"Butler," Came the cool voice of Artemis Fowl.

You couldn't be sure whether or not Butler was asleep, his eyes were open, staring laconically into space, but he made no movements and a soft grunting, similar to that of a snore, could be heard escaping from his mouth. Yet at Artemis' call of his name Butler was up like a rocket.

"Yes, Master Artemis?"

"You're tired."

"Yes, yes I am."

Artemis gave a small chuckle, "Then go to bed."

"But…" Butler's arguing was stifled into a yawn, "But, it's only been about a month since the Leprechaun fiasco. You never know, they could be after us!"

"They will do nothing of the sort. It's late and you've been up for almost a day straight, you need sleep."

Butler nodded, knowing better then to get into an argument, he mumbled a goodnight and headed to his room.

Artemis gave a small cough, he had been coming down with a cold due to the lack of sleep he had had a month ago during his hostage of Holly Short. He wasn't able to sleep due to the time-freeze (at least not until the very end of the time freeze where he tricked LEPRecon technology.) and had never really gotten back on cycle. Some days it would take forever for him to sleep whereas others he slept for tens of hours. Today seemed to be one of the latter as it was approaching 2:00 AM and Artemis had yet to feel weary.

Suddenly there was a small tapping sound. Artemis made no noise and strained his ears. What was that? Was someone coming for him? Artemis was tempted to go and get Butler, but then stopped himself. This is the exact reason why Butler was always hesitant to leave Artemis' side! Butler thought he was a frightened baby! Well, Artemis couldn't have this, he would prove Butler wrong. Artemis put the small tapping sound out of his mind.

And so the night went on, Artemis surfing the web looking for any new potential projects when a few hours later he heard an even louder sound, much like that of a saw. Artemis tried to shrug it off, and it went away for a few minutes until…there it was again! Louder this time, Artemis' astute ears told him it was going from beneath him! He was sure of it this time! Artemis got up out of his chair and placed his hand on the doorknob when just as soon as they had come, the sounds were gone. All that could be heard was the quiet chirp of the grasshoppers in the late spring air. Had Artemis just imagined those sounds? Or had whoever was causing those sounds just momentarily stopped. Artemis stood frozen at the doorway, his hand still on the knob and he waited… One minute…three minutes…ten minutes… Finally a quarter of an hour went by without noise and Artemis figured it had been his own paranoia. Was this how he was? A scared little boy when without his security blanket?

Again Artemis went back to his work. He had begun to get a little tired but the twelve-year old genius was determined to stay up, daring those sounds to come back, and sure enough, four hours later they returned. They were louder this time, in addition to the sawing there was a sound of metal pinging against metal and the loud "clomp"ing sound you hear when a block of wood it's the ground. It was so loud! What could the sound possibly be? Artemis was astonished that it didn't wake Butler, Juliet, and his mother. Then it hit him. These sounds were deafeningly loud to Artemis, yet if they didn't wake the rest of them, then obviously they were in his head. Artemis wiped the beads of sweat from his forehead and took a deep breath and tried to return to work.

But he couldn't! The sounds were still on! They were louder and louder! They couldn't be in his head, they just couldn't! They were coming from him! He knew it! He jumped up and paced the floor, resisting the urge to scream for Butler. They continued to get louder, and louder! Until…

Sleepilly Butler opened the door, "Good morning, Artemis."

All at once the sounds stopped, the "clomp"ing, the "ping"ing and the sawing stopped immediately as the giant of a man entered the room.

"Oh…" Artemis gulped and sat down again, "Good morning. I was… just about to go to bed."

As the computer genius got up to go Butler looked at him curiously, "Is something wrong Master Artemis."

The boy smiled at him, "No, nothing Butler. Just…don't go anywhere."

With that Artemis Fowl went to bed.