Thursday, October 15, 2015

Very Short Story: Vitae Homunculae

Buying the garden gnomes was my first mistake. I don't even have a garden--just a balcony with some planters of ferns, overlooking midtown. But I saw the little guys--gals--whatever--in a pet shop window. Their teensy gnome houses carved out of tennis-ball halves, their grey peaked caps... You watched The Smurfs as a kid, right? Who wouldn't want some Smurfs?

Anyhow, I took a dozen. That's how many the pet shop lady said was enough to start a colony. I brought them home, set them up on the balcony. They liked it out there, I guess. Kind of hard to tell, since I couldn't really hear them. But they would stand and stare up at me when I came out to water my ferns, then run shrieking into their tennis-ball huts when the watering can rained down. 

That went on for a few months and we started to get along. By now I could recognize each gnome on sight--Poopsie was the fat one, Dum-Dum was the muscle, and so on. But fall was getting cold, and these gnomes couldn't survive a North Dakota winter. 

So I made mistake number two. I brought the gnomes inside. Oh man. They loved it indoors. The carpet was practically a savannah to them, and there were all sorts of resources to plunder. Like the wiring in my headphones, or my rice, or... Look, suffice to say they got into things. At first it was cute, but after the third set of headphones, not so much. 

Which leads us directly to mistake number three: Teaching them English. Now I'm staring at a "Declaration of Gnomish Rights" and--no, please, you're the fifth attorney I've visited!