The Magic Wardrobe
“The Magic Wardrobe” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Joanne Jacob, JSS International School, Dubai, UAE.
The Magic Wardrobe
I was playing with my dolls in my room when the doorbell rang, Drringg.....! I ran downstairs to see who was there. I opened the door. Mom was pleased to see the man at the door. ‘Who is he?’ I asked my mom. ‘He has come to take away the vintage dressing table’, my mom replied. He looked exhausted and tired. My mother offered him a glass of chilled lemon water to drink.
Once the man thirstily drank the drink he asked what furniture he had to take along with him. Mom led him to my room and politely asked him to remove my dressing table. He carefully removed the accessories that were kept on top of the dressing table. Then he carried the dressing table out of the room and down the staircase and left.
“I don’t believe that such a small task took so much time!” I said as I walked back to my room and picked up a book named “The haunted house”. As my eyes fell on the first page of the book I could see an illustrated picture of a haunted house. I was in deep thought and suddenly, I realised that I had seen the house before. Until then my eyes were fixed on my neighbouring house. I slammed the book on the floor and exclaimed, ”That’s it! It’s the exact same of the picture in the book.” A splendid idea struck me.
I thought about my plan for a while and finally concluded that I would go on with it. All I would have to do is stay up until midnight and go through the back door which leads to the neighbouring house. ”Wonderful,” I thought to myself. Since I was extremely excited and restless I just couldn’t sleep. As soon as the clock struck twelve, I leapt out of bed and dressed myself in a plain jersey and jeans. I quietly crept down the flight of stairs. Luckily, mom was in a deep sleep probably dreaming about some kind of fortune! I tip-toed through the living room and reached the back door.
I silently unbolted the back door revealing the luminescent night. It was a calm and peaceful night unlike the ear-splitting noise made by the cars in the daytime. I started my unusual midnight stroll. It was not quite as simple as I expected it to be. Even though there were barely any cars on the street, the street lights were still shining and it was pretty difficult to cross the street without getting spied. With great effort, I finally reached the neighbouring house.
As the wind blew, the tall and wrecked house stood still in the moonlight. It had about eleven windows with shredded window panes that were covered in thick layer of dust. A crooked chimney rested on top of the house almost about to collapse. The whole house looked like lots of rocks piled on the top of each other. I kept on wondering why they haven’t demolished the house yet. “If I was the manager of this compound I would have this house demolished at once!” I thought to myself.
I cautiously stepped forward towards the unsatisfying house. Clinging to the rusted gate of the house, I tried to push open the gate so that I could get through but it wouldn’t budge. I tried more callously but it was still jammed. I gave up, I just couldn’t move it so I decided to go back home. “I don’t believe I wasted my whole night trying to enter a house which is almost forgotten” I thought to myself. I returned back home slowly walking to my room.
I wondered about the night’s happenings still thinking why the gate wouldn’t budge. I sat down and leaned against the wall where the vintage dressing table was yesterday, feeling something prickling my back. I got up and checked what it was. I saw a weird looking switch. I played around with it for a while switching it on and off. I soon got up and went to change into my nightgown.
I quietly walked to my wardrobe to choose a comfortable nightgown to wear. Since I couldn’t find one I shoved all the clothing garments down. I put on my nightgown but as I put back the clothes I saw a whirl of air disappearing into a tiny hole. I bent my head further down, the hole became bigger. Suddenly, I felt some force pulling me and I fell into the hole.
All I could see now was drops of blood, cobwebs, dead rats and bats. I landed on the floor with a THUD! First, I felt a bit dizzy but after a while I felt better. I got up and looked around myself. I saw a little puddle of blood on the floor and realized it was falling from the ceiling “Where am I?” I wondered.
A huge door was across the room and I ran towards it in the hope of escaping. The door was completely jammed just like the rusted gate of the neighbouring house. Quite surprisingly a thought hit my mind “Is this the neighbouring house?” I tried finding a window and at last, I found one. I took a glance out of the window finding the same rusted gate and in front of it was my house. I finally concluded that this is the neighbouring house in which I was trapped. I was freaking out at that time. I couldn't understand what had happened to me.
I moved forward and saw a large hall in which there were two staircases. I chose to go up the stairs on my right hand as I felt the right-hand side would prove lucky. I climbed up the flight of stairs and it led me to some rooms. I was determined to go to the room at my right again. As I entered the room it was pitch dark so I blindly rubbed my hand against the wall trying to find something.
Suddenly the door slammed shut behind me. “Oh no!” I exclaimed. After a while of searching, I stumbled over an object. So I bent over to pick it. It occurred to me that it was a torch. Even though I am not scared of the dark I was delighted to have found the torch so I switched it on. Fortunately, I found an empty table with only an envelope having dried blood stains on it. I was curious to know what was written on it so I carefully opened up the envelope. A chill ran down my spine while reading the note. On the note it was written the following:
“You will find a key from something that has blood stains on it and it is in the room. Once you find the key you will have to find a crack somewhere in the room. There will be a keyhole in which you have to put in the key and unlock it. When you unlock it there will be a door present in front of you, pass through the door and you will reach where you belong.’’
I searched for the key that had blood stains on it, I searched every nook and corner of the damp room but unfortunately, I was unsuccessful. I then recalled that the envelope with the extraordinary note had dried blood stains on it. I quickly ran towards the table that I saw when I entered the room. I harshly took paper and split it into two pieces where I found a rusty key. After that, I tried finding a crack and I rubbed my hand against each and every brick in the room to see if any of them were having a keyhole but none of them was. While I was searching I felt something cracking underneath me so I crouched to see what it was. I flashed the torch where I stepped.
My eyes focused on the wooden floor and I realised that it was cracked. I instantly rubbed my hand against the floor and found out that it had a keyhole. I immediately inserted the key, opened the wooden flooring and jumped into the opening. I journeyed through the freaky tunnel once again seeing the same creepy things, soon I landed in my backyard with a bruised knee. It was rather a very enthralling experience, I was delighted to be back home but at the same time I was anxious.
I took a glance at my watch and quite surprisingly I realized I was 6 o'clock in the morning. I turned around and saw the daily postman waving his hand to me. I waved back to him and joyfully ran into my house quietly creeping up the stairs and entered my room. I bounced on my bed and whispered to myself, ”What a night!''