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I re-purposed a hand-carved wooden box that I found in the attic to house the cloak, keeping it amongst my shoes at the bottom of my cupboard. I would sometimes catch glimpses of my friends staring at the box, part of them aching to find out what was inside. My grandfather gave me the cloak for my seventh birthday, claiming to have bought it from a store with his own money when he was just a boy. He had wrapped it up in dark-black wrapping paper and decorated it with a bright-red ribbon. Instead of a birthday card, there were three handwritten cards in an envelope which read, To My Dearest Grandson, Dan. Each card outlined a law to be obeyed when using the cloak.
Law #1 – The moment you tell another about the cloak, it will cease to work.
Law #2 – The cloak will not tolerate foul play. You will know when it is time to use the cloak because it will tell you.
Law #3 – Wearing the cloak for longer than intended will result in your permanent disappearance.
So far, there had only been two instances where it was necessary to use the cloak. The first was at my big brother, Isaac’s, ninth birthday party. Four of his school friends attended the party, and an uneasy feeling stuck with me throughout the afternoon right up until the sun went down, when my breathing became so erratic that my mother suggested I should go and lie down in my bedroom. As I lie in the darkness of my bedroom, I could see a glow coming from the bottom of my cupboard where the cloak was hidden. I tip-toed over to my cupboard, turning on the light using the switch inside the door. Kneeling down, I opened the wooden box and picked up the cloak. The feeling of warmth that moved over me as I slid one of my hands through its sleeves told me that everything was working according to plan. Feeling significantly calmer, I wore the cape downstairs where the dark of night had influenced the behaviours of the party guests, with one of the boys suggesting that they throw toilet paper across the roof of the house. Though I wasn’t able to prevent them from throwing the toilet paper on the room, I was able to counter the lies Isaac told our mother and father later that night, letting them know to everyone’s surprise that I had seen him and his friends do it with my own eyes.
The second instance nearly resulted in my permanent disappearance. We were going to visit my grandfather at his new house. I had over-heard he was ill, so I thought I would take the cloak to show him how well I had taken care of it. The drive took significantly longer than it used to and, as we slowed down to enter the driveway of what looked to be a block of apartments, my breathing started to get shallower and the box on my lap began to glow. I couldn’t hear the cloak calling me this time, nor could I use it anyway, given that my parents and brother weren’t allowed to know about it. By the time we walked up the stairs to my grandfather’s new room, my breathing was so short, that my mother insisted I lie down on one of the nearby beds. We were told by a man in a suit that we weren’t able to see my grandfather and it was then that I head the cloak calling me.
Calm and invisible, I stood beside my grandfather’s bed. The way his chest rose and fell with each breath was so hypnotic that I lost track of time. I ignored calls from the cloak that my time was over, and it started to feel uncomfortable. I didn’t want to take it off as the men in the suits standing outside would see me and ask me to leave, so I pushed the feelings of discomfort aside and remained in the cloak longer than intended. I felt faint, and the next thing I remembered was being woken up by my mother and father. Careful not to mention the cloak, I questioned them about the whereabouts of the box and they told me that my grandfather had woken up and asked to keep it with him for a little while. At least until we saw him again. I’m not sure when that will be, but, for now, I think we could both agree that it’s best he takes control over the power of the cloak of invisibility. I just hope he doesn’t wear it for too long and accidentally end up disappearing forever.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
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