Chapter 1: Lilli
Everyday, Ethan Walker returned from school to an empty house. His sister was spending more time at work now that she had to support both her and her brother, but he didn't make any fuss about it. He was now adjusted to a usual afternoon routine: come home, grab a snack then head upstairs to do homework until his sister came home. After grabbing a bag of cookies from the kitchen cabinet and closing it shut, he left to leave the downstairs silent and empty.
But what Ethan failed to realize was that, when he came home from school everyday, he was not "alone."
As soon as he climbed up the top of the staircase, from the corner of the kitchen counter, one of the wall tiles began to wiggle until it came off completely. After it disappeared into the other side of the wall, a tiny figure could just barely be seen within the shadows. It took a quick glance around the kitchen, taking a good long moment, before finally stepping out into the light.
From behind the kitchen walls stepped out a tiny girl, standing no higher than five inches tall. Her hazel eyes continued to keep a watch out for any signs of movement, her long, wavy, mousy-brown hair flowing down her back all the way to her tiny waist. All she carried on her was a doll-sized dress and a hand-made bag filled with her tools.
This was Lilli, the intruder of the Walker household.
Seeing that the kitchen was empty, Lilli dashed out until she stood beneath the same cabinet Ethan had just taken food from. She gave a sharp clear whistle. Soon enough, the door burst half-way open and a tiny, long-eared creature poked its head out with a mew. Lilli then removed her bag and pulled out her climbing equipment: a long piece of string with a fishing hook attached. She swung the hook in circles, making it spin faster and faster until finally throwing it up into the air. It soared right onto the edge of the bottom of the cabinet. Lilli gave a couple secure tugs and then began to make her way up inside the cabinet. After spending almost a year navigating within the Walker household, her body had adjusted to enduring all sorts of physical activities.
Soon enough, she clambered inside, coiling the rope. The tiny, mouse-like creature wagged its tail and mewled with joy. Lilli smiled in response.
"Good job, Poppy," she cooed, giving the tiny creature a scratch behind the ears. Poppy, as the creature had been dubbed, was unlike anything anyone had ever seen before. It stood roughly the same size as Lilli, had brown fur with white markings here and there, long rabbit ears, green cat eyes and a long cat tail. Along with all of these varied traits, she acted like a puppy, expressing real emotions enthusiastically. But, to Lilli, she was the perfect companion.
"Find anything that looks good to you?" Lilli asked her friend. Poppy scampered throughout the cabinet, her nose sniffing every box at a lightning rate. Lilli pulled out a small, square piece of cloth from her bag and laid it open flat on the floor before accompanying her friend. Poppy, on the other hand, was all ready squeaking over a particular box in the back. Lilli rushed to her, keeping her hands out at her side as she maneuvered into the darkness.
"This one smell good to you?" she asked as placed one hand on the box that easily stood at three times her height. Poppy gave a peppy cry, her tail whipping back and forth. "All right," Lilli rolled up the sleeves of her dress, "help me push." Both of them took a few steps back until they were pressed up against the back wall with legs bent.
"1...2...3!!" In a mad sprint, both of them rammed into the box, easily toppling it over. With a flip of the top, Lilli managed to grab a bundle of crackers, using both of her arms to carry as many as she could. Poppy began to take nibbles out of a stray that had fallen when the box was pushed.
"Hey, don't eat too many!" Lilli called as she strolled back to the piece of cloth. She laid the crackers into the center of it, then proceeded to wrap up the bundle by tying all four corners together. Once she finished, she headed back to the where Poppy continued to munch away so she could do the most important step: remove any trace of their existence.
The two pushed the box back up, Poppy using her head. And with that, their work was complete.
"You take back the foodstuffs, I'll meet you," said Lilli as she handed the bundle to Poppy. The creature grabbed it with her teeth then scurried to the back where she crawled through a nearly unnoticeable hole. This path was the best way for Poppy to enter and exit the cabinet. Lilli, on the other hand, pulled out her climbing hook once more. After securing it to the edge, she swiftly repelled down until she landed on the kitchen counter. Quickly coiling the rope again, Lilli rushed back to her hole in the wall. Once she returned to the safety of the shadows, she placed the tile back into position and forced it back into place.
The inner walls of the Walker household had become Lilli's personal maze. Hidden through out each wall were special structures all made from items within the house, all used for Lilli and Poppy's convenience. One such item was the ramp Poppy was strutting down. It was simply small but sturdy strips of wood that were nailed down to the support beams that made an easy access road for Poppy to take to get food.
Poppy continued to carry the bundle while Lilli lead the way. Soon, they came upon a tiny, hand-operated elevator. Poppy hopped into the tiny basket, while Lilli took the string into her arms and began to pull. Slowly, Poppy began to rise higher and higher into the depths of the house until she jumped out onto the next ledge. After letting the elevator descend, Lilli followed after her friend by taking the nearby ladder. After reaching the top, the duo climbed up the rest of the ramps and ladders until they reached a small, round door. Upon unlocking it, a golden light flooded out of the hole, welcoming them home.
Lilli had managed to clear out a space in the empty space underneath the attic's floorboads. While not as luxurious as a normal human home, Lilli only wanted what she felt she needed. This consisted of doll-sized furniture, such as a bed, a table, a chair, a mirror and a set of drawers. A reading lamp lit the entire room nicely in a warm golden glow. There wasn't much in terms of knick-knacks within the room, but there were vital tools such as string, tape, hooks, nails and other such items. While Lilli could not call this place a home, she took it in as her living space.