1.02 The gnome village

…After looking back a few times I couldn’t see the cursed castle anymore and I sat down on a red fungus. All over its red cap were white dots and it was humming a merry time 🎼🎶 I took my map of the area to try and find out where I was going to spend the night. It was getting dark soon so I had to try and find a decent place to eat, sleep and maybe get some information about this forest and my way through…

I noticed there was a small village of some kind just a bit further down the path. It was still light when I arrived at the most peculiar village I had ever seen. It was completely build out of large giant fungy and some hollow trees…

I decided to stroll a bit through the village and try to speak to some locals but I didn’t see anyone…

The village seemed totally deserted, ubtil I heard a high pitched voice calling me from a small window and then I saw a tiny bearded man wearing a colored, pointy cap….

…and after I explained my situation and my plan to travel to the other side of the wood and my hope to stay here for a night he told me he didn’t have a bed large enough for me and doubted there was even a house large enough to contain me but he also suggested to look down and ask some of the other villagers for a place to stay…

Then I heard a high pitched giggle from below, looked down and saw a tiny bearded fisherman wearing a pointy, colored cap and an umbrella sitting next to a wee little river that meandered through the village…

I asked the little man whether he knew a place I could spend the night and he told me to search for his wife who ran the local Inn and would be able to tell me whether there was still a room available for me… tha he stopped, looked more carefull at me, shook his head and added… “or maybe 3 rooms to contain you”…

I walked passed some more snow covered fungus houses …

…and suddenly I heard singing, but this time it was a female voice and looking down I saw a very small lady washing trousers and tea cloths…

I asked her if she had a room left for me to stay for the night and without looking up she nodded 1st yes and the towards the other side of the path where I saw a the Inn.

Before the Inn were two fishermen trying their luck in the little forest river…

 

I needed to know the best route to follow the next day on my journey through this forest so I asked one of the fishermen who had paused fishing to start smoking a well earned pipe…

…he thought a bit and then answered: “You should best follow this path until you reach a long wall. There someone lives who might be able to answer your question…

Then I wanted to enter the Inn, but the still fishing fisherman murmured something that sounded like finding the pianoplayer first…

I searched and went from fungus to mushroom and back to fungus again but nowhere seemed to be a pianoplayer or anything like it. I found a baker, a butcher and a toolmaker but as I grew more tired and it got darker outside, I began to wonder whether I would ever be able to find the pianoplayer…

Then I reached a silent, dark, moist and creepy part of the village. There were no mushrooms or other fungus houses overhere, but as darkness grew, the trees seemed to look at me. Then I thought I saw trees move and follow me with their eyes and they started to bow towards me. I was falling to the ground and specifically one tree was now bending right above me…

 

…but as I crept on the ground trying to escape that monstrous tree, I saw a light coming from between its wooden legs, or were they just wooden roots? I crept towards the light and looked between the trees legs, the gnarling tree that by now had almost caught me between its long reaching branches and twigs, but then I saw a men sitting at a piano making music and I was filled with an inner calmness as soon as I heard him play and as I looked up, the gnarling tree seemed to be just that…a gnarling tree…

After the pianoman had stopped playing I told him he was expected to come with me to perform at the Inn and this seemed to please him. He followed me back to the inn…

 

When I walked back I saw that the windows had been closed. It had gotten much colder and darker…

…the candle lights were being lit …

The pianoman entered the Inn and I followed. For me the main bar room was still quite claustrophobic,

But there was music and good foods and drinks, so I decided to join the company…

There were delicious pies to eat and cherry lemonade and the discussions mainly about the animals and trees in the local environment, were most pleasant…

Some of the other guests were already sleeping, some were slowly going to their room but I had to sleep, curled up in the barroom, which was the only room that could contain me…

After some more delicious pie and a few pints of strawberry lemonade, everyone had gone to bed and I could finally get some sleep myself…

The next morning I aws up early, feeling every muscle in my body, because I had not been too comfartable lying there on the floor of that tiny Inn. I got myself some food but everything was so small that they had to prepare 45 scrambled eggs, 27 white breads and 30 potts, 15 with honey and 15 with marmalade, to still my hunger…

 

Then I said goodbye and left the village, on my way to find me some help to get through this dark forest…

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