The Little People

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Post by The Archet Bugle Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:59 am

The Little People

One

If you had met Annabel you would have thought her your average little girl. She was quite pretty though by no means beautiful, quite clever at school, quite good at sport, and quite well behaved at home. If you had met her and thought of her this way, you would have thought absolutely correctly. She lived in an ordinary house with two ordinary parents, Jane and Michael Green. Jane was a kindergarten teacher and Michael, an electrician. They were good, solid, generous people who certainly did not deserve what happened to them, but I must not get ahead of myself.

Next door to Annabel’s quite ordinary house was another just as ordinary house, or so it had always appeared to the Greens. In the house lived old Mary McNaughton. She had lived there for as long as Annabel could remember. She was a strange old bird who Annabel often visited as she worked in her garden. Mrs McNaughton’s garden was not ordinary like her house was. It was a wild affair, with plants growing all over the place, though Mrs McNaughton knew exactly where everything was, for she grew almost all her own food and herbs in it. An amazing woman really, and quite possibly a hundred years old for all Annabel knew. Mind you, Annabel was seven years old, and anyone with grey hair seemed ancient to her.

Michael and Jane Green saw Mrs McNaughton as a harmless old person, even if eccentric in some ways, and they often left Annabel with her if they had to go somewhere without their precious daughter. Annabel loved helping in the old lady’s garden. It was like an untamed wilderness for all that Mrs McNaughton weeded and tilled and trimmed, for her it was a planned garden for all its apparent disarray.
“The birds know where everything is, as do the insects” she would sometimes say to Annabel, “and so do I.” She would say it with a twinkle in her eye that Annabel absolutely loved to see. That twinkle made Mrs McNaughton seem both young and old at the same time, but most of all ‘safe’. Yes, there was something very trustworthy about Mrs McNaughton; something which all the Greens could see.

Life was very good and Annabel was a happy little girl. She was a self-contained child, happy in her daydreams, happy to play with her friends from school or her neighbours, and happiest most when she was over at Mrs McNaughton’s house. But sadly, things do not always stay happy, indeed in my experience, never. Something will always come up to upset things. And some things are worse than others – much worse.

One day, Jane and Michael Green went away for the weekend, as it was their ninth Anniversary and they thought they might have a bit of private time together down at a resort on the coast. Mrs McNaughton gladly offered to let Annabel stay the two nights with her. Annabel had often done so and she waved a happy goodbye on Friday evening as they drove away.

That night, Mrs McNaughton let her stay up quite late watching DVD’s. Strangely, Mrs McNaughton seemed somewhat uneasy all evening, and quieter than usual as she sat, as was her wont in the evenings, knitting in a great armchair by the window of her lounge room, and at last Annabel asked, “Mrs McNaughton? Is there anything wrong?”

“I’m not sure, Annabel, but never mind,” and the old lady went back to her knitting.

That was the last Annabel took any notice and she watched the end of a DVD. Once her movie was over, she took herself off to bed after giving Mrs McNaughton a kiss goodnight.

But in the night, as the little girl was lying deeply asleep in a comfortable bed in a spare room, she had a bad ‘feeling’ grab her. I can’t explain it any other way. It was a sudden horrible violent grabbing of muscles in her stomach . She sat up in the dark room and for the first time in all the times she had stayed in Mrs McNaughton’s house, felt frightened, she had no idea why. So frightened in fact, that she thought to get out of bed and go to Mrs McNaughton’s room down the hall. She did not have to. Mrs McNaughton suddenly appeared in her open doorway with a candle in hand. The old lady often used candles and other old fashioned things in the house, so this did not seem odd to Annabel. But what Mrs McNaughton said as she bustled quickly into the room clad in the great white dressing gown she always wore was odd.

“You must dress quickly, Annabel. We cannot delay. They’re coming.”

I cannot begin to tell you how startled Annabel was to hear that simple if odd statement, ‘They’re coming.’”

