Conversations with Christopher: The Garden Gnomes

Christopher sits facing a pair of round, ruddy faced gnomes, wearing green coats, red trousers, and pointed red caps. They smile constantly, keeping their mouths tightly shut.

Christopher: Are you the garden gnomes? The ones who keep stalking the seven dwarves’s front lawn and scaring Garnet?

Treacle: I’m Treacle.

Popover: I’m Popover.

Treacle: We’ve been in a freebie story over at a while back.

Popover: Can’t trust those freebie stories. They’re roughish drafts filled with inconsistencies.

Treacle: Can’t trust the scribbler or her creations.

Christopher: I see your point, I really do, but aren’t you her creations?

Popover: (touches his cap) We’re confused.

Treacle: She’s confusing us. Why do we have these faces? (She touches hers, which looks exactly like Popover’s.)

Popover: Why is Garnet scared of us? We like old Ginger Shreds. He’s one of the few who can see our true faces. (He grins, showing very sharp teeth.)

Treacle: It hurts, being rejected by the only creature who can see us. We want him to like us as we like him. This is why we stalk his lawn.

Popover: Not that we’re stalking it. Not really. We’re protecting it. Kobold’s orders.

Treacle: Not that we trust the kobold. Even if he did help us escape from the mad alchemist who created us.

Christopher: When you say kobold, do you mean Nimmie Not?

Popover: He didn’t allow us to call him by a name.

Treacle: He might have given the Olde Gnome a name. That’s our matriarch and leader.

Popover: We’re too young and foolish to be trusted with names.

Treacle: We’ve managed to keep our own, though. That should count for something.

Christopher: True. It seems like you’ve got quite the story of your own to tell.

Popover: We live in the Forest of Tears. Everyone there has a story.

Treacle: The kobold collects stories along with Persons of Interest. He’s got an entire book of them.

Popover: It’s not Persons of Interest. It’s People of Importance.

Treacle: No, it’s Persons of Interest! Stupid scribbler, there she goes, confusing us again!

Christopher: What’s the difference between the two?

Popover: People of Importance do something significant in the world they live in.

Treacle: Persons of Interest are just special somehow themselves, even if the world takes no notice of them.

Popover: The world always notices them, even if that world may not be willing to admit it. It’s the same thing.

Treacle: It’s totally different!

Popover: Whatever. How that magic book picks someone is just random.

Treacle: It’s the kobold’s book. It reflects his interests. Not the world’s.

Christopher: Yes, I was wondering about Nimmie Not’s book.

Popover: It’s magical. Words appear in it along with names and stories.

Treacle: Nimmie Not is too lazy to write himself so the words just appear in his book. If you ask me, it’s wish fulfillment on the scribbler’s part.

Me: (from somewhere in the mists) Hey!

Christopher: (trying not to smile) It sounds like there’s a story behind the book, too.

Popover: The Forest of Tears is filled with stories, waiting to be told.

Treacle: Even though a lot of those stories came from elsewhere.

Popover: That’s true. There’s a lot of creatures in the Forest from elsewhere, too.

Treacle: Think that’s a coincidence? We were lead into the Forest of Tears by the same kobold who brought the dwarves here. Only we didn’t get a cottage.

Popover: He’s up to something, no mistake.

Christopher: Princess Blanche, who came from elsewhere to live with the dwarves doesn’t seem to be there by Nimmie Not’s design. He definitely doesn’t want her there.

Treacle: That doesn’t mean he has nothing to do with her being there.

Popover: Don’t trust him.

Christopher: Oh, I don’t. I doubt Quartz does either, even though he’s fond of Nimmie Not.

Treacle: The kobold may be fond of Garnet’s brother. The feeling may be mutual.

Popover: This doesn’t mean Garnet’s brother should trust him.

Treacle: That kobold is full of tricks and loves mischief. Especially if he can make mischief for humans.

Popover: Garnet is now living with a human. He should watch out.

Treacle: I bet the kobold has more to do with that human being in the Forest of Tears than he lets on.

Popover: Just wait and see! (He forms circles with his hands and cups his eyes with them, peering through the center.)

Treacle: Just wait and see! (She mirrors Popover’s gesture.)

Christopher: I guess we will.


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