After that she brought in a miniature brick of cheese. I'd say it was similar to a sweet munster. We each had some. I asked the little girl her name. She didn't understand me. I knew that. But sometimes children sense things. The father figure told me to call her Sheila. I did. She giggled. The boy just played with his napkin. Odd how the fabric is so fine and supple, considering how large the 'hands' that make it.
The mother figure said something in her tongue, got up and retired to another room. Then the little girl stopped grinning and rolling her eyes, pushed out her chair, went to the little boy, took him by the hand and led him off.
What do they all do? What passtimes can they have here? - I asked...... The father figure Aussie shrugged and said - There's a harpsichord. Well, I call it a harpsichord. Primitive thing it is. But it works, after a fashion and you can play tunes on it. Keys are arranged a bit different than ours. I can manage a few old hymns.... Waltzing Matilda? - I said... But the Aussie didn't know what I meant. Waltzing Matilda came after his time.
A tardis sized (to us) ormolu table clock chimed the hour. In that way this place resembled Earth... seven o'clock. A towering (might as well have been Godzilla) dog-maid came in, gently roused the blond, afghan looking thing and helped her prepare for dinner. Now I was told, if we were in a townhouse, there would have been gaslights. But out here in the home counties oil lamps were the rule. Tiny ones for the doll house. Oak tree sized ones for the dog creatures.... They shed a cozy glow.
In a still small voice Tomas said - What do the children do? Where do they go? Do they play?....The father figure said - There's a playroom, a nursery of sorts. Dolls. Soldiers. Board games. They must be like miniature petit point is to us. The toys, I mean. I saw it in Sydney once at a fair. They work under magnifying glasses. Metal thing holds it. Remarkable. Them dogs must do something like that..... Tomas said - Maybe the people in the cellar do it?... But the man just shook his head. He didn't want to believe that. Said - Tell me, if they're real, if they're down there, why aren't we down there too?..... Tomas looked at him and said - That's easy. You talk.
Then he watched as the maid helped the blond female change into a formal dinner dress. She smoothed the fabric and added a necklace, studied herself in a huge cheval mirror and left. Both tiny humans breathed a sigh of relief when the tall door clicked shut.
The Aussie showed Tomas the music room and played a few songs on the harpsichord. Then they retired to the library. The books were large, more like artist folios. The script indecipherable, like medieval, block German meets Talmudic Hebrew. But the illustrations were exquisite... fine and detailed. Canine pirates scaled the rigging. Guard dog soldiers knelt before kings. Heroines pined by garden walls. They discussed a few. The Aussie went upstairs first. The maid kept vigil in the hall. She'd lead Tomas through the shadows and show him where to sleep. Til then he sat by the fire (tiny cinders of long burning coal) and thought... How would he survive? Whom should he devour? How would he live, hiding in the walls like vermin? And the spiders. Were there other spiders, other creatures, other things? There must be. And worst of all, even the sun couldn't kill him here.
So he went upstairs. The maid settled him into a small room with a dormer window. Dog-woman couldn't see through that. And he slept under a tiny, satin duvet.
But the hunger gnaws hard on a life-eater. Two hours later he woke up and prowled the darkness... looking for someone to kill.
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