“What do you mean, Mrs McNaughton?” Annabel asked even as she threw back the bedclothes and started grabbing for her clothes in the candlelight. She did not know why, but she started to cry.

“Oh tisk,” Mrs McNaughton said. “Tears can’t help just now.” But the old lady touched Annabel’s cheek gently, protectively. “Quick now, we have to move like lightning. It’s the Little People, you see.” Her voice had dropped in the face of only a few words to a whisper. “The Little
People are coming. I saw them in my crystal ball. Bad things have happened. Very bad things have happened this night. Come, I’ll help you with your cardigan.”

“I don’t understand,” Annabel said as she struggled to put her cardigan on, sticking an arm in the wrong sleeve at first.

“More speed less haste, dear. I’ll explain later. I’m sorry. I really am. I did not know they were up to something... Oh dear... Where are your shoes now? Put them on and we’ll be off... Here, I’ll help you. Good girl. And we’re off.”

“But where are we going, Mrs McNaughton?” the girl asked with mounting terror, the terror of not knowing what was happening or where she was going.

“To somewhere safe,” Mrs McNaughton whispered urgently. “At least, I hope so...”

And with that, the old lady grabbed Annabel by the hand and the next second was dragging her out the door into the hall and on down to the back door of the house. Annabel was dragged along with tears – tears she had no way of comprehending yet – streaming down her face.
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Post by Mrs Figg Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:18 pm

Crickey!, I hope the Little people arent nasty pixies or anything? affraid Cant wait to see what happens, The anon author has really outdone himself this time, its great. Very Happy nice atmosphere of suspense and faerie.
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Post by Orwell Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:06 pm

Thank you for the support, Mrs Figg. Anon Author tells me he truly appreciates it. Very Happy

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Post by Mrs Figg Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:18 pm

So get on with the rest then, as I want to know what happens next. Very Happy
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Post by Orwell Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:23 pm

It's going to be quite a nasty children's story, I warn you, possibly not suitable at all for respectable grown-up types. Evil or Very Mad ... You'll be alright then! Very Happy

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Post by Mrs Figg Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:10 pm

well I hope its not too nasty as I may have nightmares, as I am underneath all the bluster quite sensitive and impressionable. pale pale pale pale pale pale
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Post by Orwell Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:34 pm

Anon tells me, with all respect, that he must take that risk, Mrs Figg. He tells me this is based on a true story that just MUST come out (or, true after a fashion, sort of, maybe Very Happy ).

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Post by The Archet Bugle Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:36 pm

TWO


It was a terrible experience for Annabel, being dragged out into Mrs McNaughton’s wild garden in the dead of night, with every shrub or piece of garden furniture suddenly become the crouching shape of a brooding beast of unknown propensities. The girl wanted her Mum and Dad, of course, but that was out of the question. And now Mrs McNaughton seemed no longer the gentle eccentric old lady next door, no, she was the bearer of dark secrets. Annabel felt very alone as Mrs McNaughton hurried down an overgrown path to the rear gate of her yard. The gate lay under the branches of a spreading pear tree.

The gate opened out on to some common land; a sloping piece of land that at its lowest edge bordered an old quarry. The quarry had long been disused and it was encircled by a tall protective fence with several rusty locked gates, and barbed wire on the top. The fence was sign posted every so often along its length with the words: “Danger. Trespassers Prohibited.” Annabel had never been allowed to go near it. Indeed, she was not even allowed to go out onto the common alone. It was a place covered with self-sown trees and scrubby undergrowth, the haunt of foxes and wild cats and vagabonds, no fit place for a little girl. The local Council had been lax in clearing the land for years, but as few folk used it, no one complained.

“I don’t want to,” Annabel said as Mrs McNaughton propelled her through the gate.

“We have no choice,” Mrs McNaughton said. “Do you want the Little People to get you?”

“No,” the girl squealed. “Please don’t let them get me!”

“I’ll do my best, but we must hurry.”

