Gnoman Gumshoe is a gnome detective from the podcast Podquest: No Strangers to Adventure. This is an independent noir adventure set before the events of the podcast. As told by Gnoman (and written by Andrew Santoro)…
Her makeup is running. Her face is all wracked in anguish as she sobs. Don’t people know how ugly they look when they cry. I approach and place an arm around the gnome woman’s shoulders.
“B-b-but how can you not know where he is? They said you were the best!”
“And I told you I’m still working the case, Stella. It’s a big city and your husband’s a little gnome but I always find what I’m looking for.”
I offer Stella a hanky from my pocket and begin to walk her out of the office.
“We’ll get him back, don’t you worry. I’ll be in touch.”
She thanks me and leaves. Poor Stella, her drunk husband wanders off one night and hasn’t been seen since. Sometimes I think us gnomes shoulda never come out of the woods, the big city can be tough on folks this small.
I plop myself down behind my desk, head heavy in thought. No one’s ever going to see that gnome again, this city chews people up but it don’t spit ‘em back out.
The lights in the office flicker. Suddenly the door swings open.
She walked into my office, tall as a house and twice as sturdy, a half-orc in an evening gown. She sauntered up to my desk and asked for a drink.
“Sorry, toots. This bottle’s mine.”
I pour myself a glass of the thick amber elixir. I take a sip and wince, that’s how you know it’s the good stuff.
“Take a seat… What did you say your name was again?”
She slides into the chair like… I don’t know, like an eel. But, like a sexy eel. She immediately starts spilling her life’s story and there’s no stopping her. You gotta help me this and I’m in grave danger that but she does say something that sparks my attention.
“Wait, did you say gnomes?”
She halts midsentence.
“Yes, all the gnome waiters from the bar have started going missing and, and…”
This is too much for her. She starts weeping silently.
I pull out a second glass, fill them both to the brim. I slide her drink across the desk.
She looks up tear-streaked and disoriented, like some sort of mucus goddess. She scoops up the drink and downs it in one go without wincing. This dame really knows her way around the hard stuff.
“Now tell me about the gnomes.”
She tells me about how in the last few weeks her gnome coworkers have been disappearing. They either don’t show up for their shifts or leave unexpectedly halfway through.
“You gotta help me, Gnoman. I’m so worried about those poor gnomes. Where are they going? What’s happening to them?”
She reaches across the desk and settles her hand on top of mine like a buxom wrestler pinning her prey. I just stare down at it. It’s a good-looking hand, the sort of hand you could get lost in for days if you weren’t careful. But if there’s one thing Gnoman Gumshoe is it’s c—
I look up into those big, confused eyes.
“I’ve been talking, but you’ve just been staring at my hand.”
“Yeah, I know I was just thinking about what you were saying… Can you repeat what you were saying?”
She sighs, like a breeze blowing through the empty city streets. Why if I weren’t careful I might just—
She closes her eyes and rubs her forehead in what I can only assume is a sign of attraction.
“Can you help me?”
I rub my temples and look down at the glass in front of me. Maybe it’s time to lay off the good stuff.
“What did you need help with?”
“The gnomes. They’re missing.”
“What’s his name, lady?”
Gilda looks from side to side, slightly taken aback.
“I… I don’t know what you mean.”
We both know she’s lying.
“The name of the gnome you’re worried about. I don’t buy this scared for all gnome kind stuff you’re trying to peddle.”
A few tears jump to the corners of her eyes, she blinks them back.
“It’s Barton. I’m so worried about my little Barty!”
She sniffs. I pull another hanky out and toss it across the desk to her. Oh, the life of a private detective. I shoulda made my business in selling hankys, I’d have a hell of a lot more money.
I pull my gun out of the desk drawer, slap it into its holster. I get my hat down from the rack after just a few tries and slide into my trench coat. I turn to her with all the bravado I can muster.
“I’m on the case.”
Stay tuned for Part II of Gnoman’s Case Files in the near future!