The table is large and dark, nearly filling the little dining room it stands in. It is made of ancient wood, no one knows where it comes from, and it is polished to a high, reflective sheen.
Had it been made into a wardrobe, or even a sideboard, small children might have found their way into it, seeking a place to hide on long, boring days, and found themselves in another world.
Instead it is a table. All that lies on it, all day, most days, is a length of linen. It is very formal, and dark. It is only set on formal ocassions, and the family doesn't have many of those. Instead, they do their homework on it.
"Where's the eraser?"
"Where is my calculator?"
Yet things are found on the table.
"Where are my keys?"
"Where is my ruler?"
Mum tells them, "It's on the table."
"No it isn't," they answer.
"Did you look?"
They look. Perhaps there is a newspaper there, or some such thing, sitting flat and folded, very neat with nothing to disturb its smoothness.
"Did you look underneath?" Mum asks. "You have to lift things up and look beneath. See?." She lifts up the paper and, sure enough, there it is, the book, or the sauce or whatever it was. The family takes it while Mum checks the date on the paper, finds she doesn't need to throw it out yet and takes it to the lounge room.
The people go. They leave the table alone, and it sits there, darkly, in its room.