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It began one cold winter’s night, with the appearance of three witches flying around my bed… You may well ask, ‘Is this just another one of your fantasy stories, like so many others you have penned?’ My answer, the only thing I can say to you in reply is read on and find out for yourself…

It was 21st October (how can I ever forget that terrible date?) and the mother of all storms was howling outside. Inside, snug in my bed, I was happy and warm, listening to the wind as it tried to wrench the last remaining leaves from the trees.

My bedroom window struggled, trying to keep the wicked wind on the outside where it belonged, but because of its great age and precarious state of repair, it was gradually losing the battle. I watched as the latch shook, rattled and shivered under the wind’s untiring onslaught. As a particularly strong gust struck the window, the latch finally gave way. It shot wide open, allowing the full force of the storm enter my bedroom. I pulled the bedclothes tight over my head, trying to protect myself from the raging fury around me.

Rushing into the room, mum asked, “What on earth is happening in here?”

Peeking out from under the bedclothes, I watched as she struggled to close the window.

“There’s nothing to be afraid of, my darling. It is only an autumn storm, “she said, trying to ease my fears. “You’ll get used to them, in time.”

I tried to believe her, I wanted to believe her, but only after the storm had well and truly gone.

After she managed to close the window, mum came over. Stroking my forehead, and she said, “Don’t you be worrying, Jeremiah, think of the fun you’ll have, tomorrow, thrashing about in all those leaves.”

She was right, I loved running about in the fallen leaves, kicking them high into the air and watching them fall back to earth again. Conkers, there were always loads of conkers after a storm; tomorrow was shaping up to be a grand day…

“The window will be fine,” said mum. “It’s firmly closed. Go to sleep, Jeremiah…” With that, she pulled the door behind her, leaving the barest chink of light showing.

Although the storm was still raging outside, I tried to believe what she had said. Slowly, gradually I felt safe from the storm. That, however, was a mistake, a mistake that I was soon going to regret…



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