This is my attempt at Chapter 2 of ‘my book’. Those of you who read & enjoyed Chapter 1 will hopefully let me know what you think. Happy reading
The Magical Wishes And Rewards Commission
Jimmy half expected to either hit his head on the branch or find himself falling out of the tree, instead he found his body tumbling through space. He tried putting his hands out to steady himself but there was nothing there. Then, with an almighty bump, he hit the ground. He lay very still trying to work out if he had broken any bones when someone said,
“Are you alright Mr. Jones? I do apologise, that wasn’t the best of landings. Please let me help you up.”
With that Jimmy found a scrawny pair of arms wrapping themselves around him and dragging him to his feet.
“If you would like to take a seat Mr. Jones, I will let them know that you are here.”
Jimmy’s guide helped him to a wooden bench and then scuttled across the room to talk to someone. As he looked around Jimmy saw that he was in a large room and, opposite to where he was sitting, was a long wooden desk, very much like the sort he had seen in the doctors reception area. On the wall behind the desk, in large letters, were the words:
THE MAGICAL WISHES AND REWARDS COMMISSION
Behind the desk were number of female Forest Imps all dressed in bright green uniforms, with their long scrawny hair tied up in a pony tail. Each one carried a clipboard and, most strangely of all, they all wore the largest bright red glasses that Jimmy had ever seen. Jimmy noticed that his guide was speaking quietly to one of these receptionists who, in between writing something on her clipboard, kept looking intently over at him.
It was at that point that Jimmy became aware of someone else looking at him. As he glanced sideways he realised that he was not alone. Sat next to him was a small, nervous looking Forest Imp. On the other side of him were two large and ferocious looking creatures. It was hard for Jimmy to see what they looked like as they were dressed from head to toe in black with large black leather boots on all three feet. They both wore big hoods which covered much of their faces but as Jimmy stared at them he was aware of intense, bright, frightening eyes peering back at him. As Jimmy moved back along the bench away from them he bumped into something. When he looked he saw that it was a large blue box, but this was no ordinary box. As Jimmy stared at it he was conscious that it was moving or more precisely it was breathing. The box seemed to let out a sigh and shifted slightly to face him. Jimmy found himself staring at a large blue eye.
“Don’t worry about my friend,” said a voice on the other side of the box, “He won’t harm you. He’s already eaten today.”
When Jimmy looked more carefully he saw that the voice belonged to a tall thin creature, dressed entirely in white, or was he dressed at all? The more Jimmy looked at him the more unsure he was. The creature seemed to be shimmering and constantly moving. One moment he looked solid enough and the next Jimmy felt as if he could see straight through him. What intrigued Jimmy even more was the long length of chain. One end was firmly attached to the creature’s wrist and the other end to the blue box.
Jimmy was feeling extremely uncomfortable and could not help but wonder where he was and what was going to happen next. Then his guide moved away from the reception desk and came over to where he was sitting.
“Well, Mr. Jones, everything appears to be in order. I’ve booked you in at reception and they have assured me that you shouldn’t have too long to wait.”
He looked along the bench at Jimmy’s immediate neighbours and smiled,
“Surprisingly quiet for this time of the day. I imagine that you will be sorted out in no time at all. It has been a pleasure to have met you Mr. Jones but I’m afraid I must be leaving. I have an important meeting to attend, must fly.”
With that his feet lifted off the ground and Jimmy watched as he flew into the air, circled around briefly, gave Jimmy a big smile and a wave and then flew off through a hole in the ceiling. Before Jimmy could get over his surprise a small nervous voice next to him said,
“And what are you in for? Must be something serious for old Squibble to have escorted you here in person?
“Very true,” added the shimmering creature, “He once brought a friend of mine down here and we never heard from him again. Last anyone saw of him was watching him walking down the corridor to Cubicle 11.”
“Did you say, Cubicle 11,” whispered the nervous voice, “Oh dear, not Cubicle 11. I’ve heard that you only get sent there if you have done something really bad.”
With that Jimmy felt a shudder along the bench. The blue box shook quite uncontrollably and let out an ominous sigh. The two fierce-looking creatures both growled loudly.
“Any more growling,” shouted one of the receptionists, “And I will be calling for security! And you, make sure you keep that box under control.”
The bench went quiet and still. Jimmy was about to ask more about Cubicle 11 when one of the other receptionists, the one who had been talking to Squibble, shouted,
“Mr. Jones. Please make your way to the corridor.”
Jimmy didn’t move.
“Mr. Jones!” this time it sounded less like a request and more like an order, “Please make your way to the corridor and proceed to Cubicle 11.”
There was an eerie silence. Jimmy felt as if every eye in the room, including the one from the blue box, was fixed on him. He slowly got up and moved towards the door in the corner of the room. As he got closer the door opened. Jimmy nervously walked into the corridor and as he did so the door slammed shut behind him and everything was black.
