In the outskirts of the forest under an ancient oak rests the home of the yet to be - great gnome of Tiny Town. Li is a young gnome from the bloodline of Lil’s. She spends most of the day and night in her workshop building prototypes of all sorts of things a little gnome can think of.
“What are those squishy ball-shaped things lying around her house?” you might ask. They are glowflakes that are charged by sunlight to glow strongly at night.
Now, gnomes aren’t typically loud or visible to the giant world. They are raised to be careful, to pay attention and to instantly disappear when needed. The whole gnome culture revolves around living a safe life hidden away for as long as possible to protect its species.
Li used to study the lives of her forefathers and history of gnomes. What caught her interest the most was when the gnomes and the giants’ paths crossed because every one of those stories had a tragic ending. Knowing how paranoid and precocious gnome is by nature, she figured the stories were overblown and possibly altered to protect the reader from growing an interest in investigating giants any further.
If she ever wanted to know more, she’d have to write the books herself.
“Today is one of the hottest days in a hundred years” was the headline of the Tiny Town’s newsletter. The elders were drinking lemonade and reading limericks out loud while the street musicians were sleeping on the paved ground with their feet in buckets of water. The kids were playing loud and wild on the square. They didn’t go to school because their teacher called in sick saying he’s way too old to go outside in this heat.
A small group of babies was feasting on Li’s glowflakes in front of her house when the mothers stormed into Lil’s garage. “We need to complain about the big balls that you are throwing around your house. We think you should keep them inside, and keep all of your experiments behind locked doors for the sake of the children”.
Li promptly rose up from her chair and took one of the jars from the shelf behind her and held it in front of their faces. “This is a synthetic form of firefly jelly. The balls are soaked in it. It’s tested on plants and on myself and I can assure you that it’s completely safe in contact with skin and fur.
Totally uninterested in the synthetic firefly jelly they kvetched “We are worried about the children!”
Li frowned for a second thinking of how to get the women out of her house, and then she ran out to scold the babies. “Go home, babies! Or I will tell your parents to ground you!”
She turned to the parents “keep your kids where you can see them, or they’ll get sick from eating poop next time”.
She watched them walking away to make sure they didn’t leave any kids behind.
“She’s one rude gnome, that young lady. I don’t want her to come to my birthday party. Like she would ever show up anyway.”
Li squinted and went back to her workstation to continue perfecting the very last detail she’s been working on for the last months.
It was almost dawn. The cheerful sounds from the square passed as everyone got back to their homes to enjoy their dinners. The cotton-like glow-flakes started to glow and sh could see them from the windows in her workshop. Li were doing the last touches on her invention experimenting which substances to use, not only for quickly attaching and detaching the glow flakes to her red suit but also for holding in high speed running in all kinds of weathers.
Finally, she smiled and exclaimed “Burdock, what else? Of course, it’s perfect! This is it! Whohooo!”