Pog

Pog and the King’s Armour

Pog wound through the dark wood-panelled passages leading to Gran’s bedroom. He held his breath and listened, checking she wasn’t around. He liked to poke around in places he wasn’t supposed to and Gran hadn’t actually said her room was off limits.
He crept inside. It smelled of ironing, polish and perfume. A huge bay window with criss-cross patterns on the glass looked out across the fields. Dozens of bottles, creams and potions covered the top of the wooden dresser. Pog quietly opened each drawer. The top two held neatly folded clothes that reeked of flowery perfume. The bottom drawer had a jumble of wires, plugs and a roll of tools wrapped in a cloth.

Just as Pog was about to slide the drawer shut, he spotted a wooden box. Carved leaves covered every side and it rattled when he shook it. To get a better look, he moved the box into the light. The leaves shifted, they became faces, faces with teeth. He dropped the box, sending it clattering across the floor. It bounced, but didn’t open. When he picked it up, the carvings were simply leaves again.

A quick rummage through the tools located a screwdriver. He jammed the tip under the lid and it popped open with a hiss. Inside the box was a weird medallion on a gold chain. Shaped like a flat lollipop, the bottom of the stick had a notched plate on it. It was a big, old-fashioned key.

The door to the bedroom flew open, making him jump. “What have you done?” Gran screamed. She wore a plain blue cotton dress, her long cream cardigan almost reached down to her knees and flapped as she approached. Her ribcage was heaving as if she couldn’t breathe and her thin fingers were pressed to her bony chest.

Strands of long silvery hair dangled across her shocked face. “Peregrin, what did you do?”

Gran snatched the box and the medallion out of his hands, and dropped onto the edge of her bed. She held the chain, dangling the pendant close to her face. “How did you open it?”

“I slipped this in the side.” He showed her the old screwdriver. “I didn’t break anything.”

Hypnotised by the spinning pendant, Gran pressed her lips together, bunching her mouth into wrinkles. A tear rolled down her cheek. “All this time.” She sprang off the bed clutching the box and pendant. “I’m going to have to get this sealed again.”

“I didn’t do anything wrong.”

“That remains to be seen.” She tugged her hand through her tangled hair and searched around as if seeing the room for the first time. “Peregrin, don’t ever mess with my things again. Do you hear me?”

“Don’t call me Peregrin.” Pog snorted. “I’m Pog. Only teachers and gawps call me that.” He tucked his hands under his chin, mimicking a squeaky voice. “Peregrin Otis Grimshaw. P … O … G, spells Pog.”

Gran’s glassy-eyed stare stopped his outburst. He backed away until he was near the door and then he ran for the safety of his own room.