Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/922116-The-Silver-Book
by Miropa
Rated: E · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #922116
Jimmy and Adrian get a little more than they bargain for when they open The Silver Book.
The Silver Book

         Jimmy felt an ice cube of excitement run down his spine and melt out along his gangly limbs; this was definitely the silver book. His brown eyes glazed over as he thought about all the possibilities. He wondered if it was true? Could this book really do what Grandpa had said?
         “It won’t work,” said Adrian. “Your Grandpa always tells good stories, but he just makes it all up.”
         Jimmy still captured by his own imagination, ignored Adrian and carefully lifted the book onto the desk to open it.
         As Adrian went to walk away, he felt himself drawn back when he saw his friends short black hair and freckly face clearly reflected off the silver cover.
         Jimmy knew he shouldn’t, but he had to find out, had to at least try; he turned the first few pages.
         “Hey, did you hear that?” exclaimed Adrian. “They made no sound when you turned them over.”
         “What are you talking about?” said Jimmy distractedly.
         “When you turned the page, there was no sound,” repeated Adrian who was now getting a little excited himself and trying to get his big round head past Jimmy’s shoulder.
         Jimmy flicked through several more pages and was amazed to find that Adrian was right. He turned a bunch more; it didn’t matter how rough he was; the pages turned in total silence. His own excitement building further, Jimmy found the page he was looking for and followed the instructions carefully.
         “Give me a go,” Adrian’s podgy hand reached for the book.
         “Wait and see if it works first,” Jimmy replied, pulling the book out of Adrian’s reach.
         Jimmy put the book down on his desk as he and Adrian stood back; both thinking the magic would burst forth from the book in a flourish of colours and noise like firecrackers in the night sky. They stared, mesmerised by their own anticipation for several minutes.

         Nothing happened.

         Jimmy was first to break the trance as he stepped forward and slammed the book closed, angry that his Grandfather had lied.
         “I told you he made it up,” scoffed Adrian, feeling foolish that he had actually started to fall for the old man’s story.
         “Don’t you say anything bad about my Grandpa,” barked Jimmy as he took his disappointment out on Adrian.
         “Well he’s the one that told us that story about a stupid silver bo…” Adrian wiped his curly blond hair out of his face to get a better look at the book.
         Jimmy saw his friends face go red, then orange, then yellow, then green and was starting to change to blue when he realised that the book was glowing with all the colours of the rainbow.
         Suddenly Jimmy felt a tingle in his hands. “Maybe it did work”, said Jimmy. He raced to his room; Adrian waddled behind to see what would happen.

         Earlier the boys had lined up a selection of their favourite toys on Jimmy’s bed. There was Jimmy’s big white monkey, because monkeys were always fun. His green tiger, it would be an excellent pet. His fluffy alien from the planet Zoen that could already talk; Jimmy could only imagine what it might do. They had also included Adrian’s favourite racing car and a police car to chase it. Lastly, Jimmy had chosen two of his favourite wrestling characters, the Mighty Menace and the Chubby Crusher.

         Jimmy touched each toy once with his right hand; just like the picture in the book. Again nothing happened at first; then he saw the monkey move its arm. In a blur of white, it flung itself on top of his wardrobe. Adrian sat in disbelief and Jimmy laughed as the monkey began to climb along the curtains in his room. Its long white arms bent in all directions. Several times he thought it was going to fall, but its feet seemed to hold onto things as well as its hands.
         The monkey show was interrupted when the tiger let out a deep growl as it stretched itself for the first time. Its eyes almost seemed to glow as it walked slowly across the bed towards Jimmy. It sniffed his hand cautiously, and then left a wet strip up his arm with its green tongue. It looked at Adrian’s chubby, freckled face through its big yellow eyes and then headed towards the window.
         Jimmy heard the racing car start its engine and saw it zoom off his bed onto the floor. The police car went screaming after it, sirens squealing and lights flashing.
         The Mighty Menace had the Chubby Crusher in a headlock and was trying to pull off his mask.
         Jimmy looked around for his fluffy alien, but it was nowhere to be seen. It didn’t matter; Jimmy was having a good time watching the rest of his toys. The white monkey had wrapped its tail around the curtain rod and was dangling just out of reach of a tormented green tiger.
         Jimmy noticed the tiger look around the room for something easier to catch. That’s when it headed for the wrestlers. The Mighty Menace had the Chubby Crusher above his head and was spinning him around when he saw the tiger. He threw the Chubby Crusher at the tiger and ran for the pillow. Jimmy and Adrian laughed as the Crusher bounced off his huge stomach and collided with the tiger. The tiger was sent flying and nearly fell off the bed. Its claws clinging desperately to the blankets as its body dangled hopelessly off the end of the bed.

