by Jemima Gleeson, aged 8 years, Chandler's Ford, Hampshire
I was a bit distracted though because I was too busy looking further down the train at two people having a fight. What I did hear of his story was something about a haunted house; a witch hurting small children and me being the chosen one to defeat her. At least I think that’s what he said. I wanted him to repeat his story but unfortunately the train came to a halt and the man got off. He was gone and there was nothing I could do about it.
Curious, the next day I headed for the midnight train again. I was sitting reading a book when the same man I talked to the night before got on the train again. He asked me whether I had done it and I said no because all I did last night was eat dinner and then go to bed. He told me I had all the time until Sunday to do it.
It was Tuesday that day which meant that I had 5 days to kill this witch or whatever he was talking about. So I planned that on Wednesday I would sort out clothes, on Thursday I would sort out weapons, on Friday I would sort out finding where this haunted house (or whatever it actually was) was located and on Saturday I would have the actual battle. I was nervous though because as soon as I had planned everything the days started passing by quickly and by quickly I mean very quickly and by very quickly I mean really quickly, if you get what I mean.
So the next day I did sort out a costume … I have to admit it wasn’t the best costume for fighting a witch. It was a soldier’s outfit I had found in the dressing up box. The day after that I did find a weapon and my weapon was a knife I sneaked out of the cutlery drawer used for cutting vegetables (it had the biggest blade). On Friday, I did find this haunted house and it was in a wood (like in all the fairy stories). Each night the man asked if I had done it and each time the answer was no. Each time the man became more and more worried. Each time I was being put under more pressure. Each time I became more afraid.
The day had come for me to fight this witch. I was scared, I was nervous, I was untrained, I was anxious but I had to be brave. I put on my costume, I found my weapon and I went to the haunted house and slowly walked in. There was plaster coming off from the walls, in fact the whole place was a complete wreck. There were cobwebs and spiders everywhere. Every single window was smashed. I could hear creaking floorboards upstairs. I could hear someone cackling with laughter, it wasn’t friendly laughter though - it was cruel and wicked. I didn’t like this place one bit. Now I was here there was no turning back.
The door had closed behind me and now I was trapped. I was trapped in a haunted house. I was trapped with a witch. I was trapped in a place with shattered glass on the floor. As soon as these thoughts crossed my mind, I suddenly became scared, afraid, terrified, petrified. So I slowly went up the stairs and went into a room at the top. There I found myself staring face to face with a witch. She had green skin and a wart on her nose. She had a tall black hat and a long black cloak wrapped around her. There was only one word to describe her: ugly. She held a broom in one hand and a wand in the other. There was a cauldron standing in the middle of the room with green smoke coming out of it.
I can’t understand why the witch hopped on her broom and started to fly towards the window which was locked and the key had been lost for years now. Usually a witch will try and attack you but that one didn’t. So I just charged at her with the vegetable knife and to my surprise she dodged it. So I ran around chasing after her. Eventually she flew into the bathroom which was a small room and there were no doors leading to anywhere. So I went ahead and cut off her hand which was holding her wand in. She couldn’t cast a spell. She couldn’t fly away. She was trapped. Or was she?
Somehow she managed to fly over my head still wincing in pain. The whole chase began again. This time she was chasing after me. Each time she attacked me I just about managed to dodge her. I went to the left. I went to the right. I ducked down. I jumped up. I did anything to avoid her and attack her obviously. Then as I ducked down I just about cut her leg. The witch screamed louder than a clap of thunder. She fell off her broom and landed with a crash on the floor. I raised the knife up in the air and then brought it down again. She was dead.
I could go home without needing to worry. The battle was over and I had won it. I would never need to fight again. The next day I was on the midnight train for the last time. There before me stood the man; that very man who set me the quest.
I simply said “I’ve done it.”
All he said was “There will be another quest for you some day.”
This slightly worried me but I hoped it wouldn’t be any time soon.