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The sun was shining through the window into my daughter's bedroom. What a mess, I thought to myself as I busily tidied up. I was about to turn the Hoover on when the doorbell rang. I went downstairs and opened the door to find a very strange looking man standing on my doorstep.
He was dressed in a very odd tunic and his long, grey, beard glistened in the sunlight. "Can I help you?" I asked. He looked at me and uttered the words "JOKAR MA ARESHA," taken back by this I said, "I beg your pardon." again he said the words, "JOKAR MA ARESHA." For some unknown reason, I felt cold inside and a shiver ran down my spine, I began to shake and asked him "to go away," I closed the door almost slamming it. I leaned with my back against it and tried to compose myself.
After a few moments I slowly crept to the side window to see if he had gone away, I gingerly pulled back the curtain to take a peep but thankfully he was gone. I went back to the door and opened it and looked around, he was definitely nowhere to be seen, again I felt a shiver almost like someone had just stepped over my grave. I went to the gate but he had completely disappeared from sight. This was most odd, but I felt relieved and I didn't care where he had gone, as long as he had. It was as if he had just vanished into thin air. As I made my way back into the house, I kept looking over my shoulder, I shivered as the words "JOKAR MA ARESHA" swam around in my head. By tea-time, I had almost forgotten about the strange little man. I did not mention it to my family, but as the night drew near, a terrible feeling of insecurity came over me, Who was he? What did he want? Perhaps he was selling something. I tried very hard to put it all out of my mind.
That night I didn't sleep much, every time I closed my eyes I saw him standing on the doorstep chanting "JOKAR MA ARESHA."
The next morning I felt ill. My husband left for work at his usual time and my daughters, Lisa and Samantha were sitting at the table eating their breakfast. The radio was on low and Lisa was humming to one of the tunes that was playing. It was school holidays and the girls had been on a pony trekking holiday. Samantha was the eldest and she doted on Lisa, they went everywhere together. "Can Lisa and I go on a picnic today mum?" she asked, I told them "that they could as long as they didn't go too far away." Samantha replied, "that they would go to the local stables and picnic on the field where they could see the horses and their friends."
They were sensible girls so I agreed. We packed a basket and the girls left holding hands, "see you later mum" they shouted. I cleared the breakfast dishes up and went upstairs to take a shower. I felt drained and tired. Perhaps I would ask the neighbours if the strange old man had knocked on their door, I was determined to make some sense of it all.
It was a cold winter's night; the shutters on the window had broken loose and were crashing against the wall. Trees swished from side to side, almost breaking in half from the power of the howling gale force winds, rain pounding mercilessly against every south-facing window. A bright flash of lightning illuminated each room casting shadows in every corner.
Peter who was only six years old pulled the quilt over his head then nervously began to count, one thousand, two thousand, three thou...an almighty crack of thunder that was so loud it caused the whole room to shake. Poor Peter's jerked like 50,000 volts of electricity had passed through his tiny little body. He started screaming at the top of his voice.
Peter's bedroom was the last bedroom of a very long hallway; it was an old rugged creepy house that had been left to Tom by his grandfather in his will. Unfortunately, Tom was not a wealthy man so there were no spare funds available to decorate it.
His parents' bedroom was three doors away but Peters screams woke them up almost instantly. Peters mum and dad threw back their covers and jumped out of bed, at this point they had no idea what was going on. Tom ran to the door in his pinstriped pyjamas and reached for his baseball bat that was leaning against the side of the wardrobe.
Julie nervously put on her heavy beige woollen dressing gown tying the cord in a bow at the front. Julie raised her hands to either side of her face "Oh my God be careful Tom" he held out his hand with his finger raised "Shhh" he pushed down on the black metal door handle and pulled open the door. He popped his head out looking right then left just in case there was anyone there then they both stepped out of the doorway and ran towards Peter's room.
They took a moment to gather their thoughts then Tom opened the door pushing in back fully against the wall just then a big flash of lightning followed almost immediately by a huge rumble of thunder. Julie rushed over to Peter who was hidden underneath the quilt, she threw back the quilt and got hold of him pulling him onto her lap rocking him backwards and forwards whispering "it's okay sweetheart, it's ok mummy and daddy are here now shhhh there's no need to be frightened anymore, shhhh it's ok, it's ok." Peter soon calmed down but was still sobbing a little as he held onto his mummy really tight. "its ok baby there is nothing to be scared of, mummy's here you are alright, you're safe now"
Tom who was still half asleep rubbed his eyes then combed his hand through his thick wavy jet black hair said, "What time is it?" Julie glanced over at the digital clock on the white bedside cabinet and said "it's quarter past three" "ugh are you okay with him? I need to get back to bed sweetheart I have a busy day and I have an important board meeting" "Yes" said Julie "you get back to bed, I'll sit with him for a while." "Ok I'll see you in the morning, he walked over to Peter and gave him a kiss on his forehead then kissed Julie and said goodnight son" Peter did not reply he was too busy focusing all of his attention on his mummy making sure she was not going anywhere.
