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Dexter's Drawings

by Len Jeffrey 2 months ago in Fantasy

Expect The Unexpected

Dexter's Drawings
Photo by Dan-Cristian Pădureț on Unsplash

Dexter stood staring at the sign.

‘Lady Helena’s Magic Emporium-Expect The Unexpected.’

“Mom, is it OK if I look around this store?” Dexter asked his mother as they walked along the amusement section of the exhibition.

“OK. But make it quick. And remember, you’ve only got twenty five dollars left. Once you run out of money we’re heading home,” she warned.

Dexter walked into the dark and mysterious-looking store. He had never seen another one like it. All around were puzzles and toys with weird sounding names. Some were actually quite evil looking. There were beads and small animal-shaped figurines such as bulls, horses, lions and elephants. One room was filled with magazines about sorcery and the occult. Above Dexter hanging from the ceiling were stuffed bats, ravens and owls with eyes that seemed alive and staring at his every move as he walked down each aisle of the small shop.

“Are those real?” he wondered.

There were paintings showing old women mixing something in giant cauldrons. Their eyes, too, seemed to be watching Dexter as he moved about. Most items in the store were priced well over what he could afford. He noticed something inside a glass display case that caught his interest.

“It’s perfect for you my dear,” came the words from an old woman as she slowly rose from behind the display case. “But I must warn you. It’s magical. It has powers beyond your wildest dreams!”

“Powers, magical powers?” Dexter asked as he stared at the plastic-encased sketch pad with the charcoal sticks.

“Yes, magical powers. This sketch pad and its charcoal sticks were once used by Merlin the Magician himself!” she said as her eyes widened. “He was able to perform amazing things with the powers of his drawings using this parchment.”

Dexter’s eyes widened when the old lady said that.

“How much do you want for them?” he asked.

“Just between you and me, Dexter, they are priceless and will do amazing things for you.

I know that you are a good boy and would be very careful with them, so I will make you a deal. I can’t tell you exactly what powers they have but I am warning you to be extremely cautious when you use them. The price is twenty dollars which will leave you five dollars to go on that last ride with your mother.”

“How did you know how much money I have left and how did you know my name?”

“I know all and see all,” she chuckled as she touched the top of his head.

With a shaking hand Dexter handed her the money.

“There you go young man,” she said as she handed him the package containing a number of charcoal sticks and a few parchment papers.

Dexter hurried out of the shop to meet his mother who was waiting at the lineup to a ride about to start.

“Hurry! Get in front of me Dexter,” she said. “What’s that you bought?”

“It’s a special sketch pad, Mom,” he replied.

“Well hold on to it tightly. It looks as though you finally bought something that you can put to good use.”

When Dexter got home later that evening, he couldn’t wait to remove the pad and the writing utensils from the sealed package.

The words that the old woman had said to him kept going through his mind. He had to be cautious about something, but he didn’t know what it was. He decided not to tell his mother what the mysterious woman had said would happen when he used the pad and charcoal stick. He figured that his mother would take it from him if she found out. Besides, it was all so exciting to him.

“This writing pad certainly looks old, very old,” he said under his breath. “And what are these? Pieces of charcoal? How odd.”

Dexter stared at the blank pad. He didn’t know what to draw first. He walked over to his bedroom window and looked out. The sun was setting in the western sky and he could see the orange-coloured clouds across the horizon.

“I think that I’ll try to draw a picture of me standing on a cloud,” he thought.

So he began with a few clouds drawn against a blank background. He drew a few seagulls and then he drew a very rough picture of a boy balancing himself on a cloud with his arms stretched out.

‘Snap!’ was the sound he heard as he instantly found himself standing precariously at the top of a cloud, balancing himself for dear life! He screamed at the top of his lungs at the unbelievable situation in which he found himself.

“Help me someone!” he cried out. He held his arms out to try and balance himself as he stared in disbelief at the earth below him. He looked at his right hand and saw that he was still holding the charcoal stick. He looked at his left hand and saw that he was also holding the sketch pad. Still screaming, he quickly drew a picture of himself lying in his bed.

‘Snap!’ came the sound as he found himself safely in his room again.

Dexter threw the charcoal and the sketchpad against his bedroom wall.

“That’s it for me. I’m going to bed,” he said out loud. “Mom and Dad sure won’t believe this!”

What a restless night it had been for young Dexter. He couldn’t sleep at all. Was it any wonder considering what he had just been through? He kept hearing the old woman’s words. She had sold him something magical and warned him to be careful. Dexter thought about what might happen if he were to tell his parents about his magical writing pad. They would most certainly cut his adventures short. Then an idea came to him and he bolted upright in bed.

“What if I were to draw a picture of me in an army tank? I’ve always wanted to see what it’s like to be inside of one. This way I would be at its controls and operating it,” he reasoned.

He turned on his flashlight and got down on the bedroom floor to search for the charcoal pencil and sketch pad. He found them and nervously began to draw a very rough army tank with himself behind its controls. Suddenly there was a loud ‘Snap!’ sound and he found himself behind the controls of what appeared to be a very real army tank traveling at a high rate of speed along a very bumpy road!

