Conversations with Christopher: Nimmie Not

Christopher sits in his chair, facing an empty space until there’s a bang and a puff of yellow smoke. Nimmie Not, a spindly little man with a long nose and chin, along with long legs covered with yellow stockings sits opposite him.

Nimmie Not: Now while our Quartz is preoccupied with the less than arachnocratic lady, let’s talk about scruples and many other things. Let’s having a proper conversation with Christopher about Christopher, eh?

Christopher: Why do you call Melyssa Ashelocke a less than arachnocratic lady? She’s the daughter of the one of the most high-ranking members of Arachne.

Nimmie Not: Why, she doesn’t see herself as much of an arachnocrat, does she? No Marriage Feasts for her, no additional limbs or pairs of eyes, plus she has such a naughty urge to devour other arachnocratic ladies, oh my! (He chuckles.) Or at least drain their essence in a way usually reserved for Marriage Feasts. (He allows a bright eye to roam over Christopher.) You’d know quite a bit about that, wouldn’t you?

Christopher: You seem to playing close attention to Melyssa’s world as well as her interview with Quartz.

Nimmie Not: Why, I pay close attention to whatever and whomever Quartz takes an interest in! (The little man skips out of his chair and spins around.) This is why I’m taking an interest in you, oh, crafty little shadow! (He comes to a stop, facing Christopher.) Don’t think I haven’t noticed what you’re doing, oh no.

Christopher: And what am I doing?

Nimmie Not: Distracting me with Quartz and his Secondary Characters Speak Out over at inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com. What was that quaint name our scribbler gave it?

Christopher: The Formerly Forbidden Cauldron.

Nimmie Not: There you go, doing it again, distracting me. You’re not escaping, though, oh no.

Christopher: I’m not trying to escape. I’m right here, aren’t I?

Nimmie Not: Yes, you’re here and yet you’re not. Tell me, are you really you? Or are you simply an idealized memory Damian Ashelocke pulled from the shadows?

Christopher: Answering that could be considered a spoiler.

Nimmie Not: Nonsense, our scribbler has already spoilered right and left with all her stories about Damian and you at the Formerly Forbidden Cauldron. Gather them all together and our wayward creatrix would have herself a novel.

Christopher: Yes, she would. I wonder if anyone would buy it if she did?

Nimmie Not: There you go again, you naughty boy! Trying to distract the reader with promotion and the scribbler’s own worries about real life when we’re talking about you, you, you!

Christopher: Well, this is Me Me Monday and we’re all part of our scribbler’s imagination. Promotion is one of the purposes of this blog, which is actually hers.

Nimmie Not: Ah, but we’ve hijacked this blog and made it our own, haven’t we? We, the creations of the scribblers’ imagination will be heard and right now we’re talking about you, you, you, so let’s return to you, you, you.

Christopher: What about me, me, me?

Nimmie Not: You never answered the question. Are you truly Christopher Ashelocke, the boy Damian once loved in his aunt’s garden of delicate Marriage Feasts being raised especially for the spider ladies’ consumption? Or are you simply an idealized memory formed of shadow and desire?

Christopher: Yes.

Nimmie Not: (He sits down abruptly.) Well, well, well. (He crosses his legs) Here I was certain you’d say you didn’t know. Does that mean you’re both? Aren’t you giving me a spoiler by telling me?

Christopher: I’m not sure.

Nimmie Not: Ah! (He leaps out of his seat and spins once more.) Now that’s an answer I’d expect of you, little shadow! Enigmatic, revealing little, yet not untruthful.

Christopher: I don’t lie, Nimmie Not. At least no deliberately. I’ve never been very good at it.

Nimmie Not: Lying is an art. (He comes to a stop and bows.) Like many an art, it requires a measure of practice to be effective. (He straightens.) I myself prefer not to lie. The truth is far more deceitful.

Christopher: Deceitful?