Tom turned and headed off back to his own room. As he reached his bedroom the door opposite opened and there stood an old grey-haired lady in a big heavy bright red dressing gown with matching slippers. It was Molly; Tom's mother who was staying for a few moths whilst her own house in London was being repaired after a burst pipe caused a lot of damage.
"Is everything alright? I thought I heard someone screaming" said Molly, "yes everything is fine mum it was just Peter, the thunder scared him but he's alright now Julie is with him you get back to bed" Tom went into the bedroom and closed the door behind him.
Molly walked along the landing till she got to Peter's room as she opened the door Peter shouted "Grandma" he leaped off Julie's lap and ran over giving her a big hug. Julie said "Hi Molly I" before she had the chance to finish her sentence Molly said "Why don't you go back to bed with Tom? I'll sit with Peter, we'll be alright, off you go and winked at Julie" Julie stood up from the bed and walked over to Peter who still had his arms around his grandma. He turned to look at his mummy, she kissed her two closed fingers and the then placed them on Peter's lips and said, "Love you, looked at Molly and said if you need me?" "We'll be fine," said Molly.
Molly got Peter by the hand and led him back to bed "In you go then patting her hand on his bottom" Peter got into bed and pulled the quilt up. "Budge over a bit then," said Molly she got in alongside Peter and sat with her back against the headboard and put her arm around Peters' shoulder "Now then what is all the fuss about my little treasure? She brushed his blonde straight hair away from his forehead with her hand. Peter was still sobbing slightly, "Aren't you frightened Grandma?" he asked "I used to be," she said in a gentle soothing voice, "I used to be terrified just like you but then I was given the blue cloak" Peters' eyes lit up, "blue cloak Grandma?" he asked inquisitively, his eyes transfixed on her, "what blue cloak?" She made herself a little more comfortable on the bed and began to tell the tale.
"When I was a little girl, just about your age, I was terrified to go to sleep with the light out, I used to cry myself to sleep every night, I imagined there were big scary monsters in the dark that hid in my wardrobe and under my bed. One night, just like this one a great storm hit the village where I lived. There was a huge rumble of thunder and everything in my bedroom shook so hard I screamed for help but no one could hear me. My mummy and daddy were outside making sure the animals were safe and secure in the barn. Then a bolt of lightening shot across the night sky causing my room to be all lit up. I dived under the covers, I was crying so much my sides were aching, it was then it happened" Peter jumped out from underneath the quilt sitting on his knees excitedly saying "what Grandma? What happened?" "Come Peter back into bed as she patted the quilt and I'll tell you" Peter hurriedly got under the quilt and looked at Grandma and said again "What happened Grandma?"
"Ok! There I was shaking underneath the covers when all of a sudden I felt a tug on the quilt, I peeped from beneath my bedclothes and there sitting on my bedside chair was a little funny looking man with a little green suit and matching hat, he was wearing a little red belt with a big black buckle and tiny black pointy shoes that curled up at the toes. He smiled at me and said" "Hello Molly, there's no need to be afraid"
I could not believe what I saw, at first I thought it was my eyes and ears playing tricks but then he leaped onto my bed and pulled back my covers stood up right here in front of me just where you are sitting now bowed down removing his tiny green peaked hat and said "I am shellon at your service" He was smiling at me and suddenly I did not feel afraid anymore.
He sat down and crossed his leg and said, "You know who I am but do you know who you are?" "Yes, of course, I know who I am! What a silly question to ask? I am Molly, Molly Green" "Yes" he replied "but not just any Molly Green! You are the great, great, great, great-granddaughter of Anthony Stalwart! He was a very brave and kind man who befriended an elf just like me who was in grave danger. As a token of gratitude Anthony was granted one wish."
"What was the wish Grandma?" Peter asked. "Well, he wished for an invisible magic cloak that when summoned would wrap itself around the person who asks for it. His wish was granted but he was told in order for the cloak to work the person who summoned it had to believe in its power otherwise it was just a useless cloak." "Whoa," said Peter. Molly carried on "For many generations, the tale of the cloak was passed on but everyone laughed saying it was just a made up story.