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Back button | Home | Interactive | Story Time | Sally and the Wardrobe Children, Part 5
Added to website: 3 November 2010

SALLY AND THE WARDROBE CHILDREN

Part Five

by Peter J. Bottomley

 [Read Part One] [Read Part Two] [Read Part Three] [Read Part Four]

    “William! William, please come here,” called Sarah from her bedroom. “I have something to show you.”
     What is it now?  She always has something to talk about when I am studying, William thought to himself. “In a minute Sarah, I’ll be there. I have to write a short story about famous people who are alive today,” William called back.
    “What’s all the noise?” asked Laura. “Get on with your work you two or Father will have something to say when he gets home from the mill, and you do not want to upset him, now do you?”
The children in the Berry family knew what their father was like when he came home after a hard day at Mr Salt’s mill. The west wing was working fine and the alpaca yarn was now being spun at the ‘right tension’ Dad had told them yesterday when he came home with a smile on his face. So all being well he would be happy today when he got home. Laura was making the tea, William was writing but Sarah was in her attic bedroom and was looking at a drawing.
    “William, come on before Father gets home, please”.
    “Alright Sister, no need to shout. here I am. What’s wrong?  Another smell? A girl talking? Or some help with your hand writing?” William asked.
    “No none of that, just look at this drawing. I found it under the floor boards this morning. I had a bad dream again last night, there was someone crying and I tried to help her,” Sarah told her brother in a weepy voice.
     “Show me the drawing Sarah, let me sort it out before Dad gets home. You know what he’s like. If it’s noisy he will tell us to be quiet and if it’s quiet he will ask us what is wrong”
     “Here look at this,” Sarah said as she gave William a piece of paper.
     “Nice paper! Where did you get this from?” William asked.
     “Under the floor as I told you.  It looks like Saltaire but some things are different, just look at the Redwood fern trees and the church is built and finished.”
     “Give me it here; Let me have a good look at it.”        
     When William looked at the drawing he pulled a funny face and said, “There’s also a mill on the other side of the canal, that’s wrong.”
     “No! I think someone has drawn this who knows what the village is going to be like when it’s finished,” Sarah said in a worried voice.
     “The Redwood fern trees are only as high as the guttering,” said William as he looked out of his sister’s attic window, “but in this drawing they’re three times as big. They’re as big as the church tower”.
    “Yes and the gardeners told me that the trees would grow to 100 feet tall in years to come, so if they’re that tall in the drawing what year do you think it is William?”
     “Just a minute Sarah, your talking scary here, you might see in to the future but do not bring me into this ghosty thing, and do not talk about it outside. People will think you’re a witch or something,” William whispered quietly.
      “We will have to show Father it, won’t we?” asked Sarah.
      “I do not like it Sarah. Father is like me when it comes to spooky things, but he is the one to talk to, the ‘head of the house hold` as he says.”
     So the children put the drawing inside of a book just to keep it safe. Then they went back to what they were doing. William was writing about Alfred Lord Tennyson, the poet laureate, and Charles Dickens, the author, who both were alive and writing at that period in time. Sarah was supposed to be practising her handwriting with the new calligraphy pens she had borrowed from the mill school, but Sarah was still thinking about what had happened last night when she was asleep. She remembered bits but it seemed as if the other person in her dream knew her. The thought was  hard to understand and very frightening.

     “Children, come down, your Father is coming up the road,” Mother called as she looked out of the window.
     “He’s whistling. That’s a good sign, isn’t it Mother?” William asked.
    “Yes it is, but why do you ask that Son?”
    “Because I’ve had another bad dream” Sarah butted in.
    “Oh dear! I thought they had stopped. You’ve been keeping them quiet Sarah,” Mother said sternly.
    “I hope Father is in a good mood because what we’ve got to show him is scary, Mother,” William whispered in a frightened voice.
   
     Then as the door opened, Father smiled at the three faces looking back at him.
    “What’s wrong? I know that look.”
    There was silence as they looked at each other.
    “First! I will have something to drink and then it’s a family meeting,” Father had spoken in his voice of authority.
    “Here you are, a nice mug of tea and a homemade scone. How was the mill today Albert? Everything spick and span?”
    “Very good! The west wing is working great; the Alpaca cloth is coming off the new 75 foot loom looking beautiful. The feel of it is marvellous, so soft and luxurious and very glossy. The carding and spinning rooms are doing a good job with the yarn, and the pattern makers along with the colour men are turning out some fine designs. The whole mill is running like clockwork. So what is wrong at number 4a?”
    Silence again.
    “Well, the tea is in the oven, the house is cleaned, the children have been doing their school work, so clockwork is the word for us as well,” Laura said with a smile.
     “So what are the glum faces for?” asked Albert.
    Silence again.
    “Come on spill it out, you know I do not like all this silence,” he said.
    “Sarah has had another dream!” William blurted out.
    “Well, I have been having a few, but I’ve kept quiet about them Father,” Sarah said as she looked around for help from William, but he just shook his head.
    “Well! I will have a quick wash, then tea will be served, and then a family meeting will take place. This problem has to be solved to night,” Father said as he walked out of the kitchen.
    So after ham shank, potatoes and cabbage, the Berry family sat in the front room and Father, the head of the house, was busy thinking; so it was silence again, until Sarah got out the drawing to show her father. He just looked at it in amazement and shook his head.
    “So this proves that it is real, something is actually happening in number 4a. Sarah can do a drawing of how the area around the house is now and William can write a message on the back of this drawing saying who we are.  I will put them under the boards tonight, then we will wait and see if anything happens,” Albert announced as he got up out of his armchair and passed the drawing to his wife.
    Laura looked at the drawing and shook her head then said, “Albert we will have to keep this quiet, It shows a new mill and things that are not here at this moment in time. Do you know anything about a new mill?”
    “Not at the moment, but tomorrow, I will ask around discreetly at work. I know some main men upstairs in the office. They are the people who might have an answer to your question, Laura.”
     After doing the things that father had told them to do and their chores, the children went to bed. Father had put the drawings under the floor earlier, so night came and surprisingly the two children fell asleep, but the parents sat up and talked.
     “All this stuff about the future…  How can it be? If it’s happening, are we dead?” Laura asked her husband in a frightened voice.
    “We are alive now, that’s all I know and understand Laura. Come on, let us settle down for the night. I think it will be a long one.”

 Sally 5


 

 

 

   

 
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