Conversations with Christopher: Quartz and the April Aftermath

Christopher sits facing a dwarf whose hair and beard are somewhat tousled around a nose that’s ruddier than usual.

Christopher: I’m guessing congratulations are in order for your progress?

Quartz: Shut up. What happens with crystals gets intense. It’s nothing to make a big deal of. Neither is holding hands with Nimmie Not.

Christopher: Huh? What are you talking about?

Quartz: Eh? What are you talking about?

Christopher: Your progress in your story? Of Cuckoo Clocks anc Crystal Coffins? Your story reached 20 thousand words, didn’t it?

Quartz: Right. That.

Christopher: What did you think I was talking about?

Quartz: Never you mind. (His nose turns redder.) Right. The story. Suppose I should be glad it’s going somewhere even though it’s a far cry from finished. We’ve only just encountered the ruddy cuckoo clock and that blasted bird is part of the title. Sloppy scribbler.

Christopher: Any surprises in what’s happened thus far?

Quartz: Must you bring that up? (He rubs his nose.)

Christopher: Bring what up?

Quartz: Surprises! I mean, um, you could spoil the story that way. Talking too much about surprises.

Christopher: Well, is there anything that surprised you that you can talk about?

Quartz: Not sure. I knew my bond with my namestone would be intense, but I didn’t know it would lead to certain, um, complications. (He looks away, still running his nose.)

Christopher: What do you mean?

Quartz: Uh uh. I’m not telling. Still trying to understand it all myself. Or let it be and move past it?

Christopher: Was it really that bad? What happened?

Quartz: No, it wasn’t bad at all. It was wonderful. He’s fascinating, I’ll give him that. Can’t trust him, though. Not a bit.

Christopher: You mean Nimmie Not?

Quartz: Of course I mean Nimmie Not! Bloody kobold! What does he think he’s doing to me?

Christopher: Well-

Quartz: When did I start watching his mouth so much? Noticing how full his lips are?

Christopher: Well-

Quartz: This is what comes of living a shelted life. That’s it. That’s all it is. I’m not used to being around people other than my brothers. Why wouldn’t I get all strange about the first one I meet?

Christopher: Did you get strange about Princess Blanche, your Fairest in the similar way?

Quartz: Well, no. Not in the same way. Not that we’ve gotten to the part of the story where I meet her?

Christopher: Is your meeting part of the story?

Quartz: Aye. I’m already building the crystal coffin due to my bargain with Prunella the Dragon, but I don’t know who it’s for. Not until she becomes part of our family and her jealous ex decides to curse her.

Christopher: Some of the backstory in Fairest will be in Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins?

Quartz: Aye, from my point of view. We haven’t gotten there, though. We’ve only just reached the cottage. Want to know what surprised me? How long it took for us to get there.

Christopher: Can you tell us a little about the journey? Without spoiling anything?

Quartz: Enchantment, dragons, faerie rings, garden gnomes, and Nimmie Not. Lots and lots of Nimmie Not. (His nose turns red again.)

Christopher: You enjoyed the journey, didn’t you?

Quartz: Shut up.

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