My name is Elly and one day I was at home reading when I heard a knock on the door. I opened the door and there stood a small man. He stood up to my waist. He showed me over to his car as though it broke down and he needed help but he pushed me into a car. He jumped in and started the engine. We were on the road for just over an hour before we got to Dublin and he stopped outside the Dáil.
He turned to me and said in an unusual soft voice: ‘We are the real government and we need your help. Just for a day.’ From then on I chose to trust him. I followed him to the end of the seats at the top of the Dáil and there was a small trap door.
He opened the trap door and went down. He called up to me when he got to the bottom. I climbed down the ladder as we walked along the corridor he explained what would happen.
‘You are going to help me for the day. Don’t tell anyone but we are definitely a better government. I’m Carl.’ Carl turned to the left and moved a painting. I jumped when I heard thundering from feet above me. ‘Be quiet,’ he hissed. ‘It’s just the politicians again. I need Micheál to tell them to stop stomping around.’
Carl found what he was looking for on the wall, it was a thumb scanner. He hovered his thumb over it and then the wall swung inwards. He marched in. It seemed to be an office. It was packed full of people who were the same size as Carl. He led me to the back where there was one door. He pushed it open and there was a desk and a jar of cookies. Next to that was a smaller desk. I made it to the small one but he stopped me.
‘Thats mine. The other one is yours.’ He said matter of factly. Carl took a cookie and walked away. Before he left he said. ‘I will give you stuff to sort out. Sandie will drive you home.’
The door to the office opened once more. This time there was an equally small person just a female standing at the door. She simply stared at me.
‘Do you mind.’ I said awkwardly.
‘Oh, many sorrys. You’re just the tallest person who has been here for a long time,’ she said breathlessly. ‘I’m Sandie.’
The rest of the day passed in a blur. Sandie turned out to be very entertaining, eating too much cookies. Until I took them away. (She has a cookie problem.) Before I left Carl came and told me that I did a wonderful job. Sandie brought me out when all the politicians had gone and she talked to me on the way back.
When I got back Mum asked me how school was. I shrugged and said. ‘It was ok.’
“This story shows a wonderful and vivid imagination, unless it’s true… Whether real or imagined, this author juxtaposes the worlds above and below the Dáil floor excellently. Really enjoyed the descriptions of “the trap door” and “ladder,” the “thumb scanner,” and the secret government officials with “cookie problems.”
— Dr Matthew Fogarty, University College Dublin, Ireland