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.


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…

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