“Grandma, what’s happened to all your gnomes?”
It was the first thing that I noticed when I pulled up her driveway. I didn’t remember much about my grandmother’s house—I hadn’t been here in years—but I did know that her lawn used to be absolutely covered in gnomes. They were my favorite thing about coming here when I was a kid. I used to think they came alive.
Grandma waved a dismissive hand. “They get stolen,” she said, her voice weary in a way that only happened with the elderly—frustration at being too tired to care. “I used to replace them, but they get harder and harder to find.”
“So the gnomes are disappearing,” I said, trying not to smile at the idea.
“It all started when these damned young kids started moving into the neighborhood,” she said, staring wrathfully out the window to a house down the street, where I guess the offending neighbors lived. “They ran over my Jox, then let their kids knock over Bean and Bopper. Broke Bopper’s hand right off. All my little friends… ” She shook her head, sighing.