A Short Interlude With A Golem Girl

on October 7, 2009 in Other Tales

A Note From The Author:

Hey, folks… no, it’s not the continuation of the cliffhanger. Things are looking good for that to be done this week—likely Friday night—but the drama’s been coming kind of hard and heavy in the main story and it’s not likely to let up any time soon, so here’s a little vignette featuring some fan favorites. It takes place earlier before the Veil Dance. It’s not much, but I think people will enjoy it all the same.

Check back tomorrow for another vignette and a few more words from me.

Two didn’t notice when Hazel came into her room, carrying a bundle of cloth. People frequently didn’t notice when the gnomish woman approached them. Two might have heard the door opening, at least, but she was absorbed in the task of transcribing her thoughts from the day so far. This took up all of her attention. Her normally unlined face could scrunch up and contort several times in the course of writing and re-writing a single line. Sometimes she would freeze up completely, her pencil stuck mid-stroke while she resolved an inner conflict.

“Hello there, Two,” Hazel said.

“Hello, Hazel,” Two said. She stopped writing and craned her head around to look at Hazel as she spoke. “Is that my dress for the dance?”

“It is,” Hazel said. She held the bundle up and unfurled it with a snap, displaying a plain dress that trailed down to end in a pile on the floor. “I’m not completely satisfied with it, but I don’t see it getting better any time soon.”

“Are you completely satisfied with your own dresses?” Two asked.

“Well… to a point, I suppose, but not really,” Hazel said. “They were gifts from Honey’s family. They aren’t what I’d have picked for myself, but I mustn’t complain, you know?”

“No, I don’t know.Why mustn’t you?”

“Well, because they were gifts,” Hazel said. “It isn’t as though I had a wardrobe full of anything better to bring, is it?”

“No,” Two said. “It isn’t.”

“Right. So, excuse my own nosiness, but does your roommate ever get nosey about your diary?” Hazel asked.

“No,” Two said. “I don’t think she knows I keep one.”

“Do you keep it a secret from her or something?”

“No,” Two said. “She’s just oblivious about some things. That’s the word my friend Dee taught me for her. I think she’s just not that interested in what I do.”

“Well, I think she’s got an awful lot of weight on her ankles,” Hazel said.

“Not really,” Two said. “She’s still pretty skinny.”

“It’s a figure of speech, love,” Hazel said. “And don’t twist your neck around like that… if you’d like to keep talking, why don’t you just turn around and face me?”

“Okay,” Two said, and she got up and lifted the chair to turn it before sitting down facing Hazel, her hands folded in her lap.

“Anyway, as I was saying… it’s a figure of speech. It means she has enough of a burden just being herself. You mustn’t take it personally if she seems a little self-absorbed,” Hazel said.

“Oh, I don’t,” Two said.

“Good,” Hazel said.

“Hazel?” Two said.

“Yes, love?”

“Could you tell me about your culture and customs?”

“What? Why do you want to hear about that?” Hazel asked. “I mean, I don’t mind telling you, but this seems a little out of the blue.”

“It’s actually out of a pamphlet I found in the student resource center,” Two said. “About being friends with people of different races.”

“Two, love… you don’t need a pamphlet to tell you how to be a friend,” Hazel said. “It seems to me that you’ve got the basics down better than some people I could think of.”

“Yes, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t do better,” Two said.

“So what did this pamphlet say?”

“That I should ask about your culture and your customs,” Two said.

Hazel laughed.

“Well, I suppose I should have figured… I don’t know what to tell you about our culture,” Hazel said. “You’re part of human culture, yeah? It’s a lot like that, only smaller and tidier.”

“But you have your own government and laws,” Two said.

“Yes, after a fashion… gnomic law is mutable, you see… if you don’t like it, you can change it with a vote,” Hazel said. “We’re a fairly democratic lot, in theory,”

“What do you mean, ‘in theory’?” Two asked.

“It seems like there are a few families in every shire that have everything sewed up for themselves,” Hazel said. “When something’s being put up on the ballot, everybody keeps an ear to the ground so they don’t miss which way the wind is blowing. Do you follow me?”

“No,” Two said.

“I mean that the folks who live high on the hill let everyone know which way they want the vote to go,” Hazel said. “And then it goes that way.”

