The Floor Below - (part 3 of the Elfin Adventure)

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Matchbox bed
Matchbox bed | Source
Panpip, ready for mishchief
Panpip, ready for mishchief | Source

The Floor Below

by John Hansen © 2014


Panpip and Muppet had been content to stay close to the other elfin and not wander off on their own since the adventure into the Upstairs World. The encounter with the huge cat had been a terrifying experience for the childelfs. But now the memory was beginning to fade and they were starting to return to their mischievous and curious selves.

One day when the rest of the family was sleeping soundly (Elfins sleep during the day and are active at night when the Big Ones sleep) Panpip quietly slipped out of his tiny matchbox bed and went over to wake his sister. Muppet rubbed her eyes sleepily, "What do you want Panpip? Let me sleep," she sighed grumpily.

"I am going to check out the Downstairs World!" he said, waiting for a reaction. "I thought you might want to come too."

The words started to sink in through her drowsiness and Muppet sat up with a start. "The Downstairs World?" she questioned excitedly, "But what if Papan and Marmup find out? We'll be in big trouble."

"Scaredy mouse!" Panpip teased, "They are all sound asleep. We'll be back long before they wake up. Are you coming or not?"

Muppet was a little wary but wasn't about to let her brother go off on another adventure without her. "Ok, I'm coming," she said, "but we better take care. That cat nearly ate me in the Upstairs World last time."

Panpip grabbed his sister's arm and placed a finger to his lips, "Shhh! We'll be careful, but keep your voice down so you don't wake the others."


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Muppet
Muppet | Source

With that the two young childelfs made their way silently towards the staircase that led downstairs. The steps were too steep for the small elfin to negotiate easily but Panpip, being a little taller, lowered himself over the edge of each step, then reached up to help his sister. (Although childelfs were born with wings, they couldn't fly. The wings served simply to indicate their moods; for instance, if they were excited they would flap wildly--or sad, they would droop. As they grew older these wings usually withered before shedding) It took them a good 20 minutes to make it to the bottom, and both sat down exhausted to catch their breath.

"What if the Big Ones are around and they capture us?" asked Muppet looking around, "It is daytime when they are awake."

"You are a worry wart," replied Panpip. "Just trust me. I have overheard the adults speaking one day about going to work, and taking the kids to school, whatever that is. They seem to do it most days at about this time."

Muppet shrugged. She wasn't confident in what her brother said, but she couldn't get back up the stairs by herself either. "Ok, why not?"

They headed along the hallway towards the kitchen, looking left and right before entering the doorway. The coast was clear so they ventured inside. "Wow, everything is so big!" exclaimed Muppet looking around with wide eyes.

"This must be where they keep the food," said Panpip, his sensitive nose twitching. "Let's look for something to eat. I'm starving."

Kitchen pantry
Kitchen pantry | Source
cracker biscuits
cracker biscuits | Source
spilt flour
spilt flour

The pantry door was slightly ajar, and the childelfs slipped carefully inside. Three plastic storage boxes were stacked in ascending order, with the largest at the bottom, forming a fine set of steps to allow them to scale up to the shelves.

Most foods were in containers or cans that they couldn't access. Then Muppet said excitedly, "I've found something!" A loose packet of cracker biscuits lay on the bottom shelf.

"Well done," Panpip replied encouraging her. "Let's open them." Then taking the packet, he managed to tear it open using his teeth and fingers. The two childelfs then sat down and feasted on the tasty snack, and are so many crackers that they were soon full.

They left what remained in the packet on the shelf, but as they began to climb down, Panpip slipped and accidentally upended a container of flour that fell to the floor. Its lid was displaced and the white powdery flour spilled all over the floor and the childelfs.

"Oh, no-- look what you've done!" cried Muppet.

"Well, if you hadn't bumped me..let's just get out of here."

They tried to run from the pantry, but the flour-covered floor was quite slippery and they slid back and forth making a great game of it and leaving tell-tale footprints everywhere.

At that moment they heard a strange "whirring" noise from the other side of the kitchen, and were startled when a weird round thing began to move towards them. The family of Big Ones had recently bought a new robotic vacuum cleaner and had it pre-programmed to clean the floors at precisely this time each day.

To the childelfs, however, this was one scary robot monster that seemed to have a mind of its own as it dodged and reversed if it came in contact with any chairs or anything else in its way. Anyway, they weren't sticking around to be attacked and have to again be rescued by Papan and Grandpan as had happened with the cat.

"Come on, run!" yelled Panpip, grabbing Muppet's hand and pulling her after him towards the stairs. He just managed to hoist Muppet onto his shoulders and lift her high enough so that she could climb up onto the bottom step, when the 'robovac' came banging into it.

Panpip jumped as it rushed towards him, narrowly avoiding being crushed against the step. However, he wasn't entirely safe yet, as he landed on top of the whirling machine.

