Story no. 52. Friends, we have survived the holidays and the shortest day of the year! Let us bounce forward, hopefully not into a brick wall!
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Aunt Thompson climbed out of the hole first. As low as the ceiling had gotten, it was still no easy task for the human to lever itself after her. Gremlins, as I believe I have already conveyed, are not entirely affected by the laws of physics in the way a non-Lathustran might expect them to be, so I had already swarmed up the wall and flung myself through the opening by the time the human’s rather substantial nose poked over the edge.
“Care for a hand?” I asked.
The human grunted and rolled an eyeball filled with malice in my direction as it jerked an elbow over the edge. Apparently its powers did not include levitation (at least not while its small book remained in Aunt Thompson’s possession).
It had just gotten its other elbow planted when Aunt Thompson grew tired of waiting and hooked a hoof into the collar of its robes and hauled it up to stand with us.
We were standing in a sort of library of towering shelves receding in all directions in tight rows. Instead of books the shelves held a variety of ceramic objects—teacups, teapots, round cats with bobbing paws, and little yapping dogs frozen just at the moment before they catch their tails. Light suffused the space, yellow light, red light, cold white light, coming from any number of directions, in spite of there being no windows in evidence.