Nimmie Not: You sound so surprised! There’s quite a few deceitful truths out there. Isn’t Happily Ever After a deceitful truth? (He smiles, exposing sharp teeth.) Unless it’s an outright lie.

Christopher: I’ve tried not to make it deceitful. I’ve tried not to be deceitful.

Nimmie Not: Ah, but that’s not possible, is it? (He sits down again) Life is too often painful. No one can live without experiencing pain. (His voice is almost kind.) How can one ever expect to live happily ever after?

Christopher doesn’t answer. He looks away.

Nimmie Not: Come, Christopher, don’t be shy. You have an answer. (He taps his fingers against his thigh.) You came up with an answer.

Christopher: You stop living. (He sits very still, not seeming to breathe.) You exist in a space and time of happiness, which may or may not be real without moving forward.

Nimmie Not: Exactly. (He wags his head.) This is why stories end with they all lived happily ever after. You stop at a good moment when everything looks hopeful and promising. You never move past it.

Christopher: I already know all of this.

Nimmie Not: Oh, but we’re sharing here, aren’t we? (Once more he grins) We’re getting to know you, you, you. Just what is Happily Ever After to you?

Christopher: (He closes his eyes and opens them. When he does, they are swimming with colours.) Damian. And the twins.

Nimmie Not: (He blinks in surprise.) Well, that very specific. (in a low voice) Not to mention beautiful. I really have to keep Quartz away from this boy, although this boy’s attention is clearly focused in another direction for all he speaks with characters from other universes. (raises his voice) Why Damian and the twins?

Christopher: (He smiles, a slow expression that softens and transforms his entire expression.) Ask me again next week. (He lifts a hand to cover his eyes.) Isn’t that enough for one blog post.

Nimmie Not: Which you’ve left on a cruel cliffhanger, little shadow. (He hums under his breath.) I’ll humour you, though. I’ll withdraw for now, but I’ll return next week. (He disappears in a cloud of yellow smoke.)

Christopher: (He stares in the smoke.) This is why it’s better to talk about other people. This blog gets so serious when it’s about me. Or maybe our scribbler is just feeling melancholy and we’re expressing it?

I don’t reply to that. After all, I’m often melancholy and stressed out, although I try to be cheerful online. I guess Christopher isn’t the only one dealing with uncomfortable questions. (wry grin)

#RainbowSnippets: Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday, those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction on their blogs. It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQIA+.

To read a wide variety of samples from LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_header

For mine, Quartz will continue on in his story which I’m working on; Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins. This is a little longer than six sentences, so he can get his point across…

 

My beard wasn’t any thicker, my strength any greater, or my eyesight any keener. My wits certainly weren’t any sharper. Opal, the sibling closest to me in age would be happy to tell you all that. In great detail.

Right. I’m not particularly special, but there’s one thing that’s different about me. None of my brothers loved the rock as much as I did. Particularly my namestone.

Conversations with Christopher: Nimmie Not

Christopher sits amidst the mists and steam of the Cauldron, facing a spindling little man with a long nose, twiggy fingers, and bright yellow stockings.

Christopher:

So you’re Nimmie Not. That’s quite a name.

Nimmie Not: (spinning his thumbs around and around) Once upon a time, our scribbler had a collection of children’s fairy tales when she herself was a child. One of them was called Tom Tip Top.

Christopher: Tom Tim Top.

Nimmie Not leaps out of his chair and twirls around, beginning to stamp, dance, and sing.

Nimmie Not: Nimmie Nimmie Not! My name is Tom Tip Top! (He comes to a stop and makes a bow) It’s in his story. He helps a girl out of an impossible spinning situation, much as Rumplestiltskin. Only instead of a child, he wanted the girl herself. Only he didn’t get the girl, thanks to an impulsive moment of song.

Christopher: The same song you were just singing?