So through clinging bushes under sprawling trees they passed. The old lady soon let go her hand and set a cracking pace and poor Annabel had to jog to keep up with her. A full moon was in a clear sky above, and so it was not as dark as it might have been. But the moon cast shadows, and Annabel felt even more sure that she was surrounded by shadow-monsters. It was a horrible journey as they made their way steadily down in the direction of the quarry.

After about five minutes, they came to a narrow winding path that passed amid a copse of birch trees. In a few seconds they struck upon a clearing in which stood a ramshackle hut. The hut was constructed of rusty wrought iron sheets and what looked to Annabel in the moonlight like old cardboard boxes. The sight terrified her. In her state of mind, she feared that the mysterious Little People might live in it.

“I don’t want to go in,” she told Mrs McNaughton who had come to a halt outside the pathetic hut. “I don’t.”

Mrs McNaughton took her little hand and said, “No, we’re not staying here, dear.” Raising her voice, Mrs McNaughton addressed the hut, “Tommy, are you in there? Tommy?” No answer came. “Tommy, it’s Old Mary; are you in there?” Still there was no answer. “Wait here, Annabel. I must take a look inside.”

Annabel did not want to be left alone in the dark, but Mrs McNaughton prised her hand gently free of her grasp. A moment later, the old lady ducked under a rough-made timber door lintel and disappeared. Barely five seconds later, she reappeared and hurried across to poor shivering Annabel.

“It’s bad, just as I thought,” she murmured and bent to rifle through a bag she had brought with her and left on the ground. It was one of those environmentally friendly bags you can pick up at Supermarkets. Annabel had not even noticed she was carrying it.

“This will not be pleasant,” Mrs McNaughton said dismally as she removed a large kitchen knife from it.

“What’s wrong, Mrs McNaughton?” Annabel wanted to know, staring in numb awe at the knife.

“Old Tommy’s dead,” she was told brusquely, “and I must do what I must.” Mrs McNaughton rifled in her bag again and withdrew a jumper. “This must suffice as a wrap,” she said grimly. And then the old lady quickly walked over and re-entered the hut.
Annabel waited outside, her stomach muscles tight, her throat constricted, her heart thumping. She heard some shuffling from inside the hut, and a queer squishing noise, and Mrs McNaughton’s grunts. Perhaps a minute later Mrs McNaughton reappeared, bearing a round shape wrapped inside her jumper.

“We must go on, dear. I have not the wherewithal here to do the examination I need to. Anyway, we need to get to somewhere safer. Come on. You must keep up.”

So off they went again. This time, Mrs McNaughton moved even quicker than before, and this time she bore a queer bundle tucked under one of her arms, while she carried the bag in her other hand. Mrs McNaughton’s face looked very pale in the moonlight. She did not even look human somehow.


Last edited by The Archet Bugle on Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Mrs Figg Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:44 pm

oooo this is super creepsville, I am quite spooked now. You arent going to make it too er horrid are you? pale
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Post by The Archet Bugle Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:50 pm

Too right I am! Very Happy
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Post by Mrs Figg Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:53 pm

Its seriously creepy tho. I am quite worried about leetle girlz getting the heeby geebies (ie. Me) affraid
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Post by The Archet Bugle Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:58 pm

Anon has aspirations of being a 'serious' writer of scary children's stories, Mrs Figg, and, frankly, he's willing to take the risk of causing horrid fears in the heart's of little girls (even in the hearts of little girls that live inside bigger girls Shocked ). Actually, reading back through, I'm getting a bit creeped out myself... Laughing
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Post by Mrs Figg Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:02 am

yes this old lady is seriously giving me goose wobbles. I am quite worried about the fate of the poor girl, one does like a happy ending you know? Crying or Very sad
I like the style though its consise and pared down but yet conveys the atmosphere and spookyness.
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Post by Orwell Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:16 am

Yes, one does hope for a happy ending, Mrs Figg, but as I don't know how the story ends, I can't offer any words of hope just yet... Anon tells me he knows who the Little People are (maybe even who their Leader is), and also who (and what) Mrs McNaughton is, and also what the Little People are up to... but from thereon, he's making it up as he goes along, with no "happy ending" in sight yet, I'm 'fraid... pale

