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…

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