THE CHRONICLES OF RANDOMANIA: Bryan, the Fridge and the Bathrobe | Part 3

It didn’t take long before the little party arrived in a clearing of the forest. Here, the mist had grown so thick that it didn’t seem to make way for them at all, even if they waved their arms while walking through it.

However, the fauns easily led Bryan towards a small log cabin with a large glass window. Once they were inside, Evander tugged at a piece of rope dangling from the ceiling. A few seconds later, the cabin jerked upwards with a mighty groan and was lifted into the air like an elevator. Bryan was stunned. He pressed his face against the window like a curious child at a toy store, and stared at the scene unfolding outside. It made his jaw drop.

What he’d assumed was a strange mist enveloping the forest below was actually the tail end of a great waterfall plunging down a high cliff. It wasn’t the kind he had seen before, at least not in his world; while one would expect a waterfall at such a height to be powerful and noisy, this one was quiet as a mouse, except for the gentle dripping sound.

As the cabin rose higher and higher, the origin of the waterfall came into view—it was at the foot of a majestic castle built of cold grey stone. And in its highest turret were five buff men, who were pulling them skywards.

“Escorting the Queen’s esteemed guest,” announced Castor, when they reached the turret, displaying to the guards the brick with its special engraving, like some sort of VIP pass.

“Very well, you may proceed. Good day, Messrs,” one of the men said, bowing while guiding the passengers off the cabin and onto the stone floor.

Bryan was in a state of shock mixed with awe and utter disbelief. Am I still asleep? Is this all just a crazy dream? he thought while descending a long flight of stairs. He folded his arms tightly as a chilly draught blew across the cavernous hallway they were currently in. His hair stood on end. Then maybe this isn’t a dream. The place felt nothing short of a maze to him, as they stepped through one door, then another, into an identical hallway, crossing a small courtyard and through yet another door before the three were finally brought face-to-face with a pair of giant silver gates.

“The Throne Room, this is where we meet Queen Aurelia, sire,” whispered Evander.

“Wait, wait, wait—you can’t expect me to go in there dressed like this!” Bryan whispered back, gesturing at his clothing. “I literally tumbled out of bed thirty minutes ago!”

“This is the noblest attire anyone could hope to put on, sire,” Castor said seriously.

“The finest,” his brother agreed, sniffing.

Bryan was flabbergasted by their earnestness. He could have bet that his mouth was open for a good thirty seconds as he struggled to find words to say back .

Ah, if only he had the freedom to turn up like this to university everyday.

Zero effort? Check.

100% chance of being suspended? Double check.

As Bryan scratched his head, Evander was tapping away on each of the doors in a dance-like fashion. They swung open promptly. And at the end of a carpeted passage, seated very regally on a brilliant crystal throne, was the Queen of the kingdom.

“Enter, please,” she said in her kind, musical voice. They obeyed. “Sir Fireborn, I am so pleased to finally meet you. And dear Castor and Evander as well.”

Bryan replied with an awkward gesture that was something between a bow and a curtsy. A murmur of giggles swept across the room. His cheeks flushed pink. Hey, you can’t blame me! I could’ve never imagined meeting the Queen of England, leave alone the Queen of Randomania.

Queen Aurelia stood up, her silver crown glinting on her blond head. “Now, Sir Fireborn, I have requested your presence in order to help relieve my kingdom of the dark forces that enslave it. I—”

“Sorry, but I-I really must interrupt, er- Your Highness,” stuttered Bryan. “You see, I’m not that valiant knight you’re looking for. I landed here purely by accident and all I ask of you is to help me get back home.”

The Queen laughed, much to our hero’s surprise. “I expected you’d say that. After all, your birth name is not the same as your noble name. Chester?” she called to one of the footmen.

What?” Bryan mouthed, looking from Evander to Castor to the monarch. 

Chester handed Queen Aurelia a small scroll. She opened it, cleared her throat and read aloud: “‘Master Bryan Greene, born on the twenty-first of July, 2001 of the Gregorian calendar, is hereby given the noble name ‘Sir Fireborn’ by the sovereign of the kingdom of Randomania and shall be referred to using the same within the boundaries of this realm.’” She looked up at him with her light blue eyes. “I hope this clears some of your confusion.”

