love is a many-rendered thing.


An Essay?
Carefully filed under "Et Cetera."

A cautionary tale, with Stewart and the Gnome

Ominous Sunshine
The story of the day that I died.

The first and last story of the armadillo.

When We Come Home
Not long from now, an Orwellian government maintains control of what we say, see, and do, but at some point it will break.



Stewart walked up to the information desk, eager to get some information. As he stood at the counter waiting for someone to come to the desk, he felt a slight tug at his pant leg. He looked down to find an elderly gnome looking back up, about two feet tall and wearing leopard-print overalls. By the glistening smile in the old gnome's eyes, he could see that this was no ordinary gnome.

"I'm not your ordinary gnome," the creature said with a chuckle.

"Okay, that's the kind of writing I absolutely hate," Stewart yelled up at the author. "Where you narrate a line, then repeat it with the character. That's just stupid and pointl..." Stewart's rant was quickly silenced by the author, who happened to be writing the story.

"So what's a sexy old gnome like you doing on a beach like this?" Stewart said to the gnome, who was in the middle of stripping out of his costume.

"Oh, it's just a vacation really, the other story I was in isn't finished, and that author seems too busy to care.

Stewart nodded in sympathy. "Yeah, I know what you mean. I was supposed to be in a murder-mystery-thriller piece, but then the author was killed. Nobody knows whodunit." Stewart paused for a moment, then started his yelling again. "That goes for that kind of obvious line too, you..." Silenced again.

The gnome finished undressing by tossing his thong underwear to the reader, who just so happened to be wishing for pair of thong underwear previously worn by a gnome. "Well, I say you go off yourself in a bathtub full of tea. Earl Grey is best for such things." At that offering of wisdom, the gnome faded away into his shadow, an obvious reference to the person who wrote about him in the first place.

"Can I help you, madam?" The voice from behind the desk startled Stewart, and as he looked around he noticed that there was nobody there. "Oh, I apologize... most gnomes only strip for busty women. How can I help you?" This time Stewart noticed that the voice came from a peephole in the wall behind the desk.

"Umm, I have... a question?" Stewart asked the hole.

"Oh, don't mind my appearance. Talking holes are common in these parts, though most of them are found in dingy public restrooms." Stewart was hesitant to respond. "Go ahead, sir, what's your question?"

Stewart thought for a moment, realizing he wasn't sure what to ask, since the author had mostly just used the premise of asking a question as a cheap way to start off a cheap story. "Well, I think I'll have to get back to you on that." Stewart was too embarrassed to bring his eyes to meet the hole.

"Oh, author problems, I see?" The hole grew pensive at the thought. "Perhaps if you got a lawyer, he could straighten things out."

"Hmmm," Stewart hummed to himself. "Perhaps you're right. But I'd probably have to ask the author for a lawyer, wouldn't I?"

"No, not at all. With this simple remedy..." The hole continued mumbling something as a package the size of a walnut slid out from it. It made a purple sound as it fell onto the floor, and Stewart gave it the blankest of stares.

"So, you mean to tell me," Stewart said as his face began to flush, "that I should trust a ?remedy,' offered by a hole in a wall, a hole that was written into existence by an author whom I supposedly have problems with in the first place?"

The hole nodded.

"Well, I can't argue with that." Stewart picked up the small package and removed its wrapping, only to find a semi-square, semi-mush, buskeg-style box labeled "DROPLETS." "So what exactly is this?" he mumbled as he tried to figure out what to do with it.

"Droplets," said the old gnome as he slid out of the hole in the wall. "If you don't know by now, you never should have signed up for this story in the first place." The gnome started shuffling through papers underneath the desk. "Have you ever been given Droplets before?"

Stewart stood blankly blinking. "Well, I can't say that I..."

"DROPLETS!" shrieked the box.

Stewart dropped the box, but the author immediately decided to make it jump menacingly at him, reminding him with another shout of "DROPLETS!" that it meant business. Stewart turned to run, but quickly realized that the author had no intention of designing anything else beyond a desk and a hole in the wall.

The gnome calmly looked on as the box began to smack against Stewart's shin while proclaiming "DROPLETS!" as loudly as it could be proclaimed by a buskeg-style box.

"Augh, help me, someone, please!" Stewart cried, fearing for his life and pension.

At that moment, the gnome pressed a button underneath the desk and the box disappeared, leaving a serenely silent wall and an untrusting, petrified Stewart.

"Well, I'm glad to have helped," The gnome calmly cooed. "Now, according to this," the gnome said as he read through a completely blank book, "you are scheduled to be in the studio next door for the writing of another one of those stories about murder and violins."

"Violence?" Stewart asked.

"Well, yes, but you ruined my perfectly good typo." The gnome was visibly annoyed by now, secretly hoping the author would bring back the Droplets, but he was reminded in the sentence previous to the prior deletion that he wasn't written to have secret hopes. "Anyway, you can move along now, we've had enough distractions."

Stewart remained standing there for a moment, wondering what dastardly purpose the author had in store for him next, but with a few quick strokes on the keyboard, he was perfectly happy again as he wandered on to his awkward, horrible fate.
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