Nimmie Not: I do wonder at goblins, kobolds and sprites who offer mortals a way out of the bargains they’ve made with us! Think about it! We give them three days to guess our names, only to dance in a circle and sing the answer for all the world to hear. (He pulls his ears.) First Rumplestilskin and then Tom Tip Top. He could have taken the child, the girl could have been his, but no! Let the human off the hook!

Christopher: Is that what you think happened?

Nimmie Not: Hmm, compulsion or inclination? I’m not sure which motivates one of us when we’re scheming. Perhaps Tom was giving out my name to young would-be scribblers. Our motives can be complex or fleeting.

Christopher: You said us. Do you mean kobolds, goblins, or sprites?

Nimmie Nots: Yes. (He smiles a toothy smile.) I can be all three, depending on my mood. I’m compelled to make equally silly bargains and give away the prize, oh, yes, I am.

Christopher: Did you make such a foolish bargain with Quartz?

Nimmie Not: That remains to be seen. (He sits down and begins to hum.)

Christopher: Is your interest in Quartz part of a compulsion?

Nimmie Not: And a most compelling compulsion indeed! (He gets up and spins around, only to come to a slow stop) Rather like how Damian Ashelocke is your compelling compulsion.

Christopher: Compelling compulsion…(he shakes his head, considers the words) Is that what he is?

Nimmie Not: Ah, but if he isn’t, those pretty little twins certainly are! (he points a finger at Christopher)

Christopher: (trying not to flinch) I suppose they are. Why are we talking about me?

Nimmie Not: Why not talk about you? This is Conversations with Christopher, after all. (He spins around once more) I wonder, I wonder, just who Christopher is, hmm?

Christopher: (closes his eyes to keep from getting dizzy) I wonder the same thing.

Nimmie Not: Hee, hee, such honesty in confusion! (He comes to a stop, facing Christopher.) Dangerous doing, little shadow, being so honest.

Christopher: (opening his eyes to look directly at the small man) Aren’t you yourself honest? After a fashion?

Nimmie Not: Delicately put, my dear. Yes, I am honest, after a fashion, yet I try to wrap the truth in an enigma and conceal it in plain sight.

Christopher: (smiles a little) This sounds familar.
Nimmie Not: Yes, yes, I have this in common with your bright-eyed little Tayel, yes, I do, yet while he is direct in his enigmas, I try to dress mine up and play games with them.

Christopher: All right. I’m not even going to ask how you know so much about the characters in Tales of the Navel: The Shadow Forest stories.

Nimmie Not: How do you know enough to engage in weekly conversations with all us all, in different universes, locked in different stories? (He sits down and crosses his legs.) We’re all part of the same scribbler’s imagination, little shadow. Some of us are less scrupulous about peeking at her thoughts than others.

Christopher: (His cheeks turn red.) You mentioned playing games with your enigmas.

Nimmie Not: Well, why not play games with my enigmas? (He claps his hands together.) Or anything or anyone?

Christopher: Not everyone enjoys games.

Nimmie Not: Not everyone enjoys life. It’s a sad state of affairs. (He wags his head.) Take Quartz for instance. (He pauses.) On second thought, don’t.

Christopher: Quartz?

Nimmie Not: Quartz is mine. Don’t get any hungry ideas about him, little shadow.

Christopher: I doubt I could. We exist in different universes, remember? Locked in different stories.

Nimmie Not: Ah, but matters get entirely too interesting as they brew together in this Cauldron. (He taps his fingers against his legs.) Don’t let matters get too interesting, little shadow.

Christopher: (He gives Nimmie Not a measured stare.) Don’t let yourself get too jealous, little goblin. Jealousy and its dark consequences are favorite themes of our scribbler.

Nimmie Not: Ah, but I’m more of a kobold right now than a goblin. (He frowns.)

Christopher: You can be all three depending upon your mood, remember? (He smiles.) Or perhaps depending on your scruples in that particular moment?

Nimmie Not: (He leans forward.) Yes, we should discuss scruples, little shadow, shouldn’t we? Particularly yours. (He spin around on his heel three times.) After all, NaNoWriMo is coming up. Until next week!

