The Upstairs World - (part 2 of the Elfin story)
.....the story continues.....
The Upstairs World.
Panpip and Muppet soon entered a room with a carpeted floor and many objects scattered around. It was the children's playroom, and the two childelves stared in amazement at the vast assortment of toys before them.
Panpip jumped into a large toy police car but couldn't make it move. "Push me!" he yelled to Muppet, and she did so reluctantly. The car slowly began to move forward and, as it did, the friction-powered engine took over, leaving Muppet sprawled on the floor.
With flashing lights and siren blaring, the car sped across the room. Panpip thought it great fun until the car slammed into the opposite wall and he was flung out, somersaulting onto the floor. The only thing injured was his pride, but he was not amused as Muppet rolled on the floor laughing. "It's not funny," he snapped, "I could have been killed!"
Muppet jumped up, still giggling, and ran over to a huge doll house in the corner of the room. "Look Panpip!" she cried, "A house just our size." She entered the front door and her brother followed. The house was two rooms wide and had three stories which were connected by an internal staircase. Each of the rooms was fully furnished, and it was inhabited by a family of small dolls about the same size as the elfins. Pushing aside any dolls which happened to be in the way, Panpip and Muppet sat in the chairs, and lay on the beds,. The childelfs made themselves completely at home.
Suddenly Panpip heard a strange scratching sound outside the doll house. He jumped from the cozy doll chair and scurried to the nearest window. Pushing aside the small curtains, he peered out the first floor window and saw a huge cat scratching at the door of the dollhouse.
The cat, attracted by Panpip's movement, saw him immediately and lunged. Panpip just managed to dodge the massive paw bursting through the glassless window. The cat's paw had razor sharp claws, ideal to snatch a tiny elfin.
Muppet screamed as they both scampered up the staircase to the highest floor. The back of the doll house was open but fortunately it was against the wall so that the only access the cat had was through the door and windows.The house shook with each assault and the two childelfs were terrified. They had no weapons with which to protect themselves. Panpip threw a couple of chairs out the window. One hit the cat, but had little effect.
They wished they had listened to Papan and Marmup and not ventured into the 'upstairs world'.
The cat momentarily ceased it's attack and the twins began to breathe a sigh of relief, when all of a sudden the doll house shook violently. With one mighty leap the cat jumped onto the roof, but it was peaked and smooth, causing the creature to slip. In the cat's struggle to keep its balance the doll house began to totter. The childelfs grabbed each other for support, as the house - along with the cat - came toppling down.
As the house fell, Panpip and Muppet leaped out the open side and scampered towards the nearby mouse hole. They were almost safe when a huge paw lashed out knocking them roughly to the floor. Muppet screamed as she felt gripping teeth trap her tiny body. While the cat was busy with Muppet, Panpip escaped it's hold.
"Muppet!" Panpip shouted distraught. He had to do something - anything- to help his sister.
Then the cat, as cats often do, dropped Muppet from its mouth and began playing with its prey.
"Help, Panpip!" Muppet cried. She felt helpless as the at toyed at her with it's paw. She tried to run, but the cat only pounced on her again in sheer enjoyment of its sport.
Wrrraaaoooww! An agonizing scream filled the room. "Muppet!" Panpip yelled, thinking it was his sister. But it wasn't Muppet who was shrieking, it was the cat. It suddenly dropped Muppet, (who was dripping with saliva) and was reeling on the ground, a metal meat skewer protruding from the base of it's furry tail.
Papan had thrown the spear with amazing accuracy and power, the same time Grandpan drew back the slingshot and released it with great speed. The cat screamed again as the ball bearing slammed into the back of it's head.
Marmup had woken early, only to notice the childelfs missing and, in a panic and concerned for their safety, had quickly woken up Papan. Being well aware of the dangers that the 'big house' held for elfin, Papan and Grandpan had armed themselves and gone looking for the childelfs.
They quickly grabbed Muppet and Panpip by the hands and rushed them through the mousehole to safety.
The cat had managed to dislodge the metal skewer but was no longer interested in making a meal of the elfin and fled the playroom instead to lick its wounds.
Marmup and Grandmup had been anxiously waiting below the floorboards. Relieved at the safe return of the childelfs they lovingly embraced the two.
Muppet was scratched and bruised, and in mild shock, but she was also lucky to be alive and not a cat's dinner.
After having their wounds attended, Panpip and Muppet were severely scolded and made promise never to wander into the 'upstairs world' again.
Later, when they were alone in their matchbox beds, Panpip turned to Muppet and whispered, "Maybe we'll check out the 'downstairs world' next time."
"Yes, that sounds like fun," she replied, and they both giggled.
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