Post by Bran Fionn O'Dalaigh on Nov 10, 2021 18:11:49 GMT -7
a little closer to grace.
october, 2021THE GNOMES WERE ACTING ODD. Bran had heard of three instances were gnomes were seen stealing food from the kitchens, much to the horror of the elves preparing the meals there. Typically, they nested out by the Forbidden Forest, and they certainly did not swipe food from within the school halls. Along with a few break-in's to the greenhouses, Bran was convinced something was afoot. He set out with a backpack, a textbook with a chunky portion on gnomes, and a notebook for his findings. It was not the first time Bran had snuck out of the castle in search of adventure on his own, and it certainly would not be the last.
The small tent had no closing front flap, and had been swiped from a bedmate who had brought it with the intention of turning the whole dorm into some kind of blanket fort. It was enough to keep the cold out, and Bran hadn't even set up a fire in case it scared the creatures away. He was wrapped up in his coat, blowing into his hands for a good few hours after lights out before the wind even changed.
Hunkered down, his knuckles red raw, he saw the first gnome poke their head out with a titter. Bran had perfected his ability to blend in, pressing his belly into the dirt as he lifted a set of binoculars to his eyes hungrily. They tottered out in formation, though not as the textbook laid out. It was a rather clumsy parade, their squealing language jumbled as they spoke over one and other. Bran's head was hurting as he tried to decipher what had gotten them... drunk, almost. He waited until the last gnome stumbled out of its nest before he very quietly began to tail them through the Forbidden Forest.
There were many sounds that should have frightened Bran that night. How the forest seemed to breathe, or the odd howl could be heard intermittently from somewhere deep in the recesses. He was not stupid enough to venture out on a full moon, but it still made him flinch when he heard it. The gnomes were unfazed, and entirely consumed by their journey as they traced a path through the foliage. Bran kept his distance, but he was enraptured. He'd never seen the gnomes look so organised, while appearing so simultaneously out of sorts. They didn't even recognise they were being followed.
In the distance, a light could be seen warming the neighbouring trees. The gnomes noticed it at the same time as Bran, their high-pitched voices seeming to hum in reverence. A rhythmic call that was so jarring that Bran stopped to watch them scatter towards it, as if in a race for who could reach the light first. Bran picked up his pace at once, the binoculars swinging from his neck as he broke the treeline just moments after the last gnome. It was not some godly being, rather it was a warming spell that flooded Bran with so much heat that it choked him momentarily.
It was... a garden. Bathed in artificial light, the potted plants stretched along growth poles and dripped with dew. There was no variation in the plants, just a line of the same leafy bushels. Bran paused, his brain going into overtime as he saw a gnome squeal as it passed his legs and ferociously gnawed on the stalk of a nearby plant. Bran walked towards it, pressing a sticky stem between his fingers and frowning as he tried to remember where exactly he had seen such a thing before. And then it hit him all at once. "This is weed!" He gasped, his mouth dropping open in shock before he collapsed at the waist in great peals of laughter. The gnomes were getting high.