After Sturdy Walls
The Tinies had appointed an ambassador to come speak to Anne. Said ambassador had a beard nearly to his feet, was wearing a very sharp bottle-cap hat with trimmings of what looked like gold wire and the ribbon she’d misplaced, and had a quiet voice that nevertheless was somehow very hard to ignore.
“I am Yeg-Tren-Opar, and I am the elder of this family.” He sat down politely in the small cushion Anne provided – the lining from a jewelry box that had come with some familial present last year. “You present to us an interesting conundrum, and as you seem sensible, we thought we would share that conundrum with you in turn.”
“I’m willing to hear your conundrum,” she offered as formally as possible. She was talking to tiny people. Some part of her brain was squealing with that. Tiny. People. Who lived, it appeared, in the wall behind her kitchen.
“You are, as far as we can tell, a human.”
“That’s my understanding.” She spoke with humans every day who took themselves at least as seriously as this small man. She could keep her face straight even when she thought she was saying or hearing ridiculous things.
The thing was, she wasn’t entirely sure this was ridiculous.
“This house is in Smokey Knoll, but the positioning of such has meant that, from time to time, it passes into human hands. This can cause some problems, as humans and Tiny Folk do not always get along.”
“The previous residents of this house…”
The elder lifted his tiny, bushy eyebrows. “Moved out.”
There was a world of meaning in those two words. Anne sat back and considered them.
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