Part of this morning was spent convincing Aidan that Bilbo Baggins was not a legitimate name for the gnome in my NaNo story. Sierra had to be talked down from Pooh Bear and Snowbell as gnome names. However, I must admit that I was briefly tempted by the notion of a short, bearded man named Snowbell. Fortunately, Caitlin came to the rescue with Abbletrotkin.
Here is an excerpt in which we are formally introduced to Abbletrotkin:
“Oh.” Sylvia startled a little. “I guess we haven’t introduced ourselves, have we? I’m sorry. It’s just with the dragon and all…”
“Your distraction is understandable. Perhaps we should begin again. It is a pleasure to meet you.”
“You too. I’m Sylvia, and this is my brother Richard and our little sister Dylan.” Richard and Dylan bowed. “Dylan must be crazy excited. She goes on and on about gnomes all the time.” Sylvia blushed. “We told her she was nuts. We,” she rubbed a toe through the pine needles. “We told her you were just make-believe.”
The gnome chuckled, a startling rumbly sound. “And now you have been made to believe. Thus, it appears that all were correct.”
The children laughed and Dylan skipped around the gnome singing, “I told you so, I told you so.” She stopped directly in front of the gnome. “But we don’t know your name.”
“You are correct, Dylan. I, too, have been somewhat disconcerted by the events of the day.”
Richard filed away the word “disconcerted.” He liked the bumpiness of the syllables.
The gnome bowed. “I am Abbletrotkin.”
Richard felt a giggle escaping and choked as he turned it into a cough. “Uh, apple-pumpkin, did you say?”
“Richard!” Sylvia hissed at him. “His name is Abletrotting.”
Dylan sighed and rolled her eyes. “I’m sorry,” she said to Abbletrotkin. “They’re just stupid about gnomes. I think that happens as kids in our world get older. Or, maybe they’re just stupid. His name,” she glared at her brother and sister, “is Abbletrotkin. Abble, ‘a – a,’ not ‘aay’ and not ‘apple.’ Trotkin, not ‘trotting,’ and definitely not ‘pumpkin.’ Do you have ears?” She shook her head. “Stupid.” Then Dylan looked sideways at Abbletrotkin. “Um, I’m not trying to be rude, but your name kind of reminds me of Rumplestiltskin. Is he?” she left the question open, not sure how to ask, or even if Abbletrotkin knew of the fairy tale.
“A cousin, distant.” The gnome’s face closed. “We do not speak of him.”
“Why not?” Richard was curious. Surely everyone had some family member that wasn’t quite okay. Though, perhaps, stealing babies and smashing through floors was considered extreme in gnome culture.