Robovac
Robovac | Source

The 'robovac' seemed to go crazy with the elfin clinging on top of it. It was moving around the room in ever increasing circles. It was quite scary, but also kind of fun at the same time, and Panpip hung on for dear life.

Muppet stood on the step in a panic as her brother was thrown from side to side as though riding a bucking bronco in a rodeo.

Then just as suddenly as it started the 'robovac' slowed down and stop moving in circles. It's preset time was up, and it headed slowly back to its base station. Panpip climbed off the robovac and wiped his brow. He ran back to Muppet who was still on the step, and both were very relieved that the strange machine had stopped.

"OK, pull me up!" he commanded her, and Muppet reached her tiny hands down towards him. They clasped hands and she pulled with all her might, but even if Panpip jumped at the same time, she wasn't strong enough to pull him up."Pull harder!" he yelled but it was to no avail.

Frustrated, Panpip exclaimed, "Now we'll never get back before the others wake up!"

Source

Both childelfs looked up as a gruff voice shouted from the top of the stairs, "No, you won't will you? You are bad childelfs and I should leave you down there to learn your lesson." Papan stood there, hands on hips, and a deep frown on his face.

Then gripping one end firmly, he began to release a ball of twine that he had been holding. It began to unravel and rolled down the stairs and across the floor. "Grab hold of the string!" he ordered, "Hold on tight and I will pull you up."

Panpip did the gentlemanly thing and let his sister go first. (The fact that she'd be the first to experience Papan's anger had nothing to do with it.) When Muppet was safely at the top, Panpip grabbed hold of the twine and was pulled up as well.


Grandpan
Grandpan | Source

Later when they were back with their elfin family, they were told they were grounded and made to promise that they would never again go exploring alone.

"When you are older, I will take you on much more exciting adventures," said Granpan.

Marmup and Grandmup both just scowled at him.

As part of their punishment, the childelfs were sent back to bed without any breakfast or lunch. However, little did the older elfin realise they were already full from biscuits, and the childelfs couldn't eat another crumb if they tried.

Tucked back in their matchbox beds, Muppet turned to Panpip and quietly whispered, "Where will we go next time?'

"Hmmm, maybe the 'Outside World," he said grinning.

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Comments 50 comments

bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

This is such an adorable story, John. Do you plan on making this a children's book? I think it would do very well.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Fantastic, I held my breath and clung to each word. Very fun read.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes Shauna. I am beginning to think that way. The elfin seem popular. Thanks for your comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Eric, glad it kept your interest. Have you tried reading it to your kids?


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

I agree with bravewarrior: I think the Elfin fantasy stories would do very well I had to read all three for my lil baby so it could be a complete story and he loved it. I almost hated reading the line about the two little naughty kids plotting to go out-side because if took a long time for him to stop bugging me about the down stairs story. Nevertheless it was a hit! You know I have been looking for this story Jodah thank you for delivering it. Voted up! Shared! Tweet!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

H Dana, I knew you were looking forward to this story and that inspired me to sit down and write it. Sorry about leaving it open for an outside adventure. I hope he doesn't bug you too much until I can write that. I am glad the little guy enjoys this series. Thanks for the vote up and share.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

You are a gifted writer my friend. I have nothing else to say, but that say a lot. :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

And that means a lot coming from you Bill, much appreciated.


jhamann profile image

jhamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

I was so excited that you had a third in this incredible story. I was watching a program on Myth last night and they where talking about how there is not enough stories about our place in the world. Let us start filling our children with so many grand stories, like yours, that they will have hundreds to thousands by the time they are grown. You did a great job telling your story. Jamie


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

Jodah: I had to read all three of the lil Elfin stories again to my lil cousin and now I had to read it to my niece and nephew they loved it! They did inquire as to why the stories were so short and I had to explain that these were short stories and not books (at least not yet... ahh kids... got to love them.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Jamie, it took me awhile but I got there eventually. Had quite a few requests to continue the story so I felt it my duty to oblige. I am so glad the elfin became so popular. I guess I'll just have to keep it going...lol. Appreciate your insightful and kind comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for re-reading this to the children Dana. I am so pleased it actually appeals to them. We used to buy books for our kids sometimes because they appealed to us and were disappointed when they didn't really enjoy them. How old are your cousin, niece and nephew?


RachaelOhalloran profile image

RachaelOhalloran 2 years ago from United States

You are a gifted storyteller as well as a poet. I agree with some of the other comments, you should make this a book. The market is hot for elfin and you would do very well with this story. It is marvelous.

Voted up, interesting, awesome.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for your kind words and encouragement and vote up Rachael. I am glad yo enjoyed this. I'll have to think about what to,do with this story


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

You have quite an imagination, John. I hope you continue the adventure with the elves.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Flourish. It will probably continue...


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

Love this John--and love this side of your writing!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks so much Audrey. Much appreciated.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a delightful and very enjoyable story, Jodah. I'm looking forward to reading more elfin adventures!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Alicia, glad you enjoy the read. There may be more.


ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

Love the names, the plot, the everything. You are such a versatile writer. WINGS UP FOR SURE!

Blessings,

Kim


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading and the wings up Kim, every positive comment from you means a lot.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

I love this adorable story. Your unique writing brings the elfins to a fun filled adventure. Your creativity shines with this story. Tweeted


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you as always Ruby, glad you enjoyed this. The child in me had to come out in these stories, thanks for tweeting too.


travmaj profile image

travmaj 2 years ago from australia

Love these elfin characters. Easy to see children could be captivated by the adventures. Imaginative and fun.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you travmaj, for reading and confirming these would appeal to children.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Interesting and so fun filled. I like the adventurous photos.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you DDE.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

this fantasy is so delightful and creative Jodah.. you have found your niche.. bravo :)


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

This was perfect for children John. It has laughter, adventure, and learning in it. I gave it thumbs up and straight across. I shared, pinned and G+ it.

Kevin


Suzanne Day profile image

Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

A cute little adventure! Needs more childlike watercolour images for illustrational purposes and would be a good mini book for kids. My favourite part was the merging of olde worlde and new with the elfins on the Robovac. Voted funny!


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

Looks like the childelfs will not give up their venturesome ways. I so enjoy these delightful stories, Jodah. I like the Winding Path video, too. I wish your stories had been available when my kids were little. -- but, I enjoy them myself, so does Marvie, my little Pomeranian. Voted up, beautiful and sharing.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Suzanne, I agree watercolour illustrations would be wonderful to tie the story in. If I knew a good artist in that area I would love to publish it as a children's book in partnership with them. Thanks for the vote.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks so much Frank. Much appreciate it.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading and your kind comment Kevin, also the share and vote up.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Phyllis. Thanks for reading. I actually wrote the draft for the first part of this story about 20 years ago. Found it when I was going through some old writing and dusted it off and finished it. Glad it was a hit, and I've enjoyed adding to it. Glad it appeals to Pomeranians too...lol.


Monis Mas profile image

Monis Mas 2 years ago

Fantastic story, perfect for a children's book!


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 2 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

Charming story. Those childelves, childelfs, or elvettes (whichever you decide to call them) just don't learn, do they? What fun!

Voted Awesome and sending my edits. --Blessings!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Monis. Glad you enjoyed.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks so much Marie. I Appreciate that.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

What wonderful imaginative stories to please children and all who read! You should seriously think of publishing these stories in a book, which would no doubt be a hit. You are a creative and awesome storyteller.

Up ++++ and sharing everywhere

Blessings always


DreamerMeg profile image

DreamerMeg 2 years ago from Northern Ireland

A well-imagined fantasy world!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for your kind words and encouragement Faith. I have actually had a friend kindly edit these for me (I was amazed at the number of errors there were), and I have just written them out in manuscript form so I can attempt to publish them. Wish me luck. Thanks for the vote up and share.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you very much for visiting this hub DreamerMeg, and your kind comment.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

I waited for this chapter for such a long and it seemed, like everything get in the way.

Call me a kid if you want, but I love this.

Voted up across the board including funny and shared

Shyron


Sania 20 months ago

My favorites were the Yip Yip Martians on Sesame Street. Especially when they diroevescd the phone.yip yip yip yip – ah ha ah ha – bring bring, bring bring – yip yip yip yip – ah ha ah ha. Very cool.


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 14 months ago from LOS ANGELES

Jodah I just read all three of these amazing stories again and I remember how much my cousin and niece and nephew loved them. Every time I would read them bedtime stories afterwards, they wanted to know if the Elfins went outside yet. My cousin was 3 at the time and my niece was 4 and her brother 5. They just knew you were a famous author who wrote children's stories. I would sit each one on my lap and allowed them to see the pictures while I mimicked the voices. I miss those days. Well, hope they get views on pintrest. These are truly works of art.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 14 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Dana, thanks for revisiting this series. I would have liked to have written more because your feedback and that of your cousin, niece and nephew meant a lot. I joined them into one longer story and listed it at BookCountry with the thoughts of publishing it, but the feedback I received wasn't the best, (other than one positive review) and I became discouraged. My problem is publishing my poems or stories without the images that seem to add to them. Thank you for your continued encouragement.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 14 months ago

I guess I must be a child, cause I love this John, the magical world of elf-dom. Sometimes I think it would be great fun to be an elf. You have awakened a memory of long ago, that I have never told and I don't know if Shelby, my cousin did or not.

Thumb-up across the board and shared.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 14 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

I am glad you enjoyed this Shyron and that it awakened some long ago memories. I think I am still a child at heart too because my favourite films are animated kids' movies. Thanks for the thumbs up.

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    John Hansen (Jodah)685 Followers
    267 Articles

    John has many years writing experience including a Writing School course "Writing for Profit." He has written text for children's books etc.



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