I lived in England when I was in elementary school. There were huge old houses out in the country around Visalia where I lived. My family lived in one of these old country houses with fire places, stair cases, and doors to who knows where. Just behind our house, there was a yard with a row of sheds on one side and a tall brick wall behind the sheds. On the other side of the brick wall, there were lots of flowers always blooming. My brothers and sisters and I climbed on top of the sheds and across that wall, but never into the flowerbed. There was an old woman there who was always yelling that we shouldn't get into her flower bed. On the other side of our house, there was another big old brick house with vines climbing up it just like ours. Behind the houses, there were green rolling hills. It rained so much that the grass could only be the beautiful shade of green that it was. Not long after we got there, I met a little boy who lived in that big house next door. We played together outside everyday. However, when it rained, we had to stay indoors. I was really getting tired of the rain because it kept me indoors so much.
Gary, the little boy next door, and I were playing outside one day making mud pies, and we could see from the clouds that it was going to rain again. Neither of us wanted to go inside. We wanted to continue to play. His mother called, and so did mine. He said, "I have an idea! Can she come to my house and play with me inside?" Both of our mothers consented, so we went to his house.
Gary and I found some of his toys to play with, and after a bit, we got a bit bored with the toys. He said, "I know! Let's go exploring!" I was surprised because I thought everyone knew what was in their own house. He explained that there were doors here and there, and he had been instructed not to go there, but he had been curious, so we decided to disregard what he had been told and take one of those doors. There was a passageway that seemed to wind around. It had stairs and went up.
Eventually, we came into a room. There was an old man with white hair, glasses, and a beard dressed in an old fashioned suit with knickers in the room, and the room was full of books as well as vials of things that we didn't know what could possibly be. As we entered, the old man said, "Oh, Welcome! I didn't expect you! No one comes here anymore!" Gary said, "Who are you, and what are you doing in my house?" "Your house?" asked the old man in surprise. "Whose son are you?" Gary told the old man his parent's names. "Oh, yes, you are my great niece's son! I haven't seen her since she was very small! She used to come and visit me here, but she forgot about me as she got older." "How long have you been up here?' asked Gary. "Oh, let's see... actually, I don't know, but ever so long!" replied the old man. "Now, tell me, my little elves, what are you up to that you came to see me?"
We explained to the old man that we were bored. I asked as I looked at his vials, "What are these?" The old man winked and smiled. "This is the old magic! I am a magician!" Gary piped in intrigued saying, "Can you teach me?" "Oh, an apprentice! What a marvelous idea!" The old man seemed to wave his hand, and there was a magician's hat in his hand, and he put it on Gary's head. "What shall we do first?" the old man looked around himself contemplatively. Gary said, "We were just looking for a fun place to play." "Oh, yes, I've got that!" He handed Gary a gold ring. "What do I do with this?" "Oh," said the old magician, "it will take you to a wonderful place to play." Gary looked inquisitively at the ring and the old man, "But.. how? and where?" "The where is wonderful, and the how is easy!" replied the old magician. "Hold my hand" he said putting a hand out to each of us. "Now, think of blues, greens, yellows, purples, every beautiful color" he said, so we closed our eyes and began thinking of all kinds of beautiful colors of the rainbow as he named them.
The old man said excitedly, "Open your eyes!" When we opened our eyes, we were no longer in the small room full of books and potions. We were in an unbelievable place with all the colors of the rainbow. The grass seemed to be striped, not just green, but green, pink, blue, etc. The sky was pink and blue. The tree trunks were only partially brown for they also had the beautiful hues woven into them, purple, pink, magenta. Along came a white unicorn. "Oh wonderful!" cried the old magician. "Who wants a ride?" There seemed to be tiny animals like rabbits, baby foxes, etc. wandering all through the woods, and everything was tame. There were tiny fairies fluttering around the flowers. I wanted to ride the unicorn, so I spoke up, "Me! me! I want to ride the unicorn!" I said, and Gary said he wanted to also. Two more unicorns appeared, and there was one for each of us. We went unicorn riding!
We came upon a beautiful reflective, clear blue green pool of water. I love to swim, so I asked, "Can we swim?" "Of course" replied the uncle, and we dismounted from the unicorns. We jumped into the water with our clothes on and began splashing about. There were fish flapping around us, and I was a bit alarmed, but the old magician could see it, and he said, "Don't worry! Nothing will hurt you here!" After we swam around for a while, the uncle Magician said, "Perhaps we should be getting back before your mothers miss you."
We got out of the water, and Gary said, "But I don't know where we are or how to get home." The Magician said, "You are home. Close your eyes, hold on to the ring, and hold my hand," and he reached his hands out to us again. We closed our eyes. He said, "Think of my room," so we thought of his little room with dusty old books and potions. "Open your eyes" he said, and we opened our eyes. We were in his room again. "Where did we go?" cried Gary excitedly. "We never left this room" the old man said, "Now, you have to go until next time." "I know we left the room" Gary said. "Look at your clothes" said the magician. Our clothes were dry, but we had been swimming just the minute before. We were puzzled. "You have to go now before your mothers miss you, but don't forget to visit again" said the old man. We bade him goodbye and walked back down the corridor and down the stairs.
When we came out of the door where we had been told not to enter, Gary's mother was there. "Young man! What are you doing? I told you not to go in there!" Gary replied, "Yes, I know, but we were bored...Why didn't you tell us about your great uncle who lives in there?" "Who?" replied his mother. "You know," said Gary, "the old man who lives there." "But no one lives there" she said. "It is an old tunnel that was blocked up years ago when I was still a little girl. My parents decided that it was dangerous because it was so old and blocked it off." "But...the old man...the magician...he said he knew you.." Gary replied. "I had an imaginary friend once who was an old magician my parents said, but I don't remember it. How did you know? No one has been in that corridor since there was a cave in when I was about five years old. Now, off with you two, and stay out of that corridor before you get hurt!" Gary opened his hand, and I saw that he still had the gold ring the old man had given him.