“And now a break from normality. I mean lets have a story full of whimsy, fantasy and fun!”
Troubles with the Bathroom Door
Josie had been baking cakes when she heard her daughter’s scream from upstairs. “I’m coming, sweetheart. What’s wrong?” she yelled while running upstairs.
“Mummy! I can’t get out. The doors locked!” Alice yelled. Her voice laced with the terror of being trapped in the bathroom.
“Calm down, Alice. Mummy’s here now.” Josie grabbed and turned the bathroom door handle. Giving it a shove, she found it solidly locked.
“See, mummy. It won’t open.”
“I see, sweetheart.” Josie frowned; her head clouded with confusion. She’d taken the lock off the door to ensure this sort of thing couldn’t happen. Even though eight-year-old Alice was growing more independent by the day, the bathroom was still dangerous so ready access was important. If there was no lock why wouldn’t the door open? “Can you see anything wedged under the door?”
“No, mummy. It’s just stuck,” Alice replied. A soft thud indicating she kicked the door.
“Hey! Don’t hurt your feet,” Josie said as she held the handle down and shouldered her weight into the door.
As if possessing a force field, the door remains solid. Josie bounced off, hit the far wall and found herself sitting on the floor.
“Don’t hurt your shoulders, mummy!” Alice called with a giggle
“Cheeky, devil!” Josie smiled although she could feel her chest constricting with fear. If she couldn’t get the door open, she couldn’t set her daughter free. “Mummy’s going to get her tools, okay.”
“Okay, you can get me out of here, can’t you?”
“Course I can, sweetheart. You stay calm. Mummy’s going to be right back.” Josie wiped the tears from her eyes. It was awful knowing her daughter was scared and she couldn’t get through the door to hug her.
Dashing downstairs, she realised this was one time it would have been good to have Alice’s dad around. Just as quickly she shook her head. “No, I don’t need that chauvinistic, bigamist anywhere near me or my daughter. I can do this!” She told herself on entering the kitchen.
Mother and daughter lived in a classic little two up two down terraced house. There wasn’t much room but the two didn’t need it.
Josie took a hammer and a big screwdriver from a cupboard that doubled as a shed. Running back upstairs, Josie tried the handle again. Sometimes these things have a habit of becoming unstuck moments after refusing to budge. This door remained as locked as a bank vault. “Stand back from the door, okay?”
“I’m sitting on the toilet, mummy. I’m safe.” Alice called back.
“Good, stay there.” Josie unscrewed the door handle and dropped it on the carpet. Raising the hammer, she made to hit the mechanism in the hope of freeing it from the door frame.
“Whoa! Dude, I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
Josie flinched so much she dropped the hammer. Glancing around the hallway, she saw nobody leaving cold shivers running down her spine.
“Mummy, who’s out there?”
“I don’t —” Josie watched the air begin to shimmer. Silver and gold sparkles began to rush about like mini meteors. Without warning, they vanished in a puff of silvery smoke. Josie’s eyes grew wide as she watched a man wearing great white shark Bermuda shorts emerge. His shirt depicted a nearly nude woman on a surfboard and the word ‘Bodacious’ in pineapples.
“G’day. I was catching some bonza waves on Bondi beach, when yer gnarly call came in, dude. The off-shore tide and weather were totally awesome.” The man smoothed his wild blonde hair back and grinned as he popped his sunglasses on his head.
“Her name is not dude, it’s Josie! Or mummy to me!” Alice shouted through the door.
“Thank you, sweetheart,” Josie said. “I didn’t call you. Who the hell are you? And what right have you to materialise in my home without permission!”
“Yeah! You should ask before taking mummy’s material!” Alice could be heard stumping her foot.
“Hehe! Can’t ya just tell the little dudette’s a smart one?” said the man approaching the bathroom door. “The names Maxi by the way.”
“She is, I’m very proud of her.” Josie folded her arms a suspicion.
“You must be stoked. I’ve always wanted a daughter. It’d be a ripping bad idea. You know, with what I do.”
“What do you do, Mr Maxi? I trust you know why this door won’t open?”
“Far out! The little dudette’s stuck in john like a surfer in a riptide, is she?” Maxi said looking as cool as a keg in an icebox.