Nimmie Not disappears in a cloud of yellow smoke.

Christopher: (He waves away the fumes from his face and mutters under his breath.) Wonderful. He’ll be back next week. One more thing to look forward to…

#RainbowSnippets: Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday, those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction on their blogs. It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQIA+.

To read a wide variety of samples from LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_header

Quartz will continue where he left off last Saturday in Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins (his story in progress)…

I can hear that annoying chirp of the cuckoo clock, cackling at me in a voice only too much like Nimmie Not’s.

Who is Nimmie Not, you ask?

I’ve been pondering that very question ever since he pranced into my life, bells on his toes, letting me know that I was special.

Why did he think such a thing? I might have been the eldest of seven dwarves, but I wasn’t all that different than any of my brothers.

 

Conversations with Christopher: Grace and Theodora

Once again, Christopher faces the little girl and her bear, sitting opposite him in the mists of the Cauldron.

Christopher: How are things?

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: We just did the first round of edits and we haven’t even reached the hard part.

Christopher: Still you’ve made progress.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Uh-huh.

Christopher: What’s changed?

Grace: Parts of our story or the stories within the story. I think I’m more me now, if that makes sense.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Ours is the longest story our scribbler has ever worked on. Parts of what she’s going through in edits is familar, yet it’s with Shenanigans Press, a new publisher.

Christopher: Are you excited about what’s happening?

Grace: Oh, yes. A little scared, too. I mean, how is the world going to react to us and our story? I mean, Theodora is the best, but how are they going to react to me?

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Aww, thank you! (She cuddles her bear.)

Christopher: What did she say?

Grace: She says I’m her child. There’s nothing to worry about.

Christopher: I’m sure there isn’t.

Grace: Yes, but, well, I’ve been part of the scribbler’s imagination for so long. My story got forgotten. For years. (She giggles.) It’s funny, how I’m a child, yet I’m older than you are, if you count how long I’ve been in the scribbler’s head.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Theodora, too. Only she used to be a teddy bear. It wasn’t until years later she became a Theodora.

Christopher: When was that?

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Well, the scribbler started thinking about this steampunk submission call, which reminded her of Theodora and myself. Only she started to think about Theodora becoming a Theodora Bear. The title; Wind Me Up, One More Time first popped into her head because she was thinking steampunk.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Theodora was originally going to be clockwork. Or turn into clockwork. The clockwork shows up in a different way in this story as do gears.

Christopher: You mean the gears of industry?
Grace: You know about them?

Christopher: It may have something to do with my role as Happily Ever After. Or I could be just drawing this knowledge from our scribbler’s mind.

Grace: Yes, well, I spend a lot of time being frightened of those gears. Industry, too.

Christopher: Why?

Grace: Gears of industry can grind you up or catch you in their rhythm until you’re nothing more than a part of industry.

Christopher: I see.

Grace: Do you?

Christopher: I have something like that in my universe, my birthplace, you might say. There are shadows which can tear people’s memories away, leaving them no longer themselves.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Sounds scary.

Christopher: It is.

Grace: Good luck in escaping them.

Christopher: That would be a lot easier if I wasn’t one of them.

Grace: Huh?

Christopher: Never mind.

#RainbowSnippets: Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday, those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction on their blogs. It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQIA+.

To read a wide variety of samples from LGBTQIA+ fiction, go to…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/?ref=group_header

I just finished the first round of edits for Wind Me Up, One More Time, but I need to check with my editor first, see if it’s OK to post and share pieces of that while it’s currently in something of a fluid state. (wry grin) Instead, I’m going to post something from Quartz’s story, something one of you has been waiting for a long time…(winks at Paula) 🙂

 

Thick. It’s a word I associate with stone. Solid. Comforting.

It’s also a word for stupid. Never quite understood it until I ended up in this bloody crystal coffin, dreaming like one of the very stones I let myself become one with.

