock of seagulls into flying round andround against the glimmering sea. Then, because thefire looked almost out, she went and put on a couple of logs and rakedaway some of the ash.

Green flames climbed between the logs, small and curly, and shot upinto a long blue face with flaming green hair. Sophie was not much given to crying, butshe said in the chair for quite a while staring at a blurred and slidingfire demon, and did not pay much attention to the sounds of Michaelgetting up, until she found him standing beside her, lookingembarrassed and a little exasperated.

But it was just as the Witch had said and the fire demon had guessed. Would youlike some breakfast? Sophie discovered she was a very hale old woman indeed. After onlybread and cheese at lunchtime yesterday, she was ravenous. What about a hot drink as well? He flickered back at herwickedly.

Bend down your head. Sophie slapped slices of bacon into the pan. It was good and hot. Thebacon sizzled, and she had to wrap her skirt round her hand to holdthe handle. The door opened, but she did not notice because of thesizzling. Sophie turned round at that, rather hurriedly. She stared. The tallyoung fellow in a flamboyant blue-and-silver suit who had just comein stopped in the act of leaning a guitar in the corner. He brushed thefair hair from his rather curious glass-green eyes and stared back.

Hislong, angular face was perplexed. After all, Howl had onlymet her long enough to call her a mouse before, so it was almost true. Wizard Howl is only a child in his twenties, for all hiswickedness!

It made such a difference to be old, she thought as sheturned the bacon over in the pan. And she would have died ratherthan let this overdressed boy know she was the girl he had pitied onMay Day. Hearts and souls did not enter into it.

Howl was not goingto know. He poppedhis guitar in the corner and came over to the hearth. The smell ofhyacinths mixed with the smell of bacon as he shoved Sophie firmlyaside. It wasobvious after what she had seen of the castle. Michael was pullingthem out to sit on and pushing aside all the things on top of it tomake room for some knives and forks he had taken from the drawer inthe side of it.

Sophie went to help him. She had not expected Howl towelcome her, of course, but he had not even so far agreed to let herstay beyond breakfast. Since Michael did not seem to need help,Sophie shuffled over to her stick and put it slowly and showily in thebroom cupboard.

Calcifer sprang up with a roar of reliefand blazed high in the chimney. Sophie made another attempt to pin the Wizard down.

I can only find this one room and thebathroom. It was not until they had almost finished breakfast that Sophiediscovered what made them laugh. Howl was not only hard to pindown.

He seemed to dislike answering any questions at all. Sophiegave up asking him and asked Michael instead. Howl and Michael laughed again. What do you mean by having this great, ugly castle rushingabout the hills and frightening everyone in Market Chipping todeath?

And last year I offended someone very powerful and I need to keepout of their way. And she shortlydiscovered that the castle had other peculiarities. They had finishedeating and Michael was piling the plates on the slimy sink beside thebench when there came a loud, hollow knocking at the door.

Calcifer blazed up. There was a square wooden knob above the door, set into the lintel,with a dab of paint on each of its four sides. At that moment, therewas a green blob on the side that was the bottom, but Howl turnedthe knob around so that it had a red blob downward before he openedthe door. Outside stood a personage wearing a stiff white wig and a wide hat ontop of that. See our Privacy Policy and User Agreement for details. Published on Jul 2, SlideShare Explore Search You. Submit Search.

Successfully reported this slideshow. We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime. Howl's moving castle read [pdf]. Upcoming SlideShare. Like this presentation? Why not share! An annual anal Embed Size px. Start on. This was a wealthy hat. The lady's face was carefully beautiful. The chestnut brown hair made her seem young, but Sophie's eyes took in the young man who followed the lady in, a slightly formless-faced person with reddish hair, quite well dressed, but pale and obviously upset.

He stared at Sophie with a kind of beseeching horror. He was clearly younger than the lady. Sophie was puzzled. The man looked more upset than ever. Perhaps the lady was his mother. She went and got out hats. None of them were in this lady's class, but she could feel the man's eyes following her and that made her uncomfortable.

The sooner that lady discovered the hats were all wrong for her, the sooner this odd pair would go. She followed Fanny's advice and got out the wrongest first.