“They tell people how to vote?”

“Not directly, no,” Hazel said. “That would be… I don’t know, improper, I guess.” She shrugged. “They do it all indirect-like… and it’s not like everybody listens to them, but enough people do that it hardly matters. Anyway, it never affected us much. My dad, he wasn’t a citizen of any shire, and my mum… well, her aunt held her vote for her, most of the time. My mum… didn‘t really follow politics.”

“Because she was sick,” Two said, nodding.

“Er, yes,” Hazel said. “So, was there a fight at the lunch counter to see who got the night off for the dance?”

“No,” Two said, shaking her head. “We don’t fight for nights off. We put our names up on a marker board. Otherwise I don’t think I would ever get a night off.”

“Oh, well, then, were there more individuals who wanted to put their name in for a night off than there were slots available, leading to some sort of conflict?” Hazel asked.

“Oh, no,” Two said. “The food court is actually not open tonight and tomorrow night. It is closed for Veil.”

“Typical tallfolk… they call it a ‘feast day’ and then close all the eateries,” Hazel said, shaking her head. “I know your ‘Ms.’ Mackenzie and her folk find some offense in the food they lay out for us, but honestly, I don’t think I could survive at all without it.”

“My friend Dee says that your level of consumption is in danger of becoming commensurate with your need,” Two said.

“Oh?” Hazel said, arching a bushy eyebrow. “What’s that supposed to mean, then?”

“I think she means that you’re eating enough for two people but it’s okay because of the baby she thinks you’re having,” Two said.

“Well, she can think what she likes, Two, but she’s wrong,” Hazel said.

“She seems to be pretty sure, though,” Two said. “And so does Amaranth and your cousin Honey.”

“My cousin gets some odd ideas,” Hazel said. “It’s best not to pay them too much mind. Last I checked, Miss Delia Daella was a mind reader, so the regions under discussion fall outside her area of expertise.”

“But I think Amaranth would know,” Two said.

“Listen, Two, love,” Hazel said. “There is simply no way… we’ve been really careful. I mean, we have to be careful, because Andy’s big as a mountain. There’s an old saying every river girl knows: water doesn’t flow uphill. Do you understand me?”

“No,” Two said.

“Well, never you mind, then,” Hazel said. “You don’t really need to understand it. Just understand that Miss Amaranth doesn’t know as much as she thinks she does.”

“Oh, I do understand that,” Two said.

“Good,” Hazel said.

Discuss this story on the Livejournal feed.

Tales of MU is now on Patreon! Help keep the story going!

Or if you particularly enjoyed this chapter, leave a tip!

Characters: ,

8 Responses to “A Short Interlude With A Golem Girl”

  1. pedestrian says:

    The scientific term for a female, who is not using a reliable method of birth control, the scientific term is “mother”.

    Current score: 7
  2. Zukira Phaera says:

    and that river girl has apparently never seen a flood like the one we had here in 2006. We had water flow back up one of the creeks here to the point where it took out a culvert and the highway over that culvert. Two rig drivers died because of it, when their rigs fell into the gap that was caused. So yes… water can flow uphill. And it can have serious life changing impacts when it does.

    Current score: 4
  3. Arakano says:

    … Yes, Amaranth doesn’t know as much as she thinks she does. Nor does Hazel, sadly…

    Current score: 4
  4. lunchbox says:

    There’s an old saying every river girl knows: water doesn’t flow uphill.

    Is this her way of saying that she doesn’t understand the birds and the bees, and that Hazel simply stood up during/after intercourse?

    Current score: 4
    • Moridain says:

      I think the idea is that she was on top, and believes that when you have sex like that you can not get pregnant.

      As Two would say: “I think she is mistaken”

      Current score: 8
      • Sahsa says:

        Who knows? It could actually be that with gnomes this is true, but changes when you add a dwarf into the mix. The whole inter-species thing really opens up a whole new world of possibilities for this sort of thing.

        Current score: 0
        • zeel says:

          It seems far more likely that Hazel is simply ignorant, and I think that was the intent. She thinks she understands how things work, to the point she genuinely believes the things she says – but that doesn’t make her right.

          Current score: 1
  5. V3 says:

    That was a Nomic reference, right?

    Current score: 0