Chapter 20: Back to the Cupboard under the Stairs

 

The journey back through the Valley and the Garden of Errors was a happy and a sad one for Jenny. The Terrors were not Terrors anymore and the Garden of Errors was full of happy Boy Fairies mending things and chasing the Girl Fairies. Queen Peony collected up her Witches and Fairies as she went. But Jenny was just a little sad because she knew that she had to leave Raggedy Lyme and Molly and the Raggedy Knights. She wasn’t sure whether she would be able to visit again. Grandma had said she would one day be a Witch but she had to be a Grandma first, and that was a long time in the future.

When they arrived at the Dome of LOST things Jenny and Molly were allowed to play with the LOST pets, whilst Prince Sorrel replaced the MOST Beautiful Bead in the Locker behind the Black door and retrieved the Magical key from the highest hook behind the Violet Door. And then it was time to leave the Dome and travel back to the Castle. As Jenny and Molly climbed into the Royal carriage, Jenny looked up at the giant rainbow, arching over the Dome. Yes, there was definitely no Orange.

And then in no time at all they were back at the Castle and Jenny and Molly and Grandma Lily were climbing the spiral staircase. But this time Jenny realised that she quite liked spiral staircases and she decided that one day when she was grown up she would build a house with a spiral staircase just like this. Queen Peony and Prince Sorrel were already with the King and as soon as the others joined them Prince Sorrel unlocked the casket and in a flash the Kings memories were back in his head, mostly in the right place. And the best thing about it was that King Persimmon could not remember losing his memories, so he wasn’t at all angry with his brother.

And too soon it was time for Jenny to say goodbye to the King and the Queen and her Fairies and the Raggedy Knights, and to travel back through the Silver triangle and along the Purple Path towards the CUPBOARD UNDER THE STAIRS. The Raggedy Knights stood to attention and formed a farewell line and Jenny walked along it shaking hands and saying goodbye to them all in turn. Sir Lucas was waiting at the end of the line and when Jenny reached him she offered her hand. And Sir Lucas bowed low then took her hand and kissed it. Then he marched his men away, without looking back.

Jenny looked at Molly, who was standing beside her giggling into her hand. Jenny felt herself blushing but she took a deep breath and told Molly that if it was at all possible, she would visit as often as she was allowed, and that even if they didn’t see each other for many, many years Molly would always be her best friend.

Molly laughed: ‘We don’t have years in Raggedy Lyme, Jenny, so years and years is no time at all.’

Jenny sighed but then Molly tugged her sleeve: ‘Don’t forget your back pack. It’s a bit grubby after our adventure but there’s still half a pot of pepper in there. And some toffees. And the torch is as good as ever.’

Jenny tried to smile: ‘Will you be coming back with me some of the way, Molly.’

‘Of course I will. I’m coming all the way to the CUPBOARD UNDER THE STAIRS. But Prince Sorrel is also coming as far as the crossroads, because he feels it was his fault that you had to come here in the first place.’

‘I’m glad I came here’, said Jenny forcing back the tears. ‘Is Grandma Lily, I mean Grand Witch Lily, is she travelling back with me?’

‘No,’ said Molly. ‘She has already made her own way back.’

Jenny smiled: ‘Of course she has!’

*

So Prince Sorrel and Jenny and Molly travelled back to the Purple crossroads, and Knave Prince Sorrel sang to them all the way. His singing actually sounded a bit like a grasshopper rubbing its legs together, but Jenny was quite happy with it.

When they reached the crossroads, the Knave Prince bowed low to Jenny and said that she was the finest person he had ever met from the Real World and that, in honour of her visit, he was going to have the upside-down Valley turned up the right way so that it would never again be full of Darkness. And since that would drive away all the imagined Terrors he was going to rename it Jenny’s Valley.

Jenny felt very proud. She looked at Molly and Molly nodded her head. So Jenny touched the Prince’s arm and said: ‘Prince Sorrel, I think you have proved yourself a good Prince. It is very difficult for people in the Real World to admit that they have made a mistake. And you have done so very bravely. So I would like you to have this to do with as you will. There are quite enough to share if you wish to.’

Then Jenny felt behind her collar and unfastened her Orange bead necklace and handed it to the Prince. She and Molly laughed his surprise.

‘I will share these well, Sister-witch Jenny Berry. Thank you with all my Fairy heart.’

But now Molly was pulling Jenny towards Walter the Doorman, who was asleep on his chair. And Prince Sorrel was standing beneath the signpost clutching his necklace and waving his lacy handkerchief. Molly woke Walter to open the Golden Door and then she and Jenny were flying along the Purple Corridor towards the CUPBOARD UNDER THE STAIRS. And then they were there. They both landed gently and hugged each other goodbye. Jenny turned to look at the cupboard door and when she turned back, Molly was gone.

And the long Purple Corridor was empty.