“It’s the darndest thing, Ms. Bottlehelm!” said Mayor Gendry Dew, several days after the Parazoa incident. “I just woke up like this the other day! Do you think this just happens to potted plant people when they turn 189 and twenty-seven days? I’ve never met another one!” He was positively pleased with his new legs, so pleased that he was hand delivering all the mail in Skymoore this week.
“You know, I really couldn’t say,” said Gwendolyn, doing her best to be patient as the mayor went on for the fifteenth consecutive minute about his legs. She was happy, at least, that he was happy, but her empathy only went so far. “I’m just wondering about the letter?”
“Right, of course!” said the mayor, “your letter! I had almost forgotten if I’m being honest. Now I do feel obligated to share that the letter has been opened by yours truly, as is policy for all incoming letters from outside Skymoore, and this one is positively sweet as pie.”
“Then you won’t mind if I hurry on to reading it, would you? Just one more question: how did you know I would be at Linda’s house?”
The mayor tipped his tiny hat. “Now that information I don’t feel obligated to share, madam. You have yourself a great one, now!” And he was off, pursued by his floating, spherical attendant who carried a Bottomless Baggie containing a city’s worth of mail.
Continue reading “Housesitting with Nestor, Epilogue”
Nestor Pinkly, Gwendolyn Bottlehelm, Mayor Gendry Dew, and the elf hiding under his desk were all very upset about the door being open. None of them really knew what to do about the door being open, nor did they feel qualified to do any of the things they guessed might be the correct course of action. The elf had been thinking about it the longest and was the most qualified to think about these things, so he got up and started walking toward it.
“Wait!” Nestor cried. “We should all go together!”
The elf, who had a nametag labeling him “Intern 47B,” did not wait. “Cease your shrill demands, gnome. I’m only going to close the door.”
“Er, is that a good idea,” asked Gwendolyn. “Shouldn’t we try to stop them?”
“Oh, are you going to do that, miss? What are you going to do, yell at some teenagers until they fight the devil for you? They and their bird friend just stormed in here and had everyone accusing each other of betrayal and blasting spells at each other within about three minutes.”
“Don’t call me ‘miss,’” said Gwendolyn, folding her arms defensively. “Why’d they leave you alone.”
Intern 47BB stiffened. “Probably because of my status as an intern.”
“Can we stop having a wounded-pride-off and worry about what’s going on here?” suggested Mayor Dew.
“Right!” said Nestor. “What is going on here, anyway? What’s back there?”
Continue reading “Housesitting with Nestor, Part Five”
For the next week, Nestor and Gwendolyn watched Parazoa in shifts. Gwendolyn took the mornings, because Luminous met in the evening and Odd & Ends closed around the same time. Because of the devil’s proclivity for manipulation, they agreed that the fewer people who knew about this, the better. At the same time, seven days in, Gwendolyn expressed her frustrations about the fact that she didn’t know when Linda was returning.
“It’s bad enough my girlfriend walked out on me,” she grumbled, “but now I’ve got to waste all my bloody days watching this cretin for who knows how long!”
“Cretin?” Parazoa had asked. “I thought we were having a lovely conversation!”
Continue reading “Housesitting with Nestor, Part Three”
When hunting ghosts, there were a few things Nestor Pinkly liked to keep in mind.
First of all, ghosts were people, too, you know, and ‘hunting’ was a rather distasteful term, which is why he preferred to use the phrase ‘removing.’ Though make no mistake, the process did very much kill the ghost and rid the universe of its presence for all of time. No joining Sol, no going to the Infinite Hells, just gone. It was very brutal stuff.
Secondly, most ghosts were nice and just trying to have a conversation. Unfortunately, the ghost word for “hello” was similar to the corporeal action of throwing a vase or a valuable plate across the room, and it was easy to confuse the two. One time a ghost sank one of the great waterborne cities of the ancient minotaur empire of Grothal because it couldn’t remember the ethereal words for “excuse me, sir, which way to the nearest library?”
(Sometimes Nestor worried he may have confused the book “Clearly Communicating” with the book “Ethereally Communicating” since he read them on the same day, but he was pretty sure he had it right.)
Lastly, ghosts were just as afraid of you as you were of them – or did ghosts not know fear? As he stood outside of Linda Arterford’s house, preparing to remove a ghost, Nestor realized he knew very little about ghosts and was almost certainly the wrong man for the job. But he liked trying new things, so when Linda stood in the doorway, looking down at his ghost removal gear skeptically, Nestor flashed her a smile of confident reassurance.
Continue reading “Housesitting with Nestor, Part One”
Lofgun’t’gundrmgr Arterford, or Linda, as most people called her, awoke one morning keenly aware that she was alone in Gwendolyn Bottlehelm’s extravagantly sized and needlessly soft bed. Even for a minotaur of her stature, lying there in the middle of that pink-and-red mattress was like being lost at sea, uncertain if she would find the strength to reach dry land.
When Gwen was around, the unreasonable opulence in which she lived made sense. Her curtained bed and bejeweled candle holders took a backseat when she was present; Gwendolyn was always the centerpiece of a room. Without her, it all reeked of excess. She was sure her own home seemed a sty in comparison, which led to more and more days at Gwen’s home, as the two grew harder and harder to separate. Continue reading “Come One, Come All, Part Five”
Before moving to Skymoore, Linda Arterford spent some time in self-imposed hermitage. It was a nice life, at first. A pleasant contrast to the constant travel and bloodshed that had composed the years before it. But even paradise grows dull through repetition, so when Donovan Allman invited her to live in Skymoore, she accepted without a second thought. She’d spent much of the second half of her life traveling from place to place, encountering unusual customs and new ways of living. How hard could it be to adjust in Skymoore? Continue reading “Comings & Goings, Part One”