Gerald, the lawn gnome, had grown tired of being “cute.” He had looked it up, one night, in a dictionary Elizabeth had carelessly left lying on the front stoop. It did not mean handsome, or manly, or noble. No, “cute” was something whimsical and trivial and Gerald had been in a foul mood ever since he’d learned the real meaning of the word. Near midnight, he crawled into his lair, where he had amassed the tools of his trade.
Among the gnomes, he was known as a skilled mechanic. The humans would probably call him a mere tinkerer, but Gerald liked to invent things. He also liked to dismantle things. The other gnomes liked to hire him as a sort of handyman. He wished he could dismantle his own red hat – a stupid, unfashionable, cliched “gnome hat” as envisioned by the stupid humans. It was permanently affixed to his head, and should he get a notion to try knocking it off, as Henry had done, he risked cracking his own skull. Gerald envisioned a sequel to his life, wherein humans wearing 1970s velour jogging suits and big hair frolicked lifelessly in the tunnels of Gnomeville. It made him smile, a little, inside.
When he emerged from his lair, just before sun-up, Gerald took his tools with him and gleefully disabled his humans’ gas grill. And then he began to tinker with it. Finally, he crossed this wire with that wire, and enabled his own version of the propane cooker. So much for their big Fourth of July plans. Their party would be a blast, all right.
Another little story, inspired once upon a time at the Creative Copy Challenge (not sure if it was my first contribution there, but being dated February 6, 2011, I’m pretty sure I was iced in and feeling no pain – just about two weeks after major surgery, still taking regular doses of hydrocodone, and stuck inside due to a rare ice storm in Houston).