Saturday, November 20, 2010

Storytelling Exercise: Dwarf Story, Part 3: P'kin Explains

P'kin laughs. "I'm not really going to kill you. Calm down. You're just stuck here til morning. Or you could try to walk home, but I hear the city is dangerous to walk this late, alone. So relax and I'll tell you why we've yet to be discovered by anyone besides you." He takes his own whistle, now finished, and waves it in my face a bit to show that he really did whittle mine so quickly. He then places it in his pocket, leans back, and suggests I get comfortable.

"The luck I have, to be in one of the few stations that does not run twenty-four hours. I have no chair. Are you going to whittle one of those too?"

He looks confused for a moment, and then stands and gestures like a gentleman at his seat. "Milady."

"And then where will you sit?"

"I am a dwarf. Does not your lore tell you how comfortable we are with the Earth? I will sit on the ground. It is not so damp over here as it is down that way. You may mind it, but I do not."

I sit in the chair in the alcove, and he settles onto the ground outside it, where I was standing before. "I don't like to believe everything in lore," I say. "While it also speaks of your folk as skilled craftsmen, which is evidently true, there are conflicting pieces of lore regarding your people's size and temperament. Why should I believe any of these things, without seeing for myself?"

"Fair enough. Know this, then - we do like the Earth. We live under it, actually, or many of us do."

"Many? And you chose to tunnel from the subway, and somehow managed this without people seeing you? Nothing is making sense."

"Then, Dinah, let me make it make sense. You have made the assumption that this bit of tunnel has existed for a very long time. It has not, and it is incomplete. You have also made the assumption that we tunneled from the subway. We have not. We tunneled from where we live underground, over to here. We were hoping to keep the wall between us and your subway system for just a while longer, until this tunnel is truly complete, and looks more like a proper dwarf-tunnel should. But I confess, I saw no danger in letting a fellow whistler find me. It seemed better, anyway, than to drive you away and let you alert the news-folks about this place."

My head spins. "But what do you and your people want with us? For that matter, where are the rest of you? Where is the rest of the underground? This tunnel, as far as I have seen, has no way of entry besides the way I came in, and ends rather visibly just past those lanterns."

"Ends? My dear, that's a door."

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