A kobold sits in the chair opposite Christopher, kicking up his spindly feet, wailing, and bawling while Christopher looks rather helplessly on from the chair opposite.
Nimmie Not: Waah! (He leaps up and stamps his foot.) I’ve been dumped, dumped, dumped! Cast off for goat cassoulet! Tossed aside for treats!
(To find out about the cassoulet in question, go to inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com and read Secondary Characters Speak Out, guest-starring the remarkable Penny Blake and her creation, Reynard…)
Christopher: Now, now-
Nimmie Not: Don’t “now, now” me! (He stabs a bony finger in Christopher’s direction.) You were behind the curtain with me! You even provided them with flatware! (He throws up his hands and wails.)
Nimmie Not: Don’t “err” me, either! You saw Quartz wolf down that smooth-talking necromancer’s fare! Not to mention when he started dropping hints about what he was really up to, Quartz acted all accomodating! (He balls his hands into fists and shakes them at the sky.) My dwarf never accomodates! Never! What was *that* all about?
Nimmie Not: There’s nothing “well” about this! I knew Quartz was a flirt, mind you, impossible to miss how he blushed around that Sokrat, but she was a wandering philosopher! It was never going to go anywhere, never-
Nimmie Not: Not “perhaps”, just impossible! And yes, there were those entirely too attractive vampires, but they were from different universes with different creators, even different genres! Nothing to worry about there, well, not worry too much about, right?
Nimmie Not: Yes, I know all this was supposed to be was another meet and greet with a character from another universe, belonging to another scribber, so why worry about it? Only that necromancer has the gall to show up with goat cassoulet and…and…cake! (He drops his fists and begins to wail again.) Cake with bits of people in it! How can I outdo a gesture like that?!
Christopher: There, there-
Nimmie Not: Don’t “there, there” me! This means I’ve already lost!
Christopher: I wouldn’t-
Nimmie Not: No, you wouldn’t! (He gives Christopher a savage glare filled with pointed teeth.) How do I compete with a necromancer with god-making, world-shaking goals? All I’ve got is a book about people who might make the world shake, emphasis on the “might”!
Christopher: God-making isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, believe me.
Nimmie Not: Oh, shut up! Just because you’re Happily Ever After, a minor deity in your own right, you think you can act all sanctimonious and patronizing!
Nimmie Not: Oh, don’t apologize! Even if this is a conversation with you, it’s not about you. It’s about me, my hearbreak, and a cheating, cassoulet-eating dwarf! (He lets out another sobbing wail.)
Christopher: I don’t think-
Nimmie Not: That’s right, you don’t think! Just because your beloved Damian stepped through a Door and left you, you think you can understand my pain?!
Christopher: That may be true, but it’s cruel.
Nimmie Not: Exactly! I’m supposed to be cruel! Not crying over some stupid dwarf who never appreciated any of the pranks I pulled on him to liven up his existence! (sobs)
Christopher: If it’s any consolation, I don’t think Quartz was all that impressed by the god-making or world-shaking, no matter what he said.
Nimmie Not: No, he wouldn’t be, would he? (He rubs his eyes.) He’d find it to be a lot of bother, a lot of human bother at that. (He looks a little more cheerful.)
Christopher: He was probably just making conversation with his guest.
Nimmie Not: Yes, yes, that’s what he does, that’s what the purpose of Secondary Characters Speak Out is. (He brightens even more.) Quartz gets secondary characters to talk about their problems, how small they really are in the scheme of things, oh, yes. Quartz was just drawing him out.
Christopher: If he seemed more agreeable than usual, it was because he was enjoying the cassoulet.
Nimmie Not: WAUGHH!! (He bursts into sobs once more.) I can’t even cook! I can only make food appear!
Christopher: Well, isn’t that better? Less work.
Nimmie Not: I have no idea if what appears is actually nourishing. Cooking appears to be an art, which remains something of a mystery to me. Much like magic itself.
Christopher: Magic is a mystery to you?
Nimmie Not: Much of what exists is a mystery to me, including myself.
Christopher: You could always share some of that mystery with Quartz. Make something tasty appear in front of him in Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins? Maybe give his brothers and himself a treat?
Nimmie Not: I could, couldn’t I? (He brightens a lot.) Or maybe just Quartz himself? Yes, yes, that could work! Thank you!
Christopher: You’re welcome.
Nimmie Not: I could be just getting anxious over nothing. I’m guessing that cassoulet was too rich for Quartz. He may have enjoyed it, but he may get stomach pains later.
Christopher: He may. (He grimaces, recalling his own past efforts to eat.)
Nimmie Not: Yes, yes, I feel better now. (He cocks his head to regard Christopher.) You know, for a slip of a shadow, you’re not so bad. Talking to you is a bit like talking to Prunella. Only you’re not huge, scaly, and stink of brimstone.
Christopher: Err, thank you?
Nimmie Not: Don’t mention it! (He spins on one heel and disappears, although his voice lingers, like an echo carrying down a long tunnel.) Now what should appear to Quartz? Something simpler than cassoulet, I think, maybe a pie with people parts in it? No, that will probably be too exotic for him…
Christopher: (mutters) Once again, I’m feeling a little sorry for Quartz.