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Chapter 16 In which there is a great deal of witchcraft_哈尔的移动城堡 Howl’s Moving Castle_双语小说



Several hours passed. The dog-man was hungry again. Michael and Sophie decided to have lunch too. Sophie approached Calcifer with the frying pan.
“Why can’t you have bread and cheese for once?” Calcifer grumbled.
All the same, he bent his head. Sophie was just putting the pan on top of the curly green flames when Howl’s voice rang out hoarsely from nowhere.
“Brace yourself, Calcifer! She’s found me!”
Calcifer sprang upright. The frying pan fell across Sophie’s knees. “You’ll have to wait!” Calcifer roared, flaming blindingly up the chimney. Almost at once he blurred into a dozen or so burning blue faces, as if he was being shaken violently about, and burned with a loud, throaty whirring.
“That must mean they’re fighting,” Michael whispered.
Sophie sucked a slightly burned finger and picked slices of bacon off her skirt with the other hand, staring at Calcifer. He was whipping from side to side of the fireplace. His blurred faces pulsed from deep blue to sky blue and then almost to white. One moment he had multiple orange eyes, and the next, rows of starry silver ones. She had never imagined anything like it.
Something swept overhead with a blast and a boom which shook everything in the room. A second something followed, with a long, shrill roar. Calcifer pulsed nearly blue-black, and Sophie’s skin fizzed with the backblast from the magic.
Michael scrambled for the window. “They’re quite near!”
Sophie hobbled to the window to. The storm of magic seemed to have affected half the things in the room. The skull was yattering its jaw so hard that it was traveling round in circles. Packets were jumping. Powder was seething in jars. A book dropped heavily out of the shelves and lay open on the floor, fanning its pages back and forth. At one end of the room, the scented steam boiled out of the bathroom: at the other, Howl’s guitar made out-of-tune twangings. And Calcifer whipped about harder than ever.
Michael put the skull in the sink to stop it from yattering itself onto the floor while he opened the window and craned out. Whatever was happening was maddeningly just out of sight. People in the houses opposite were at doors and windows, pointing to something more or less overhead. Sophie and Michael ran to the broom cupboard, where they seized a velvet cloak each and flung them on. Sophie got the one that turned its wearer into a red-bearded man. Now she knew why Calcifer had laughed at her in the other one. Michael was a horse. But there was no time to laugh just then. Sophie dragged the door open and sped into the street, followed by the dog-man, who seemed surprisingly calm about the whole thing. Michael trotted out after her with a clatter of non-existent hooves, leaving Calcifer whipping from blue to white behind them.
The street was full of people looking upward. No one had time to notice things like horses coming out of houses. Sophie and Michael looked too, and found a huge cloud boiling and twisting just above the chimney tops. It was black and rotating on itself violently. White flashes that were not quite like light stabbed through the murk of it. But almost as soon as Michael and Sophie arrived, the clot of magic took on the shape of a misty bundle of fighting snakes. Then it tore in two with a noise like an enormous cat fight. One part sped yowling across the roofs and out to sea, and the second went screaming after it.

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