The rescuer, the knight
First they ran through the little town, then they passed the little store where Mary Anne worked several years ago, then out on the country road and finally they reached the forest path with ditches on each side that led up to Misty Lantern. A giant refurbished old mansion with heavy gates in front. I never dared to enter here, Linda says, I think there is a curse on this old place. -It’s also impossible if you are not a relative and have a booked appointment, Magnus replies. But, then how can we get in? Linda asks. Magnus buckles the shoulder strap on his suitcase more tight -we climb, he answers!
As in everything Magnus do, it seem to be so simple. He gathers some strength, focus on the target and jump high up in he air toward the gates and snaps his fingers around the iron bar on top. Then he puts his feet against a transverse iron below and swing the rest of the body over the gate. Linda have no words, -how?-I’m not a monkey!
Magnus, pull his jeans down that happened to go a “little” too high up after the circus act. He tells Linda to focus on what she was going to do and jump as he did!
Linda murmures something that Magnus can’t hear and feel worried, then she backs off from the gates like Magnus did and run as fast as she can before she jump. The big black buttons on her sleeves in her new red felt jacket got stuck between the iron bars and left her hanging there instead. Feeling a little awkward, she tries to climb the iron net on the gates with her knees first but kept sliding down. “I’m stuck” she cries out. From the side of the house a door opens and the old chef Bert comes out. He laughs so hard that his big stomach jumps. He waves to the kids and cross the courtyard down to the gates. Neither Magnus or Linda makes a sound and Linda hang where she hangs, feeling silly. Bert opens the gate with a code on one of the pillars and slowly they open.
-My little friend, it’s seem to be a good idea to pick you down from the gate, Bert says. -I suspect you’re both here going to see mary Anne? -She’s really sick now, so it’s about time you two came! -Magnus, you know there’s nobody at Misty Lantern who does not love your mother and you know, I’m for one believe in her stories. Bert scratched his head when he had put Linda down. “You know (Bert clears his throat), I’m an old man, but I think I’ve seen mr Hatman in the kitchen several times.”
Magnus and Linda looked at each other and Linda gave Big Bert a hug all of a sudden. Thank you, she says! -Not just because you let me down, but because I’ve also started to believe in magic after I got to know Magnus. Magnus smile but remembered why he was there today. -Can you let us into the lantern, he asks Bert. -Of course, Big Bert said, feeling extremely happy about today’s good deed for the wonderful youngsters that were growing up today. He murmurs a bit to himself as he lead the party back up to Misty Lantern.
When Magnus and Linda reached Mary Anne’s room, the door was closed. Magnus turned to Linda and praisefully thanked her. -Thank you for loving me for who I am! Linda don’t know what to say… she has no words, most of all she wanted to throw herself around his neck and kiss him again. -Whatever happens now, he says to Linda, -just do as I ask you!
When they open the door, they see Mary Anne lying in bed, as beautiful as before, but very pale and in a deep sleep. Grandmother’s sitting half-asleep with her daughter’s hand in her. Magnus feel the blood disappeared from his body and asks before they enter the room -is she dead? Grandma awakes with a jump -no, sweety! She’s just sleeping very deep. -My dear Magnus, she begin and tries to take his hand, but Magnus pull his hand away, he aren’t there to mourn. -Good, good … -very good! he says. Then as if he had become obsessed and like a maniac he swirled through the room and teared all drawings down from the walls. -Help me, he cries to Linda, who mostly was in a chock.
Together, they teared everything down until it looked like a hurricane had hit the room. Grandma started to cry -but Magnus, she says, it’s your mother’s drawings. -She has made them! Magnus sat down on the side of Mary Anne’s bed and open his little suitcase wide-open this time so that all pens and brushes, colors and notepads were visible. He takes a black dye pencil and put it in his mothers hand -mom you need to wake up now! -You have to draw, he says.
But Mary Anne didn’t seem to react on Magnus at all and her hand kept slipping out of Magnus’s hand. Fanny try to interrupt her grandson, she thinks he is losing his mind from all the grief.
She tries to take his hand again but Magnus shakes it off. -No grandma, momma need to wake up now!
