What’s that jingling?
Loft trolls always enjoy their Christmas parties in January, once the hoomans have returned all their decorations to the loft.
And in Janie’s house it was no different.
Janie didn’t know that a family of trolls lived in her loft, until one day at the end of January when her Dad left the ladder down, that leads up to the loft.
Janie was sitting in her room reading, when she heard a noise coming from the loft. She looked out of her bedroom window and saw her Dad carrying bin bags out to the shed in the back garden. There was no-one else in the house. Or was there? She sat and listened. She heard the sound again and jumped up. It sounded like a jingly bell and it was coming from above.
Janie was scared but so very curious that she slowly started to climb up the ladder. She got to the top and peeked through the hatch into the darkness. There was a light switch to the side of the hatch but just as Janie reached for it, she saw a red light glowing from the corner of the loft. She froze. The jingly sound rang again through the air. It sounded like it was moving closer.
The thing turned, it wasn’t a light, it was two lights, two eyes!
“Are you Janie?” The red-eyed thing asked. It had a young voice, a gentle voice.
“How do you know my name?” Answered Janie, bewildered.
“I’ve heard the other hooman call you it,” replied the thing, “you can hear everything up here, no insulation.” The thing had moved forwards out of the shadows and its body changed colour to match its surroundings, like a chameleon, only really quickly!
Janie could see the thing more clearly now. It now had dark green skin, with nobbly bits on, a large nose, pink lips and of course, bright glowing red eyes.
“You’re a little girl, like me.” Cried Janie.
The troll nodded at Janie and smiled, “I’m Adora.”
“Jan-nie!” A deep voice shouted from downstairs, “Where are you?”
“I’ll come back.” Janie said to Adora as she quickly climbed down the loft ladder.
The Christmas Party
Janie rushed downstairs to her Dad.
“Oh there you are,” said Janie’s Dad.
“Can you leave the loft ladder down for a bit? There’s some stuff in my room that I want to clear out and put up there.”
“Sure,” laughed Dad, “I’m certainly not going to complain if you want to tidy your room. I’ll keep sorting out the shed then.”
Janie watched him walk back out to the garden then rushed back upstairs, up the ladder and this time straight up into the loft.
“Adora?” Whispered Janie into the darkness.
“Don’t put the light on,” warned Adora as Janie’s hand moved towards the switch. “They mustn’t see you.”
“My family.” Adora replied. She beckoned Janie over to a wall of cardboard boxes piled high and then peeking around the boxes she pointed to the farthest corner of the loft.
“That’s my mum Chandra, my dad Herman and my twin brother and sister, Ogden and Nissa.”
Janie was transfixed. The corner of the loft, behind the wall of boxes had been transformed into a beautiful grotto using all the Christmas decorations that they had recently put back up into the loft.
Chandra was busy hanging tinsel and humming happily and Herman had just finished putting the Christmas tree together. Ogden and Nissa were fighting over who would be the first to hang a decoration on the tree when Herman beat them to it placing the star on top and they both started to cry. Herman and Chandra laughed.
“You’re having your own Christmas party?” Whispered Janie, astonished.
“Every year on 25th January.” Said Adora.
Suddenly, Janie lost balance where she was crouching and and fell forwards, pushing some of the cardboard boxes over.
“You still on hatch watch Adora?” Whispered Chandra.
“Yes mum, sorry, I just fell into the boxes.”
“Be more careful love.” Whispered Herman.
“Phew! What would your family do if they saw me?” Asked Janie.
“I dunno.” Said Adora. “Dad’s always telling me how we must never be seen by a hooman as they would take us away and we’d have to go back to living under that bridge in the river. This is so much warmer and nicer and we get to have a Christmas party every year too.”
“So your job is to watch the hatch to warn your family if anyone’s coming?” Asked Janie.
“Yes. Mum says it’s because I’m the youngest. But it’s very boring and I get lonely. I don’t really get to enjoy the party like the others do.”
Janie looked sad.
“What’s the matter?” Asked Adora, putting her troll hand on Janie’s hand. It felt cold and nobbly but not wet like Janie had expected.
“I miss my mum most at Christmas time.”
“Where is she?”
Janie pointed up. Adora looked up at the inside of the roof.
“I don’t know what’s above the loft. The sky? Is she a bird?”
“No. She died when I was three.”
“I’m sorry.” Said Adora, placing her nobbly arm around Janie’s shoulder.
“You must get lonely too then.”
“Yes. It’s been just me and Dad for the last three years.”
“Well it’s not just you and your Dad now. You’ve got me.”
Janie smiled, “And you’re not on hatch watch on your own anymore either.”
“Come and visit me whenever you like. You could bring up some new decorations. We could have our own party?”
“Yes Easter, Halloween, all sorts!”
Adora was glad that her friend looked happy again.
“Janie, have you finished up there?” Dad called from the bottom of the ladder.
Adora glowed her eyes bright red to warn her family that a hooman was nearby.
“Sssshh!” Shushed Chandra to the twins.
“Yes Dad,” called down Janie, “I’ll finish bringing my stuff up next weekend. This loft needs a good sort out.”
“Well, if you’re offering, I might be able to find some money towards that light-up disco ball you wanted.”
“Perfect.” Replied Janie winking at Adora as she climbed back down the ladder to her Dad.
Adora waved, jingling the Christmas bell.
Today was Adora’s best Christmas party, ever.