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Post by The Archet Bugle Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:55 am

THREE


Annabel was over tired and distraught by the time they came to the quarry fence. A rough path of gravel followed the wire in both directions but trees and bushes overhung the fence and at places grew through it from each side. Mrs McNaughton had made purposely for a section of fence well known to her, but little Annabel did not know this, and when Mrs McNaughton stopped her hasty and purposeful striding, Annabel thought they were lost now and she gave in to her weary incomprehension and began to wail.

Amongst her piteous weeping she got out, “I want, Mummy.”

“I’m sorry, but at the moment you can’t have her,” Mrs McNaughton answered, putting her bag down but keeping her mysterious bundle under her armpit. “Hush now. We don’t dare make too much noise. They might here us.”

But Annabel was lost to her emotions. “I want Mummy. Mrs McNaughton, I want my Mummy...”

Mrs McNaughton thrust a gnarled hand across her mouth. “Be quiet!”

Mrs McNaughton’s eyes had little fires in them and they seemed to delve deep into Annabel’s. The little girl stopped crying immediately. For the first time ever, she was frightened of the old lady.

Mrs McNaughton slowly released her hand.

“Good,” she said. “Not another word.”

Then Mrs McNaughton did something really queer.

She miaowed.

Annabel began to wipe her eyes; perhaps unconsciously trying to wipe comprehension into them. An almost silence lay on the world. The moon gleamed brightly. The quarry lay open like a great black maw perhaps three hundred yards away down slope inside the fence. Trees and bushes rustled quietly.

Mrs McNaughton miaowed again.

Annabel was so nonplussed that nothing formed in her head, not a question, not a thought, not a feeling.

Then there came to them an answering miaow.

Mrs McNaughton peered through the wire. Shortly afterward a small four footed shadow- shape came up the slope toward them. As it drew closer Annabel saw that it was a cat. It was Mrs McNaughton’s Ginger Tom, Rufus.

“There you are, Old Man,” Mrs McNaughton said, sounding relieved. “Is all well in the Abode?”

Annabel had known about Mrs McNaughton’s cat for ages, but it was unfriendly to visitors and had never allowed Annabel to stroke or pat him. The little girl had the distinct impression the cat did not like her, but as she was so young, she accepted his disdain as one of those natural things of life, and it did not worry her. But seeing the cat out here right now, in the moonlit dark staring malevolently up at her with his great big green eyes worried her. The cat was studying the girl with an intelligence she had never noticed before. Yet again fear gripped at her belly. She reached without thinking for Mrs McNaughton’s hand.

“We must forget our secrets,” Mrs McNaughton whispered to the cat. “Speak!”

The cat continued to stare at Annabel for a few seconds, and then it did speak. “Madam, the Abode is secure. I’ve seen none of Them, but we must move. I have not had time to scout but a small area between here and the house.”

Annabel stared blinkingly at the cat. She knew she couldn’t be dreaming but it felt like she was.
Mrs McNaughton began to unhook some wires. The next thing, the mesh could be folded back and a narrow entrance appeared. Mrs McNaughton picked up her bag and stepped through. Seeing Annabel hesitate, the old woman hissed, “Do you want Them to get you?”

Annabel froze at the word “Them.”

Rufus spoke again. “Leave her. She will only increase the risk to us.”

Mrs McNaughton gave the cat a sharp look. “I have affection for the child, I must help her.”

Rufus gave a hiss, it might have been a curse, but Annabel heard no word spoken.

“Come,” Mrs McNaughton beckoned in a kind voice. “You must, dear. Rufus is right. If you stay here sooner or later They’ll find you. Come now, don’t be silly.”

“But Mummy...”

“Mummy can’t help you – never - or at least, I expect not.... Come on, or I will have to leave you. You must trust me, Annabel. There’s no one else. Not around here anyway...”