Oh no, the confusion’s only got worse. “Yes,” Bryan answered slowly, making it sound very much like a question instead.

“Great! Off to the solar upstairs, then.” She stood up, smoothing out her velvety gown. “We have very important matters to discuss.”


THE CHRONICLES OF RANDOMANIA: Bryan, the Fridge and the Bathrobe | Part 2

Bryan’s face was pressed against the freezer door as he stuck his long arm inside the refrigerator. For some reason, the strange object he’d spotted earlier on kept escaping his fingers. He moved away and ducked his head to get a better look: It looked very much like a brick, but not the regular kind; there was something odd about the way the light reflected off it.

Now determined, Bryan grabbed a spatula from the cutlery rack and thrusted it into the cold insides of the fridge. Then all of a sudden, he stumbled forward and did a somersault, landing on a cold, hard surface.

He sat up after several moments, puzzled, and rubbed the arm on which he’d fallen. A mist of sorts hung in the air all around him. Wow, who knew fridges were this big and grew…moss? He stood up, looking up, down, left and right for any clues to decipher his location.

“Finally, he’s arrived!” came an excited whisper from very close by, followed by scuffling, then silence.

Bryan started and held out the spatula in front of him like a sword. “Wh-who is it? Show yourself!” No reply. As he took careful steps towards the source of the sound, it occurred to him just how ridiculous he must be looking—sporting a bathrobe for armour, brandishing a spatula for a weapon and that too barefoot!

It would’ve felt cool if he was six years old and playing by himself; unfortunately, he was way past that phase now.

“Where is the fellow going? We’re right here!” came the same whisper, only louder. And this time, its owner was right behind Bryan.

He swivelled around and found two young, identical fauns staring at him. Fauns in my fridge?! “Who are you two?” he demanded.

“Sire, I am your ever-subservient Castor,” said one of them, bowing deeply on his hooves.

“And I, sire, his older brother, Evander,” said the other, doing the same.

“No, I’m the older one,” argued Castor. “Quit trying so hard to look superior.”

“Well, perhaps you are unaware that I was born three whole minutes before you!”

Lies! Wait till I speak to Mother about this—”

“OK, you two,” interrupted Bryan, admittedly amused. “I don’t actually care about your…birth order or whatever. Just tell me where I am and how I can get out. Also, it’s not very nice to be followed around without a proper reason, so I’d like to know that too.”

The fauns looked at each other as if they did not understand.

“You received our message, didn’t you?” Castor asked.

“Nope, you’ve definitely got the wrong bloke,” Bryan replied, folding his arms. He still couldn’t believe he was speaking to magical creatures.

“It can’t be…he couldn’t have got here without it!” exclaimed Evander, nervously looking around. “Oh look, it’s over there!” He pointed at the spot where Bryan had landed a while ago.

The trio headed towards it. Lying there was the same brick that had caught Bryan’s eye before he’d been transported to this unknown land. As the twins picked it up, he noticed an ornate inscription on one of its faces. It read:

To Sir Fireborn, 
A Warm Welcome
to the
Kingdom of Randomania

Fireborn?” Bryan said. “My name’s Bryan Greene! You’ve clearly got this whole thing wrong. You’re looking for a knight, and I’m not one. So please, just tell me how I can leave this place. Then you can be on your way and I can be on mine.”

“We might seem young, sire, but we do our jobs extremely well. There has been no mistake and you are undoubtedly the person sent for,” said Castor confidently as Bryan groaned in frustration.

“Allow us to be your escorts to the palace if you do not believe us still,” added Evander. “The Queen shall clear all your doubts.”

“Yeah, well, if she can send me back home with her ‘magical powers’, I’ll consider going—” But before he could say more, Castor and Evander were already on their way. Shaking his head, he followed. What on earth have I got myself into?