“Silly man, there’s no John in here. I’m Alice and there’s my Princess Pearl shower gel doll. No one else is in here!”
Josie resisted the urge to slap Maxi. “My daughter is stuck in the bathroom. Stop with the stupid surfer dude stuff and either help me or sod off!”
“Whoa there, Dude! You’re totally wiping out the vibe in here!” Maxi placed a hand on the door closed his eyes as if listening and feeling.
“The only vibe will come from your teeth when my hand sets them rattling soon!” Josie retorted with her hands now on her hips aggressively.
“Okay, let’s get serious for a minute.” Maxi reached into the air and caused a wand to materialise in his hand. With a swift gesture, he covered himself in blue light. His surfer dude appearance disappeared, replaced by the deep blue robes of a wizard. “The names Maximilian Candlepin. You didn’t need to call me. The second your daughter unwittingly sprung the magic trap on the door, my dark magic sensors alerted me.”
“Magic trap! Dark magic! How? Why? What on earth is going on?” Josie said.
“Hey, get me out before you start doing magic. I want to see!” Alice called.
“You’ll see soon enough, little one.” Maximilian took a deep breath as he drew a shimmering white cross on the door with his wand. “For the most part, humans have lost the ability to believe in, see, and wield magic. Some of us have done all we can to keep it going. Without us, those of the dark kind would rule the earth. Alas, this is not dark magic. Rather that of an infuriating Imp.”
“Crazy stuff. Can you free, Alice?”
“A simple spell should negate the trap on this door, I reckon.” Maximilian began wielding his wand and chanting in an undecipherable language. At the crescendo, he touched the door creating a loud bang, sparks and a puff of smoke.
Josie flinched back as she watched him fly across the hall and disappeared through the door into Alice’s bedroom.
“Knickers!” he groaned from somewhere inside.
“I have them in all colours in my drawer down the hall if you need some,” Josie replied feeling distinctly unimpressed by the wizard.
“Mummy, why did he want your knickers? Those are for girls.”
“I think Maximilian likes dressing in girls clothes on the weekends,” Josie said with a chuckle as a wizard walked out of the bedroom looking singed.
“I do not!” Maximilian frowned in a way that made him look most upset. “I was merely cursing politely. With the young lady present, it was better than saying F—”
“Ahh-ahh! Don’t swear or it’ll be a mouthful of washing-up liquid for you!” Josie warned.
“What swear was he going to say, mummy?”
“Never mind!” Josie rolled her eyes. “Get on with it, please!”
“My apologies.” Maximilian walked over to the scorched door. “Let’s try again.”
“Please don’t blow the bloody roof off!” Josie took a couple of steps back.
Maximilian gave her a sideways look. Focusing on the door, he began chanting again. A blue light issue from his eyes as he slammed his wand down on the door. This time the door and frame took on a radioactive green glow, flashed purple and white, then return to normal.
“That was, pretty!” Alice called.
“Thank you, little one. Better yet …” Maximilian threw the bathroom door open. “It was a success!”
“Yay! Alice ran past him in her pink teddy bear pyjamas and jumped into her mother’s arms. “I’m free!”
“Phew! That was getting a little bit scary back there, sweetheart!” Josie raised her eyebrows as a wizard. “Thanks for the help.”
“The pleasure’s mine.” Maximilian performed another couple of spells repairing any damage and ensuring the trap was well and truly disarmed. “You should have no more trouble. I’ll take my leave and try to find the Imp now.”
“Thank you, Maximilian,” Alice said smiling at him.
“Yes, thank you. Next time, ring the doorbell like a normal person, please.” Josie added.
“I can do that.” Maximilian saluted and vanished in the cloud of silvery smoke. The doorbell rang downstairs and then it was as if he’d never been.
“Let’s get a wedge for the bathroom door so that doesn’t happen again, hey?” Josie said.
“Yes, we don’t want that weird wizard locking me in so he has an excuse to take your knickers again, do we?” Alice said so seriously that Josie would laugh about it for weeks. Of course, she could never tell anyone about the time her daughter got trapped in the bathroom. So, it was her own private little joke.
Have a great day!