The Marvellous Midnight Mystery

Welcome to Story Quest, a weekly podcast where we bring your stories to life!

In this episode we bring Neve’s story – The Marvellous Midnight Mystery – to life.

If you have a story idea, you could be like Neve and have it turned into a Story Quest. All you have to do is send us your story idea here. We know you have the best imaginations and together we can create the most brilliant stories!

That’s just what Neve did. You can watch the story they suggested come to life below, plus they tell us all about the inspiration behind the story at the end.

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Read along to The Marvellous Midnight Mystery here!

You can read along to the story while you listen. Just follow the text below. Don’t worry if you find a word tricky – you can pause the video whenever to give yourself more time

The Marvellous Midnight Mystery

The night is a magical place – it’s said it’s the realm of supernatural things – where fairies and sprites come out to play  – and witches and spirits (who hide from humans during the day), make their mischief in the inky blackness.

If you’ve ever been up late – very late when everyone else is sleeping you will know that night time just feels different? to the day – there’s a stillness in the black, as if the world has stopped turning and is sleeping too.

Gina was thinking about all of these things, very late at night as she tossed and turned in her bed.  She wished THIS night was quiet and still. She was staying at Granny’s house and Granny’s house was OLD – much older than Granny.  It was the sort of house that creaked as you walked along the corridors, and the ancient pipes clanked and bubbled – the house felt … almost alive.  Gina was staying for the holidays and usually the noises were sort of comforting but on this occasion something was different.

She had fallen asleep but was woken up by the sound of Granny’s old clock chiming midnight twelve tones sounded – it was a gentle chime, and didn’t normally wake her but there was something else.  Above her head she could hear a strange noise – a skittering scuttling sort of sound.  It was very creepy and Gina wondered what on earth it could be.

The next night the same thing happened – as the clock struck midnight, Gina found herself woken up by more strange sounds – this time something that sounded like a hiss and then a BANG!  She nearly jumped out of her bed in terror.

The most peculiar thing was that the noises didn’t happen at any other time.  She listened carefully at 8 o clock – Nothing.  9 o clock – Nothing – 10 o clock – NOTHING.  She usually fell asleep at this point but she’d even managed to stay away at 11 o clock on one night but the creaky old house house was entirely silent for once – not even a creak or a squeak from the old walls.

It was a real mystery.  She told he Granny about it – Granny raised her eyebrows and said it could be the fairy folk coming out to play – because midnight was a magical time for them.  Gina for a moment thought she was being serious but then Granny laughed.  “Only joking!” she chuckled. Then with twitching lips she added, “I’m sure it’s much more likely to be a ghost!”

Gina frowned at Granny but then had to laugh to – although she was secretly thinking that Granny might be right – what if it WAS a ghost?

She was almost too scared to go to sleep the next night and as the clock chimed each hour closer to midnight she couldn’t bear it any more.

Shivering, she slipped out of bed and  tiptoed into Granny’s room – but Granny was fast asleep.  Gina didn’t want to wake her up but then – midnight began to chime on the clock – and there was a particularly loud BANG and Granny herself jolted up in bed.

“Goodness me!  Whatever was that noise?” said Granny.

“I was telling you about it – it’s midnight – and that’s when the noises begin!”

Granny drew the her duvet up to her chin and shivered as more bangs and scratches could be heard.  “Well I might have been joking before but the jokes over now – we will investigate first thing in the morning.”

“Not now?” pleaded Gina.

“I’m afraid that a trip up the rickety ladder to the attic is likely to land us in A&E at this time of night – it’s too risky. And I don’t fancy coming face to face with whatever it is without backup!  I’ll get Ellen to help us tomorrow.”

Ellen was a lady that came round to Granny’s house to help her with housework and odd jobs.  She lifted weights and had once rescued a dog from a lake – so you can imagine she was a strong brave sort of person, and neither Granny or Gina were feeling either of those things right now.  

“Yes!  Nothing scares Ellen!” – Gina felt relieved.

Then Granny kindly let Gina curl up in her big soft bed and they both tried hard to get some more sleep.

When morning came Ellen arrived and with her strong arms set up the ladder to the attic and prepared to go in.  Granny and Gina peered up from the landing – looking quite concerned – who knew what might be lurking up there?  What if it was a ghost?  Or a burglar? Or a….

“A Kitten!” said Ellen – her voice muffled from inside the attic!

“A WHAT?” said Granny.

Then tiny mews could be heard and Ellen appeared at the hatch holding a small orange cat.

“I think this little boy is what’s been causing all the commotion – he must get in and out through the vents to the roof and come here to sleep!”

Gina beamed in delight and went up the ladder half way to take the fluffy bundle from Ellen’s hands.  But she was still puzzled.

“But why midnight?”  We only heard all the bangs and scrapes at midnight – never before – or after?”

Granny looked thoughtful. Then she smiled brightly – she’d had an idea.  “Well – my guess is that it’s because I have set the central heating timer to turn the heating off at a quarter to midnight. It goes back on at 7am.  My guess is that this little cat was enjoying snoozing on the pipes in the loft, all warm and cosy but at midnight – well the pipes would have cooled down quite quickly…”

“So no more cosy place to sleep!  It must have made him wake up and start scampering about and setting off on his adventures outside!”

The mystery had been solved!  And what a marvelllous mystery it had turned out to be – nothing scary at all, just an adorable cat – I mean there’s pretty much nothing LESS scary than a kitten, right?   And the problem of the kitten in the loft had a solution too.  Granny decided to adopt the little furry cat and Gina was allowed to give it a name.  She decided to call him Atticus – after the Attic of course – and Atticus was VERY spoiled by Granny – and Gina, when she came to stay.  

It has to be said, he DID still like to scamper around at night but at least Gina now knew what the commotion was – and she knew even though the night MIGHT be a magical time – it wasn’t a sprite or ghost or a burglar – it was just a little orange cat. A cat who was never cold again!  So it’s fair to say Gina, Granny – and not forgetting Atticus, lived happily ever after!

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