Grandmother cried, Linda cried and Magnus’s cried. It felt like everything was lost, but then like nothing had happened, Mary Anne slowly opened her eyes. -What’s all fuss about? she asks all drowsy. Everyone in the room sigh deeply. Magnus have no time to explain -you’re going to draw me, Magnus says enthusiastically. Grandma have no idea of what Magnus plan are and she feel confused. Mary Anne try to focus and see her beloved son sitting at the bedside and she start to glow -Magnus, have you cried? she asks, -I only rested for a while! Don’t listen to Dr Aspen, I have not taken any tablets at all, it was Scream who dragged me away from the dungeons this time, not even mr Hatman was able to help me, she won’t rest until I transformed completely!
Magnus wipe his face with the back of his hand to remove to tears and doesn’t know what to believe.
“You must draw me” he says again! Mary Anne try to scooch up but the body is too heavy. -Please Magnus, my dear sweet child, can we take this when I am finished sleeping?
-No! he cries out so loud that both Linda and Grandma jumped by surprise. -You have to do it now!
-What are you seeing in this room right now, Magnus’s asks mom! Mary Anne looks around the room, I see a painting by Picasso and I see you? Magnus takes her hand again and puts the black dye pen in it. -Then draw me, he commands! -I don’t have the energy right now, can’t this wait? she asks. Magnus takes the notepad and grip her by the hand so hard that Mary Anne squint her eyes from the pain.
-Draw me! he orders!
Mary Anne takes the pen and put it against the paper. -How? she asks. -As you see me in your heart, Magnus answers and looked at Linda. Mary Anne let her eyes wander around the room and into the existence of herself and soon they all saw that dreamy look of someone staring into nothing. Slowly she began to draw. After a while, that felt like an eternity she was done. She looked at the drawing and laughed. -It’s you Magnus? she says surprised, -it’s really you! There were no twisted faces or melting flowers, no weird creatures with antennas, nothing deviating at all.Grandmother and Linda just observe in silence and grandmother murmurs -that’s our Magnus! “Keep drawing mom”, Magnus said over excited when he realized that his plan worked.
Grandmother picks a vase of flowers up from the floor that was moved to not be in the way earlier. -Mary Anne, she says to her daughter -what do you see? Mary Anne looked at the flowers … -yack, I don’t like them, she says, they are distorted and there small strange bugs crawling all over them! Magnus takes his mom’s hand again and put the pencil in it -draw what you want them to be, he says! Magnus take a new piece of paper out from his open suitcase and hand it over to Mary Anne. Mary Anne close her eyes and then she opens them again and stare dreamingly in front of her. She take such tight grip of the pen, that her knuckles whiten and this time she sketch much faster the flowers she would like to see, not the ones that were standing on the floor.
Soon she had drawn a vase with incredibly beautiful flowers. Mary Anne’s cheeks began to flare red when she looked at the drawing in front of her and compared it to the real flowers. Suddenly Magnus looked like usual, the flowers had become flowers, but the rest was still a nightmare painting. Rapidly Mary Anne took a new piece of paper and drew her mother, the desk, the windows, the walls that previously was covered with the images of her illness. Ann Marie is getting more and more excited. For every thing that she turn into normal, she wants to transform something new. Grandmother starts laughing, then Linda starts laughing and Mary Anne herself literally shines with joy. Magnus, looked at his mom with love and laughed, laughing -you know mom? he says, in my world you were never crazy!
The joy was quickly interrupted when they heard something in Mary Anne’s closet. First it sounded like this something was shuffled across the shelves, just to suddenly stop and then got pushed over the edge and went down with a crash! Magnus rose quickly and with two big steps he’s at the closet door and opens it. With the doors wide open they see a little man with a huge hat that looks horribly emerged next to a broken little glass bowl with scattered potpourri. The little man’s eyes glows as he takes off his hat and bows deep with a gallant gesture, and with that gesture he says -Magnus, you must accompany me to the Kingdom of Tree and prevent Scream from taking down the beast from heaven!
Magnus says, almost without a sound -you’re mr Hatman!
-Stop your blabber now! Mr Hatman said, he had a remarkably strong voice for such a small man. -Scream want to release the Snake Dragon Karon, a star constellation that according to the legend takes people from our world, to the next through the Karon Crates, caves that steep all the way down to the underworld. -If she release the Snake Dragon, it will want your physical world to join its tail. Before this happens it will open a free passage to your world and your world will be infected with Scream’s wickedness and then, just like ripe fruit, when your world is dying, Karon will reap your entire planet! If this happens Magnus, she will have time to rule all living for an eternity and your world will become a nightmare!
