Scratches On Wood

The little wooden door echoes under Indur's fist. "Muriel! Open this door, ya 'ol biddy!" the dwarf demands. As they wait, the girl marvels at the vine-covered cottage. Aren't dwarves supposed to live underground? The door opens with a slight creak, and a worn but kindly face appears in the opening. 

"Why, Indy! Where in the land did you find this pretty thing?" the stout woman asks, letting them inside and looking up at the girl admirably. Indur rolls his eyes and scoots past her into a nearby room, muttering, "I told you not to call me Indy!" "My name is Muriel," the woman says, ignoring her husband, "What is your name, honey?" At this, Indur reappears holding a piece of bread smothered with peanut butter and looking her expectantly.  

"Umm, my name is..." the girl stutters, looking lost. Muriel grins encouragingly, while Indur wears a peanut butter-smeared smirk. The girl shakes her head and tries again, "My name is..." Her eyes turn glassy as her mouth tightens with effort. "My name is Oakley. Oakley Winters!" The girl smiles triumphantly and doesn't seem to notice the concerned glance that passes between the dwarves. Muriel quickly regains her composure and takes hold of the girl's hand.

"Well then, Oakley Winters. come along into the kitchen! I see Indur started eating without us," Muriel remarks cheerily, but with a slight glare to her husband. Indur shrugs and follows the girls into the kitchen, finishing off his bread mid-stride.

As soon as Oakley steps in the room, the savory smell of baked bread overwhelms her. There is a loaf resting on the stout wooden table so she sits down on a nearby stool, hesitantly reaching for a piece. As she is about to pick one up, however, she notices some writing scratched into the table. "I can't believe you began without us," Muriel mutters, straining for the pot of peanut butter sitting on a high shelf. Indur rolls his eyes and picks up the pot for his wife, teasing her with it above his head. Slowly, their conversation fades to the background as Oakley moves around the table to read the table's writing.

BANG! Peanut butter splatters on the floor and knocks Oakley out of her stupor. She turns around to see the dwarves wide-eyed, and turns back around to find that the writing has disappeared. Muriel hurries around the table and quickly thrusts a piece of bread into the girl's hands. Shocked, Oakley begins to ask about the writing, but she is quickly interrupted by whining sound outside. 

"That must be Polly! Hey, Oakley, come meet my pride and joy!" Indur yells gleefully, running out the door like a child. "I see how it is," Muriel sighs, ushering the girl out of her chair, "I've officially been replaced. You better go sweetie, or he'll leave without you." 

Confused, Oakley opens the heavy door and slips outside.

The End

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