Annabel was a good girl, well used to trusting and obeying adults. She stepped through the gap. Mrs McNaughton retied the wires she had loosened with amazing speed. Only the most careful of study could reveal the fence was not properly secure.

The next few minutes passed in a blur. All Annabel knew was the back of Mrs McNaughton’s nightgown as they walked into the quarry area amid thickly growing trees. It was very dark, unlit by the moon. A howl hooted once, a very lonely sound in the stillness. At last, they came to sprawling area of stones, not more than a hundred feet from the gaping black hole that was the quarry.
Mrs McNaughton tapped a large vertical slab of granite three times with a fingernail. The slab slid miraculously aside.

“Inside, before anyone sees us.”

Rufus darted quickly for the gap. Annabel hesitated as she tried to peer into a slot of pure blackness. Mrs McNaughton wasted no time. First putting the object wrapped in her jumper under the armpit of the hand with the bag, she used her other hand to pull the girl quite violently into the pit. The granite slab slid closed behind them. If Annabel had been buried in a grave it could not have been darker.


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Post by Mrs Figg Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:01 am

Anon Author this is wonderful stuff, please continue with this story, I like it lots. specially naughty pussy cats. cat called Rufus.
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Post by Orwell Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:13 am

I assure you the Anon Author appreciates your appreciation, Mrs Figg. I think you and I like the same kind of stories, so long as we can still sleep without having nightmares. Very Happy

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Post by Amarië Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:18 am

I have a black cat who knocks on the window when she wants to come in. Can she be related to Rufus I wonder...
This is good stuff! Keep it coming! Very Happy

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Post by Orwell Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:20 am

Maybe... but I must warn you, Rufus may seem your average talking cat, but he's not.... Shocked (Or so Anon has been hintin' anyhow...) And if your kitty is of the same "kind" as Rufus, then I'd be careful, Maám, as not all of them are 'safe'. pale

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Post by Amarië Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:30 am

Hehe, thanks for the warning, I'll keep my eyes open. Very Happy

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Post by Mrs Figg Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:09 pm

cat I told you Rufus is a good name for a ginger pussy cat. cat
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Post by The Archet Bugle Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:18 pm

FOUR

Annabel felt around until she touched the material of Mrs McNaughton’s dressing gown. Once found, she clung on desperately.

“Try not to be scared, little one,” Mrs McNaughton said. “The floor is level, so we can walk without trouble if we’re careful. When we’re well away from the door-stone, I’ll light a candle then. So hold on and walk slowly. I must feel my way at first.”

“I don’t like it here.”

“Nor should you, Annabel. When we reach the Abode things will be better. We’re safe here, at least for the time being, and that’s all that matters for the moment. Don’t forget to hold on.”

Mrs McNaughton’s voice was the gentle ‘safe’ voice it had always been. Only then did it register with Annabel that it had been so different ever since the old lady had entered her room. Talk of ‘Little People’ and all this business of ‘Them’ and ‘They’ had certainly been uttered in a different tone than the girl was used to.

“We move, hang on, dear.”

Annabel felt the dressing gown begin to stretch and then slowly and carefully she was tugged forward.

It was fortunate in a way that her brain was numb with fatigue, because the pitch darkness did not disturb her. All she wanted to do was sleep. It was as well darkness of itself had never bothered her much anyway. She had always lived in an ordinary house you see, and with ordinary parents in a safe and ordinary town where darkness was something that happened at night and naturally. Walking now underground seemed like walking to the toilet in the middle of the night, except for the smell of earth and ancient stone, though even this was anything but unpleasant.

Annabel had no idea how long they shuffled, because time was something she rarely noticed, unless it was the night before Christmas or a birthday; or the night before some special event at school or in the town beckoned. She was drawn into the fuzzy recesses of dream where time has no meaning anyhow.

The old lady stopped and Annabel bumped her nose into her buttock. Then there were some noises, perhaps the noise of the bag being laid on the ground, and quickly after that some shuffling through it.

