As the early morning sunlight filtered through the cracks in his sideboard home, Gary woke with a sense of
urgency and excitement. He was not normally a morning person, but this morning he was immediately wide awake.
Then a sudden sense of fear overcame him. What if it was all a dream? Of course it was all a dream. Things
like this never happened to Gary.
He turned his attention to his body beneath the patchwork blanket that was keeping out the cold. He noted
that he was still fully dressed. This was not all that unusual after a night out with Walter. He was wearing
a pair of trousers with the standard four pockets.
"If I don't look right away then my dream won't be shattered so quickly. I can hang onto it a bit longer,"
Gary thought to himself. He rolled out of bed and made his way to the door of the sideboard. Once there he
eased the door carefully open and lowered a length of string down to the ground. The string was fixed to a
nail just inside the door, allowing Gary to climb down to the floor and make his way to the bathroom of the
house in which his sideboard abode stood. All the way there he was in turmoil. Part of his mind was screaming
at him to check his pockets now. But another part expected and feared a terrible let down. For the moment,
fear was winning the battle. He held his hands slightly away from his body just in case optimism was to
suddenly get the better of him.
Then the words of a song began to enter Gary's mind. Loud and clear they came, but not in his voice.
Whenever you are feeling down, forlorn or a little blue,
Come see Magic Dave, he will tell you what to do.
He serves the greatest beer in town. There's darts and pool as well.
The duke box still costs 20 pence and plays Bat Out Of Hell
When it comes to closing time, Dave rings his little bell.
Everyone ignores it and Dave says 'ah, what the hell?
The speaker inside his head had a beautiful and delicate feminine voice and seemed to end with a little giggle.
"Rosie!" Gary whispered to himself. With that he quickly thrust both hands into his front trouser pockets.
His heart sank a little as he felt no sign of a piece of paper. Undeterred, he then tried the back pockets,
but once again his hands emerged empty. A pain shot through him like a glass shard to the heart.
"Noooooooooo!!" Gary shouted in his mind. But outwardly he was silent. He fell to his knees and began
to berate himself inside his head. What was he thinking. As if it could have been anything other than a dream.
As if things like that happened to someone like him. For a long time he knelt there, his face in his hands. When he eventually looked up, he caught a glimpse of his reflection in the bottom of the metallic shower unit. There it was staring him right in the face. How had he not noticed until now? From the pocket of the red shirt that he had slept in protruded the corner of a piece of folded paper. Gary felt his heart race suddenly. He could almost hear it beating directly behind the piece of paper that was the cause of the sudden rush.
"Please, please, please. Oh, please!!" Gary said to he knew not whom. Slowly, slowly he raised his hand and
reached for the piece of paper. As he pulled it out and unfolded it, he closed his eyes. When the paper was
fully opened in front of him, he gradually opened one eye. The text was just a blur at first. Eyelashes and
lack of focus making it impossible to make out the words.
Then it seemed like a trumpet fanfare of celebration played in Gary's head. There is was in black and
white: 'CALL ME'. Gary closed his eye again and opened the other. Then he opened both. Still the words were there. It was real!
Gary leaped from his crouching position high into the air with one smooth movement, punching his fist up
above his head in triumph. Waves of pure joy swept down his spine again and again. He landed back on the
ball of his right foot and then began spinning gracefully round the room like a seasoned veteran of the
Royal Ballet. He was dancing in silence but the most exalting music continued to play in his head, lifting
his spirits higher with every leap. With every twist he looked again at the paper he held in his hand.
This dream wasn't going away.
This was exquisitely real and he felt like it could be the first day of the rest of his life.
Although each tale stands on it own, Elf Tales is a series of stories best read from the beginning so that you get to know the colourful characters. To read more in the series, click here.
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