Monday, 18 April 2016
The Meldings (3) Deserted
Sarah Midgen, now affectionately christened Smidge by all, was once told that having the right mindset would open doors for her when she got older. Little did they know just how true that would become.
Stumbling upon a magic door handle whilst escaping a bully, Smidge realised that she could travel from place to place wherever there was a wall just by using the handle. All she needed was pure intent and, as she found out from Mrs Norn (the most unlikeliest of R.E. teachers ever) her intent had to be pure as well.
Three weeks had passed since finding the handle and Mrs Norn had vowed to help Smidge learn to use her magic properly. Most of the exercises were based on focusing on places that Smidge wanted to travel to, then travelling to them in a variety of emotional states.
Each trip went further and further afield; the farther they traveled the more unsure Smidge became and the less accurate the travelling became and before long the only door that she could open was to her 'safe room'; the room she had escaped to after being chased by the school bully, Gert.
Mrs Norn realised that she had to change her tack and find another way to push Smidge's boundaries, so for the next lesson Smidge had to clean Mrs Norn's store cupboard (which was surprisingly huge for such a small class) and, after that, work on a few 1000 piece jigsaws puzzles.
After trying the first jigsaw Smidge pushed herself out of the chair she'd been sitting on and walked up to Mrs Norn, who was looking out of the window.
“Mrs Norn.” Smidge snapped, trying to get her attention. “Look -I've seen The Karate Kid, right? Who hasn't? I know what you're trying to do, but I think I need to go back to creating doorways.”
Mrs Norn turned round and looked at Smidge and smiled at her, her eye twinkling. “Well, I suppose there's more than one way to learn something.”
With that she pushed Smidge into the wall behind her and right through it.
To her shock and surprise Smidge fell through the wall and landed in the middle of a desert, miles from anywhere, it seemed. What was worse was there was no doorway back!
What the hell had Mrs Norn done, where was she? The sand felt warm against her skin and the sun beat down on her. This couldn't be happening, Smidge thought… why is this happening to me?
She couldn't contain herself and started to kick the sand and scream, but no one could hear her, no one came; she was completely alone.
When the anger and panic subsided she picked the handle out of her pocket and tried to think of something she could do. Placing it on the floor she created a doorway into which she slipped through.
Falling to the ground only feet away from the door she created. Very strange; the handle had created an invisible door to the sky about eight foot above her, which was completely useless to her so she tried something different.
Maybe she could try digging a hole. Anything was better than just standing there, panicking. She soon realised, however, that digging was just as pointless; where was she actually digging to? She knew that there was no one to rescue her and it all depended on her resourcefulness so the only option was for her to start walking.
The desert unfolded, stretched out for many miles and she walked for some considerable time before she noticed the hole that she'd dug earlier. It was exactly the same size and shape, even down to the hand print she'd made when pushing herself off the ground.
So she tried walking in another direction, this time carefully counting her steps. Just as she thought, it wasn't long before she ended up at that hole again. Her little pocket room was roughly fifty square foot in size.
So, she couldn't use the handle on the empty air, or the floor, and nor could she fly. She couldn't use it on any walls because there weren't any. But what if she could build her own wall?
The sand was of the right consistency for the hole to keep its shape so maybe it would be possible to build a wall. It wouldn't have to be a large one necessarily, just as long as it worked.
It took Smidge around two hours to build but when it was finished it just about came up to her waist, so it was plenty big enough for her purposes.
Taking the handle out of her pocket and carefully placing it on the wall, she said a prayer to herself and gently pulled. Smidge was overjoyed when the door opened and, getting on her hands and knees, she crawled through the door and was soon enveloped in blackness. And that was when she banged her head on another door. Where was she now?
She could see a vertical slither of light so she must be in a cupboard somewhere.
“Hello? Can anyone hear me?” She shouted, her voice a little hoarse from the desert, and banged on the door.
“Whence squeeks the mouse?” Came the reply of a familiar voice. The cupboard door was unlocked and opened, and Smidge found herself back in Mrs Norn's classroom. Obviously she'd passed the test admirably.
“You're not always going to have a wall available, but, just as you found out the first time you used the handle, any surface is viable;" Mrs Norn explained, "even one you make yourself.”
“Where was it that you pushed me to?” Smidge asked. “It was another room, wasn't it?”
“It was… once upon a time.” Mrs Norn replied, with a sadness about her. “But it isn't any more. I'll tell you about it another time… I think we've had enough excitement for one day.”
Smidge nodded.“Perhaps next time,” Mrs Norn concluded, “you'll be less impatient and actually take the time to learn properly!”