Title: Not So Far From You
Character/s: Arthur, Merlin
Summary: Objects keep dissapearing from Arthur's new house.
Word Count: 630
Prompt: #313: In the Palm of My Hand
Author's Notes: After seeing the prompt I couldn't get The Borrowers out of my head, it's one of my favorite books, so this happened. The title's from Arriety's Song.
Moving out to his mother's childhood home was the first impulsive thing Arthur did in his life. Morgana had thought he was making some sort of elaborate joke to get back at her for scratching his beloved car, when he put his flat for sale, she started believing him. Arthur couldn't remember a time when his sister was so bewildered.
The house needed a lot of work, it was dusty, with creaky floorboads, and the stale air of years gone by clung to every nook and cranny. The only habitable rooms were the kitchen and his own room that currently held a matress and several suitcases he couldn't be bothered to unpack just yet. He'd lost track of time getting acquainted with his new living space. The house might have been old and enormous for a single person, but at least it made him feel closer to his mother.
Arthur went out to his car to bring the last box in. Alice--his 70 year-old neigbor with a penchant for eccentric hats--waved at him upon seeing him. She'd kept asking him over for tea after she found out he'd be living there. He stopped to return the gesture and smiled at her.
He was on his way inside when he noticed his cat pawing and clawing at something in the bushes, meows excitable. "Dot," he called, "Come here. Come on." Dot ignored him and kept chasing after whatever bug or rodent was far more interesting than him.
He sighed, one day he'd show her who was in charge.
Though, by the looks of it, today was not that day.
It took him three weeks to settle in his new life. The house was cleaner, work was a short commute away, his neighbors were nice--he'd caved in and gone to Alice's, only to be humped by her french bulldog, a festy one she'd called him laughing, ignoring Arthur's mortification-- and there were only two suitcases left to unpack.
It was a nice, simple and quiet life. Except for the part were his belongings kept dissapearing.
"I swear," Arthur said for the tenth time, Morgana hummed on the other end of the line. "I lost another toothbrush this morning."
"You're getting older, I'm afraid your memory isn't what it used to be, brother dear."
"Excuse you, I'm barely thirty." The nerve she had to make such declarations. He was in the kitchen looking for something to eat, he noticed a few suspicious empty spots. "Morgana, all the napkins are gone."
"Are you sure it isn't Dot? Maybe she's hoarding all your missing stuff," she said.
"No, Dot only hides food. What if I have mice?"
"Mice aren't interested in paper clips. I'm sure."
His sister was completely unhelpful and Arthur was even more confused by the end of their talk. Napkins nowhere to be found.
Dot was the one to solve the mystery.
It was Sunday afternoon and Arthur had fallen asleep on the couch, the telly was on and the rain outside made the day gray. Through the haze of sleep he heard the sound of something falling, Dot jumping on him meant she'd been the one to knock over something.
"Dot, take a nap with me," he mumbled, caressing her ears. She was having none of it. She was hissing, her claws were out, clinging to Arthur's shirt. "What's wrong with you?"
He opened his eyes, Dot had the look of a predator ready to attack. "What?" Following her line of sight he easily found the source of her distress. Above them, hanging from the curtains was a man. A small man. A tiny man. Arthur blinked. A tiny, naked man.
Arthur felt he was justified when he jumped from the couch and let out a scream.