I’ve recently been made aware of a new race of people, a race that lives right alongside us and yet most of us don’t even know of their existence. These strange and wondrous folk are known simply as the Pebble People, and I have made it my goal to learn as much about them as I can.
It began one day last week, at four o’clock in the morning, when I was awoken by my partner giggling away to herself. A little bleary-eyed from sleep, I turned towards her and asked what she found so funny.
“The Pebble People are going back into the walls,” she told me, a hint of amusement still in her voice.
Confused, I rubbed my eyes and asked her to repeat herself, not entirely sure I had heard her correctly.
“The Pebble People,” she repeated, “they’re going back into the walls.” If anything, my confusion was increased.
“Sorry,” I told her, glancing at the clock. “I didn’t understand a word of that.”
“It’s the Pebble People,” she reasserted with a sigh. “They live in the walls, and when they come out of the walls they come out one pebble at a time and then reform when they’re out. But it’s okay, because now they’re going back into the walls.”
This explanation had me captivated. My mind threw up images of small people made out of a conglomeration of pebbles, wandering hither and thither around the house and environs. Yet I still felt I was missing something important.
“Where are you getting this from?” I asked her, propping myself up, all thoughts of sleep now forgotten.
“I saw it on the internet,” she assured me with confidence. “Ask me about it later and I’ll show you.”
“Okay,” I said. Then a thought occurred. “Are you sure you’re not just dreaming this and talking in your sleep?” She certainly sounded awake but I thought it best to check.
“Hmmm, perhaps you’re right,” she agreed after a moment of thought. “It’s not really making much sense, is it?”
“No,” I agreed, “and it is a bit of a random conversation for four o’clock in the morning, don’t you think?”
“Probably,” she finally said, and promptly rolled over and went back to sleep. Or deeper sleep. Whatever.
And that was that. For the next hour I lay awake trying to figure out what or who the Pebble People really were. Where had she gotten this idea from, and had that conversation really happened? I couldn’t shake the image of those tiny little gravel folk wandering around in the walls, living their own little rubble lives away from prying eyes. My mind would simply not let go.
When I asked her about it later that day (after we were both properly awake) she couldn’t remember the conversation and had no idea who or what the Pebble People were. It turns out that she had been talking in her sleep, but I still can’t shake the ideas that nocturnal discussion raised in my imagination. I need to know more about these mysterious stoney kin, I need to unravel their past and bring the truth of their existence to the world. And so it is that I think I shall undertake to write a tale of the Pebble People, and thus shall everyone know of their magical ways.
Now I just need to figure out if they’re a motif of gothic horror, or something more whimsical and faerie-tale-like…