The lady began rejecting hats instantly. To the one of twinkles and veils she said, "Mysterious allure. How very obvious. What else have you? The lady looked at it with contempt. You're wasting my time, Miss Hatter. Why did you-" Behind the lady, the man gasped and seemed to be trying to signal warningly.

I came to put a stop to you. Her voice seemed to have gone strange with fear and astonishment. There must be some mistake," Sophie croaked. While the man was humbly opening it for her, she turned back to Sophie.

The shop door tolled like a funeral bell as she left. Sophie put her hands to her face, wondering what the man had stared at. She felt soft, leathery wrinkles. She looked at her hands. They were wrinkled too, and skinny, with large veins in the back and knuckles like knobs. She pulled her gray skirt against her legs and looked down at skinny, decrepit ankles and feet which had made her shoes all knobbly. They were the legs of someone about ninety and they seemed to be real.

Sophie got herself to the mirror, and found she had to hobble.

The face in the mirror was quite calm, because it was what she expected to see. It was the face of a gaunt old woman, withered and brownish, surrounded by wispy white hair. Her own eyes, yellow and watery, stared out at her, looking rather tragic. Besides, this is much more like you really are. Everything seemed to have gone calm and remote. She was not even particularly angry with the Witch of the Waste. But I can't stay here. Fanny would have a fit. Let's see.

This gray dress is quite suitable, but I shall need my shawl and some food. Her joints creaked as she moved. She had to walk bowed and slow. But she was relieved to discover that she was quite a hale old woman.

She did not feel weak or ill, just stiff. She hobbled to collect her shawl, and wrapped it over her head and shoulders, as old women did.

Then she shuffled through into the house, where she collected her purse with a few coins in it and a parcel or bread and cheese. She let herself out of the house, carefully hiding the key in the usual place, and hobbled away down the street, surprised at how calm she still felt.

She did wonder if she should say goodbye to Martha. But she did not like the idea of Martha not knowing her. It was best just to go. Sophie decided she would write to both her sisters when she got wherever she was going, and shuffled on, though the field where the Fair had been, over the bridge, and on into the country lanes beyond. It was a warm spring day. Sophie discovered that being a crone did not stop her from enjoying the sight and smell of may in the hedgerows, though her sight was a little blurred.

Her back began to ache. She hobbled sturdily enough, but she needed a stick. She searched the hedges as she went for a loose stake of some kind. Evidently, her eyes were not as good as they had been. She thought she saw a stick, a mile or so on, but when she hauled on it, it proved to be the bottom end of an old scarecrow someone had thrown into the hedge.

Sophie heaved the thing upright. It had a withered turnip for a face. Sophie found she had some fellow feeling for it. Instead of pulling it to pieces and taking the stick, she stuck it between two branches of the hedge, so that it stood looming rakishly above the may, with the tattered sleeves on its stick arms fluttering over the hedge. Maybe you'll get back to your field if I leave you where people can see you. Perhaps she was a little mad, but old women often were. She found a stick an hour or so later when she sat down on the bank to rest and eat her bread and cheese.

There were noises in the hedge behind her: little strangled squeakings, followed by heavings that shook may petals off the hedge. Sophie crawled on her bony knees to peer past leaves and flowers and thorns into the inside of the hedge, and discovered a thin gray dog in there. It was hopelessly trapped by a stout stick which had somehow got twisted into a rope that was tied around its neck.

The stick had wedged itself between two branches on the hedge so that the dog could barely move. It rolled its eyes wildly at Sophie's peering face. As a girl, Sophie was scared of all dogs. Even as an old woman, she was quite alarmed by the two rows of white fangs in the creature's open jaws.

But she said to herself, "The way I am now, it's scarcely worth worrying about," and felt in her sewing pocket for her scissors. She reached into the hedge with the scissors and sawed away at the rope around the dog's neck.

The dog was very wild. It flinched away from her and growled. But Sophie sawed bravely on. In fact, I think someone has tried to throttle you already. Maybe that accounts for your wildness. It took a lot of sawing before the rope parted and the dog was able to drag itself out from under the stick.

