"It's nothing," said The Writer, quickly mopping up his tears before they shorted out the laptop. "We're just...out of granola."
The Writer's girlfriend reminded him that there was another bag of granola in the pantry.
"Girlfriend? Is that so?" demanded his wife.
"Different Writer," explained the Writer, shrugging.
Like any good parachute, the granola had a reserve. This bag of creativity catalyst was Curry Banana flavored, his second favorite after Mixed Berry. His wife gave him a suspicious look and returned to her welding.
The Writer returned to his dwarf and its antagonist and tried again:
Stubs held up a forestalling hand.
"Is that all you've got? A Forestalling® Hand? You're gonna need to do better than that," giggled Tony.
"Antagonists don't giggle," remarked Stubs. "And I was only forestalling you so that I could keep you offa me until I was able to draw...THIS!" The diminutive hero pulled a small doily from his beard with a flourish and brandished it at Tony.
Tony sneered an evil sneer, which he had practiced for years at Antagonist School.
"You hope to defeat me with...knitted delights?" he antagonized.
Stubs smiled inwardly (an interesting thing to see done, as an inside-out smile does silly things to the face) for little did Tony know that a doily was actually crocheted! This gave him an edge, and his beard creased into an actual smile.
"Blarg! Happiness!" The myriad evil bits floating about in Tony's system reacted violently to the saccharine emotion, and his face contorted with disgust. "Now you're in for it!" he screeched, and dropped into a fighting stance.
The Writer stuffed a handful of Curry Banana granola into his gob and smacked happily. This was going exceedingly well. "Spouse!" he chirped. "Wanna see what I got so far? The dwarf's got a doily!"
His wife shoved the welder's mask up. "Doily?"
"Indeed! I've even established a form of mystery, as we're not sure how Stubs intends to neutralize the threat of Tony with his doily. This is going to make me a hero in writing circles, hon," The Writer pronounced, gesturing vaguely.
"Now, back to my dwarf." The Writer manned his keyboard:
"Put up your dukes," said Tony threateningly.
Oh, that wasn't going to do at all, thought the Writer. Too mundane. No way in heck were the Pulitzer people going to give him his own bus if he kept this up.
Tony danced about in a rage and because he was an expert at being annoying as well as evil, set Stubs' pants afire again, putting him back to square one.
"Aw, fer goodness' sake! That's what I was in the swamp for in the first place, dang it all!" cried Stubs, dancing into the murky water once more. "And you've ruined my doily!"
"Ha ha!" Tony gave a victory hoot.
Now this was more like it. A victory hoot! He ejaculated one of his own and looked over his work with a benevolent eye.
"Put that away," said his wife. "That's only for special occasions."
"Like those towels next to the potpourri?" the Writer said, feigning indignation.
"Towels? You're making that up," said his longsuffering spouse, feigning indigestion.
"It's what I do," the Writer said, deepening his already impressive voice. He put the eye back in its case and turned his solemn visage back to the screen. He decided he didn't want his hero, even if he was only a flammable dwarf, to be saying wussy things like "for goodness' sake" and changed it to:
"You have irked my ire, good sir! For that, you shall be dealt with in the harshest manner I can think of. En garde!"
The Writer liked the way that sounded. Adventurous, with a little bit of class sprinkled over top. This story was like a mountain-climbing ice cream cone with a leather jacket, it was so adventurous and cool. He thought about injecting a little Tolkienishness into his epic. Perhaps by giving his dwarf a big iron hammer and making him talk about feasting on mutton. "I can always put it in later if it seems like a good fit," he assured himself, taking another cheekful of granola.
Stubs, showing the grace and agility that his race is known for, used his big iron hammer in a one-handed swing to bat the sodden doily into his attacker's face.
"Aiee!" screamed Tony, clawing at the diabolically dainty decoration. "You may have won this round, dwarf, but I'll get you later! Oh, you won't know when, where or how--"
The Writer liked that. It was like the rules of journalism, which he held in high esteem. The Five Ws. Who, What, When, Where and, uh...Hamsters. One of 'em started with an H...
"--but I'll be following you! I'll be hunting you! I startled you into a fart just moments ago, and I'll startle you into hundreds more before this is through!" Tony said these threatening words as he backed into the reeds from whence he'd come, still blinded by the doily.
"Aye, but I've worked up a battle hunger!" Stubs said to himself in the sudden quiet. He holstered his hammer. "Time for me to feed on some mutton."
He found a dry spot near the quicksand, and gnawed upon a shank seasoned with cinnamon and basil. He wondered again why the Dirty Forest Man had sent him out on this quest. It hadn't been easy, blazing a trail through jungles, swamps, gazebos, rivers and supermarkets, and now he had to worry about Tony too. Perhaps the rumors were grounded indeed, and the Dirty Forest Man actually was planning on doing battle with the Fairy Syndicate...
"Glee!" squealed an excited Writer. Oh, was there going to be plot in this one! Who wouldn't want to do battle with the Fairy Syndicate? It even sounds ominous. Perhaps there was some sort of secret weapon that the Dirty Forest Man needs, and Stubs is the only one who knew how to get it.
"Sounds like poor Stubs is really up against it," the Writer told his optical mouse. "If I were him, I'd have a sidekick."
Stubs, knowing what he was up against, got a sidekick.
"Hi," she said...