         The racing car zoomed across the floor, out the bedroom door and into the hallway. The police car left little black tyre marks across the floor as it raced along; a blur of flashing red and blue lights disappeared from sight.
         “Oh No!” Adrian rolled to his feet and rushed down the hallway to chase after them. “Catch em or we’ll be in real trouble,” he called out as he went.
         Jimmy knew that his Grandfather wouldn’t be happy if he saw the toys had come to life. He ran out after Adrian making sure he closed the door behind him so the other toys couldn’t get out of his room.
         The little cars raced around the house. They hurled themselves down the hall; bolted through the bathroom; hurried back into the hall; sped past the study, and dashed into the dining room.
         Stopping to catch his breath, Jimmy saw his Grandpa out in the garden. That was good; he would stay out there for ages. Grandpa loved his garden, especially at this time of year when all the flowers were blooming. He had won several garden competitions. Weeds didn’t come into Grandpa’s garden; maybe they were too scared. Grandpa was pretty scary when he got angry.
         Adrian saw the two cars zip around the corner and into the kitchen. Jimmy took a couple of dives; landing in a tangled knot of arms and legs, but missing the cars completely. Catching these cars was like trying to catch a mouse on skates.
         “How about we chase them back into your room,” suggested Adrian. “At least in there we could set up some sort of trap to catch them.”
         The boys pushed the chairs in the kitchen on their sides and created barriers to guide the cars back into the hallway. They used the sofa to block off the door to the lounge room and a painting off the wall to stop the cars from going into Grandpa’s bedroom. The plan worked perfectly, the cars raced along the path Jimmy and Adrian had created.

         Jimmy watched them drive up the hall and straight under his bedroom door. All he had to do now was block his own doorway and keep them inside his room.
         Jimmy grabbed the doorknob and walked right into the door because it didn’t move. He turned the handle and pushed again, but the door wouldn’t budge.
         “Stop mucking around Jimmy,” said Adrian, still puffing from moving all the furniture.
         As Adrian spoke two large eyes appeared on the door, followed by a mouth and a nose.
         “Can I help you?” it asked.
         Jimmy let go of the doorknob and fell backwards onto the floor.
         “Didn’t mean to scare you Jimmy,” said the door.
         “Doors can’t talk!” exclaimed Adrian. His own blue eyes opened nearly as wide as the doors.
         “Yes I can,” said the door.
         “Jimmy, doors can’t talk right?” pleaded Adrian.
         “Yes I can,” teased the door.
         “How come you haven’t said anything before?” asked Jimmy.
         “Well, I never had a mouth before did I,” said the door.
         “Why have you got a mouth now then?” asked Jimmy.
         “I don’t know, I’m just a door,” laughed the door. “It happened just after you slammed me shut and ran down the hall.”
         “Of course,” explained Adrian recovering from the shock of a talking door. “The door was brought to life when you touched it.”
         “Well tell me why you didn’t open just then?” asked Jimmy.
         The door smiled. “Because you didn’t say the magic word.”

         Jimmy was just about to ask what the magic word was he noticed the painting he had taken off the wall. It was desperately trying to climb back up to its hook.
         Down the hallway he could see that the sofa was busily emptying out everything that had fallen down behind its cushions. First it spat out the remote control; Jimmy knew Grandpa had been looking for that for about a week. Next it spat out an old comb, then some coins and finally three different socks. Jimmy waited; nothing else came out; but the sofa did start to wander around the lounge room on its stubby little feet.
         Everything else that Jimmy had touched was also alive. Half the chairs lying on the kitchen floor were kicking their legs around like turtles stuck on their backs. The fridge pleasantly asked Jimmy if he was ready for lunch and suggested that the rice really should be eaten today. The kitchen table was trying to squeeze out the back door and the microwave was having an argument with the toaster.
         In the bathroom the toilet was burping and laughing at itself and the bathtub was singing, “row row row your boat.”
         Jimmy stared at Adrian in disbelief; he didn’t know what to do. If his Grandfather came inside, they would really be in trouble.

         The boys raced back into the dining room and were relieved to see that Grandpa was still down on his knees digging in the garden.
         Jimmy grabbed an apple from the fruit bowl. Jimmy always ate an apple when he needed to think.
         “Don’t eat me!” screamed the apple.
         “Argh!” Jimmy dropped it back into the fruit bowl.
         “Ow, that’ll bruise you know,” protested the apple.
         “I’ll pick up the chairs,” said Adrian. “Don’t touch anything else.”
         Keeping his hands up, Jimmy sank onto one of the normal chairs to think. He watched as Adrian struggled to move all the kitchen chairs back to where they belonged. The chairs that Jimmy had touched kept trying to sneak away or kick him when he turned his back.
         “We should never have touched that book,” whined Adrian as he rubbed the back of his legs.
         “That’s it,” Jimmy jumped up. “You’re a genius. The book will tell me how to change everything back to normal.”

