The Cloak of Shadows | A Short ASMR Story

Tuesday, 17 July 2018


   Lila, of all people, knew magic didn’t exist. Flicking through her science homework; the topic – the night sky, she knew many of her classmates still thought that meteors were shooting stars. How silly, she thought.

   Lila was spending the weekend with her Gran; her Mum and Dad were having a long weekend in the Lake District, and even though Lila had protested that she could sleep round her friend's house, her parents insisted that she would stay round her grans.

   Although Lila didn’t hate going round her Grans, she could think of at least three other places that she would rather be. Her Gran always told silly stories of fairies and ghosts; she even said she has a Boggle living in the attic, whatever a Boggle was.

   “Lila”, sung a sweet voice from downstairs, “lunch is ready!”. Lila huffed and put her science homework away. As she trundled downstairs and into the kitchen, she saw her gran had set the table for three.

   “Erm, Gran? It’s just me and you, isn’t it?”. Lila’s Gran furrowed her brow in confusion, but only for a moment.

   “Oh, don’t worry about that my dear”, chuckled Gran, “it’s just for the Boggle or—“, she suddenly stopped in her tracks, still holding hers and Lila’s sandwiches, “or is it the Brownies that like feeding?”. Gran huffed and continued to place down the sandwiches on the gingham tablecloth.
   “Gran, I don’t think the girls from down the road will all fit in your kitchen for lunch…” said Lila as she took a bite out of her sandwich.

   “Not those kinds of Brownies, Lila, the magical sort”.

   “Of course,” sighed Lila under her breath. She continued to finish off her lunch. If there was one thing Lila liked about staying round her Grans, it was the food. Her Gran made the best chicken curry Lila has ever had. Her Gran may be a bit batty, but she sure did know how to make good food.

   Lila kept staring at the extra sandwich on the opposite end of the table, waiting for it to disappear, but it didn’t. Lila knew it wouldn’t. It never would because the only way for it to disappear was if somebody ate it, not for it to be gobbled up magically by a Boggle or a Brownie.

   “Gran,” Lila said, “what even is a Boggle?”. Lila rarely indulged in her Grans nonsense, but she was also a curious child, and even though her Grans stories were utterly ridiculous and not scientifically correct, they were a little entertaining. A heart-warming smile spread across her Grans' face as she placed the remainder of her sandwich on the chipped china plate.

   “Well, a Boggle is a house spirit. They’re harmless, but they do like to move things around. I remember once, I couldn’t find my tv remote for weeks, then all of a sudden there it was one day, poof, right there on my armchair! I couldn’t believe it! Right pain in the neck that was.”
   All of a sudden, a loud thump came from the attic.

   “Oop, it can hear us talking about it” Gran whispered, “better occupy ourselves before it starts moving things again”. Gran got up from the kitchen table, took Lila’s plate away and started readying herself for the garden; potting and pruning were one of her favourite hobbies. She left the extra sandwich on the table.

   “Lila, dear, would you mind getting me a new pair of gloves, I think I put some in the cupboard under the stairs”.

   Lila got down from the table and entered the cupboard. It was quite spacious for something under the stairs. Lila’s gran housed lots of treasures in there; old photo albums, trinkets from her childhood and also the hoover. Rummaging around for the gloves, Lila accidentally knocked over a pile of old documents that were on top of an ancient and mysterious looking box, and once again, Lila’s curiosity got the better of her.

   The box was wooden and dark and had intricate symbols engraved all around it. Turning the cupboard light on and seeing the box more clearly, Lila started to recognise the symbols; they weren't symbols at all, they were in fact stars and constellations. Different phases of the moon had also been etched into the small chest. Lila felt something pull her close. She couldn’t explain what this feeling was, but it scared her. What on earth would her Gran be keeping in here?

   As she ran her fingers over the seam of the opening, a tingling sensation happened in her fingertips, and her heart was beating so fast and loud she could almost hear it.

   Lila finally opened the lid of the chest, and something dark and silky was inside. She pulled out the contents and it was cool to the touch; it looked like a large piece of dark fabric. Unfolding it out in her hands, it became everything and nothing at the same time, light then dark, here then gone. In the dark parts of the material, it glistened here and there, then it didn’t. Lila couldn’t explain or even believe what she was seeing. She went out into the corridor to try and see the garment more clearly, thinking her eyes were deceiving her in the dark. But, there in the daylight of her Grans house, the garment looked the same. Here then not, dark then light, flitting between something, nothing and everything.

   “Gran?” shouted Lila, her voice trembling. Her Gran, who had been outside trudged in and saw the garment in her grandaughters hands.

   “I see you’ve finally found it…” said Gran.

   “What is it?” asked Lila. Her Gran leaned against the door frame, and for the first time, Lila saw something in her that she had never seen before. Past her salt and pepper hair, she saw wickedness. Not the bad kind, a sort of rebellious feel, like her Gran had many adventures she’s never shared with anyone ever before. “Gran… what is this?”

    Her Gran looked at her with the same heart-warming smile as she always did. “It’s my cloak of shadows”.

   Lila looked down at the cloak. Shadows? she thought. Was this another silly story? As if the cloak had sensed her disbelief, it began to disappear, and Lila started to see her hands that were holding the cloak underneath. Lila shrieked and dropped the cloak on the floor where it continued to disappear into the carpet. Her Gran laughed.

   “If you didn’t believe in magic, you sure as will now”. She turned on her heel, clutching the gardening gloves that Lila was trying to find, and headed out back towards the garden. Lila noticed that the extra sandwich had disappeared. “Oh, my dear, there’s so much to tell you…”.

© Kayleigh Cooper, 2018

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