Trevor Coleman writes
i Bedroom Three
It was only sunrise giving life to every corner of the small bedroom three that brought relief to brother Ron. The angry man who threatened to strangle him never came after day break.
After only a few nights sleeping in bedroom three, Brother Ron was allowed to sleep next door at Grandmother’s. Bedroom three remained ever vacant.
The previous tenants had been the Downes family. Mr Downes, suffering from an incurable disease, was forced to spend the last months of his life confined to Bedroom Three. His isolation caused terrible fits of jealousy, convinced his wife was having endless affairs, he tried many time to strangle her from his bed.
“That’s him – that’s him” – brother Ron cried during a chance meeting with Mrs Downes and her elder son Leslie. “That’s the man who wanted to strangle me”.
Leslie was indeed the spitting image of his dead father.
When we eventually moved house, we exchanged houses with a family of three daughters. The youngest was allocated bedroom three.
Shortly after they had moved in, Grandmother heard loud screams coming from bedroom three and reports of an attempted strangling were gossiped by neighbours.
ii Magic and Magic Realism
It was mid October; the tail end of Hurricane Ophelia was ravaging Cumbria.
A mother and her two infant children peered out from the safety of their bedroom, witnessing the frightening effects of natures force. Leaves, branches, twigs swirled helplessly and garden furniture cruelly dumped from terrace to lawn.
“Our tree house won’t be blown away will it mommy?” the little one said.
In the light of daybreak, after Ophelia had blasted goodbye, the young mother surveyed the scene, anxiously viewing the tree house. It was very much intact, but its door had been blown wide open.
The outline of a burly man, silhouetted against the rear window could be seen clearly, whoever could it be. The figure was still there by the time she had dressed, she just had to go and investigate.
She climbed up to the tree house, fearful and tense, nervously calling several times after noticing that the door was now firmly closed.
Still calling, she slowly opened the door to what she thought was a rustling sound. The Tree House was empty, but for a large pile of leaves slumped on the very spot where the intruder had stood. The leaf man was obviously not for human eyes.
Searching for magic and its realism, I found myself in the tiny village of Cigam, a small backward village in the heart of Cumbria, distinctive for its small buildings with pointy roofs.
Entering a building sign posted ‘Info Centre’, I was directed by arrows to a lift marked ‘Magic Beware’, which opened itself and beckoned me in. The lift walls were adorned with pictures of Broomsticks, Wands and Witches Hats, it had a distinct smell of Cordite and cat pee.
The lift floor collapsed into a chute the moment I stepped inside. Down and down I went, landing eventually on a large soft cushion emblazoned with the words “Bum Saver.”
Only one door had the sign “MAGIC” and it was through this door I heard music and dancing to a song most familiar to me, a song passed down through generations of my family.
As I slowly opened the door, the song started once again from the beginning.
My mother bought some cheese, it made my father sneeze
The cat had a fit in the kitchen; the dog had the same disease
The chairs began to dance, the table did the same
And the beautiful picture of grandma fell out of its golden frame.
And – would you believe it? – both chairs and table danced frantically before me, only stopping at the sound of a thud when a picture fell from the wall.