“I can’t believe this! I don’t know what the controls do,” he called out. Then came the sound of explosions.

“Bombs! They’re throwing bombs at me! I’ve got to get out of here!”

‘Boom!’ went the sound of another bomb being detonated nearby, and this one knocked Dexter off balance. His sketch pad went flying to the floor of the tank. In the darkness he scrambled to locate it. He really needed that pad to get out of this predicament.

The giant tank was still rolling along and the bombs were still going off all around it as he finally grabbed hold of the sketch pad. After scrambling back up to the seat in front of the tank’s controls he had barely enough light to make a shaky attempt at drawing himself back home in his bed. It had worked and just in time too, for the tank had rolled down an embankment and on to its side. He never would have gotten out alive.

“Wow! That was sure exciting,” he thought. “But I guess that I’ve had enough excitement for one night.”

He eventually fell asleep and the next day at school he could only think about his next great adventure. When his bedtime once again came along Dexter picked up the writing pad and its charcoal stick and began to draw a dinosaur. He had always wanted to see what they looked like. As soon as he had drawn himself inside a cave looking out, there was that familiar ‘Snap!’ sound and he actually found himself inside a dark cave as the earth was shaking. It was something he had never felt before. Each time that the painfully loud sound occurred, pieces of the cave came crashing down and he would lose his balance and fall over. He was really scared, especially because it was getting even louder. Something truly huge was coming his way and he had a good idea of what it was. Then he saw it. His jaw dropped. It was bigger than he ever imagined it would be and taller than the tallest building that he had ever seen! It was coming really close to the cave. He could see that one of its eyes was as big as a car or even a bus and it saw him!

He ran for his life further into the cave and hid in its darkness. He heard the rumbling of the dinosaur’s breath as it exhaled and then Dexter heard something even more horrifying. The dinosaur was about to sneeze! Dexter held on for dear life but it was all in vain.

Massive globs of slimy mucous covered him from head to toe as the sneeze gradually dissipated and the dinosaur left the area. Dexter should have been dead from almost being drowned in puddles of dinosaur mucous but he suddenly found himself safe at home in bed!

“How can this be? I should be dead. How did I get here?” he wondered aloud.

Then he looked down at the soaked parchment and realized what might have happened.

“The dinosaur’s mucous obliterated the drawing I did of the dinosaur. It erased everything; the dinosaur, me and the cave. I guess that’s what saved me.”

He had one sheet of parchment left in the box, which he kept in his bedroom.

“I’ve got to think of one last thing to draw. It’s got to be a really safe thing for me this time.”

He thought for a long time, but each idea he came up with turned out to be something that would most likely be dangerous-wearing a parachute and jumping from an airplane; mountain climbing; race-car driving; deep sea fishing or going on an African safari.

These were things that Dexter had wanted to experience in his lifetime but he was too scared to begin drawing himself doing any of these just in case. He realized that if he were to draw a picture of himself on board a pirate ship, it might turn out that he might be forced to walk the plank! He had no control of how he might end up.

Lying on his bed Dexter suddenly knew what he had to do. He began to draw on the old parchment for the last time. ‘Snap!’ was the sound he heard as he realized that he was back in the store where he first bought the charcoal pencil and parchment pad. He called out for the old woman.

“Hello. Are you here?”

“What is your wish, young man?” the old woman asked as she once again appeared from behind the counter.

“I tried to think of things to draw, but I always ended up in trouble,” Dexter said.

“I almost got killed a few times. Now I only have one more chance because there is only one parchment sheet left. I need your help. Do you know a safe place for me to go?”

“Deep down inside of you is the answer to your question young man. You have been searching everywhere but missed the most important place on earth that you need to go to.”

“I have?” asked Dexter, who was genuinely puzzled.

The old woman told him that she would draw one last picture on his parchment if he would let her. Dexter handed over the parchment and charcoal to her. She looked down at the blank sheet and began to draw. After she had finished, she stopped and handed the parchment and charcoal over to Dexter and said, “Now draw yourself!”

At the moment Dexter made a drawing of himself there was a final ‘Snap!’ sound and he was instantly at his mother’s side as she was walking along the same amusement area of the exhibition grounds.

“Look at the shop,” his mother said to him as she pointed to the mysterious-looking building that Dexter was all too familiar with.

Dexter walked over to it and read the sign in the window.

‘Coming soon-Lady Helena’s Magic Emporium-Expect The Unexpected’

“It's empty!” exclaimed Dexter when he looked into the window of the empty building. Dexter realized that the old woman had sent him back to his mother’s side, showing him that this was the safest place on earth to be. For Dexter, this was truly unexpected!


Len Jeffrey

I am 74 years old and got the bug to write late in life. It has been about a year and a half since I last wrote a short fictional story and now because of Vocal I got the 'urge' back again. To tell the truth, I like it!

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Len Jeffrey
Read next: House on the Hill

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