Magic in London – Whistling – Part Four

Catch up on the Magic in London Story here: https://ashleymanning.com/magic-in-london/


Once Chuck and Fiona reached the old station, Chuck started to feel that there was a lightness to the air. Along the way he’d learnt that the boy’s name was Toby, who was still being carried by Fiona, completely out cold.

“This way,” Fiona said, while leading Chuck towards a door that was sitting against the wall on the tracks, just before the actual platform. Chuck almost didn’t see the door, it was blended into the wall almost completely, but once he focused his eyes it was as clear as day.

“Where are we going?” Chuck asked.

“Don’t ask questions that you already know the answer to. Through this door is a portway to Whistling. That’s all you need to know.”

“What was that thing?”

“Enough, can you hold him please?”

Fiona handed Toby over to Chuck. He struggled to hold the boy in his arms. Fiona moved over to the door and started to feel around the edges to get her fingers between the door and the frame. It was shimmering light as she touched it.

“Is this door a trick?” Chuck asked.

“What?”

“Is it not visible to others, I mean. It’s shining every time you touch it. That’s not normal.”

“It’s a weak spot so the door is there but only certain people can see it,” she continued speaking while trying to shimmy the door open. “It’s really stuck today. Arthur placed it here back when the station was still in use. Then the station was abandoned and it kind of works better now than it did before. Since it’s completely isolated”

“Right. So there are other doors then?”

“Yeah, in quite a few stations. They all lead to Whistling though. It’s not just this one that does. There’s one at Euston, Buckhurst Hill, Croxley, and Wood Green. And obviously there’s this one, but it’s not used as much.”

“Right, but how is it stuck if it’s a magic door?”

Fiona stopped trying to pry the door open with her fingers and turned to Chuck with a serious look on her face.

“Because it’s still a door, you idiot. It hasn’t been used in a few months at least and it’s always been a little hard to open because it’s the oldest one. The door is real,” she said knocking it and the echoing sound of metal rumbled throughout the tunnel. “It just sits on a piece of this world that is weaker.”

“What does that mean?” Chuck said with a desperation that he would later cringe about. The whole thing made no sense to him, and he was still hoping that he could just leave and forget about it all.

“Stop it with the questions. You’ll understand when you understand, I’m not your babysitter.”

Fiona turned back to the door and continued to pry the door open. It screeched, scraped, and churned as she pulled it free. A cold gust of air moved through the dark doorway and brushed past Chuck and Fiona.

“Jesus, that’s cold,” Chuck said.

“Yeah, it’s the atmosphere from the other world moving into this one. It’ll settle in a moment once they level out.”

“I’ll just pretend that makes sense.”

“I’m beginning to regret bringing you here, if I wasn’t so sure that Arthur would be interested in meeting you, then I would just let you wonder the tracks by yourself until you become tomorrow morning’s headline.”

Chuck gulped at her words and tried to stay quiet. Through the doorway all he could see was darkness. It seemed to lead to absolutely nothing. Once the air settled, Fiona pulled out her knife again and held it forward and whistled a high-pitched and long whistle. Out of the end of her knife jumped a long snake of fire that moved through the doorway, it jumped across and lit up a cave ceiling. With each jump it made, it also left behind a floating orb of fire that made a lighted path through the tunnel. Chuck watched, and almost dropped Toby, as the fire jumped it’s way through a passageway.

“Follow me,” Fiona said. “It’s not that far once we get going.”

She stepped through the doorway and took a few more steps. Chuck followed, his liquidised feet shaking with every step. As he walked through the doorway, Fiona took Toby back, and started to walk ahead. The walls were slimy and wet, the sound of dripping water the only sound beyond the slight noise the fire was making. Fiona walked ahead and started to follow the tunnels, following the pathway lit by the balls of fire that were still suspended in the air. As they reached the first twist, Chuck realised that there were other pathways they could be taking.

“What’s down there,” he asked, forgetting about her warning about not speaking.

“Other stations. They all meet along in this tunnel and then we reach Whistling.”

“What is this place? I don’t like it.”

“Don’t be so pathetic. This is Whistling Academy. Arthur built it. He created this entire world that you’re standing, just over a hundred years ago. It’s just out of sync with the normal world to keep the students safe. And to answer your question back there, that spider shadow, it was created by Toby. Not on purpose, but by accident out of fear. We only enrolled him in the academy last week, and he’s understandably scared, but we don’t have much of a choice. You saw what he created, I had to shield the rest of the world from that thing so they couldn’t see it. That’s why we didn’t just fight in the street. He conjured it from nothing as a pure mistake. Now he’s exhausted, again understandably.”

“Why is he so scared? Is his family not with him? Are they not magical as well?”

“No, they’re not with him. And no, they’re not whistlers either. When we find someone who starts to show that he might be capable, we take them here to stop them from causing destruction to the rest of the world and to keep their abilities a secret. We have to take them and we can’t explain it to the parents so they don’t come looking for them or telling others.”

“How do you do that then? Just kidnap a child.”

“It’s not much further to go now, we’ll be there in a moment.”

Chuck took that as his que to shut up and carry on following Fiona. There was a brief moment, as they passed another passageway that branched of, where he thought about making a run for it and breaking through whatever door was at the end of it, and then finding a way back home, but the darkness of the other tunnels wasn’t inviting enough, and soon enough they reached a clearing. The cave lead out into a forest, where bare trees reached up to a star filled sky, and the there was a natural light coming from somewhere that gave everything a warm glow.

“Aren’t we underground?” Chuck asked.

“No, we’re in another world. I’ve already said that.”

The tunnel exit led straight to a path that weaved through the trees. They followed it and as the trees started to thin out, something much more impressive came into view. There was a clearing in front of them, that lead to a hill and on that hill was an old manor house and a stone staircase leading up towards it. The whole thing looks majestic and old, even if it was in a state of disrepair it was a marvel to look at. Through a series of windows, light was emanating. Tall chimney stacks were bellowing out smoke into the endless sky.

“Whoa,” Chuck said.

To the right and left the sky reached downwards and wrapped itself around the world, making a pocked around the building and trees. It made Chuck feel dizzy to look at it, and it reminded him of something from a video game he used to play and that was the boundaries to the level he was on.

“It’s a small bubble world, just the Academy and some trees for practice. That’s all that exists here. Then it just stretches out into nothingness. You’ll see the edge one day, I’m sure. Arthur likes to show people the limits of the world he’s created.”

Fiona walked forward, through the clearing and towards the stairs that lead to Whistling Academy, and Chuck followed closely behind.

To be continued…

Thanks for reading! Part Five: https://ashleymanning.com/2023/01/20/magic-in-london-whistling-part-five/

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About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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1 Response to Magic in London – Whistling – Part Four

  1. Pingback: Magic in London: Whistling – Part Three | Ashley Manning

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