The only light was coming from illuminated numbers which seemed to hover in the air at various intervals down the darkened corridor. To his right was the number 1 on his left was the number 2. All the lights were shining a bright red. He cautiously moved down the corridor until he found number 11. The only difference was that this was the only number in the corridor which was shining bright green. As he stood there wondering what to do next a voice cried out,
“Come in, come in! I’ve not got all day.
With that a door opened in the black wall, just beneath the shining number. As Jimmy walked towards it the number 11 turned red. As he got into the room Jimmy heard the door creak as it slowly closed behind him. Unlike the corridor outside this room was brightly lit with hundreds of candles hanging from the ceiling. Jimmy was trying to work out how the candles could stay lit when they were hanging upside down when someone said,
“Please, Mr. Jones, won’t you take a seat? My name is Zuban and I am the Assistant Commissioner here at the Magical Wishes And Rewards Commission. The Commissioner himself had hoped to be here but has been called away at the last minute to a very important meeting.”
As Jimmy sat down he looked at Assistant Commissioner Zuban who was sat in the chair opposite behind an enormous desk. He was smartly dressed, just like Squibble, the Forest Imp who had been Jimmy’s guide.
“Now Mr. Jones, I understand that you have had an unfortunate experience with one of our magical packages, let me see,” he said, as he peered over the top of his glasses at a folder he had open on his desk, “If I’m not mistaken ……yes here it is, it was one of our ‘Three Wishes & A Minor Want’ package, is that correct.”
Jimmy nodded, “That’s right. It was given to me after I rescued Slyther and when …..”
“Sorry,” interrupted Zuban, “Did you say Slyther. Oh dear, most unfortunate. I didn’t realise that he was involved in all of this. I’m not surprised though, such a nuisance. Forgive me Mr. Jones, I’m interrupting your story, please carry on.”
So Jimmy told Zuban the whole story. The Assistant Commissioner made the odd note in his folder now and again and sighed wearily every time Slythers name was mentioned. When Jimmy had finished he noticed that Zuban had a strange look on his face.
“Oh Mr. Jones, such an unfortunate story. Can I begin by passing on to you the Commissions sincere apologies. I would hate you to think that this was how we usually conducted our affairs. I am trying to think of some way in which we can try to put matters right for you.”
“Surely that’s easy,” said Jimmy, “If you can just give me a new bag with three wishes in and then show me the way out then we can forget all about this unfortunate incident.”
“Ah, Mr. Jones, if only it was that simple. You see magical wishes or rewards can only be given in return for a good deed such as rescuing someone. Surely you know this Mr. Jones, it is well documented, I understood that these things were taught in your human schools?”
“Well, sort of,” said a miserable looking Jimmy, “Does this mean that I have to rescue another magical creature to get my wishes? There’s not much chance of that is there? I mean you don’t come across many Forest Imps with their leg stuck in a branch very often, do you?”
“There is a possible solution to all of this,” said Zuban, “Here at the Commission we have a number of, what we call, ‘Special Cases’. These are minor problems that need sorting out. Now if you would like to ‘volunteer’ to undertake one of these special cases then, if you were successful, the Commission would be in a position to reward you.”
Jimmy was intrigued. “What exactly do you mean by ‘Special Cases’?” he asked.
“Ah, I’m afraid I’m not a liberty to disclose that kind of information Mr. Jones. If you just take this envelope back to the reception area they will tell you what to do next.”
Zuban handed Jimmy a large red envelope. When he looked at the front he saw written, ‘Special Cass – Operative 271’. He was about to ask what was in the envelope when Zuban stood up, leaned across the desk, shook Jimmy’s hand and said,
“It’s been a pleasure meeting you Mr. Jones. When you leave here just follow the arrow. Now I’m afraid I must go, I’ve a very important meeting to attend, must fly.”
With that his feet lifted off the ground and Jimmy watched as he flew into the air, circled around briefly, gave Jimmy a big smile and a wave and then flew off through a hole in the ceiling. “Why is it,” thought Jimmy, “Every time I want to ask a question people just fly off!”
Jimmy walked out into the corridor, but it was different. This corridor was brightly lit and hovering in the air just in front of him was a large white arrow. As Jimmy moved so the arrow moved ahead of him. The corridor twisted and turned with numerous corridors leading off both sides. On his own Jimmy would have been completely lost in minutes but, with the help of the arrow, he quickly found himself back in the reception area.
The first thing that struck him was that the room was empty. He wondered what had happened to the others who had been sat on the bench with him.
“Can I help you?” one of the receptionists asked as she stared at him through those large red glasses.
“I’ve got this envelope,” said Jimmy as he slid it across the counter towards her.
She took the envelope and went to speak to the other receptionists. They all looked at the envelope and then looked across at Jimmy, then looked back at the envelope again and started whispering to one another.
“Is there a problem?” asked Jimmy.
The group of receptionists ignored him and carried on whispering amongst themselves. Then the one with the envelope nodded her head and moved across to the desk and picked up a telephone. Jimmy tried to listen to what she was saying but she had turned her back on him. After what seemed like an age she put the phone down, turned round to face Jimmy, smiled and said,
“Well that all seems to be in order Mr. Jones. If you would just like to take a seat someone will be along to see you shortly.”