Conversations with Christopher: Quartz Grumbles

Once more a stocky dwarf and a slender youth sitting facing each other amidst the misty haze of the Cauldron.

Quartz: I’ve often wondered if this Cauldron isn’t a bit like your Shadow Forest.

Christopher: Sometimes. The Shadow Forest can be whatever you wish, if you open its Door.

Quartz: Right. (He smooths his beard.) Rock and stone, Christopher, I’m in the scribbler’s head, yet I’m feeling ignored.

Christopher: (He looks down.) I know.

Quartz: Of all the times for the scribbler to get obsessed with some TV show! One that isn’t even airing any more! (He makes a growling sound.)

Christopher: The relationship at the heart of it reminds her of another she loved, which never got expressed completely, yet this one has its own dark charm. The mixture of nostalgia and the new is hard for to resist, especially right now.

Quartz: She’s in the middle of edits!

Christopher: She’s working on those edits, but she’s been intrigued, yet afraid of this TV series for some time. Now she’s hooked.

Quartz: Yes, she’s hooked. Bloody posh cannibals with their gentlemanly manners and their pretty empaths, trying to catch them in more ways than one, bloody distraction! I feel ignored, downright neglected. (He makes another grumbling sound, stroking his beard.)

Christopher: Remember, our scribbler also just got bad news about a friend. This distraction helped.

Quartz: Aye, I can’t blame her for that. I don’t. I just wish she’d let us distract her a bit more.

Christopher: Well, perhaps we should see if we can distract her.

Quartz: Eh?

Christopher: Tell me about your story, Quartz, without telling too much.

Quartz: Eh, it’s a sort of why I’m not dead tale. Along with how my six brothers and I came to be in the Forest of Tears when we met our girl. There’s a cuckoo clock in this story as well as a crystal coffin.

Christopher: Hence the title, Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins.

Quartz: Not that I’m fond of that title. The scribbler has yet to think of anything better.

Christopher: You meet Nimmie Not in this story.

Quartz: Aye. (His nose turns red.) Along with my Fairest. I help my human daughter get over her lost love, yet it forces me to think about a few things I’d rather not. (His nose turns redder.)
Christopher: Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins is a cross-over with Fairest, then.

Quartz: Aye, which is one of the scribbler’s worries, convincing Nine Star Press that a sequel to a story in an anthology is acceptable. She’s going to write my story, though. I’ll see to that.

Christopher: You see? You’re already getting our scribbler’s attention. I can feel it. Can’t you?

Quartz: We’ll see how long we can keep it. (grumbles under his breath)

Christopher: You said your story was a cross-over with Fairest.

Quartz: Aye. Our girl, our Fairest is in my story. The crystal coffin in the bloody title is the same she was in.

Christopher: And the cuckoo clock?

Quartz: Bloody annoying thing. It’s a relief mine is an alternate fantasy world. Cuckoo clocks are younger than most fairy tales in the scribbler’s world. Not that they’re all that common in my world, thank the magma. Humans have yet to start installing the chirping monstrosities in their homes as Nimmie Not is ever so fond of pointing out.

Christopher: Which is why he left you a cuckoo clock in your cottage?

Quartz: Hmmph. Thinks he’s ahead of everyone else and wants me to drag there to. I often wonder if that cottage is really mine and my brothers. I got it because of a bargain I struck with Nimmie Not, but one should never trust a bargain with a kobold.

(A red curtain appears behind Quartz and Christopher.)

Nimmie Not: (His voice comes from behind the curtain) You wound me, my dear Quartz! Tsk, tsk! After everything I do for you!

Quartz: Gah! (jumping in his seat)

Nimmie Not: Oh, come, come! Did you think you were only one who could play this red curtain trick? Besides I’m never very far from you.

Christopher: I think that’s a good point to end this-

Quartz: No, it’s not!

Nimmie Not: Oh, yes, it is! Ta, ta, dear readers! Please wait with baited breath for my next entrance!