Last year, I posted a popular series of blog posts on my little Halloween Town village that I created out of a mismatch of several ceramic and plastic houses, lights, figurines, and even some hand made oven-dry polymer clay creations. Every year, I put it out, adding bits and pieces to it as I find them or create them. I keep my eye out for anything useful for the village, be it things in dollar stores, Christmas village pieces in thrift stores that I can paint over, or random things I find elsewhere that can be repurposed.
It’s how I do any of the little villages I put up in certain seasons.
Last October, I as I was decorating “Why not tell the stories of the little figurines that live there?” And so I did, all through the entire month – I wrote five different stories that connected to each other about the characters that I imagined each little figurine to be.
If you missed them, here they are in order (clicking on a link will open a new tab):
This year, while at a craft store, I happened upon three little gnome figurines in the fall section. Since I already had Humphreys the Gnome (a fairy village piece that I painted with acrylic paint to make darker), whose story is touched upon in the Haunted Forest part of the tale, I knew I had to add them as his cousins. Here is their story:
Sherman, Archibald and Montgomery were three of Humphreys’ many cousins. They lived in the Country Lane neighborhood of Sleepy Town, which was in a vastly different section of the country. In October, however, they decided to make the lengthy trek to the Haunted Forest portion of Halloweentown to visit their cousin. After all, they had not seen him in a very long time.
The three happy gnomes brought with them traditional gifts to herald the middle of autumn; a pumpkin, a sunflower and a handmade sign that made the season feel welcome and warm. As they made their way through Halloween Town, however, they clutched their gifts closer and closer to their chests.
“We’re not in Mrs. Covington’s side garden anymore, are we?” Archibald simpered with trepidation as he gripped the sign with two white knuckles.
Montgomery shook his head as he wrung the stem of the rather larger sunflower he had cultivated in his own patch of Mr. Farnsby’s garden.
“No, we most definitely are not!” he muttered indignantly. “What in the name of all that is gnomely made Humphreys choose this forest of all places to live?”
Sherman said nothing, but rather hugged the pumpkin he held to his chest as if his very life depended on it. He was sure even the skeleton army up on Cemetery Hill could hear his heart beating, for it sounded very loud to his ears. He was scared.
Montgomery muttered again.
“Then again, Humphreys was always a little odd,” he replied.
The three of them felt the ground move as Brutus the enchanted tree had yet another tantrum because he had forgotten about the pumpkin carving contest. They listened as Raoul the Forest Keeper chided him again.
They tried to scurry away from the enchanted beings, but because their outfits were so cheery and they were so…. alive…. they stood out like the tiny gnomes they were.
“See!!!!” Brutus howled. “Even the little gnomes have a pumpkin for the contest!”
Sherman yelped as he hugged his gift for his cousin even tighter to his chest. He stared, wide-eyed and frightened, at the giant tree that was throwing an even bigger tantrum in the midst of the forest.
Raoul and GusGus turned to see what gnomes Brutus was talking about and noted the three newcomers. As Archibald held the sign tighter, Montgomery nearly snapped the sturdy sunflower stem in two, and Sherman trembled, the inhabitants nodded at them.
“If you are looking for Humphreys, live friends, he lives over under the hill,” the ghost helpfully stated.
Montgomery was the only one to find his voice.
“Tha… than…. thank you!” he stammered.
As the three gnomes scurried off across the forest, the inhabitants all shared a laugh at the amusement the gnomes’ fright had given them.
Humphreys was smoking his pipe on his doorstep, the small cauldron of slime churning in its place, when his three cousins arrived, out of breath and still clutching their gifts. He sighed and rolled his eyes.
“What in all that is gnomely are you three doing here?” he demanded.
Archibald held out his sign.
“We came to bring you these gifts, cousin,” he stammered, still trying to catch his breath from his run.
Montgomery held out the sunflower.
“Your family sends you their greetings,” he said as cheerily as he could muster.
Sherman held out the pumpkin, still too frightened at the whole sight of Halloween Town to say a word.
Humphreys puffed on his pipe, chewing on the stem as he glared at his cousins. They were here, which could ruin everything. But the ways of his kind also meant he had to accept their hospitality and their gifts.
He took the pumpkin from Sherman first and placed it next to the cauldron. He then took the sign and the sunflower from the other two.
“Get in, quickly,” he commanded, carrying the two gifts inside.
Unlike the pumpkin, they would stick out like sore thumbs in this neck of the woods. He placed them on his work table and turned around, closing the door behind the three cousins. He sighed as he felt a headache coming on. He did not count on his cousins showing up mid-October and possibly ruining the work he was trying to accomplish.
“I thank you all for the gifts,” he said, completing the gnome ritual. “You can send word back to the extended family that I am doing well.”
Montgomery looked around the small hovel with a critical eye. It was dark, it was gloomy, and it was messier than any gnome standards would allow.
“Are you doing well, cousin?” he asked. “Are you really?”
Sherman and Archibald stared, both wide-eyed.
“Yes,” Humphreys replied, still chomping on the stem of his pipe. “I am. And you three being here are going to ruin all of the work I have accomplished.”
“What are you doing?” Sherman asked, finally finding his voice.
“I am trying to help save Halloween Town from the darker forces that want to take over,” Humphreys replied.
“I knew you were an odd one,” Montgomery muttered.
“Yes, I was, and I still am,” Humphreys retorted sharply. “And the zombies are afoot already. Because you three are alive compared to most of the inhabitants here, you will easily be marked as prey if you don’t leave now.”
“What about you, cousin?” Archibald asked, concern evident in his voice.
“I will be fine. I have a pact established already with Twyla. She can only protect a few, if you remember. And since there are the witches up on Witch Hill as well who already have lived here for ages, she’s already at her limit. So please, leave!”
The three gnomes stared, wide eyed at their cousin as he ordered them. Since the code of the gnomes stated they could not stay where they were not wanted, they knew they had to leave. But they worried about their kinsman anyway.
Did the three gnomes make it out of the Haunted Forest and Halloween Town without becoming fodder for the growing zombie army up on Cemetery Hill? Will Twyla and Humphreys be able to do whatever magic they need to do to save the whole town? Who knows. It’s a story best left to the imagination, for now……
If you are interested in seeing this year’s incarnation of Halloweentown, I made a reel on my Instagram:
Until next time, dear friends……. Stay magical……
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