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Gnomes & Peeling Potatoes

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I sighed, peeling what felt like my one thousandth potato tonight. Gnomes. I hated gnomes. Why did they have to like potatoes? Why couldn’t they like to eat whole dead fish, or skittles? Why potatoes? And raw potatoes at that.

Henry chuckled from next to me, doing the exact same task I did. “Having fun?”

“Do I look like I’m having fun? I’m peeling potatoes with the big bad wolf.” I groaned, throwing the skinned vegetable in the bin with all the others. Once all ten pounds were peeled, they be washed, salted and thrown to the gnomes in their respective pen.

Henry chuckled more. “There’s worse things than peeling potatoes with the big bad wolf.”

“Like what?” I growled at him. I was an abnormal, like Henry. Mine didn’t make me shift into a werewolf; I just could phase through walls. Apparently it was a big deal.

“Will could be down here.” Henry spoke up, breaking up my thoughts.

I grumbled, sending a few curses his way. Will was literally the worst person to be stuck peeling potatoes with. He talked insistently, and never about anything that anybody ever wanted to hear about. He always talked facts and statistics and I hated it. Henry had a tendency to do that with computers sometimes, but I liked Henry a lot more than I liked Will, so I didn’t mind nearly as much.

Will just bugged the living shit out of me.

“Fine.” I relented, knowing I’d rather be stuck on potato peeling detail with Henry a million times over before being stuck with Will. Henry and I always fell into a comfortable kind of silence. If we talked, the other listened and then we fell back into silence. Neither of us felt the need to jabber about stupid things the other person didn’t give a shit about.

And usually, if Henry knew I was really into whatever I was talking about, he was a really intent listener. I tried my best when he talked about his tech stuff, but sometimes I just got lost. I wasn’t a computer whiz like he was; I barely got the basics of the stupid machines. But I still tried my best to act like I was interested, even when I felt like he was talking Klingon.

“Or Biggy.” Henry said with a sigh.

Biggy was another person I’d hate to get on potato peeling detail with. He was silent in the eerie sense. He didn’t like talking while he was working; only wanting to get the task done. That was all well and good, but when peeling potatoes took you damn near an hour with two people, I liked to be able to hear something once in a while.

And God forbid you turned on music while Biggy was nearby and trying to work. He’d shut it off before you could get to the chorus, which drove me up a wall. There were two things you didn’t mess with around me; my ass and my music. But no. God forbid Biggy had to listen to music from this decade.

“Or this century.” Henry chimed in and I looked at him confused. “You were doing your talking out loud thing again.” He said sheepishly.

I blew out a breath loudly. “Sorry.”

“Nah, its fine. I totally agree.” He spoke up, throwing a potato in the peeled bin and leaned back against his chair, stretching.

It was another thing I liked about Henry. He didn’t mind my quirks. I talked to myself when I thought I was alone; my train of thought had a tendency to leap out of my mouth without me knowing; I absolutely hated the texture of dough pie crust. But Henry never criticized me for these things. I’d been around the place damn near a year, and Will and Ashley still gave me shit for those things.

Henry never did. He just rolled with it. He added onto my conversations in my head that stumbled out of my mouth and he never handed me a piece of pie unless it had a graham cracker crust; always with a smile and a friendly hand.

It wasn’t that Will was judgmental, or Ashley was rude about it. But Henry never batted an eye when I told him watermelon made me want to puke because of the texture, never thought twice when I told him I hated getting tangled in a top sheet, so I only ever slept with a bottom sheet and blankets.

Will and Ashley just seemed to exaggerate my quirks, almost turning them into flaws, while Henry embraced them as part of human condition, despite my being an abnormal.

“Just because you’re an abnormal, doesn’t mean you’re not human.” Henry spoke up, startling me out of my thoughts.

“Goddammit. Again?” I asked, looking over at him.

He grinned, peeling the potato in his hand. “Well it’s not like I can tune it out.”

I groaned heavily, dropping the half peeled potato into the bin. My hands were starchy from peeling the last seven pounds of potatoes. We still had three more to go. My fingers looked wrinkly like prunes. “One day, I’ll get ahold of this.”

Henry shrugged, like it wasn’t a big deal. “You say that like there’s something wrong with you.”

“Did you catch all of my inner monologue, or just bits?” I asked, wondering if he knew how different he was from the Doctor and the Sharp Shooter.

Henry smirked, giving me a sideways glance. “I’m pretty sure I caught it all. You know Will and Ash don’t mean any harm.”

I shrugged. “But it doesn’t feel like they accept me either.” I told him, picking up the half peeled potato to finish it.

Henry was quiet for a moment, making me glance at him. I knew he had his own way of working through his thoughts, so I gave him a moment. “They accept you in their own way. I’ve always been an open person; Magnus taught me that. Ashley, she’s always been more rebellious then anything. And Will, he still doesn’t believe half of us are real.” Henry said with a smirk, glancing at me.

I nodded, throwing the fleshless potato in the correct bin. “How long did he take to adjust to you?”

Henry grinned widely, looking over at me. “He’s known me almost five years and he still locks his door every full moon.”

I giggled, knowing the whole myth was wrong. “Well, at least I’m not the only freak he’s weird around.”

Henry gave a face, shaking his head. “Definitely not.”

I groaned again, cutting myself with the potato peeler. “I hate peeling these goddamn potatoes.”