Today’s blog continues my long-neglected satirical fantasy, In The Land of the Penny Gnomes
“Sindy,” Will stammered. He wasn’t sure how to continue his sentence. The memory of Sindy screaming at Bug in the city square still echoed in Will’s memory. He finally decided to continue with, “Thanks for getting me some extra clothes.”
“Oh, think nothing of it, Will. I couldn’t leave you in the hands of a lunatic and grumpy old gnome, could I?” Sindy smiled up at Will, and it seemed warm and genuine. He smiled back. After all, while Sindy could be a bit intimidating, she also seemed to be the most sane gnome he had met during his trip.
She reached up and patted him on the shoulder. “There now, why don’t you head up the stairs and wash up? The shower room is the second door on the left.” As Will turned toward the stairs, Sindy shouted a caution, “Just watch you head! We don’t get many…tall people here in Great Roll!”
Will turned and nodded, then marched up the stairs to Nobody’s second floor. While Will had to duck through the door to the shower room, he didn’t find he needed to stoop to move around. Gnomes apparently liked ceilings which could comfortably fit a “tall person.”
He entered the shower room and was momentarily shocked. Will honestly didn’t know what he had been expecting, having travelled to some sort of fantasy kingdom, but a modern bathroom was not something he’d considered. There was a large mirror, a sink, toilet, and a glass encircled shower. The sink had taps for hot and cold water, and the shower was set up like any number he’d used back home. There only two clues which gave away the bathroom’s other-worldly location. First, the purple and yellow tile pattern on the bathroom floor looked as though it were patterned after a gnome outfit. Second, the title of the magazine left by the toilet was Today’s Gnome. The cover story was about the new fall fashions according to “the fashion provocateurs of Dryer.” He resisted an urge to flip through the magazine, undressed, and hopped in the shower.
While he soaked in the relaxing stream of water, he heard a knock on the door. Will rubbed some soap out of his eyes and said, “Yes?”
“Hey kid. Sindy though you’d like to get dressed up here. I’m just dropping an outfit for you here. I’ll throw your other clothes in the wash.”
“Uh, OK Bug. Thanks.” With that, Will heard the door shut and he finished rinsing. As he turned off the water he took notice of the tile pattern and had a sudden thought. What if Sindy had prepared gnomish outfits for him? He didn’t mind the bright clothes of the gnomes, he just didn’t want to wear them himself. He held his breath, pulled back the shower curtain, and peered around the glass enclosure. What he saw shocked him. There on the floor was an exact replica of the outfit Bug had just taken away. Blue Jeans, a tee-shirt, white tube-socks, a leather belt, sneakers, and a pair of underwear. The only addition was a navy blue long-sleeve pullover. Will gratefully donned the new garments, which fit perfectly. He didn’t want to know how Sindy measured him for the undergarments.
Feeling more at ease than at any prior point of his trip, Will marched down the stairs. Bug, Professor Nobody, and Sindy were all seated in the room where Will had recently woken up. Each had a mug of what Will presumed was coffee.
Nobody saw him first. “Ah, Will! Feeling better, I hope?”
Will nodded. “A lot, thanks.” He turned to Sindy and said, “Thanks for the clothes, I hope they weren’t too much trouble to get.”
Sindy smiled back at Will. “Not a trouble at all, Will. My friend Denise was sending her eldest on a shopping trip a couple of days ago and I simply added some items to the list. I got you six outfits just like that one, but the color of the pull-over varies.”
Will grinned, pondering the poor unfortunates who were suddenly down six outfits. Though as he considered his undergarments he shuddered a bit. “Uh, well, yes. Thanks so much, really,” he stammered.
Bug noticed his discomfort and chuckled. “Relax, kid. Sindy told Denise to pick up packaged goods only. Second-hand tidy-whiteys are not our style.”
Relieved, Will smiled. “Great! Thanks again!”
“Well, dear, it’s the least I could do after my husband decided to bring you on this little trip.”
Sindy threw a glare towards Bug, who lowered his head and peered into his coffee mug. Nobody, on the other hand, stood up at her comment. “Yes, Will wasbrought here for a reason! I forgot.”
“Well, yes, Will. I was just enjoying having the company and it slipped my mind! Seeing as I had you brought all this way I guess I should show you.”
“Show me what?”
“The arsenal, kid. You see, The Realm’s at war.”
Will stared at Bug in disbelief. If the professor noticed his shock, however, it didn’t show. He was happily marching over to a bookshelf and pushing it out of the way. “Right this way, Will. I will show you my vault!”
As the shelf rocked, several items collided and fell to the ground with a blue flash. When the color faded they’d been replaced by an electric cheese grater.