Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Grommet, Reverie One

              Grommet set the letter down, shaking.
              “Who would send me this?”
              Grommet folded the sheets back to look at the address. The pages cracked at the edges. “Cogswaddle, Mage Quarter, Stormwind” and in smaller writing “This is all I remember.”
              From the age of the pages, they had been written some time ago. The mail system had obviously held them in some sort of limbo.
              Grommet had only just settled in Stormwind. After the Trogg invasion of Gnomeregan and zombie invasion of Ironforge, living underground no longer provided a sense of security. She could now understand why her Uncle had chosen to live his life under the open sky, to wander the world cataloging its flora and fauna, even though it had marked him as odd, from a Gnomish perspective. For herself, she kept the shutters of her third floor room (really a converted attic space, not tall enough for a human, therefore inexpensive) unlatched and even slept with a small bag of light feathers around her neck. More than once in the days after the zombie invasion she had awakened with a nearly empty bag, huddled, shivering, on top of the dumbwaiter at the bottom of its shaft, or on the night-wet grass of the park below her window.
              Until she’d moved to Stormwind the only other Cogswaddle who’d lived there had been her Uncle Castpipe.; and he’d vanished in a teleportation accident almost a decade ago. Her mother insisted that her Uncle wasn’t dead, just very, very, far away.
              She and her brother had still mourned. Neither believed their maternal unit, until the first time Camfollower, her twin brother, had been seriously injured while scavenging in the Trogg infested areas of home. Grommet had felt a crushing sense of loss as Camfollower had oscillated close to closing his last circuit beneath the great gear. Then, when Cam’d unexpectedly left Gnomeregan, again a sense of distance, a loss, but not quite the same. Long before Cam’s fist letters arrived Grommet assured her parental units that her brother was alive. So, if Grommet’s mother believed Uncle Castpipe was alive, Grommet was inclined to accept that as true.
              Grommet reasoned that the letters must had been meant for her Uncle.
              Grommet turned back to the stack of letters, each had the same oddly incomplete address, none had a return address. She placed them in order of their delivery stamp, mere seconds apart, more proof that they had languished in the mail system’s Nether conduits until a matching recipient could be found. The most recent contained a line of tiny almost unreadable script on the outside of the packet.
              “Who am I to you?”
              Grommet shivered, there was something so lost, so vulnerable in that small phrase, but also, perhaps due to the sharp scratchy hand, threatening.

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