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Norris the Gnome

Norris was indeed a gnome. He was a small gnome, about a foot tall. He had a white beard, a red conical hat and wore a red coat. He also carried a lantern (which didn't work).

He arrived on what I think was probably my 15th birthday — give or take a couple of years — for some forgotten, presumably humorous reason. Bought, I found out later, from Torquay market for 99 pence, he took up residence on a shelf in my bedroom for a few years until I left home to go to University.

As a young student, living away from home for the first time, I spent my time doing what most young students do: getting drunk, smoking, doing stupid things and thinking I was cool. On the particular floor of the sixteen storey building that I lived in, a common occupation, for the first few weeks, was to sit outside the lift entrance — constantly stopping it — waiting to see who was there when the doors open.

One day, there was no-one in the lift and so, for some reason, I decided that Norris the Gnome may enjoy a trip to the top floor and back. So I placed him in the center of the lift floor, commanded the lift to ascend to the 16th floor and sat back.

Watching the lights above the lift, it seemed to have risen, uninterrupted to the top of the tower. I waited for a moment and called the lift back down.

15... 14... 13... 12... 11... 10...

There was a slight pause at floor ten. I wonder if someone got in?

9... 8... 7... 6... 5... 4... 3... 2 and the doors began to open...

The lift floor was covered in broken bits of gnome.

HORROR!

Over the following weeks, no amount of investigating could uncover the identity of the Gnome-Killer. The first website I ever built — deleted, alas, ten years ago — was concerned with providing a memorial for said creature.

One day, a few years after the gnome incident (and six-and-a-half-years ago now) I found a little website called Everything2. I made an account with a crap name and created a few crap writeups (five of which still exist). Wanting a fresh start I sat in front of the Create a New User page wondering what to write. "Norris! After my poor departed gnome!" I thought.

Norris is a bit crap, though. Let's embellish it a little. I know! How about Sir Norris! Yeah, that sounds cool ;)

Six years on, I've lost contact with my friends from that time — both the giver of the gnome, and those that were there at its destruction. I dropped out, and have since gone to a different university to gain my bit of paper. E2 is pretty much the only link I have left to a time in my life when, looking back, I was much different to the person I am now.

Not that that's a good thing, or a bad thing. It just is.