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…

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