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 Norbert's Letters

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Gomez
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Number of posts : 439
Age : 40
Location : Rocky Mountains
Registration date : 2008-07-23

PostSubject: Norbert's Letters   Fri May 08, 2009 6:46 am

Okay, it's no good asking where this came from other than the following: I was working at my boring, work-a-day accounting job when The Bangles cover of Hazy Shade of Winter came over the radio (cf. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taf8fYP9Y-A&feature=related) and Norbert said "Hey, that's my song!" and I said, "Wha... bu... Who the HELL are you?" And he said, "I'm Norbert."
If you're an author, that will make sense. If your not, thank God. It's annoying.

Criticism is welcome, of course, but for now, all I want to know is this: Is this letter interesting enough that you want to see the second? There are three, to date:

----begin feed----

Hi. I'm Norbert. I'm supposed to tell you all about me so you'll know. I'd guess I have to start with where I came from. Technically, I came from where we all came from -- from a Pure Heart Wish, but my case is special for a couple of reasons.
It was in the 1300s somewhere. I don't remember the exact year. Elves aren't too keen on that sort of thing. I guess that means I'm about 700 years old, and that makes ma a lot older than Morton in the Naughty/Nice Centre OR Suzie up in Logistics Processing, even though they always try to act so important. I mean, just because they get to deliver monthly reports to Santa personally doesn't mean their job is any more important than mine, does it?
Oh, I guess I better explain my job, so I have to go back to my Wish. It was a big Wish -- one of the biggest. I mean, people still talk about that Wish a hundred years or so ago in England, and only three elves came from that Wish. I have eleven brothers, so that's got to be one of the biggest ever! I always meant to ask Santa about that, but I don't see him unless it's really important. That's how I know my job's just as important as old Suzie's.
Well, my Pure Heart, her name was Mishka. I guess she must have had a last name, too. I don't know -- nobody ever used it. I don't think SHE even knew it. She was still little, so it was really sad, but here's what happened:

There was this big fight in Eastern Europe. I don't know why, that was before I Was; but Ivan says they were always fighting about something. Anyway, when there are big fights, you always have some bad soldiers. Not all soldiers are bad. John, the loremaster at the library, told me that in 1212 over a hundred soldier-boys made the Extra Nice List, and that was a new record; but these weren't Nice soldiers. These were bad men who were soldiers because then they got to kill and steal and stuff. They came to Mishka's village and they took all her daddy's things and her daddy said "No!" and the soldiers got mad. I know this because it was part of the Wish so I had to know it to Be. And the soldiers fought Daddy, but Daddy wasn't a soldier so he fell down and everything was red. It was a sad, sad, mean, bad thing. Ivan says it happened all the time, and I know it still does, but it's not smart to do a thing that bad around a Pure Heart. At least, not one that believes in Faeries.
Mishka cried and the bad soldiers said "Be still!" and she closed her eyes and Wished and as she Wished, she screamed. She did that scream that only a Pure Heart can do. She screamed so that Time and Nature and Death and everyone else had to stop and wonder what was happening, and that Scream went all through the Earth and the Heaven and it cried out, and it was heard, and that's when I came true; me and all my brothers, right there in that village.
Now there are several reasons why this is special. One is that there were so many of us, the wish was so big. Another is that we came true right there, and that never happens -- new elves only come true at the North Pole, which of course is where we belong; but this Wish was so strong it pulled us all the way down to that village.
Those were both very strange things, but what was the most special was what the Wish was. Now if it was you, and you were a girl, and you were six, and your daddy fell down, you might have wished that something bad would happen. You might wish that all the soldiers would turn red and fall down, but if Mishka had wished that, she would not have been a Pure Heart, and then a Wish that big wouldn't have made elves come true. It would have made bad things, and Wishes like that are why there are Boogymen and there are bugaboos under beds. She was so pure, my mother was, that she didn't think to wish for the soldiers to be dead. All she wished was to be safe and for the bad men to leave Daddy alone; so that's why we're twelve elves and not bugaboos -- but we're different from other elves. The Wish was good, but it was because of bad things. It was because there were bad men and they did an awful thing to an innocent man and made a Pure Heart into an orphan and that's why the Scream cried out to Heaven for vengeance and we had to kill those bad men. They couldn't kill us, of course, so they stayed dead and we won, but they killed Mishka because she was small like us and they were trying to kill us and we cried. Morton said the first thing Men do when their mothers Wish them is to cry, so maybe I'm something like a Man.
So, anyway, about my job: I already mentioned about the bugaboos and the Boogymen. Those are the little problems -- human Wishes gone wrong. There are big ones, too: Great big things older than Men and darker than bugaboos and more clever than goblins, and the Boogymen follow them and worship them and do anything they say. They all hate the elves, and Santa too, but they hate Men more than anything, and want to make them sad. We are made of joy, happiness, and generosity. If they win, we won't Be anymore. My job is to see that they don't win.
That's why I'm different. The elves live to spread hope and joy, but my job is to stop despair and misery. Me and my brothers. Santa says we're the only ones who can do it, because of all the elves, we're the only ones built for fighting.
His enemies are stinginess, sorrow, hate, and evil, and we're his army, and we fight the dark things that spread them.
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Number of posts : 439
Age : 40
Location : Rocky Mountains
Registration date : 2008-07-23

