The Adventures of Lyla & Sgt. Alfie Ep. 2

The finest of their breed, this handful of leprechauns had diversified their trade to deciphering as well as investigative work. As a community they were known for their espionage skills.

“Come on now, be quick about it, we’re late!” says the chief as he streamlining operations: 3 of the leprechauns under him, all dressed in plush leather slacks, ivory satin dress shirts with a chain stitched embroidery of the clan’s insignia: 2 snakes circling a single shiny gold coin.

Lyla is certain that she’s heard something as the ancient floorboards of the Tudor Manor give way at the far end of the library.

The chief leprechaun holds his position, hoping that his stillness would somehow camouflage him from the little one. As he holds his breath, he looks over to his associates. One of them is a stout little fella, the shiny golden buttons on his leather belt are just about an inch from bursting open. The chief shuts his eyes tightly, as if cooking up an incantation, when all at once he mutters a contingency spell :

“Let us, objects of objection, become but a dream, as I cause the seen to become unseen”

Lyla peers over the plush upholstered love seat, as she holds onto the armrest to give herself support. In that very moment, the decorated windows fling open, letting in a gust of the chilly wintry air. She sees them, 3 little beings, the size of  half stuffed Christmas stockings as they self combust into tiny particles of light. A trail of glittery dust swirls out of the window, glimmering, echoing the remnants of an ancient celtic teleportation spell.

A wave of goosebumps sweep over Lyla as she breathes in the fresh breeze of the night. The air hypnotising her for a few moments. The library is filled with a soft golden light, the aftermath of their escape.

“Alfie! Did you see that?!”

She says realising that she’d covered his eyes all this while hoping to spare him the horror as she hurries over to the window to investigate. 

The beeline of beech trees swayed like a bed of green coral, twisting and twirling, dancing to the tunes of the wintry breeze as the stewards of the night stood their ground. This is no ordinary night. Lost in thought, Lyla looks on in a daze beyond the Salisbury plains, trying hard to piece together the incident. Suddenly the breeze intensifies stirring up the sheets of paper that are on the floor. The rustling sheets fly over to her and she catches them in a bunch just before they can fly out of the window.

Lyla sets Alfie carefully by her, she kneels down on the floor. The cold wooden boards making her knees cold, but she’s immersed in the sinewy, tree like glyphs on the old crumbling ocher sheets, entranced by this ancient language that seems so familiar to her. The edges of the glyphs glow as if still infused with a magical spell as they encircle a blueprint of a constellation. 

“Look Alfie, its Orion! The one you always said looked like a little bow tie!” For a 6 year old Lyla knows her constellations pretty well.

Looking through the peephole in the floor, the little creature, watches patiently. He pushes the little trap door with all his might, cursing under his breath.

“If only chief had remembered that the spell only works for 3, I would be back home before the ‘opening act’ “

To be continued…


The Adventures of Lyla & Sgt. Alfie Ep. 1

The corridor is enveloped in a coat of darkness; the only source of light is that from the door at the end of the old Victorian hallway.

The motifs on the carpet are an old antique art nouveau flourish, spiralling into roses that hold delicate petals between them. It’s quarter past 2, the housekeeper’s fast asleep having tucked Lyla safely in her bed.

Soft padding on the carpet, signals a mere two and a half-foot figure. The silhouette of a little girl in a cotton nightdress, wisps of unruly hair and a relatively steady gait, with a little stumble here and a fall there, clutching onto her favorite stuffed puppy – Sergeant Alfie, fighting terribly between curiosity and slumber.

Whispering to Alfie: “Don’t be afraid Alfie, we’re going to be just fine, its not all that dark really, close your eyes, and don’t open them till I tell you to? Alright? mutters little Lyla, as her little heart races with every step on the cold wooden floor boards. At this point, she probably can’t feel her feet.

Her tiny pink paws push against the cold mahogany door, filling the intricately cut insignia of the family crest with the soft glint of the wintry night. The door creaking ever so slightly as it is pushed by almost no weight at all. Lyla could have sworn she heard little voices from inside her grandfather’s library.

“Ey Ey Ey, ya little rascals, keep yer yapping down, we’ve got a curious one down here.”, said the chief leprechaun overseeing operations within his jurisdiction of ­a 4 foot bookshelf. This was going to be quite a night.

To be continued…

Both of her

She sat by the large windows, gazing out at rows of wheat that glowed in the warm rays of the March sun, squinting as the afternoon sun’s bokeh trickled in through her half closed lids. She opened and closed her eyes, playing up the rainbows that formed from the light trickling in. “My very own kaleidoscope”, she thought, smiling to herself.

The handmaiden’s tight yanking of the corset laces snapped her out of the moment. She wanted nothing more than to jump out of the window, wind down the dense sinewy shrubbery and make her way far beyond the old crumbly palace walls.

Then all at once, she was running: like a gazelle freed from the clutches of its prey. She trailed her way through the prickly warm husks that caught the delicate fabric of her dress. Halting for a moment to untangle a golden kernel, she looked up: The sun smiling down at her, making her cheeks tingle with warmth, causing a soft blush to splay on her face.

For a moment she paused, spun around towards the aged gothic castle. Deep brown eyes stared back through the windows, where she sat motionless while the handmaiden turned her tresses to royal plaits. It should have felt odd, watching herself, frozen in a fragment of time. But the prospect of a free life bubbled up in her heart. A respite from the tight grip of expectations.

As she looked up, a splattering of fluffy white clouds began to part lazily, as if being signalled to begin the “act”. A soft white vortex began to appear against the plain blue sky with swirling bolts of lightening, lowering down the most exquisite seat. The body made of the fabled Icelandic Spar, reflecting & refracting rainbows much beyond our realm of existence. She looked up in awe, transfixed by the interplay of colour and light. She seated herself, unable to break her trance. Watching as the swing lifted her, she saw her face yet again in the window, her hand raised in a final goodbye, a cool zephyr brushing away the golden brown tresses from her face.

Free at last.