Sir, Master David has told me quite an interesting story about what he found in your sister’s attic last week.

Well, spit it out Barnaby. 

David looked around for the final piece of the jigsaw. Where was it? He was sure he had counted all of the pieces before beginning and was sure he had them all. The old dusty puzzle had been shoved in the back of a rickety cupboard in his grandmother’s attic. She had asked him to grab some photos that she wanted to bring with her to the new nursing home two days earlier. Poking around inside the cupboard, he found the puzzle, it’s box frayed and faded. He could just about make out what appeared to be a king surrounded by clouds and angels on the cover as well as the title – The Nine Realms of Wingovia. In the top right hand corner, there was a peeling sticker – Complete Puzzle to Win Special Prize! – it read. Not having time to open and look at it properly, he left it on the floor and promised himself that he would come back when he had the chance.

Two days later, early in the morning he had returned to the now empty house, entered the attic and had been piecing together the jigsaw for nearly three hours now. Hunger was setting in and David was ready to curse the last missing piece and go for lunch when he realised that he had been holding it in the palm of his hand all along. Strange, he thought to himself, I don’t think I was holding this a moment ago. He shrugged and carefully placed the last piece into the empty slot.

Bang! All of a sudden, the attic was illuminated in sparkling light. David covered his eyes and tried desperately to see what had been the cause of the loud noise and blinding light. As David’s eyes began to refocus, he could make out a shape standing where the puzzle had been. Looming over David stood a tall wiry ancient man. He had a long beard, white as snow and long enough to touch the floor. Peering inquisitively down at the boy through furrowed eyebrows, he coughed and raised a long crooked pointing finger. David could begin to see the long navy blue robes that hung from his shoulders and arms. The man coughed again and then began.

“Congratulations! I, messenger Telenox of the Nine Realms, have been chosen to summon you, your royal highness, to your rightful throne. Take my hand and come with me to your new kingdom,” he announced with a raspy voice while waving his arms in the air.

“You will have whatever your heart desires. Food, women and wine by the casket. Simply take my hand.” He reached out his hand towards David’s. Slowly, David stood up, flabbergasted. Then, without a single word he grabbed Telenox’s hand determinedly. The same loud flash illuminated the attic once again and a swirling portal appeared behind the wizened old man. He turned and they each took a step silently in it’s direction.


“Shite, sorry. It’s my dad. Give me two secs,” muttered David angrily. Telenox stared at David quizzically as he pulled his mobile from his pocket.

“Ya, I’ll be back for supper. Go on, good luck. Fucking dope,” he said hanging up.

“What is this… machine??”

“This? It’s a piece of shit is what it is. Things gone to crap to be honest. Gonna trade it in for the new one next week. Sure fuck it, I’m a king now as you said. I’ll surely have about a million of them! Ha! This is going to be class.”

Telenox took the phone from David’s hand carefully and rotated it in the light of the window. He looked sideways at David again.

“Who were you talking to just now? Were you using this machine? Tell me, how does it work?” he asked, confused. David grabbed his phone back.

“You’ve never seen a fucking phone? Sit down here a minute and I’ll show you what it does.” David pulled two old milk bottle crates from the pile of rubbish in the attic and they both sat side by side.

Three hours later, he had finished giving Telenox a brief run down on the Internet, , Google Maps, Whatsapp and the Kardashians. The messenger sat amazed. He turned to David.

“And everyone has one of these machines?”

“Yup, pretty much.” Telenox nodded slowly to himself and then shrugged.

“Okay, my king. I will be on my way. Good fortune in the years ahead.”

“Wait, where are you going?”

“Your technology far surpasses that which we possess in the Nine Realms. I fear the kingdom would not be to your liking.”

“No, stop. I’m sure it’ll be class!” pleaded David. Telenox laughed and shook his head.

“You can find a girl to have intimate relations with through a touch of a button and the most beautiful women in the world are naked and readily available to see on the internet! I am sorry, but the Nine Realms is, to coin one of your terms, a ‘shithole’ compared to Earth.” Telenox stood and clicked his fingers. The portal opened once again behind him and he swiftly stepped through it. As his long robes disappeared, the portal grew smaller and smaller until it vanished altogether. David stood up and looked around him.

“Fucking paedo,” he grumbled. He kicked the jigsaw puzzle into hundreds of pieces and left the room.

Image result for attic


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