TITLE: Lau Dai Lá
GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy
As Linh descended the stairs, strange sounds came from the living room.
She looked around; her mother wasn’t home. Eeek! Eeek!
Probably mice. This didn’t stun her. She’d grown used to hearing those horrible little rodents scuttling inside the clogged drainpipes at school. Likely they’d come out because of her house’s currently clogged drain.
Then she heard thumps within the wall.
These couldn’t be mice—unless their tiny feet had grown overnight. Unless they were giants. She tiptoed toward the sound and tried to pinpoint its source, but saw nothing. Stepping toward the window, she pulled away the long, lacey curtains. Her heart seized.
A narrow door stood beneath the window.
Linh couldn’t believe her eyes. Had this small door always existed there, right beside the back door? Why would she never have noticed? She bent down, knocked on the mystery door, and waited.
One minute. Three. The sounds had stopped.
Linh placed a trembling hand on the doorknob; it felt solid and rough. Slowly, she opened the door—and with another hard squeeze of her heart, walked through it.
She found herself gazing at another world: the sun beaming down on a colorful, spacious backyard—so unlike a gray, Irish summer day in Dublin. She blinked: she wasn’t daydreaming.
She stepped into the different landscape, full of warmth and light, her heart thumping with excitement. Plump mushrooms and lush green shrubs grew on each side of the yard. On her left, a field of flowers—daffodils, roses, tulips, and sunflowers—carpeted the ground.