I remember having this ridiculous duo idea preventing me from studying for examines back around 1996. They were a funny pair and unlike anything I’d written. So I put them on paper and provide it below, unedited. Once again, it serves as an example of where I’ve come from and maybe, where I’m going.
This story may be linked to, Tweeted and referenced on Facebook, etc. but may not be re-posted in whole or part on another site or in another medium without the explicit, written approval of Adam Dreece. Copyright 1992-2014 Adam Dreece, All Rights Reserved. You can email me if you want to do anything else with this.
And now for your enjoyment, Gnomes & Goblins by Adam Dreece circa 1996.
The bell above the door chimed as the two patrons entered, still brushing themselves off in an attempt to make themselves look respectable.
“May I help you?” asked the gnome shopkeeper without turning to face the customers. The shop was always in need of attention, straightening, cleaning, arranging, rearranging, inventory, a gnome’s work was never done.
“Yes, we were wondering if you had any books on Fairies,” asked one of the goblins.
The shopkeeper, perched on his stool which was hidden from view behind the counter, turned to look at those wanting his attention. “Um, is that toad on your shoulder? And on your head?” he asked, rather disgusted. Where were the quality customers? This trade route village just wasn’t getting the type of clientel he remembered getting in years go by. He sighed in mild irritation.
“Yes, I have plenty of books about fairies, pixies, nymphs, what have you,” The shopkeeper picked up a nearby duster and commenced dusting.
The two goblins tried to quietly remove the remaining pieces of toads from their personage.
“Don’t put that on my floor! Go outside if you’re going to clean yourself up! Not in here you won’t do that. If you’ve noticed this is rather a cozy environment, rather loved with an over abundance of wares. I can’t have it getting sufficated with the smell of dead toad, now can I?”
“This one’s alive!”
“I don’t think that’s what he means.”
“Oh, sorry Sarge. Just trying to be helpful.”
“I know, it was a good thing to point out. If he was a dwarf, he might have wanted a live one.”
“The guy we traded one to for some sandwiches, was he a dwarf, Sarge?”
“I think so.”
“Are you done in my store or not?” asked the gnome, continuing to clean.
“No,” they said in unison and then promptly the two goblins stepped outside. Two minutes later, they returned, with slightly less toad on their persons.
“Now, you were saying about the books you have on Fairies. Are Fairies really different than Pixies?” asked Sarge.
“Good heavens yes. Are you Orcs?” asked the shopkeeper with an air of superiority.
“No, definitely not.”
“Nope. We were once, but we got better.”
“Oh ya, that was a funny one. With that wizard? Boy he was made that we picked his flowers.”
“We probably shouldn’t have picked them out of his cauldron though, I think he was working.”
“Excuse me, but the question wasn’t really intended to require a monologue or a dialogue or essay answer of any form. It was a rhetorical question.”
“Oh,” replied Sarge, tapping his temple. “I gotcha. Re-orc-tical question, asking if we’d been orcs. Gotcha. See Smiley, you learn something new every twenty two minutes.”
“Sometimes we even learn it twice on slow days,” Smiley said to the gnome.
The gnome turned around and sat on his stool. He rubbed his face in hopes of making the situation go away. “So what, pray-tell, can I do to get you out of my store?”
“Tell us how to defeat a bunch of pixies with toad bazooka’s who have our dirt candy canes,” said Sarge.
“And our mud pies,” added Smiley.
“I think they’ve eat our mud pies by now,” said Sarge to Smiley, with an air of disappointment.
“The very notion is gross. Look, if I may, Pixies don’t eat mud or dirt, so you’re possessions, if we can call them that, are likely safe. Did they take anything else?”
“Not really, just some trash we had in a bag,” replied Sarge.
“What was in the bag?” asked the shopkeeper, during a rolling of the hand gesture to try and facilitate the molasses speed of the conversation.
“Trash,” answered Sarge, with Smiley nodding his head enthousiastically.
The conversation was interrupted with a sudden thump sound, as the shopkeeper hanged his head on the counter.
“What was the trash?” asked the gnome.
“Garbage. Oh, you’re going red, that’s not good.”
“What.Things.Were.In.The.Garbage.Trash.Whatever.You.Call.It,” the gnome squeezed out through grinding teeth.
“Silver leaves, nuts, other things. Nothing useful. We ate all the nut shells.”
The gnome’s disposition suddenly changed to being curious and almost pleasent. “Silver leaves? Did they look like…” the gnome popped up and ran his fingers along the bookcase behind him. “Ah, here we go. Did it look like this?” he asked, having opened the book to a particular page and showing it to the goblins.
“Ya, that’s it. They don’t taste good,” said Smiley
“No, that stuff is really nasty. Burns,” added Sarge
“It’s a healing leaf. Pixies guard these. That’s why they took it from you. You stole from them and they wanted to get their stuff back.”
“Why do Pixies guard trash?” asked Sarge, raising his eyebrows in a bad at seeming intellectual.
“I think it’s because their bored,” replied Smiley.
“Well, now their guarding mud pies and dirt candy canes, so now their guarding good stuff. They won’t be bored with that.”
“You’ve got a good point, Sarge.”
The gnome shopkeeper realized the solution he needed. “The Pixies probably left your canes and pies at the forest edge, where they leave all of their trash.”
“Like those leaves?” asked Smiley.
“No, they keep the leaves. It’s where they would put your canes and pies,” stated the shopkeeper.
“So then you mean their treasure. They keep treasure at the edge of the forest. Very sneaky,” said Sarge, tapping his temple again.
“So all you need is some powder to protect you from Pixie attacks, which I have here, and that’ll cost you two silver.”
“Great! Here you go,” said Smiley, taking the powder from the gnome.
“Thank you, don’t come again. Ever,” replied the gnome. “And leave the door open so I can get that toad smell out of here.”
Want to read more of my old fiction? Go ahead.