Milo stepped into the house and quietly looked around. The place was completely silent. He walked a few feet farther, into the main lobby, where the chairs and tables were sitting by the fireplace, waiting for cold and weary travelers to sit down and try to get warm. He looked at the black and white checkered flooring and the red sofas with leopard print pillows. There was something familiar about this place. He turned toward the area he came from to find a staircase where the door should have been.
Curious, Milo walked to the staircase and recklessly climbed up it. He found a balcony at the top, leading a full circle around the lobby area. He walked around it quietly, looking down at the empty room below. The fire still flickered in the fireplace and the house remained silent, missing even the natural crackling of burning logs. He saw a door against the wall that would have led outside when he first entered the room. He opened the door to find a long hallway behind it. He could have sworn he had come in through the front door, but it seemed that the place he’d walked into was quite a bit deeper into the house.
Milo walked down the hallway and looked at all the locked doors on either side. When he finally came across an unlocked door, he opened it and went inside. He saw small tables and chairs like children would play in. He walked forward, looking everywhere for the mysterious children who would naturally have been making noises and large messes in the house. He saw a ball roll across the floor and frowned. There must have been a draft in there.
He opened the closet and looked inside, expecting to see a hiding child, giggling softly at being caught. Instead, he found yet another staircase. He climbed up and into the attic, where the darkness was consuming. He looked around for a moment and found a doorway, flickering light on the other side. He opened the door and saw a small square in the brick wall. The small square led into a fire and through the fire, Milo could see the lobby he’d left behind. He looked around and saw that the light from the children’s bedroom had disappeared, so he covered himself and leapt through the fire and rolled on the carpet on the other side.
When he realized that he wasn’t burnt, he also realized that the fire he’d jumped through hadn’t been warm at all. He stood and looked around, noticing a very small old woman sitting in one of the armchairs. Milo looked at her in shock and looked around. The house was still silent and he saw that the hole he’d jumped through was no longer there, behind the fireplace.
“Where am I?” Milo asked, feeling amazingly calm.
“You’re home.” The old lady answered, smiling.