“Light,” Mrs McNaughton said.

A flicker of flame blinded the girl momentarily. When she could focus her eyes again, Annabel saw Mrs McNaughton enveloped by yellow candle light. Annabel wondered if she had lit the candle with a match, but there was no smell of sulphur. No matter, it was nice to be able to see again.

All around them were jagged and crumbling walls, all clay and rock. The walls were close to each other, only a foot separated Annabel from them on either side. Beyond the arc of candlelight before and behind them lay profound darkness. They were not in a tunnel as such, just a long crack in the earth.

Mrs McNaughton picked up her bag and now led her more quickly. There was no sign of Rufus.

The crevice did not cut in a straight line underground, it almost took the shape of a lightning bolt; there were sharp zigzagging bends along the way. Indeed, it was not just one crack, there were many others that went off into nowhere at many places. But Mrs McNaughton clearly knew her way. Annabel followed in a zombie state. She was too tired for any emotion and her brain too dead for questions.

And then Mrs McNaughton came to stop. The crack they had followed continued but became too narrow for them to go further. In the candle glow, Mrs McNaughton tapped a flattened surface of stone to her right. There was the grinding sound of stone on stone and yet another slab slid aside. A rush of air extinguished the candle, but reddish light had escaped into their crevice with the air.
Mrs McNaughton walked through the gap that had appeared. Annabel followed.

They had walked into an underground room with panelled walls of dressed timber. There were cupboards and benches and chairs, and all sorts of strange things laid out, too many for the exhausted girl to pay individual attention to. For some reason she looked up. A column of open space like a chimney thrust up dead straight through a ceiling lined with more timber. High above the girl saw a glint of yellow light through glass. Beyond the glass were and array of jet black branches, bare, their twigs like fingers, and up beyond a moon partly concealed by them. It was clear they were far below ground.

“There is a bed here,” Mrs McNaughton said. “Come we’ll go and sleep.”

Next thing, Annabel was taken to a bed in a corner of the subterranean room. The old lady pulled back a sheet and the girl was soon ensconced beneath warm and comforting blankets. Mrs McNaughton took off her dressing gown and laid herself beside her.

Somewhere in the darkness Rufus spoke. “We should not have brought her.”

A cat speaking - how strange that was; and then Annabel was asleep.
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The Little People Empty Re: The Little People

Post by Mrs Figg Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:03 pm

S:P:O:O:K:Y Anon author stop being spooky this minute, your giving me the heebies. affraid I need comforting stuff and warm fuzzy feelings not dank caves, BBrrrrrrrr! yelp!! shudder!
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Post by The Archet Bugle Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:21 pm

FIVE


When Annabel woke she reached out for the comforting touch of Mrs McNaughton, but no one was in bed with her. Annabel thought for a moment she was in her own bed and opened her eyes hopefully. No, she was in the room far underground still. The only difference was that the light had changed. A beam of bright sunlight columned down into the centre of the room where there was a bare circle of floor. Strange ornaments and apparatus adorned floor and table and chair, the place was pretty messy. Annabel was reminded of her Father’s garage. Being an electrician he had all sorts of weird and wonderful things laid about. Annabel only saw them occasionally. She was never allowed to touch anything, especially unsupervised. Mostly they were to do with his job as an electrician. Even the word ‘electrician’ meant little to her.

The thing was, her Father’s things were plain every day things and yet peculiar and unknowable to her. The things in Mrs McNaughton’s underground room were strange too, different strange to her Father’s things to look at, but for all that nothing to worry about. They were just things from the adult world. Even the underground room was not a matter for worry. It was a room Mrs McNaughton had, and, the adult world being full of things new to her, nothing to be troubled about. It was interesting room though and Annabel was keen to look more closely at things in it.

Before she could get up, however, Mrs McNaughton began talking. She was sitting on a tall stool at a bench in a cluttered corner of the room. Rufus was sitting on the bench top.

“I have it,” said Mrs McNaughton. “That’s how they did it.”

