He had left his hat. Somewhere. It certainly wasn’t in amongst his props. Where was it he thought? In his mind he retraced his steps, where he had been, trying to remember exactly where he left it.
While Magik Miguel was desperately trying to think exactly where he had left his hat, a young girl called Lily found it. It was the school holidays and Lily was helping her grandfather, the theatre caretaker, tidy up after a performance. He told her to pick up the discarded sweet wrappings and sweep up the popcorn spread around on the floor between the folding seats.
Really, she thought to herself, people are so messy!
After tidying the theatre she walked through to the room behind the stage where the performers prepared themselves before going on stage. Lily had heard actors calling this the ‘Green Room’. It wasn’t green, she thought, so why call it that? She had asked her grandfather but he had no idea.
Lily wiped the worktop and cleaned the mirror. It was when she started sweeping the floor that she noticed the hat under the chair. She picked it up and turned it over in her hands. It was a shiny black top hat, the sort that she had seen magicians pull white rabbits and doves from. She looked inside it. It was empty. There wasn’t even a feather or a rabbit hair.
Placing the hat on the worktop she pretended to be a magician. She said, “Abracadabra,” as she theatrically waved an imaginary wand over the hat. She was slightly disappointed that nothing happened. Then, thinking of the magician at the Christmas party she had gone to, she tried “Izzy Wizzy let’s get busy”. Not even a whisker! Then she remembered her mum’s uncle. Uncle Bill had been a magician. She would ask mum.
“When you were very young, don’t you remembered Uncle Bill saying “gilly, gilly” as he pulled a coin out of your ear? Said her mother. “Why on earth are you asking that?”
Her mum never found out why. Lily had ended the call and put the mobile in her pocket. “Gilly, Gilly,” she said thoughtfully, then louder, GILLY, GILLY!
Nothing happened. Feeling a bit silly she decided to go back to sweeping the floor. As she pick up the brush her eye caught a movement in the mirror. She turned around and gasped in shock. A very white rabbit with pink eyes was peeping over the rim of the hat, it’s nose twitching inquisitively.
Lily carefully lifted the rabbit out of the top hat and placed it on the floor where it scampered into a corner.
“Gilly, Gilly,” she said again. Another white rabbit appeared.
Soon the floor was covered with white rabbits. She looked around the green room. “What on earth am I going to do with all these rabbits?” Then anxiously thought, “what on earth will I tell Grandpa?”
Just as Lily was thinking these thoughts, a hand suddenly appeared out of the hat. Not a normal hand. It was a sort of silvery shimmering hand, a hand made of glistening stuff. It appeared to want to be shaken.
Having been brought up to be very polite and shake a hand when proffered, Lily reached out and shook the silvery hand. As she held the hand she began to feel strange, slightly queasy. A bit like being seasick. She felt as though she was melting, becoming liquid. Before she had time to be frightened the silvery hand pulled her syrupy body through the hat and she was falling.
My writing group was given a prompt , the opening words of a short story: He had left his hat. This is my attempt at a children’s story. When I have time I will continue the tale; follow Lily down into the mysterious underworld that supplies magicians with white rabbits, doves and even elephants. Her mobile phone might prove useful. Magik Miguel may come to her rescue………