Jimmy was confused. He had a hundred and one questions in his head at the moment but he knew he wasn’t going to get any answers from these receptionists. He slowly walked across to the bench and sat down. He couldn’t help but wonder what on earth was going on and how he had got himself into this predicament. He looked around to see if there was any escape from this nightmare. To his dismay he saw that there were no doors or windows, even the door he had entered by had disappeared. The only way out seemed to be through various holes in the ceiling but how was he going to get up there? He was suddenly awoken from his thoughts by the sound of a familiar voice, it was Squibble.
“Mr. Jones! How pleased to meet you again. I understand from the Assistant Commissioner that you are going to be working with us for a while. Splendid. First of all though we have a few formalities we must go through so if you would like to follow me.”
With that Squibble rose of the ground and headed towards one of the exits in the ceiling.
“Come on Mr. Jones. Don’t dawdle. There are people to see and places to visit. Oh, silly me! I do apologise Mr. Jones I had completely forgotten, you can’t fly can you?”
With that he dropped back down to the ground and fished around inside his pocket and took out a small bottle. He took the lid off and handed Jimmy the bottle.
“Just drink this Mr. Jones and we will be able to get on our way.”
“What is it?” said Jimmy in alarm, “I’m not going to drink this unless you tell me what it is.”
With this the bottle jumped out of Jimmy’s hand and hovered just in front of his face. Jimmy couldn’t believe his eyes, his jaw dropped open with amazement and as soon as it did the bottle shot towards him and deposited it’s contents down his throat. Jimmy coughed and spluttered and waved his arms around trying to knock the bottle away but it was too late, he had drunk whatever it was that had been in the bottle. He then felt the weirdest of sensations as his body seemed to go as light as a feather and he found himself rising off the ground. He found it hard to believe but he was flying.
“Splendid Mr. Jones. Splendid!” cried Squibble, “Now be careful, it will seem a little strange at first. Just try hovering a bit and see if you can get a little higher. Very good Mr. Jones, you look as if you have been flying all your life. No! Mr. Jones, don’t look down!”
Too late. Jimmy was finding the whole experience so strange that he couldn’t help but look down, just to convince himself that he was really flying. But as soon as hi did he found himself flying towards the ground at a dangerous speed. He could hear Squibble shouting “Look up! Look up!” As soon as he did he found himself narrowly missing the ground and heading towards the ceiling again.
“My, that was a close thing,” said Squibble, “From now on Mr. Jones just follow me. Keep your eyes on me and, whatever you do, don’t look down! Now we must hurry, the magic potion I gave you wears off in just 5 minutes.”
Jimmy was too busy trying to get used to this flying thing to really take on board what Squibble had just said about the magic potion wearing off in five minutes. Instead he concentrated on looking at Squibble and as he did he found himself flying, somewhat jerkily in his direction.
“This way Mr. Jones,” shouted Squibble as he headed in the direction of one of the exits in the ceiling. “Remember to keep close and put these on,” and he threw a pair of large bright red glasses in Jimmy’s direction. As Jimmy caught them he heard Squibble say, “They will help us see when we leave this room.”
Squibble then flew straight through the nearest hole and Jimmy followed him. The place was pitch black. Jimmy panicked and could feel himself falling. Where was Squibble?
“Put on the glasses Mr. Jones,” he heard Squibble shout.
As soon as Jimmy did he could once again see his guide and started to fly towards him. While the glasses helped Jimmy to see Squibble he couldn’t see anything else. Everywhere was pitch black. There was something eerie and frightening about the darkness that surrounded them. It wasn’t helped when Squibble shouted,
“Keep close to me Mr. Jones and whatever you do don’t look down. I wouldn’t want to lose you, especially in this place.”
Jimmy was now so close to Squibble that he could almost touch him. He was about to ask him where exactly they were when he felt something cold touch his face, very gently but at the same time menacingly. Then something whispered, words he didn’t recognise, in his ear. The whisper was freezing cold and seemed to numb his whole brain. It felt that the whole of his mind was freezing up and he was beginning to tumble when he heard Squibble shout,
“Here we are Mr. Jones. Straight ahead. We are aiming for that small, brightly lit opening. Keep close and follow me.”
Squibble’s voice seemed to bring Jimmy back from wherever he had been stumbling to. The cold and the whisper had disappeared and now he was concentrating as fully as he could on the opening that Squibble had pointed out. Surely it was too small and they were travelling too fast. They were never going to get through that small gap.
As these thoughts started to take control of his brain Jimmy felt his legs start to get heavy. Then he felt as if his whole body was beginning to slow down. As he started to drop Jimmy realised that it must be 5 minutes since he had drunk Squibble’s potion. The magic was wearing off. Just as he felt himself begin to tumble in the air Squibble grabbed his hand and before he could do or say anything they were hurtling towards the opening. Jimmy closed his eyes.
If you enjoyed this try reading Chapter 3