Aunt Clara's Big Mistake

A cloud of dust enveloped the Stephens' living room as two figures emerged from the partially demolished chimney.

"Next time, Sis, I take care of the landing!" said Uncle Arthur grumpily.

"Well, oh, I thought I'd fly, given all your help" responded Aunt Clara.

"Dust, blow away" she ordered.

A small whirlwind blew the dust out of the room, it also knocked over most of the furniture.

"Well, not bad" said Aunt Clara, "It did do what it was supposed to."

"Call it a dust devil" snickered Arthur.

With a gesture, Uncle Arthur set the furniture straight.

Aunt Clara looked around eagerly.

"Oh, the place is just like the last time I left it!" she exclaimed. "I've been too, er, ashamed to come back these last few years. I haven't even seen Adam."

Aunt Clara sighed as she looked at the family portrait standing atop the T.V. set. Mr. and Mrs. Stephens, and their two children.

"Forget about it, Clara" said Uncle Arthur impatiently. "Hadn't we better get moving."

"Oh, yes. But first, uh, I'll fix the fireplace" said Aunt Clara.

She waved her hand at the fireplace, fixing it instantly. Except for the fact it was upside down.

Uncle Arthur broke into a fit of laughter.

"Allow me!" he said.

He snapped his finger, lighting an upside down fire in the upside down grate

"Well, er, no" said Aunt Clara. "You didn't really fix it at all."

"Let's leave it like that for a while" Arthur replied. "Really, shouldn't you get to work, before Sammy and what's his name come home?'

Aunt Clara produced a large, leather-clad book from out of thin air. She waved it open to a book-marked page.

"It's taken me over three years to find and prepare the spell that will undo my mistake."

"Don't be too hard on yourself" laughed Uncle Arthur. "It was a powerful spell, enough to pull the wool over Endora and Maurice's eyes. Not that they'd care one way or another.

"It was a big mistake," Aunt Clara allowed.

"Until you disenchanted me," said Arthur, "everyone in the world but you had been placed under the spell!"

"Well" said Aunt Clara smiling, "it was an amazing feat of witchcraft, if I could only have easily undone it. Now Arthur, the cauldron."

The witch and the warlock set up a cauldron, and threw in several odds, ends, potions and elixirs. Then Aunt Clara proceeded to stir.

They were suddenly interrupted. A tall, sneering man had entered the room. Mr. Stephens, the very copy of his portrait.

"Cauldron lessons?" he snarled. "SAM, what's Clara and Arthur doing here."

"Er. . . hello Darren," said Aunt Clara uneasily.

"Hello?" Darren replied sardonically. "If there was a lunatic asylum for witches, I'm sure you two would be in it."

"Watch it" Uncle Arthur warned, crossing his arms. "You know, Clara, now that I know, the old one was much better . . . for a mortal."

"What old one?" Darren replied.

"This old one, Darren" said Aunt Clara. She began to recite:

Cauldron, potion, black as night

see what I have done wrong and set it right

Restore the rightful mortal man

Eliminate the spell that turned him into an also ran!

The cauldron exploded, as all the world was covered in black fog. When the mist finally cleared, the man that had been Darren Stephens had vanished, and replaced by another - somewhat similar looking - person entirely.

"Arthur!" said the unidentified man, "Clara! What are you doing here?"

The man was slightly shorter than the vanished Darren Stephens, much more excitable, hair far darker, and with eyes that comically bugged out in surprise.

"The real Darren!" Aunt Clara exclaimed.

"Quickly" demanded Uncle Arthur. "Who's your son? What's happened these last three years? Who's that in the picture?"

"Adam" said Darrin animatedly. "What do you mean what's happened these last three years? My memory's perfect. And that's a picture of me, Sam and the kids!"

The photograph had changed to match the new (old) Darren Stevens.

"Oh, wonderful!" said Aunt Clara. "I'm, ah, so happy . . . I'll come back at supper to give Adam a gift! Won't it, er, be wonderful to finally meet him? Now what would he want?"

"A-Aunt Clara?" started Darren.

"I won't be back at supper" said Uncle Arthur. "I have a date with the cutest little witch. She's only two hundred years old!"

"B-but" stammered Darren.

"Arthur, will you, er, help me?" asked Aunt Clara, who was now carrying her mysterious book under one arm.

"Sure thing, Sis. First let me put out the fire"

With a snap of Uncle Arthur's fingers, the fire and fireplace went from upside down to right side up.

"But . . .What did you do to the fireplace?" demanded Darren.

"Oh, er, nothing, nothing at all" said Aunt Clara kindly. "Good, er, bye Darren!"

Arm in arm, the witch and warlock walked into the wall and disappeared.

"What was all that about it?" mulled Darren. "Something tells me I don't want to know."

Darren Stephens went to the front hall, lifted his briefcase and went to the relative normalcy of his den. He'd warn Sam that Aunt Clara was paying a visit, when she returned with Esmeralda and the kids.

Author's Note:

My explanation for the change in Darrens, and the absence of Aunt Clara, within the show. In real life, the change in casting was due to Dick York's back injury and Marion Lorne's sudden death from a heart attack.

The story was to originally end here - but I've been happy to extend the story as per my reviewers' requests.