Slowly, softly, you could just manage to hear the sound of machines churning away- from somewhere inside of the walls. Esther stirred in her sleep, thoughts clouding her mind. By herself in the Underhelm, it wasn’t the first time she’d heard muffled, bizarre thuds. Ignoring this, the sluggish girl turned around, “No, Esther!” she convinced herself and gradually flopped out of bed. Quickly seizing a torch, she ascended down Emerald Avenue, the street light dimly lit the narrow passageway. In the darkened skies, the full moons beams shot through the impenetrable fog. Esther traipsed through the dense woodland right down to Golden Grove where she stayed close to the condensed cave walls; ensuring she could continue to hear the sounds. From a distance, the gentle lapping waters of the snaking waterfall, swelled.Moss clung to the ceiling, hanging on for dear life, while, cobwebs drooped- trapping its next victim as they walked down the labyrinth of tunnels. THUD THUD THUD. The sound was becoming closer. A large, unexplained breath of air distinguished the torch’s burning, bright flame. “Ahh!” Esther gasped; petrified from the mysterious draught. Feeling around the walls, her hand surprisingly came across a slate square. She pushed it. The ground shook, the wall rumbled. THUMP. A rock hit her face. As she drifted back into consciousness, Esther gingerly touched her wound and swiftly recoiled as she’d come across with a rather large cut on her cheek. A bright light met Esther’s eyes and around a dozen fascinating little men and women surrounded her; with a look of shock that she had found their secret underground realm. GULP. Esther stepped back, raising her fists, she was unsure if these people were friend or foe. “Goodness, gracious me!” exclaimed a little woman. I’ve not seen a human being for… How long has it been, Johnny?”“Around 1200 years, now? I think, Patricia” Said a man with spectacles perched at the end of nose. “Please get this young girl cleaned up, she needs medical attention- chop, chop! Patricia yelled to some nearby Under-realmians. Esther was rushed away into a small room, where, while her face got treatment, she was explained to by Johnny and Patricia what the underground world was.“So you’re saying that the Under-realm is…?” quizzed Esther curiously.“The under-realm is a place for little people, full of peace, tranquillity, somewhere we can all evade the outside world.” Began Johnny. “See, many years ago, now, a colony of people began quarrying out our underground homes- our simple lives got complicated. One by one, they trounced us- that’s why our tribe is so minute. We initiated to burrow from a different angle and ended up living, imprisoned in these, here walls, where many of your people stay.” “You are welcome to come back any time, but, don’t bring anyone with you. Off you trot now…” alleged Patricia softly. As she woke up in the morning, Esther raised her head to the walls. THUD THUD THUD. She beamed.