And so it begins! Will has passed through the coin slot of destiny and ended up in a world filled with absurdity. I am having so much fun with this. Let’s unpack.
When I first conceived of Sindy’s character, her name kept being typed with an “S” instead of the more traditional “C.” I’m not sure if that means she’s a big sinner or not, but I’m not comfortable asking her. She’s a bit frightening.
Female gnomes wearing beards was one of my tributes to Terry Pratchett, who’d announced his struggle with Alzheimer’s not too long before I began writing. In his Discworld novels, all dwarves have beards, and treat the idea of gender as a taboo. In The Realm, beards on female gnomes are simply a fashion statement. They tell the men not to get too uppity simply because they can grow hair out of strange places. Also, facial hair, ornamental or not, is a great place to tie ribbons.
Sindy is not happy Bug is helping this unnamed professor. In fact, she’s been demanding he stay away from him for the last few years. But, as Sindy works in the Penny Mines all day long, Bug has a lot of free time on his hands she can’t control. We’ll discover the reason for Sindy’s animosity soon enough, you’ll have to be patient.
Why doesn’t Bug work in the mines? He has a underdeveloped pinky, it keeps him from swinging an axe properly. He’s a wizard with a coffee maker, though.
Who are the MacGrubers? It’s a family of highland humans who live in some of the secluded valleys in the Fifty-Peaks Mountains. Sindy’s family has been feuding with them over an unresolved ice cream bill for sixteen generations 1.
I have no idea where the phrase “provocatively floppy hat” came from. Bug has often complained about the stupidity of wearing long pointed hats in a mine, but like all sentient beings gnomes embrace tradition.
I’ll leave it up to your imagination why a floppy hat is “provocative 2.”
Will’s dumb decision
Why had will followed Bug into a tiny slot his floor. I mean, what a terrible idea! It so happens when destiny calls it doesn’t care how dumb an idea it, the character will do it. We call that “narrative tension.” Will did it because the story needed him to, so there. He can complain all he wants, but I’ve got a story to write and he’s barking up the wrong tree.
The though Will’s grandfather knew about the Penny Gnomes has taken the only two gnomes whom we have met by surprise. It’s even walked Sindy back from her near melt-down anger. This is something we’ll have to continue to watch.