But the dog growled at her, forced its way out through the opposite side of the hedge, and slunk away. Sophie finished her bread and cheese and set off walking again. The lane became steeper and steeper and she found the stick a great help. It was also something to talk to. Sophie thumped along with a will, chatting to her stick. After all, old people often talk to themselves.

Still, you're a good stick. I' m not grumbling. But I'm surely due to have a third encounter, magical or not. In fact, I insist on one. I wonder what it will be. A countryman came whistling down the lane toward her. A shepherd, Sophie thought, going home after seeing to his sheep. He was a well-set-up young fellow of forty or so. How one's point of view does alter! Where are you off to? You won't get down into Upper Folding before nightfall, will you? She stood in the road and thought about it.

He had now edged himself downhill of Sophie and seemed to feel better for it. Sophie stared after him indignantly. She had half a mind to scare the shepherd by shouting nasty things after him, but that seemed a little unkind. She plugged on uphill, mumbling. Shortly, the hedges gave way to bare banks and the land beyond became heathery upland, with a lot of steepness beyond that covered with yellow, rattling grass.

Sophie kept grimly on. By now her knobby old feet ached, and her back, and her knees. She became too tired to mumble and simply plugged on, panting, until the sun was quite low. And all at once it became quite clear to Sophie that she could not walk a step further. She collapsed onto a stone by the wayside, wondering what she would do now. The stone proved to be on a sort of headland, which gave Sophie a magnificent view of the way she had come.

There was most of the valley spread out beneath her in the setting sun, all fields and walls and hedges, the winding of the river, and the fine mansions of rich people glowing our from clumps of trees, right down to blue mountains in the far distance. Just below her was Market Chipping. Sophie could look down into its well-known streets.

There was Market Square and Cesari's.

She could have tossed a stone down the chimney pots of the house next to the hat shop. An unpleasant wind blew whichever way Sophie turned to avoid it. Now it no longer seemed so unimportant that she would be out on the hills during the night. She found herself thinking more and more of a comfortable chair and a fireside, and also of darkness and wild animals. But if she went back to Market Chipping, it would be the middle of the night before she got there.

She might just as well go on. She sighed and stood up, creaking. She ached all over. I must be far too dry and tough. That's one comfort. The wind was also sharper. Sophie's panting and the creaking of her limbs were so loud in her ears that it took her a while to notice that some of the grinding and puffing was not coming from herself at all.

She looked up blurrily. Wizard Howl's castle was rumbling and bumping toward her across the moorland. Black smoke was blowing up in clouds from behind its black battlements. It looked tall and thin and heavy and ugly and very sinister indeed. Sophie leaned on her stick and watched it. She was not particularly frightened.

She wondered how it moved. But the main thing in her mind was that all that smoke must mean a large fireside somewhere inside those tall black walls. He only takes young girls. The castle obediently came to a rumbling, grinding halt about fifty feet uphill from her. Sophie felt rather gratified as she hobbled toward it. The castle was uglier that ever close to.

It was far too tall for its height and not a very regular shape. As far as Sophie could see in the growing darkness, it as built of huge black blocks, like coal, and, like coal, these blocks were all different shapes and sizes. Chill breathed off these blocks as she got closer, but that failed to frighten Sophie at all. She just thought of chairs and firesides and stretched her hand out eagerly to the door.

Her hand could not come near it. Some invisible wall stopped her hand about a foot from the door. Sophie prodded at it with an irritable finger. When that made no difference, she prodded with her stick. The wall seemed to be all over the door from as high as her stick could reach, and right down to the heather sticking out from under the doorstep.

That made no difference to the wall. But she could not get around the corner. The invisible wall stopped her again as soon as she was level with the irregular black cornerstones.

At this, Sophie said a word she had learned from Martha, that neither old ladies nor young girls are supposed to know, and stumped uphill and anti-clockwise to the castle's righthand corner. There was no barrier there. She turned that corner and came hobbling eagerly towards the second big black door in the middle of that side of the castle.

There was a barrier over that door too. Sophie glowered at it. Black smoke blew down form the battlements in clouds. Sophie coughed. Now she was angry.

