from the Carrot Machine
by Jessica the 20 hour old norn
It wasn't much fun in the old days, I tell you. Imagine a time before food COBs, understanding of genetics and advanced speech tutor toys - yes, Albia in it's natural wild state. How I made it through my first five hours, I'll never know.
I popped out of my egg smiling (as you do) and before I can say a word, a giant yellow hand is shoving me into a lift, and towards a machine which teaches funny words. I would have been quite happy saying 'eem foo' and 'doo dis', but no, the hand wanted to talk to me (mostly commands to 'push food' if I remember rightly). Dazed from my experiences, I wandered towards a garden which I thought might be interesting.
I picked up a nearby carrot and ate it, and the hand tickled me. Not bad, I thought. There seemed to be some smaller carrots about so I tried to pick one up. But no matter how many times I tried, I couldn't get it out of the ground. 'Jessica oogh' I said, waving my arm and stomping my foot. I was as angry as hell! Sadly, the hand thought this was funny, and tickled me for being cute.
As a grew up, I discovered female norns. There was one in particular; Kitty, her name was. I followed her everywhere : to the slide projector (those mountains were good the first few times), the cannon, and,once (unfortunately), to the Laburnum (>achoo< >koff<). I finally got close to her, and kissed her. 'Push norn' I said, but she slapped me and I ran away. The sultry vixen.
Kitty and I sorted our differences out in the end, and we had five lovely children, whose names I can't remember - but the ones which didn't inherit their mother's dark colour mysteriously disappeared. Who knows what happened to them? I looked on as our children grew up in an age of speech toys (no more 'oogh' for them) and shitake mushrooms. Life was easy. They'd never so much as stared emptily at a baby carrot for 20 minutes. They even had new fangled entertainments such as a TV+video, kites, and a 'Magic Mask', which I never approved of them using, but...
We eventually separated. I took up residence near the hooch vendor (I was too old to handle being alone, and spent a lot of time drinking, sadly), while Kitty lived with one of our daughters in an island cave. When she was sixteen hours old she caught a disease and died, or so I'm told. This was when the hand came back into my life. It led me away from the hooch and up to a place above the island which I'd only briefly glimpsed before (from the submarine, I wondered at the time what it was). It was warm, isolated and the grendel couldn't find it. Best of all it had a Carrot Machine which dispensed (fully grown!) carrots when I pushed it. The hand bought me a 'joke book', a new invention, to stop me getting lonely and bored.
And so I've seen out the last eight hours of my life here. It's a good place to reflect, and I realised now that the hand saved me from a premature death from loneliness and drunkenly walking into walls. I've lasted far longer than they said I would (most norns die after about ten hours). I suppose I'll spend the rest of my minutes here, as I can't get about as much as I used to. Buy, for the first time for quite a while, I can say I'm happy with my life.