(1300 words) “Mummy’s got a magic carpet,” Esmeralda said. I laughed. “Well, I’d like to fly to Iceland, they’ve got some pretty big waterfalls there!” Tameka perked up. “Actually, I do have one. It was left to me by my great-uncle, Henri Baq. He wrote a history of the flying carpet.” “I thought it was just fairy tale nonsense,” I said. Tameka’s face became serious. “Fairy tales are usually based on fact.”
(1300 words) My story starts one sunny day in August. I’d spent the morning setting up bookcases, then bringing in box after heavy box of old books from an outbuilding, with the intention of getting them into some kind of order. They belonged to my uncle Josiah who had died at an unexpectedly early age after being pushed onto the live rail of a tube train at Holland Park station by a ‘random madman,’ described as a ‘fakir lookalike,’ yet to be apprehended. The books had been left to me, Ruben Winterfield is my name, in Uncle Josiah’s will, possibly as I’d worked in the antiquarian book trade for a number of years, although I’d only met him on occasion. Well, the ones I’d looked at so far were fairly weird.