This one peters out more than some of them today. I wasn’t sure where it wanted to go.
Anne Herrington had heard things about Smokey Knoll, of course, but the house was so cheap and it was such a nice house.
She didn’t ask too many questions of the old owners – a very nice couple with three kids, the youngest still in diapers – because it was clear that the two-bedroom house was too small for their growing needs. The tiny strip of city-style front lawn was a little overgrown, sure, and the back they’d let go wild to raspberry bushes and wild roses, four woody apple trees and a vigorous smattering of grapes, but Anne had quite the green thumb and was looking forward to the challenge. The house itself was solid, passed all inspections with flying colors, and came in ten grand under her budget.
And, yes, it was actually in Smokey Knoll, not adjacent as the realtor had tried to sell it, but so what? Smokey Knoll was supposed to be a beautiful place. Sure, the people were a little… strange, but Anne had grown up around strange people. She might be normal, but that said nothing for her parents’ friends, or her friends in school, or that brief phase of college experimentation…
Anyway, she sold insurance now, and it was a very nice, very staid, very normal job, and she had a two-bedroom home with very sound walls in Smokey Knoll.
Then she came home early one day, because the idea of selling insurance to one more person was giving her a splitting headache and she hadn’t had a day off in half a year.
And there were four people standing on her kitchen counter. Four tiny, tiny people.
She stared at them.
They stared at her.
She inched closer, peering. She hadn’t had hallucinations with her migraines in years.
They millimetered backwards away from her.
“You’re Tinies!“ She made her voice as quiet as she could. They still backed up another teeny step. “Oh my god, I thought I’d imagined you! I thought you were something from that – uh. I thought I’d made you up.”
The tallest of the tiny people, who was carrying what looked like the leftovers from her Oreo binge, stared back at her. “You imagined us?”
“No – well. Maybe. There were a lot of drugs involved.” She pulled up a stool to the counter and sat down. “Let’s just say… I’m glad to know you’re real.”
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