“Tell me.”

“Through water, it’s obvious once you know.” Mrs McNaughton allowed a scroll she had been perusing to roll back into a cylinder shape. “They have poisoned the human’s water supplies with it.”

“That’s impossible. You told me the humans have been poisoned everywhere...”

“Yes, the Little Ones have organized it so very well. They cannot have killed every human being everywhere. Not everyone uses community sources. We’ll find plenty of survivors I would think.”

“So did you find out what the poison was?”

“Yes, Tommy’s brain was tainted with it. It was alchemy from the Other realm. They must have been planning this for a long long time. The Horned One must have been involved, I think.”

“I thought him destroyed an aeon ago,” Rufus hissed in apparent shock.

“So did we, but only He would be able to get the Little Ones to co-operate on this level. It’s hard to imagine such a complete plan. Humans from Australia to Norway to America to China have been poisoned. I know, I have spoken to so many of my people about it. Every one of them tells the same sad tale.”

“Have many humans been found alive?”

“Very few so far, Rufus, and that is no good sign. Folk in the remote places will be untouched. There cannot be enough Little People to have poisoned every dam and lake and pond and water tank. Yes, few humans have been found yet. None in England so far, I know that much. Little Annabel is the only human survivor I know of in the whole island truth be known.”

“And you still plan to keep her?”

“What can I do? I’m fond of her.”

“But with her parent’s dead...”

“Yes, until we find some humans, her care will be my responsibility.”

Rufus hissed angrily.

“There is nothing for it.”

“You were always over sensitive to humans.”

“We need them, and you know it. For all their shortcomings, we like them too. It saddens me to see them in such a state. You know, this is about us not the humans. If the humans have been near wiped out, then that can only means we’ll be next, Rufus.”

“Well, the sooner we find some humans the better is all I can say. We have enough to worry about without having one of their whelps in our care.”

“Yes – the sooner that is the better, Rufus. The poor thing; she was very fond of her parents. At least the Little Ones have not shown themselves yet. They must be waiting to see how their plans are falling out. It may give us time to gather...”

Annabel was confused by their talk, and disturbed, though she understood little of it. She sat up in bed. “Can we go home soon, Mrs McNaughton?”

"Oh you’re awake, dear. Were you listening to us talk?”

“Yes.”

“Did you understand what we were saying about your parents?”

“Pardon me?”

“We were talking about your Mother and Father just now. They’re your parents.”

“Oh.”

“Annabel, we think your Mum and Dad are dead.”

“No, they’ve gone on a holiday.”

“Yes, but I’m afraid they will have died...”

“No, they can’t have.”

Rufus interjected, “We can’t be totally sure, you know, Lilith. They might be alive still. It certainly would be a help to us if they were.”

“It’s unlikely...”

“Yes, but possible. The girl clearly doesn’t know what’s happening. Why bother trying to explain? She’ll only get upset – you know what they’re like. And if by some miracle they survived, then you’ll have got her all weepy and unhappy for no good reason.”

“Alright, Rufus, have it your own way. I know you only say it because you don’t want to put up with her distress.”

“They are so sentimental, these humans. It grates on the nerves when they carry on, and you know it.”

“To some it’s touching.”

“Well, not to me. What do we do next?”

“I spoke to Arabath this morning. We’ll meet her in the north for a conclave. It’ll be several days journey and by then we’ll know how many of the humans have survived. I hope there are still enough to be rallied. We are too few on our own to fend off the Little Ones as you know...” Mrs McNaughton’s trailed off.

Annabel had no idea what they were talking about, and her stomach muscles were feeling very tight again, but the mention of her Mum and Dad had made her feel a bit better immediately. The world had gone all strange, and she did not like it, but at least Mummy and Daddy would be home soon.

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The Little People Empty Re: The Little People

Post by Mrs Figg Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:44 pm

BOO HOO, Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Sad Sad You horrible Anon Author! Sad Sad Sad You are making me sad!
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