Sheila Helliwell's stories for children - Children's Stories Net

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The Mischievous Imp
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Children's Story: The Mischievous Imp by Sheila Helliwell
Stevie was a boy who usually found himself in trouble.
He had to admit that most of the time he was guilty but lately more and more things were going wrong and he knew that he wasn't to blame.
It all started several weeks ago, around the time he had fallen through the thin wooden wall at the back of the cupboard in his bedroom.
The cupboard had been built at the same time as the house and now it contained all the things that he didn't want his brother and sister to touch.
His mother said it was all junk, but to him it was his treasure.
Stevie had been trying to free an old baseball bat that was lodged between some boxes when he fell against the back wall with a thud.
He heard the loud crack as the wood split but at the time he was more interested in the bat.
It wasn't until a few nights later that he started to hear strange noises coming from the cupboard.
At first he thought it was his older brother hiding in there playing tricks on him.
As he opened the cupboard door the noises stopped.
He was just about to shut it when he felt an icy blast of air and heard an evil chuckle.
Although he liked to think of himself as brave, he wasn't going to check it out at night!
First thing, after breakfast the next morning, he entered the cupboard armed with a torch and his dad's hammer.
He used the claws of the hammer to prise the wood away from what he thought was a wall, but to his surprise there was an open space behind it.
He moved several boxes to make more space to work in and found that the old wood came away easily.
The space behind the cupboard was only a few feet deep but as he shone his torch inside he noticed strange markings on the back wall.
At first he thought it was a young child's scribble but the closer he looked he realised that it formed a pattern.
Tracing the pattern with his finger it led to a circle with a faded red spot.
Feeling disappointed he hit the spot with the palm of his hand and jumped back in fear as he again felt the blast of cold air and heard the evil chuckle.
He wanted to show the opened space to his older brother but he knew he would only tease him, especially if he told him about the evil laugh.
Stevie pushed as much as he could, of the old wood back into place and stacked the boxes in front of it.
Not giving it another thought, he went to meet his friends.
When he returned home he was greeted by his older brother demanding to know why he was so nasty and spiteful.
Not knowing what on earth he was talking about, his brother dragged him into his bedroom and pointed to the huge red devil painted on the wall with the words; BROTHERS SUCK.
No matter how much he denied it he found that no one believed him.
Children's Story: The Mischievous Imp by Sheila Helliwell
He was grounded for a week.
The next day another week was added when his mother found her bedroom mirror covered in lipstick with words. SO DO MUMS.
His father couldn't prove it but he found his claw hammer imbedded in the wall of the garage and all eyes turned to Stevie.
Odd items started turning up in his bedroom and although he didn't know where they had come from, they were all things that at some time he had wanted or wished for.
Children's Story: The Mischievous Imp by Sheila Helliwell
Word reached his parents that there was a thief in the neighbourhood because children were missing their prized possessions and toys.
Stevie looked around his bedroom with horror.
Everything that had been mentioned was now piled up on the floor of his room.
In panic he opened the cupboard door and stuffed everything in there quick.
Again he heard the evil chuckle and turned as cold as the blast of air.
Not knowing what to do, he shouted.
"Who are you? What do you want? Why are you doing this to me?"
Not expecting an answer, he nearly fell over when a voice replied.
"Because you are the one that set me free so that makes us friends."
"Where are you?" Stevie asked in a fearful voice.
Slowly a tiny figure appeared on top of the boxes.
Children's Story: The Mischievous Imp by Sheila Helliwell
He was the strangest creature Stevie had ever seen and he sat there grinning away looking very pleased with him self.
"Why are you doing all these bad things?" Stevie asked. "Everyone thinks it's me!"
"Bad things?" the creature said in amazement. "All these things are what you said you had always wanted."
"Maybe, but you can't just steal them, and what about the awful picture you painted on my brothers wall and my mum's mirror? I'll be grounded for life."
The creature looked puzzled and replied; "But I've heard you say that brothers and mums suck."
"But that's only when I'm mad at them, I don't really mean it and now they all hate me.
Please, you have to return all the things before they're found in here."
"Where is the fun in that?" the creature asked.
"Fun?" Stevie said angrily. "This isn't fun."
"It is to me. That's what we Imps do."
"You're an Imp?" he asked in amazement.
"Of course, what did you think I was?
"As my Mum would say, a figment of my weird imagination," Stevie said with a chuckle.
"Seriously though, you really have to give all the things back or I shall be grounded for life if the're found here."
"Maybe I will or maybe I won't" the Imp said in a cunning voice.
Stevie was almost afraid to ask but he did. "OK what do you want?"
The Imp suddenly turned serious and almost hissed the words, REVENGE.
"But what have I ever done to you?" Stevie asked in amazement.
"Oh, not you, my worst enemy who I thought was a friend." He replied.
Stevie sighed with relief.
"He was the one that imprisoned me in that hole," he explained. "I could only be released from the outside but until you broke the wall you couldn't hear me calling to you. I didn't realise that he had put a spell on the wall that you cleverly broke when you hit the centre."
"OK, I will help you but you have to return all the stolen things first."
"Deal." The Imp said smiling.
Stevie was called down to dinner and by the time he returned to his bedroom all the items had gone except for a glass snow globe.
The Imp gave Stevie a list of things he needed and once the family were fast asleep he crept down stairs to collect them
First the Imp drew a circle in red paint on the carpet and poured a second circle made out of salt inside it.
He then placed a sprig of thyme in the centre.
Next he sprinkled garlic salt and tarragon, and finally put the snow globe dead centre.
He stood back looking satisfied with his work.
Stevie knew he was going to be in even more trouble when his Mum saw the red circle of paint on the carpet but if it made the Imp leave, then it would be worth it.
The Imp stood outside of the circle and began to mutter in a strange language.
The lights began to flicker and the air turned icy cold.
The window suddenly flew open and a thick mist swirled around the room.
Stevie had never been so scared in all his life and stood petrified.
Suddenly something flew into the room and almost knocked him over.
There was shouting and cursing and as the mist started to clear he saw another Imp standing in the circle but this Imp was black and ugly and VERY ANGRY.
Children's Story: The Mischievous Imp by Sheila Helliwell
His Imp began to chant and the next thing Stevie saw was the black Imp shrink down and disappears.
"Where did he go?" he asked.
The Imp gave an evil laugh and pointed to the snow globe. As Stevie picked it up he saw the black Imp standing in the snow scene like a snow man but with a look of surprise on his face.
Before he could say another word, the door burst open and his Dad stood there demanding to know what on earth was going on in the middle of the night.
What could Stevie say? "Oh nothing much Dad, I just helped one Imp imprison another one with magic.
Needless to say Stevie was grounded for a very long time but he didn't complain.
The Imp had gone and the wooden wall in the back of the cupboard repaired.
When he was finally allowed out to play with his friends he gave one of them the snow globe.
The globe ended up being given to a charity shop as no one really liked it and there it sits to this day.

The End
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