June 8th, 2015
The Basement of the Mayoral Residence
“This is fun, what you two have.” The creature said as it paced in front of its captives, “I HATE FUN!”
He wasn’t a gnome like they had been told, that’s for sure. The short creature could have been mistaken for a gnome, if you had one eye closed and the other had just been punched. He had dark ruddy skin, a bald head, ears almost two sizes too big for the rest of the head, wearing trousers, a poncho made from a towel with the initials EB in one corner, and boots that are obviously too big for him. It would be comical if he wasn’t still so strong and agile. No, not a gnome. Before they had fallen through the floor of the ballroom in the Mayor’s estate, Dipper had correctly identified the creature as a Hob. But then they did fall through the floor and were subsequently hit over the head. When they came to, they were tied up tightly and the Hob had begun ranting.
“For years I had to listen to all of the townsfolk having fun while I had to care for my dear Master. He worked tirelessly for the people of this place and when he passed, what did they do. They elected a new mayor. Someone not worthy of wearing my master’s boots let alone running the town in his absence.” The Hob said as he once again walked around to check on the rope he had bound the young couple with. Seeing it still around their wrists he continued “My dear Master Befufftlefumpter, he was a great man. He saved me. During the fighting between all you big ones, first my family and then my home were taken from me. My family was taken by the men in the pointy hats, they even took the baby. Then the explosions came and the Haus Kline was gone. I was a Hob with neither a home nor a family to care for, it was worse than a new suit.”
“They killed your baby, I’m so sorry.” Wendy started to say as she generally felt sorry for the Hob.
“Silence!!” he practically spat out in her face.
“Back off. She was just trying to offer you some sympathy.” Dipper said as he tried to position himself between them.
“Jerk.” Wendy added. She was not surprised that Dipper had moved as much as he could have to her defense, she would have done the same in his place. They had been doing so ever since that first summer and the fact they were dating now really hasn’t changed that.
“Sympathy, bah. I do not need your pity. And it wasn’t my baby, it was the future master of the household.” The Hob said as he turned on his heel and began pacing in front of them “Tuck had one job, to help my family, and Tuck failed them twice. But Master Befufftlefumpter saw that Tuck had done his best and Master took me in. Offered to let Tuck move into his house and become part of his household. Tuck was over joyed, but this meant Tuck had to move far away from his fallen home and his failure.”
“That sounds fortunate.” Dipper said after Wendy nudged him and winked “You know what they say, ‘When one door closes, another one opens.”
“Oh no,” Tuck the Hob said as he paused and looked up at the door leading to the rest of the house “Tuck always made sure that all the doors stayed shut unless Master wished them to be open. I was always a good hob, yes Tuck was.”
Wendy’s mind was going a mile a minute even though she had almost worked her right hand free. ‘Man I wish I hadn’t not ran into Tyler this morning. But I did, and he had to ask for a favor. And when your dad’s boyfriend, who is also the mayor, asks for a favor you find yourself inclined to agree to it. Besides, this was right up Dipper’s alley and that would mean spending more time with him. I mean it was just someone or something pulling pranks on Tyler and only in the Mayoral mansion. Well, according to Pacifica, it is more of a Mayoral Cottage than a mansion and she would know. But I’m getting off track.’
And then she felt her thumb pop free, now she just had to wiggle to get the binder past the rest of her knuckles. ‘The help reported seeing someone real short and so we thought a gnome. But Geoff denied that it was one of his subjects, so we thought maybe one had went rogue. We went in blind and fell for some tame Kevin McCallister style traps. All because some Larry Taylor styled house elf has grown too big for his poncho. Now I just need to get the rest of my hand free, there.’
As she pulled it loose, she shook the feeling back into her hand. Then she slid it towards Dipper only to have it meet his free hand. Luckily Tuck the Hob seemed to still be spouting on about his issues to notice when they both sorta gasped. Then as one they smirked as their attention went back on their captor. He didn’t have the element of surprise this time and he didn’t stand a chance.
"And then…” Tuck the Hob started but stopped as he saw that not only were his bound captives no longer bound, but they were also on their feet and coming towards him. “This is not right. You are my prisoners. You do not get to get free.”
“Sorry man, those sound like your rules. We follow our own.” Wendy said as she moved towards the Tuck.
With his eyes on the red head that towered over him, he didn’t notice Dipper until he was on him.
“And one of the first rules is, you don’t attack us.” Dipper said as he completed the tackle. As he stood up and attempted to bring the Hob with him, he saw it melding into the floor. “What the?”
"How hard did you hit him, man?” Wendy asked in disbelief.
“Oh, his blow was good. But A hob and home are tough to beat.” Tuck’s voice called out from all around them.
Suddenly empty paint cans and other debris started flying at them from all directions. Dipper took a basketball to his stomach that knocked him over a fallen table. Wendy quickly followed him to cover.
“Any ideas?” She asked as she helped him into a seated position.
“I’m thinking, I’m thinking!” Dipper said. He lifted his head up to see if Tuck had reappeared. He quickly dropped back down as a hand trowel embedded itself into the table.
“Hurry man.” Wendy said as a croquet ball flew over her head.
“Ok.” Dipper replied as an idea began to piece together some thoughts that had been floating through his head. “Ok, you called him a house elf earlier. You know what, you may not be too far off. RJ Kallings may be a bit of a hack, but she did do some research. Her house elves were loosely based on the British hobgoblin myths. And I bet that Hob is short for hobgoblin. I have an idea.”
He leaned close and began whispering into her ear while he pulled something out of his pockets and handed it to her.
“You sure about this?” she asked as she looked at what he handed her.
“Well, about 70 percent sure.” He said slightly chagrinned.
“Good enough for me.” She said with a smile. Standing up she called out. “Hey, short stuff.”
“What do you want, fool.” Tuck said as the debris field began to slow down.
“You said earlier that you are tied to the household, right? And to the members of the household?” Wendy asked as she stepped over the fallen table and moved towards Tuck.
“Yes, that is true. But I really don’t see what that has to do with you.” Tuck replied as he wearily watched Wendy come closer, ready to retreat into the floor at a moments notice.
“Well the current Master of the house is practically my stepfather and I guess that makes me a member of the household as well.” Wendy said calmly as she came with in arms reach of Tuck. “And so I just wanted to show my appreciation of all the hard work you do around here.”
And with that she tossed him the pair of hand knit gloves that Dipper gave her moments ago Tuck reflexively caught them and seconds later threw them down in disgust.
“Fine. If that is how you truly feel, then goodbye.” And he turned and walked into the wall and was gone.
“Ok, that actually worked. You think he’s gone for good?” she asked as she turned back towards where she had left Dipper. And it looks like he had been busy while she was talking to Tuck. He held an old picture frame in his hands.
“I hope so, but just to be sure.” He walked over and picked up the gloves and placed them behind the frame’s glass. Pulling out a marker he wrote ‘For Tuck’ on the bottom of the frame. “So where should we hang this?”