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Paper Chase

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“Have you ever really looked at the paper in your room, George?”

“Mm?” He flicked the newspaper down to stare at Mitchell. “Whatever do you mean?”

“I mean, your wallpaper. It has gnomes on it.” Mitchell wagged his finger toward the staircase, indicating the bedrooms upstairs. “I didn’t pay attention when we moved in, but.”

George flipped the paper back up, ignoring his housemate. “Ask Annie if you want to carry on about it. I didn’t choose it, after all.”

“Oh, no,” Annie said, setting down yet another cup of tea on the table. “I had nothing to do with papering that room. Owen and I,” she smiled, getting that daft smile she always got when talking about her ex-fiancee – well, ex in that she died before they could get married – “well, it was like that when we moved in! We thought, maybe that would be a child’s room.”

“Child’s room.” Mitchell smirked at George.

George snapped the newspaper. “I like the gnomes. They’re,” he considered. “Homey.”

Annie snickered. “Homey.”

“Well, if you didn’t like them, why didn’t you change the paper out?” George’s frown, though he didn’t realize it, looked more like a pout.

“Children, George.” Annie and Mitchell exchanged a look. “But if you like the gnomes, far be it from me to criticize.”

George ignored them both. He wasn’t really in the mood to argue. Besides, the gnomes were cheery, and it was nice to come home after a full moon to something cheery. The gnomes could stay, as far as he was concerned.

Besides, the paper gave Mitchell something to natter on about.