She was old, frail, chilly, and aching all over. Night was coming on and the castle just sat and blew smoke at her. There was not barrier there-evidently you had to go around the castle clockwise-but there, bit sideways in the next wall, was a third door.

This one was much smaller and shabbier. The castle started to move again as Sophie got near the back door. The ground shook. The wall shuddered and creaked, and the door started to travel sideways from her.

She ran after the door and hit it violently with her stick. The door sprang open inward, still moving sideways. Sophie, by hobbling furiously, managed to get one foot up on its doorstep.

Then she hopped and scrambled and hopped again, while the great black blocks round the door jolted and crunched as the castle gathered speed over the uneven hillside.

Sophie did not wonder the castle had a lopsided look. The marvel was that it did not fall apart on the spot. She had to drop her stick and hang on to the open door in order not to be jolted straight out again. When she began to get her breath, she realized there was a person standing in front of her, holding the door too.

He was a head taller than Sophie, but she could see he was the merest child, only a little older than Martha. And he seemed to be trying to shut the door on her and push her out of the warm, lamplit, low-beamed room beyond him, into the night again. There were a number of probably wizardly things hanging from the beams- strings of onions, bunches of herbs, and bundles of Page 13 Jones, Diana Wynne - Howl's Moving Castle.

There were also definitely wizardly things, like leather books, crooked bottles, and an old, brown, grinning human skull. On the other side of the boy was a fireplace with a small fire burning in the grate. It was a much smaller fire than all the smoke outside suggested, but then this was obviously only a back room in the castle. Much more important to Sophie, this fire had reached the glowing rosy stage, with little blue flames dancing on the logs, and placed beside it in the warmest position was a low chair with a cushion on it.

Sophie pushed the boy aside and dived for that chair.

Complete Howl’s Moving Castle Series (PDF)

My fortune! It was bliss. The fire warmed her aches and the chair supported her back and she knew that if anyone wanted to turn her out now, they were going to have to use extreme and violent magic to do it. The boy shut the door. Then he picked up Sophie's stick and politely leaned it against the chair for her. Sophie realized that there was now no sign at all that the castle was moving across the hillside: not even the ghost of a rumble or the tiniest shaking.

How odd! Can I help you instead? I'm Howl's apprentice, Michael. It was probably true too. He hovered over her a little helplessly. To make it plain to him that she had no intention of being turned out by a mere boy apprentice, Sophie closed her eyes and pretended to go to sleep. Since this was exactly what Sophie wanted, she pretended not to hear.

In fact, she almost certainly fell into a swift doze. She was so tired from all that walking. After a moment Michael gave her up and went back to the work he was doing at the workbench where the lamp stood.

So she would have a whole night's shelter, even if it was on slightly false pretenses, Sophie thought drowsily.

Since Howl was such a wicked man, it probably served him right to be imposed upon. But she intended to be well away from here by the time Howl came back and raised objections. She looked sleepily and slyly across at the apprentice. It rather surprised her to find him such a nice, polite boy. After all, she had forced her way in quite rudely and Michael had not complained at all. Perhaps Howl kept him in abject servility. But Michael did not look servile. He was a tall, dark boy with a pleasant, open sort of face, and he was most respectably dressed.

In fact, if Sophie had not seen him at that moment carefully pouring green fluid out of a crooked flask onto black powder in a bent glass jar, she would have taken him for the son of a prosperous farmer. Still, things were bound to be odd where wizards were concerned, Sophie thought. And this kitchen, or workshop, was beautifully cozy and very peaceful. Sophie went properly to sleep and snored. She did not wake up when there came a flash and a muted bang form the workbench, followed by a hurriedly bitten-off swear word from Michael.

She did not wake when Michael, sucking his burned fingers, put the spell aside for the night and fetched bread and cheese out of the closet. She did not stir when Michael knocked her stick down with a clatter, reaching over her for a log to put on the fire, or when Michael, looking down into Sophie's open mouth, remarked to the fireplace, "She's got all her teeth.

