To a gardener who collects statuary, something looked very familiar about the new mixologist at the discotheque.
But Davion Kern didn’t know that the residents of this world kept small statues of his elders tucked away in garden corners. He didn’t even realize that, to most here, those of his ilk were considered mythical.
If he had known that his type were considered to be imaginary garden dwellers, it might have made it easier for him to accept his accommodations for his first few days in this new world. As it was, he put up as best he could with sleeping in the scratchy bushes.
Eventually, he found a little gnome home on a secluded island lot that seemed as if it were just waiting for him.
Shortly after he moved in, his first visitor arrived. How Jaclyn Ball knew that Davion had arrived is anybody’s guess. The moment she walked in his house, she sighed.
“This home feels like home!” she said.
“Am!” he affirmed. “I never expected for to find haldir here in this New World. Willkommen!”
“I’m only half elf,” Jacklyn said, “on my mother’s side. My father is a hobbit.”
“So it is!” Davion said. “And what you bring here for to do?”
“I only have an inkling,” Jaclyn replied. “And I honestly wasn’t sure if it was anything I could do on my own. The anti-us are very strong here! But now that you’re here, I’m beginning to think that anything is possible!”
Jaclyn stayed the afternoon, tidying up the little house and brewing fresh mushroom tea. She had grown up with plenty of gnomes back home, so she knew the right amount of moss and dried fungus to mix together to create a wholesome steep.
She found Davion climbing out of the pool naked when the tea was brewed. It wasn’t the first time she’d seen a gnome in the buff, she remembered, laughing at the memories from childhood and feeling happy for all those long-gone days.
“Been thinking over my journey here, rune,” said Davion. “Care to lend an ear?”
“It began when the old oak called the name I go by, DAVION! You have heard an oak speak, am? You ken that oakish tongue?”
“‘This way, through here!’ called the oak. ‘Gal, havagun! Gal!‘”
“So run I did, for when the oak says to gal, who am I to say nid? And as I run, it becomes black all around! Darker than the reddest night! Dark like an elk’s memory of winter!”
“And when I open these dach eyen, what do I spy? Bottles of lucsious drink! Ale! Mead! Fizzy stuff the color of the inside toppy of the pomegranates! Not only that, but it is me, the havagun, pouring this for nomdish!”
Jaclyn laughed. “That’s what happened to me, too! My first discovery of myself here, I was standing behind a bar, pouring drinks for the nomdish!”
“But I can hear home even now,” Davion said.
“I can hear it, too,” said Jaclyn.
They listened together to the far-off flutes and bagpipes and fairy-elf horns, the music of home that brought them both peace and nurturing and sustenance.
“So what is a young havagun to do here on a fine spring day, with his britches over there, and a fine haldir-hobbit girl over here?”
Jaclyn laughed before she remembered to blush, and by the time the rose faded from her cheeks she remembered that it really was getting late and she really did need to return to tend her own garden in the meadow back on the mainland.
Early the next day, Davion headed out to explore the park in a distant city. As a gnome, he felt a calling to know all the parks and gardens.
The nomdish seemed none-too-pleased to see this strange-looking fellow romping down the path, but Davion wasn’t dissuaded. As long as he was here, he was sure that it was for a purpose.
And chances were good that the purpose had something to do with the fetching haldir-hobbit who just happened to be there at that very same park at that very same time!
“Helm, haldir! What fairy rune is this to find you here at this dun!”
“I knew I’d see you,” said Jaclyn.
“As palshnich as a cuppa tea!” Davion said. “That’s what you are.”
“Have you seen the dragons yet?” Jaclyn asked. “The mud dragons?”
“Like the grum back home?” Davion asked.
“No, far worse!” replied Jaclyn. “These are like normal nomdish–dull, sleepy-headed, lead-foot. Then, they snap! Aargh! And they come schlomping after their prey. Usually little boys.”
“These are the ones that really don’t believe in magic–in rune! They’re the book-headed, square-nosed, mud dragon types!”
“But I think we can defeat them,” Jaclyn said. “In fact, I think that’s why we’re here!”
“I was born to bred to slay the dragon, mich Haldir!”Davion said. “That’s what mich ma and mich da did say for always and ever.”
“I was waiting for you, Davion,” Jaclyn said. “I’ve been doing what I could by myself, with the children, but it hasn’t been enough. But now you’re here, and I knew you’d come!”
As she said those words, Davion felt a door shut, and the music from home could no longer be heard, but another door opened, and new tunes rolled in–sweet music like lutes and recorders and tiny gourd-drums, and the music seemed to come from here, from Jaclyn.
They sat together at the table to feast on grilled fruit, but when a playful hobbit-elf sits beside a jovial gnome, not much dining gets done–at least not until after the tickling ceases.
Some say that love is all the magic that we need, here on this wide earth. And some say that magic is what we make, when we close our eyes and tell our stories.
But I say that magic comes here through us, through those of us who slip through the cracks between the worlds and open our hearts to all that exists that can’t be seen with nomdish eyes. And when we find another who sees the same rune that we see, that’s when our magic can change this world.