As they trotted along, Bryan noticed curious little details about his surroundings: The mist seemed to part just enough to let them through—like some sort of automatic door—but wasted no time in closing shut behind them. And when it did part, it revealed more moss-covered ground and twisted tree trunks whose branches met in dense canopies overhead. A strange drip-drip sound continuously filled the silence, without any water in sight.

“Watch your step,” one of the twins muttered a short while later.

Bryan looked down and gasped as he skipped over a dead bird. He cast its muddied feathers a last look before turning ahead. It gave him shivers.


THE CHRONICLES OF RANDOMANIA: Bryan, the Fridge and the Bathrobe | Part 1

Don’t people usually say you get the most random (yet brilliant) ideas in the oddest of places? I cannot agree with this even more, considering that the idea for this story popped into my head while raiding my fridge for chocolate! (*snicker snicker* Oh wait, that pun was not even intended 😆). 

Now, prepare to plunge yourselves into a whole new realm of mystery, fantastical creatures and adventure!


The sun was high in the clear blue sky, shining bright white, when Bryan Greene awoke from his slumber.

“You slept like a log, you know that?” teased his middle sibling, Leigh, tossing a cushion at his sleepy face.

“Go away,” he grumbled and caught it just in time.

“It’s almost time for lunch, so better hurry up…unless you want to be staring at an empty plate,” she said, smirking, and disappeared around the doorframe of his bedroom.

Bryan sighed, running a hand through his tousled auburn hair. Fabulous, he thought. Not even a week into Easter break and I’ve snored off half the day. Again. Those project reports aren’t going to get themselves done by the deadline this time either.

Sulking, he climbed out of bed and dragged his feet into the bathroom. He emerged a few minutes later, throwing a red bathrobe over his pyjamas.

“Bryan, come look at this,” called his dad from the dining table as he trotted downstairs. “Looks like you won’t be going back to university anytime soon.” He gestured towards the TV screen that displayed the Prime Minister’s nationwide lockdown announcement. “Lucky you, eh?”

“Lucky the three of us!” chimed in the youngest child of the family, Sophie. “No more school for me and Leigh either!”

“Now, it’s a bit too early to declare that, Soph,” said her mum, giving the eight-year-old a light tap on the head with a pen. She was making a list. “We’d better head to the shops and stock up on groceries. What do you say, dear?”

“Yes, yes. I’ll get the car keys,” replied her husband.

“Can we come too?” Sophie asked with her signature puppy eyes.

“No, you three will stay at home,” replied Mrs Greene. “Watch something on TV, but just don’t tear the house down, OK? Make sure you lock the door properly, and…oh, yes, Bryan—please clean out the fridge when you’re done eating, love. We’ll need to make some space for today’s stuff.”

Sophie kept whining all the way to the driveway, where her mother knelt down and promised to buy her favourite pastry on the way home; it succeeded in satiating the young girl’s desire to accompany them. Soon after, the sound of the car’s engine faded away and the siblings were finally left to themselves.

“I call dibs on picking a movie!” cried Leigh, snatching up the TV remote from the sofa.

“Oi, that’s not fair! You did this last time too!” complained Bryan, standing up from his chair.

“You’re supposed to be cleaning out the fridge, brother dear. Might as well have someone choose, right?” She waggled her eyebrows.

Bryan rolled his eyes at the cheeky fourteen-year-old and plodded into the kitchen. As he opened the fridge door and surveyed its contents, the all-too-familiar opening tune of every Disney movie reached his ears. He shook his head and stifled a yawn. Well, here we go.

Just ten minutes into his assigned task, Bryan was already surprised by the sheer number of nearly empty or grossly outdated containers of food lying forgotten behind more recent purchases. Presently, he retrieved an ancient slab of stinky cheese wrapped in paper, pinching his nose as he disposed it. He placed his hands on his knees, trying to recover from the stench, and squinted at the soft white light shining from within the refrigerator. He stared at it for a few moments, vaguely aware of Olaf’s cheerful singing in the background.

Wait a minute. He narrowed his eyes at the very back of the fridge. What on earth is that?