Flavius and the Lion: Part One

The two officers burst into and then through the house, guns in hand, but soon realized there was nobody in the house. After confirming with each other that the house was indeed empty, they slid their guns back in their holsters, and one of them marched to the kitchen to turn off the screeching teapot as the other went back outside to ask the bizarre couple some questions. Six pairs of eyes watched, through a small gap in the boards that made the base of the house, as the cop reached the sobbing woman clinging to the abnormally expressionless man.

“Well, that was close,” said one of the observers to his companions, letting out a sigh of relief.

“We’re not quite safe yet- the other gargantuan is still lumbering in the house.”

“C’moonn, c’moonn,” pleaded the third one silently, until finally, they heard the second cop lumbering out of the house, onto the balcony overhead, and saw him strolling out to join his partner.

Now we’re safe,” affirmed the second one again, before jumping off the platform they were standing on, away from their peeping hole, and into a dirt tunnel that went under the house, motioning at the other two to follow him, which they did. They tread through the tunnel, which snaked downward until it sloped at such an angle that they rolled down, and arrived at a little room, as big as a dog house, lit by a candle inside a lantern, twice as tall as them. They were little bearded men, about a third of the size of the average lawn gnome. The second little bearded man, who wore a pointy red hat, a bluish shirt and pants, and whose white beard was the longest of all of theirs, reaching his knees, climbed a tiny ladder made out of sticks onto a platform on the upper half of the room, and clickity-clacked through some objects they had stored there, throwing down three spools of string to his companions below. The third little bearded man, whose outfit matched that of the first, except for his beard, which only reached his belly-button, caught the first spool with both hands. The first little bearded man, who wore a pink hat and whose beard barely extended below his chin, scrambled to catch the second spool, failing. The third spool somehow managed to smack the third little bearded man to the floor after he failed to grab the second spool. As he got up, the little man with the longest beard climbed down the ladder with several fishhooks of various sizes in his hand. The lower portion of the room was full of several tea cups, a box of tea bags, a bag of chocolates, a few jewels, a picture frame without a picture, some crayons, a half-eaten muffin, and the aforementioned lantern- all of which were huge in comparison to the bearded men.

“Are you alright there, Flavius?” said the little man with the longest beard to the one who had fallen, as he reached the bottom of the ladder.

“Oh yes, I think so, thank you,” responded Flavius, rubbing the back of his head, and then straightening his pink hat, “Shall we?”

The other two little bearded men nodded in agreement and they all proceeded to march onto a plate of china in the back of the room. They all took hold of a thread of string hanging from above, and began to pull it in a continuous effort, at which the china plate began to rise up, as it was connected to a pulley system attached to a tunnel above them. The china, with the little men inside, rose into the darkness of the tunnel, and continued to rise until they reached a ceiling. The little man with the longest beard tied the string to a nail on the wall of the tunnel, and turned to the other side of the wall, looking out one of six holes on a little white door to make sure nobody was on the other side, before opening the door and jumping out, to which the two other little men followed.

“Now boys,” he warned, turning to them, “tread carefully- this family recently acquired a lion-”

“A lion?!” cried the little man with the second longest beard, “You mean like the ones from the picture box- the killer ones?!” Flavius turned, wide eyed, from this companion back to the one with the longest beard.

“Yes- and it’s even bigger than the one in the picture box-”

The second longest beard began to climb back into the white door, with Flavius close behind him, looking apologetically at the longest beard, who attempted to convince them to stay-

“But I read that they should be asleep at this hour of the day- right after they ate gazelle.”

“Well that’s a good theory,” began the second longest beard, before adding sarcastically, “except I don’t see any gazelle to eat here.”

“Oh Julius!” laughed Flavius, “that’s probably because the lion ate all the gazelle.”

Flavius joined the longest beard, and they started walked through the carpet of the living room, toward the kitchen. Julius grumbled in annoyance for a few seconds, before climbing down from the white door, and following his companions. They walked past the stairs, at the bottom of which the family had inexplicably piled the majority of their furniture, and into the stone floor of the stairs. As they reached the stove, Julius began pulling string from the spool on his back, and the longest beard handed him a fishhook, which he tied to the end of the string. After a couple of attempts in tossing his string and hook, he managed to have the hook dig into the edge of stove’s counter-top, and he began to climb the string up the side of the stove. Once he reached the top, he leaned over the edge, and yelled back at his companions-

“There’s boiling water up here already- should a send down a cup!?”

“Yes!” replied the longest beard. After a minute or so, Julius managed to fill a red cup halfway with hot water, carefully tied the handle to the string, and began gently lowering the cup. As Julius lowered the cup, something moved in the corner of his eye, and he turned to see the lion staring at him from the top of the staircase. He froze and the string began running through his hands. After a moment he screamed as the string gave him rope burn, and the cup full of hot water crashed down on the floor, splashing the one with the longest beard’s face, who began shrieking below. Julius turned back to the stairs, only to realize the lion had disappeared. Below him, Flavius attempted to help the longest beard, who only turned away from him, not recovered from the burn. He then looked up for a sign of Julius, who leaned over, and began yelling at them to run. Flavius didn’t, until something furry and huge appeared over Julius, and dragged him out of sight in fits of screams.

Flavius took hold of the longest beard’s sleeve, and began pulling him as he ran back to the living room, in hopes of reaching the little white door before the lion reached them.

To be continued…

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