And now... what you've all been waiting for... you can stop holding your breath... the time has come to find out... WHAT was in the wardrobe??? Hope you're not disappointed :P
I must admit I squeezed my eyes tight shut at the moment of truth. If I was going to have my throat ripped out by the feral dustbunnies of doom (my current theory as to what was making the noise) then really, I would prefer not to see it coming!
After several seconds passed in total silence with no severed jugular, I risked a peek. It took some searching, but finally, behind my shoe rack, I spied a little man, no bigger than my hand. In the feeble glow from my torch, I could just make out a shock of untidy red hair and a long bushy beard to match. He was dressed all in green, from his pointy hat to the toes of his pointy little shoes. The back of his coat appeared to be snagged on a protruding nail.
"Don't just stand there gawping like a great ox. A little help, if you please?" he squawked, in a broad Irish brogue.
"Are you an elf?" I inquired, incredulously.
"An elf? An ELF?" he spluttered, struggling to free himself from the nail that held him fast. "No I'm not an elf, you blithering idiot. I'm a... err... um... yes. Yes, I am an elf. I've come to mend your shoes. That's me. A shoe-mending elf. So, if you could just set me free and close the door, I'll get back to work. Tippy tap. Tippy tap." He said, pretending to hammer on a nearby heel.
I was getting tired of standing bent over, talking to a deep dark corner of my wardrobe, so I gently disentangled him, being sure to keep a firm grip around his waist. Holding him in front of me, I shone the torch on him for a better view.
"'Ere! Get that blanky light out of me eyes," he growled in his squeaky little voice.
I had seen all I needed. The buckle on his belt was a miniature shamrock. My suspicions were confirmed.
"You're a leprechaun!" I exclaimed.
"Begorrah, you're a smart one," he replied with a sneer. "Figure that out all by yourself, did you? Yup. You've found me out. Now be a good lassie and let me get about me business."
"Not bloody likely," I said, gripping him tighter as he squirmed. "I know the stories. You've got to give me your pot of gold!"
"That old myth? Look at the size of me, girly. You think I can lug a lumping great pot of gold around with me?"
"Magic?" I queried hopefully. After all, he was pretty puny.
"Ha! If I had any magic, do you think I would have spent the last hour stuck behind your smelly shoes?"
I guessed not. Just then the torch flickered and threatened to die. I momentarily loosened my grasp and before I knew it, the leprechaun had wiggled free. He darted back into the wardrobe, banging the door shut behind him.
I was about to lunge after him when the last ray of light faded from the torch. The banging door must have woken my husband, because a sleepy voice inquired 'what was going on'? I could hardly tell him that I wanted to turn on the light at 3:30am so I could chase a leprechaun in my wardrobe, so I sighed, said "nothing", and crawled back into bed, hoping that would be the end of my adventures for the night.
The next morning, as soon as I had the room to myself, I pulled everything out of the bottom of the wardrobe. I could find no cracks or holes, no way of knowing how or why the leprechaun got in there or where he escaped to, but in the back corner, right underneath the bent nail, I swept up a few tiny specks of glittering gold.