She's not the Witch of the Waste, is she? Michael shrugged and picked Sophie's stick politely up again. Then he put a log on the fire with equal politeness and went away to bed somewhere In the middle of the night Sophie was woken by someone snoring. She jumped upright, rather irritated to discover that she was the one who had been snoring. It seemed to her that she had only dropped off for a second or so, but Michael seemed to have vanished in those seconds, taking the light with him.

No doubt a wizard's apprentice learned to do that kind of thing in his first week. And he had left the fire very low. It was giving out irritating hissings and poppings.

A cold draft blew on Sophie's back. Sophie recalled that she was in a wizard's castle, and also, with unpleasant distinctness, that there was a human skull on a workbench somewhere behind her. She shivered and cranked her stiff old neck around, but there was only darkness behind her. Her cracked voice seemed to make no more noise than the crackling of the fire. Sophie was surprised. She had expected it to echo through the vaults of the castle. Still, there was a basket of logs beside her.

She stretched out a creaking arm and heaved a log on the fire, which sent a spray of green and blue sparks flying through the chimney. She heaved on a second log and sat back, not without a nervous look or so behind her, where the blue-purple light form the fire was dancing over the polished brown bone of the skull. The room was quite small. There was no one in it but Sophie and the skull. She turned back to the fire, which was now flaring up into blue and green flames.

She settled herself more comfortably, putting her knobby feet on the fender and her head into a corner of the chair, where she could stare into the colored flames, and began dreamily considering what she ought to do in the morning. But she was sidetracked a little by imagining a face in the flames. But those curly green flames on top are most definitely your hair. Suppose I didn't go until Howl gets back?

Wizards can lift spells, I suppose. And those purple flames near the bottom make the mouth- you have savage teeth, my friend. You have two green tufts of flame for eyebrows It was definitely the fire that spoke.

Sophie saw its purple mouth move as the words came. Its voice was nearly as cracked as her own, full of the spitting and whining of burning wood. There was more whine than spit to its voice as it said, "I'm bound to this hearth by contract. I can't move from this spot. And of course you won't be able to tell anyone about it unless they know already.

And it added in a soft persuasive flicker, "How about making a bargain with me? I'll break your spell if you agree to break this contract I'm under. It had a distinctly cunning look as it made this proposal.

Everything she had read showed the extreme danger of making a bargain with a demon. And there was no doubt that this one did look extraordinarily evil. Those long purple teeth. That spell had shortened your life by about sixty years, if I am any judge of such things. It made quite a difference. Its voice took on a bit of a whine again. I'm forced to do most of the magic around here. I have to maintain the castle and keep it moving and do all the special effects that scare people off, as well as anything else Howl wants.

Howl's quite heartless, you know. On the other hand, the demon was probably quite as wicked. I'm being exploited. She thought of herself making hats for Fanny while Fanny went gadding. How do I break it? The orange eyes glinted at her and looked away. Part of the contract is that neither the Wizard nor I can say what the main clause is. She opened her mouth to tell the demon that it could sit in the fireplace until Doomsday in that case. The demon realized she was going to.

I implore you to try. The contract isn't doing either of us any good in the long run. And I do keep my word. The fact that I'm stuck here shows that I keep it! Sophie again felt a great deal of sympathy. Remember, I have to study your spell too," the demon pleaded. Howl's pretty useless at most things. In fact," the demon said, venomously hissing, "he's too wrapped up in himself to see beyond his nose half the time.Then Sophie would have to drag them apart and mend their clothes.

Then Sophie would have to drag them apart and mend their clothes. Black smoke blew down form the battlements in clouds. In fact, ifSophie had not seen him at that moment carefully pouring green fluidout of a crooked flask onto black powder in a bent glass jar, she wouldhave taken him for the son of a prosperous farmer. I shall marry a prince, so there! There was a layer of dust on the skull.

It was above the workbench. Sophie winced form the toilet, flinched at the color of the bath, recoiled form the green weed growing in the shower, and quite easily avoided looking at her shriveled shape in the mirrors because the glass was plastered with blobs and runnels of nameless substances.

Sophie finished her bread and cheese and set offwalking again.

GAYLENE from Mississippi
I do like reading books evenly . See my other articles. I have a variety of hobbies, like scouting.