Aaron DaMommio’s story “Vacation Gnomes” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 5 February 2021.
“Vacation Gnomes” was originally developed in 2017 for the Codex online writing group’s Weekend Warrior competition, where you have to put together a 750-word story in a weekend. I love how this process crystallizes an idea down to its essentials. Since you want to get something that has the shape and satisfying ending of a whole story in such a tiny package, you really have to keep pushing to get your character through some kind of arc, and you have to throw almost everything overboard to meet the wordcount limit.
My notes say that it was based on a prompt about ‘filthy dwarves’, but I barely remember that now. I developed an image of a woman finding that her vacation place was infested with tiny, messy gnomes. By the end of the contest weekend I had the basic plot found here, of a woman distracted by a breakup who has to find a way to deal with a lot of very small men, all by herself.
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