Whose goods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his goods fill up my tote.
My little dog must think it queer
To stop without a cathouse near
Between the goods and stolen-take
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his brandy cask a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the peep
Of Phantom wind and Gnomely fake.
My moods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have secrets to keep,
And winds to blow before I sleep,
And winds to blow before I sleep.
“Avramstown is lovely this time of year,” the gnome remarked casually. Otto’s silence was endured with a monolithic pillar of basalt. “The winds bring change – and with them, the colors of the leaves, the bountiful harvest, and the gods good graces.” The gnome stopped ambling for long enough to inspect the street-side wares of a produce merchant. The hawker’s podium was conspicuously absent. “It’s unfortunate that the vendor has left his goods unattended. Such crisp, fresh produce is very enticing to all manner of unsavory passerby.”
A radish floated upwards, seemingly of its own volition, until it hovered neatly over Tyvernos’s head. “Put that back!” he scolded the invisible hand. “You are incorrigible! No better than riffraff – an air-elemental urchin. It amazes me that you don’t know any better. Have you no manners?” The tirade was as short-lived as the distraction. “Though, I can’t fault your discerning tastes. Where did you learn to pick produce? That radish looks delectable and would make a brilliant garnish for a lovely little salad.” The gnome tsked and shook his head, turning from the head-height tall floating radish. “We pay for the things we want; we don’t just take them.” Tyvernos sighed and looked to Otto for empathy. “Otto, I feel like we’re dealing with a child. The air elemental essence fragment has been reduced to petty thievery. This truly is a sad day!”
The diminutive warlock ambled down the streets at a snail’s pace, stopping at various and sundry stalls, and inspecting their goods; he was occasionally seen being trailed by a random floating vegetable or fruit. He often wandered, lost, down connecting alleys and side-streets, and into all manner of off-limits venues. A gnome of such renown was regularly welcomed into places where the general public was not.
Tyvernos was startled but pleasantly surprised when he happened upon a meadery – “The Golden Shower”. “What great boon is this? Otto, come on! Let’s have a look, shall we?” The two-foot tall sandy-haired gnome bounded through the saloon-swing doors and gallivanted into the great hall. “Hello! Is anybody home?” the gnome called. He found himself center-stage in what looked like a giant theater. It was filled with countless rows upon rows of seats lining the aisles and a raised dais that dominated the front of the amphitheater. The ceilings were high – easily twenty-five feet tall – and arched with tawny oak; it was perfect for a spectacular show! “I’ll bet this is where they make the honey. Oooh Otto! I’ve never been to an apiary! I long to sing sweet songs to the bees and carry them to and fro on wings of my winds! Oh how I’ve dreamed of one-day being a part of my very own hive!”
“Listen hon, the show doesn’t start for another three hours. You can’t come early – no matter how excited you are,” the homely woman approached from behind and broke the spell of gnomish bewilderment. When Tyvernos turned he was piqued. She was a docile thing, mousy, and clad in threadbare rags that revealed her body with a threadbare smile that revealed her teeth. Tyvernos fixated. Those two defiant teeth – proud, rebellious – refused the confines of her lips. Oh no! They would not be hidden! They would NOT be concealed! They were prominent, jutting chompers and they dared to be recognized! Tyvernos admired their backbone.
“Strong-willed, wouldn’t you say, Otto?” The St. Bernard stood unflinching.
“I’m sorry little man. You have to go,” she insisted.
“With all due respect, madam, I refuse to leave until I see your apiary.” Tyvernos would not be dissuaded.
“You heard me! I want to see the ins and outs of your apiary and I’m not leaving until I’ve had the grand tour.”
This gave her pause. She pursed her lips thoughtfully and appeared to be weighing something. After a minute she nodded her acceptance. Something important had just happened. Tyvernos didn’t know what but he had definitely won her over. “Well I guess we have enough time. I have to get ready for the show afterwards so we’ll have to make it quick,” she acquiesced.
“Huzzah!” the gnome announced, “See, Otto, I Bennu she’d come around!”
“Now, hon, let’s see the money…”
“Money?” Tyvernos echoed suspiciously. “Phantom! Otto! Quickly, let us take inventory.” After but a few scant moments of secretive conferring and hushed, clandestine whispers and deal-making Tyvernos rounded on the woman and jumped into her arms with unabashed triumph.
“Could I interest you in a crisp, refreshing salad?”
Written by Tyvernos on the 22nd of Pegasus, in the 68th Year of the Wolfen Empire.
Picture from Next Day Pets.