Magnus looked at the little man, then he turned around to see if the others saw the same thing as he did. Grandmother and Linda stood staring and was completely speechless. Yes, they obviously saw and heard everything as well. -It’s a little old man in your mother’s closet, Linda stammers. -Sure I know I’m handsome don’t say it twice, mr Hatman didn’t like the “old man” remark very much. He makes a spin on the floor so that his red coat flies.
-But Magnus asks, -how can I get into my mother’s world then? Mr Hatman shakes his head. -Absolutely not young man! You will ABSOLUTELY NOT enter her world and you will not open the door to the unknown either from your world, because Scream knows about everyone who enters the normal way, that it’s her way, her little tear in the fabric, that one way ticket that makes you nutty! -Then you’re gone, gone, gone forever! Scream would be completely overjoyed of her new victory, mr Hatman says, -that you her nemesis, decides to go to her yourself. She would throw you down into the depths of the Karon Crates and you’ll be stuck there forever! -Only Karon can open worlds… Mr Hatman turns around again -I simply have to paint you in the backway, into the woods, near my little cabin, he says, and smile so that the whole face becomes triangular.
Mr Hatman puts his hat on again and pull it so far down that it obscures the whole face. Then he continue speaking -when Scream is defeated, the Snake Dragon will return as just a star constellation on our night sky, I think at least… your curse will be lifted and my beautiful Mary Anne will heal! You do understand that now when dear mom suddenly gets better, Scream will become desperate and this will turn even harder on her, so time is short for all of us. -Come on now, I’ll tell you more later!
Magnus did not know what he would think. It seemed more or less very imaginative. Mr Hatman suddenly calls -oh yes, lord yes! -I forgot something! Then he just disappeared!
Magnus look at Linda, then at grandmother and mom. -Did you guys see that? -Did you hear that? Linda and Grandmother nod but Mary Anne, who should have been the one seeing and understanding this best of all the best of all, saw and heard nothing! -Did you see what? she asks surprised! -Don’t worry about the broken bowl with potpourri, I found it in a flea market several years ago, Ann Marie says!
Mr Hatman returns with several normal sized brushes in his hands, making him look even smaller. He was just to start painting when Magnus asks -what does Scream want with Mom? Mr Hatman looked at Magnus a bit surprised, -hm…didn’t Mary Anne tell you about the good doctor Aspen? This isn’t about Mary Anne, this is about dr Aspen! He prevented Scream from taking what she wanted and when she could not get it, she started destroying Mary Annes world instead, but not without a fight, Magnus, your father never gave up on your mother, and then you were born and the rest is history!
Magnus was boiling with questions -but, if dr Aspen knows he’s doing this to mother, why doesn’t he stop? Mr Hatman painted a ladder on which he climbed up to the same height as Magnus -because he doesn’t know and we do certainly not want to stop him, we want to stop Scream!
Look, Scream can’t get to you if you don’t walk into her trap. Mr Hatman looks a bit sad, -no man or woman are strong enough to fight her …except for mr Aspen! But, she on other hand can only be at one opening at a time so that the vast majority of us won’t get caught! -If not Karon is let loose in your world, that is.
Magnus, can’t really understand the whole picture of what mr Hatman claims, but how could he, everything was like in a fantasy. Magnus was thinking about the power Scream seemed to have and asked mr Hatman -how can we defeat her then? Mr Hatman shook his head, not we, you will! -Look, we’ll talk later, I have to start painting us out of here now, we don’t have much time!
The old hatman cleverly began to paint in open air. In his right hand, he was holding three paint brushes with different colors and the same in his left hand. As he painted everything in the room on his invisible canvas, he kept avoiding Magnus’s questions, just as if he wasn’t there. And even though mr Hatman didn’t have anything to paint on, the paint from every brush stroke seemed to stick in the air. With his left hand that mr Hatman were holding the other three brushes, he simultaneously painted on the opposite side a deep forest. Soon the image of Magnus began to take shape in the forest. And as this happened, Magnus disappeared bit by bit from this world.
Linda got upset, she didn’t want to lose Magnus now and in spontane reaction to what she saw, she threw herself around Magnus neck just before his head and upper body disappear completely.
Remaining inside of Mary Anne’s room was Mary Anne and grandma Fanny. She staring at what just happened and squeezed Mary Annes hand tightly. -Where did they go? She asks mr Hatman!
-Hats and paint brushes, mr Hatman grunts, -now the young girl slipped in too. -Yah, well then, well, well, well… we’ll just have to make sure they both stay alive then! Mr Hatman looked at grandma -Don’t worry Fanny! Then he magically painted himself away.