PostSubject: Re: Norbert's Letters   Wed May 20, 2009 6:15 pm

Hmm... I'll take that as a no, then. Ah well. I'm posting the second letter anyway because I got it typed, and because I can, and there's nothing for the Mods to object to so just try and stop me, mwa haha!

I don't doubt it's rife with errors. I typed it up just now with my head down looking at the page instead of what was popping up on the screen. I'm not too worried about editing since I have no real desire to release the letters themselves, they're just freewriting to get me acquainted with the characters and setting until I come up with a good plot.

Begin letter 2 of 3
--------------------------

Hi. This time I'm supposed to tell you about the special things I'm able to do so I can do my job. It's kind of hard to explain - stuff just happens the right way around me. I suppose first I should tell you what all Elves can do in case you don't know. I hope I explain it right. I mean, if you had to explain everything a Man can do to George in Stuffing Quality Control, you'd probably forget some things. I spend a lot of time with humanity, though, so I think I've got a good idea how Men are different from Elves.
First off, Men are more real, so they're only where they are and nowhere else, so they can't go between places unless they walk or get carried or something. We can move without being in between the two places. We don't really have a word for it. We just call it moving. I asked John the Loremaster if men have a word for it, and they did, but it was really hard. Some kind of jump. A "Quentin's Jump" or something, and some say "leap" instead of "jump," but I think that's all kind of weird because it doesn't feel like a jump; it feels more like a slide. But anyway, I've never seen a man move like that.
Also we can hide from Men so they can't see us even when we're right there. Other elves can always see us, and boogums and all the other fairies, of course. And SOME animals. That's weird. See, we can hid from some animals, but not others; like, we can from birds and cows and mice, but not dogs or cats or horses. And we can always see Angels, but I think Men hardly ever do because they always ignore them.
Oh, and Men sleep. That's another difference. It scared me the first time I saw that, but now I just think it's funny.
And walls and doors and fences and things keep men out, but they don't do that to us unless they're iron.
I think that's all the ways we're different... oh, except we stay the same. Men get big and then they get forgetful and start playing dumb boring games I don't know the rules to like Dates and Stock Marketing and those kinds of things. And then they leave. We mostly just stick around unless enough people stop believing, or we get killed, but it takes a lot to kill us, and Men leave whether they get killed or not. I don't know where Men go when they leave. That's not part of our job. A little boy in Canada told me that they turn into Angels, but that's just dumb. Angels were always here and they don't change at all.
Okay, so how am I different? Well, each Elf has a special skill that he's best at like cutting through wood real fast to work in the Woodshop or being able to touch iron to work in the Clockworks, or being able to count to millions and millions and remember each one to work in the Naughty and Nice Centre. Well, mine is different because my job isn't for making toys or just watching. Mine's for helping. So are my brothers, but we're all different. Like Maksim's faster than anything, and Boris and Bruno are stronger than you can even think, and Cyil can fly, and things like that. Me, I just make things happen. Like, say Tanya tripped on a rubber ball or something. Okay, normally, she'd just fall down because she's slow and wouldn't think to go somewhere else before she hit the ground. But if I were there, I could make sure that she fell just right so Ivan would catch her, and the ball would go flying so it knocked a box back onto an assembly line that was about to fall, and then land in the basket it fell out of in the first place. Or I could just make it hit Gretchen in the back of the head because she's funny.
But the thing is, I can't move the ball itself. Bella can do that. He just looks at a ball and it will roll or bounce or do whatever he wants it to do. He can also throw snowballs in curves and crooked lines, which makes him really tricky to snowball fight. And Popo does something like that, but he can only make things stop, like they hit a wall that isn't there. I can't do that. If Tanya kicked the ball when she tripped, it would fly and bounce the way balls do, but I can decide which way. One trick I like doing is to take four rubber balls (I'm working on five!) in a bucket, and put four buckets on the floor in a square and drop the four balls in the middle, and they all just happen to bounce right into the buckets. I can't do it with five balls yet, but I'm working on it.
So that's my special Norbert Skill. I just decide how things that happen to happen will happen, but they had to have been going to happen, anyway. See, it's really confusing.
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