Glenn G. Thater
How long had they hidden in wait under hillock and dale? How long had the craven beasts of darkest night and deepest pit stalked my heels?…waiting, ever waiting for the slightest sign of weakness or merest moment of distraction that would bewitch my mind or cloud my senses. These creatures of old knew their time would come if they but had patience and held steadfast to their evil plan. They knew that I, their nemesis, their arch-enemy, would someday fall within their horrid web and find myself at their mercy. Years in the planning, decades even – it must have been. But they are patient creatures; time means little to them. Older then the hills, more ancient than the seas. They could wait; they could outlast me.
It happened last night. As I wandered the darkened deserted lanes of the glen for untold hours in an anguished daze they crept silently from the darkened bush, they skulked soundlessly from behind the winter trees, they rose from betwixt the blades of grass and wintry piles of leaves of the lawn, and no doubt crept from beneath the very stones of the earth. The stealth of these demonic things, these fell lords of darkness notwithstanding, my perceptions borne and honed of olden days would have marked them and set them to flight despite their swelling numbers as ever I had in the past. But this night, my mind was numbed, my eyes downcast and my ears filled with naught but the sounds of my true love lashing me for some stupidity beyond the grasp of man and fathomed only by the women that I no doubt uttered.
They held back until I reached the threshhold of my castle, until my shaking hand had unlocked the stout metal portal. Then on they rushed, a plague of evil, a gibbering hoard of death – yelling the ancient war cries of their murderous diminutive people. “Long live Keebler!” they shouted, “Free Snap, Free Crackle, Free Pop” they roared. “Remember Papa Smurf” they bellowed. Their leader, the foulest of the bunch – a pointy hatted graybeard in blue – launched himself headlong at my throat screaming, “I wll roam no more!”.
I turned, perceiving this ancient evil through tear swollen eyes and in despiration swatted at it. How I know not, but the clumsy blow struck home and sent my ancient enemy crashing to the ground at my feet. His minute minions swarmed just beyond the entranceway with swords drawn, all wild eyed and red-faced. Momentarily stunned were they by their leader’s fall. That was all the time I needed. As the gnome king pulled himself to his feet shouting some vile gnomish curse I kicked him in the chest with all my might sending him flying into his fellows.
“Stinking gnomes,” I spat.
I leaped through the doorway and slammed the door. My thoughts drifted back to my beloved, since she is truly all that matters most to me, as I locked and barred the portal against them whilst they cursed me and slithered off into the night…