         He raced down the hall and slammed into his door again.
         “Open up, I’m in a hurry,” demanded Jimmy.
         “Not until you say the magic word.”
         “Open sesame,” tried Jimmy.
         “That’s not it.”
         “Abracadabra,” suggested Jimmy.
         “No, wrong again.”
         “Please,” begged Adrian who had just arrived.
         The door gave them a big smile and opened. Jimmy hardly noticed the mess the toys had made of his room. He went straight to the book and flicked through the pages to find a way to turn everything back.
         “This is the page,” said Jimmy, just as the book came to life and wriggled out of his hands. Jimmy reached for it again, but it began to flap its pages like wings and flew around the room. Adrian made a lunge for it as it flew straight out of the window. They watched helplessly as it sprouted two tiny silver legs and perched itself in a tree in Grandpa’s garden.
         “Jimmy we have to find a way to stop your hands touching everything,” complained Adrian.
         Gloves thought Jimmy. “If I put my gloves on, I won’t keep touching things.”

         Adrian got some gloves and slipped them onto Jimmy’s hands.
         Jimmy felt a tingle from the glove on his right hand. It started to wiggle and ended up tickling his hand in its effort to get away. As the right glove broke free, Jimmy realised that the other glove hadn’t moved and held it up to show Adrian. “Look!”
         “What…Argh!” Adrian let out a small shriek and leapt towards the door.
         The right glove was crawling up his leg. He shook his leg fiercely and the glove fell off and ran under the bed like a big black spider.
         “This one’s not moving,” said Jimmy, “it doesn’t even feel alive.”
         Adrian was looking around nervously, “Where did the other one go?”
         “This one’s not moving,” repeated Jimmy.
         “Maybe your left hand doesn’t work,” suggested Adrian who was still looking at the floor in case the other glove came back.
         Jimmy walked over to the bed and picked up his pillow with his left hand. The green tiger leapt out of nowhere and pounced on Jimmy’s hand. Just as it tried uselessly to sink its spongy teeth into Jimmy’s flesh it froze and became a fluffy toy again. The boys just looked at each other in amazement.
         Jimmy’s left hand was the answer; his right hand brought things to life and his left hand returned them to normal.

         “I like being alive,” pleaded the door desperately. “Don’t change me back, please, please.”
         Jimmy quickly touched it with his left hand. The doors face disappeared and made no sound as Adrian grabbed the knob and opened it again.
         “Now the toys,” said Adrian.
         “No, lets stop that bathtub singing and move the lounge chairs and the kitchen table before Grandpa comes back inside,” suggested Jimmy.
         “Raindrops keep falling on my head,” they found the bathtub had moved onto a new song.
         Jimmy put an end to that and then touched the painting that was still trying to climb up the wall. Its tiny little legs disappeared as promptly as they had appeared.
         Adrian followed behind and was more successful in replacing the kitchen chairs when Jimmy stopped them kicking their legs. Jimmy also touched the kitchen table and helped Adrian put it back where it belonged. All that was left now was the lounge chair that had worked its way into the dinning room.
         Adrian tried hopelessly to move the lounge back to its original position. In fact, Adrian could hardly move it at all. Jimmy used his left hand to help, but still they could barely move such a large chair.
         “Maybe you could bring it back to life and get it to move back itself,” suggested Adrian.
         Jimmy reached out his right hand and had to hastily retreat. The lounge was not happy with Jimmy for changing it back and was trying to step on his toes. Jimmy swiftly used his left hand to still the lounge once more.
         Jimmy still shaking looked at Adrian, “that’s not going to work.”
         “What if you get it to chase you back into the lounge room?” Said Adrian.
         “Are you mad?” Jimmy looked at Adrian as though he was out of his mind.”
         “How else do you plan to move it?” Replied Adrian.

         “Jimmy,” called Grandpa from the garden outside Jimmy’s window.
         “Oh no,” said Jimmy worriedly.
         “Jimmy,” Grandpa’s voice was a bit more urgent this time.
         “You better go and find out what he wants,” said Adrian.
         Jimmy headed for the garden wondering what grandpa had seen, or heard. Adrian followed at what he thought was a safe distance. As they walked out the back door they saw it. The book was perched on a branch just above Grandpa’s head. Jimmy’s jaw dropped, his face went white with fear. Adrian stopped as soon as he saw grandpa’s face; anger in every wrinkle.
         “What’s this doing here?” Grandpa glared at Jimmy.
         “We were just…”
         “How many times have I told you not to throw things inside?” asked Grandpa.
         “Throw things?” Jimmy was confused.
         “This,” Grandpa pointed to an old tennis ball. “It just flew out your window and hit me.”
         “Sorry Grandpa,” Jimmy responded with relief.
         He stared up at his room and hoped nothing else would fly out before he could shut the window. Adrian was using all his will power to avoid looking at the book above Grandpa’s head.
         “Yes, well I’ll be coming inside soon; I hope you two haven’t made a mess.”
         Jimmy and Adrian just stared at each other.
         “We’ll have lunch in about fifteen minutes,” continued Grandpa.
         “Ok Grandpa,” said Jimmy as he quickly turned to get back inside.

         Adrian went into the room to close the window. Jimmy knew what he had to do. He reluctantly reached for the couch with his right hand. The lounge instantly bounced towards him, almost catching his right foot. It jumped again, and Jimmy only escaped because Adrian had come back and grabbed his shirt just in time. Both boys turned and ran towards the corner of the room where the couch needed to be. They waited…the couch didn’t move.
         “Did you put your left hand on it?” asked Adrian.
         “I don’t think so,” said Jimmy unsure.
         “But it isn’t moving,” said Adrian.
         “Maybe it’s tired,” suggested Jimmy.
         Jimmy walked back over to the lounge and was caught when it chased him quickly back over to Adrian. It pinned him against the wall just as he touched it with his left hand.
         “That was close,” Jimmy squeezed his way out and walked over to Adrian who was still shaking. “Now let’s go and get those toys.”

         The monkey was easy, the wrestlers tried to run but were no real trouble, and even the cars were easy enough to touch after Adrian built another little trap.

         “Boys,” Grandpa’s voice boomed through the house.
         “The book!” exclaimed Adrian, sweat running down the side of his face.
         They emerged into the kitchen to see Grandpa walking towards them, “Just need to wash my hands, then I’ll make some lunch.”
         Jimmy and Adrian went to the kitchen and looked out the glass doors for the book. It was still in the same tree.
         “Ha, how do you like it?”
         “Like what?” asked Adrian.
         “It hurts doesn’t it?”
         “What hurts?” Adrian looked at Jimmy puzzled.
         Jimmy returned the look, “I didn’t say anything.”
         Half of a worm landed on Adrian’s hand, “You’re next,” said the angry apple grabbing at a fruit fly.
         Jimmy grabbed it with his left hand.
         “Want me to cut that apple up for you Jimmy?” asked Grandpa.
         “No,” Jimmy said startled, “I don’t think I want to eat right now thanks Grandpa.”
         “Can we go outside for a while?” asked Adrian.
         “Just while I make some lunch.”

         Outside, Jimmy and Adrian went straight to the tree where they last saw the magic book.
         “You’ll have to climb the tree,” instructed Jimmy.
         “I can’t climb a tree,” responded Adrian. “I have enough trouble climbing a ladder.”
         “Well, we don’t have a ladder, and do you want that tree to start chasing us?”
         Adrian was just about to mention that trees are already alive when he noticed that the neighbour’s cat was creeping slowly along a branch towards the book. The book tried to fly away, but the cat was too fast and came tumbling to the ground with the book under it. Jimmy dived forward before it could get away again.

         Adrian flicked through the pages of the silver book, “We have to find out how to stop this Jimmy.”
         “That’s fine with me,” Jimmy grasped at a stick with legs that he must have touched. “I don’t think I want to chase everything I touch. I’ll never be able to use my right hand again.”
         “Here it is, you just have to clasp your hands together and the magic will be broken.”
         Jimmy held his hands together and wrapped his fingers together just to make sure. He felt his skin start to prickle and then there was nothing.
         “I think it worked,” he beamed.
         “Try touching that,” Adrian pointed to a small rock in the garden.
         Jimmy picked it up with his right hand and was relieved to see that it stayed as a normal rock. The boys sat there and watched for a while just to make sure. It was over, nothing happened.

         Jimmy and Adrian tip toed inside and quietly placed the silver book back on the shelf. With huge smiles they both finally relaxed and sat down to lunch with Grandpa.
         After lunch, Grandpa sat down on the sofa, “My remote control; I’ve been looking for this.”
         He flicked on the television and fell to sleep. Grandpa often did this; it was how he lost the remote in the first place.
         Adrian and Jimmy were exhausted and slumped on the big lounge to rest. Adrian noticed the fluffy alien hovering above Grandpa’s head just as Jimmy spied the black glove race under the sofa.

         “Oh no,” they whimpered in unison.
© Copyright 2004 Miropa (mpaz at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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