by Lynne den Hartog-Smith

Lynne den Hartog-Smith ( 2000


I was awakened from a deep sleep by a loud crash, the tearing of metal, and
some very explicit oaths. Getting out of bed I opened the bedroom curtains
to an impressive sight. Danny, my next door neighbour, was dancing around
in fury, waving his arms in the air and swearing in a fashion that wasn't
exactly fitting for the son of a vicar. In front of him were the mangled
remains of a lawn mower and a collection of limbs and body parts scattered
randomly across the lawn.

Oh sorry, dear reader. I didn't mean to put you off your dinner. Don't
worry. Danny hadn't run over the family pet. Mind you I knew it was bad
enough as Danny's father had been particularly fond of the victim - a three
foot tall garden gnome. Complete with fishing-line and net, it had reigned
supreme over the garden pond for as long as I could remember. I'm afraid
its fishing days were over. No amount of superglue could ever restore it to
its former stoney splendor. It was definitely an ex-gnome now.

Shrugging on a pair of shorts and a halter top I ran down the stairs and
into the garden. As I peered over the garden fence I could see Danny
standing forlornly with his arms full of mutilated gnome. However hard I
tried I couldn't suppress a giggle. He spun round and glared at me.

"I'm glad you think it's funny. What an earth am I going to say to my father?"

"I suppose you could tell him that the gnome was terminally depressed and
decided to end it all by jumping in front of the mower!"

"Oh very droll. Any more sensible suggestions?"

Grabbing the top of the fence I clambered over it and joined him in the
garden. ""Hmmmm...maybe you could find a look-alike. There's a place in
town that sells garden ornaments."

"That's a great idea! Let me get rid of this first." Tipping the
discriminating evidence into the dustbin, he covered it with grass
cuttings, slammed on the lid and wiped the sweat from his forehead.

"Do you think we should say a few words?" I asked with a grin. "How about,
'Gnome is the fisherman, gnome from the sea'?!!! Or 'There's no plaice like
gnome'! Oh - and I've got a great epitaph! 'Here lies a gnome - a fisher by
trade - turned into rubble by a rotary blade'!"

"Have you quite finished?"

"Sorry, " I said shamefacedly. "I couldn't resist!"

"If you could just get your sense of humour under control for a few
minutes, we've got to find a replacement before Dad gets home."

"We?" I said sweetly.

"Come on! You're going to help me out, aren't you?"

"Oh well, OK. Why change a habit of a lifetime?" I laughed.

It was true. We had known each other since we were toddlers and I always
seemed to be getting him out of scrapes. I was a year older and had always
thought of him as the little brother I'd never had.

Half an hour later we were walking around the local garden centre looking
at gnomes in every possible shape and form. I was singing "Gnoming in the
gloaming," under my breath.

"Will you cut it with the gnome cracks!" Danny yelled at me. "This is
hopeless. None of them look exactly like Dad's gnome."

He was right. Wrong size. Wrong colour. Wrong trade. It seemed like we were
out of luck. Suddenly I caught sight of a sign on the wall. Telling Danny
to wait I rushed inside and asked to see the manager. He was a bit
surprised at my request, but very obliging.. When I returned, carrying a
large box, Danny looked at me in astonishment.

"Don't just stand there staring. Give me a hand!"

"What on earth have you got there?!"

"It's your replacement gnome."

He peered into the box.

"But it's not painted! And where's its fishing gear?"

"Look - beggars can't be choosers. They make gnomes to order here but it
takes two days. I take it we haven't got that long?"

"More like a couple of hours," muttered Danny.

"Right. Then it's do-it-yourself-gnome time. I've got all the bits here
somewhere. All we have to do is put it together."

"Are you sure it's that easy? Have you ever put a gnome together before?"

"Oh yeah...I do it all the time. Doesn't every girl?"

"You have?!"

"Of course I haven't, you dummy! But how difficult can it be?"

"A lot more difficult than it sounds I would imagine."

"Well...have you got any alternatives?"

He shook his head.

"Then it looks as though we're going to have to make a gnome together!"

He groaned but, taking the box from my hands, he loaded it into the car and
we drove back home.

One hour on and I was having second thoughts. I was covered in red and
green paint and the sweat was pouring down my back. I'd even managed to dip
the end of my pony tail in the paint pot and was now sporting a strange
punk hairdo. Goodness knows how I was ever going to get rid of the stuff.
Danny wasn't being much help as he had realized that the gnome wasn't our
only problem. The damaged lawn-mower had to be fixed too, and he was up to
his elbows in oil and metal filings. He had stripped off his shirt, and, as
he bent over the mower, the material of his jeans was stretched tightly
over his bum. For some reason I couldn't take my eyes off it. Wow! It may
have been the paint fumes addling my brain, but for the first time I saw
Danny as a man rather than just my childhood playmate.

Danny chose that moment to turn and say, "Well - that's as good as I can
make it. I only hope..." He stopped in mid-sentence. "What's wrong, Judy.
You look strange."

Suddenly I felt the urge to reach across and brush away the lock of blond
hair which kept falling over his left eye.

"I..I...that is...I guess it's the heat."

With a look of concern Danny came over to me and hesitantly felt my
forehead. Too late he remembered the oil and, at my quick intake of breath,
he snatched his hand away. But my gasp had nothing to do with the oil. When
he had touched me my stomach had turned a somersault. Emotions which I had
never expected to feel had hit me like an earthquake. Turning my world
upside down. "Oh my God," I thought. "I fancy the boy next door!"

The question was, what was I going to do about it? I had no idea if Danny
had similar feelings about me. I doubted it. What was that old saying.
'Familiarity breeds contempt'? In our case the fact that we knew each other
so well hadn't bred contempt, but it had resulted in a purely platonic
relationship. The only physical contact that we'd ever had was the
occasional hearty pat on the back when I had helped him out of an awkward
situation, and the odd peck on the cheek at birthdays and Christmas. I was
the tomboy next door and he the good friend who just happened to be a boy.

I was aware that Danny was staring at me in puzzlement. He was probably
wondering why I was so quiet. It wasn't one of my more familiar traits as I
was never at a loss for words. I felt as if I was in the middle of some
strange dream where my thoughts and feelings were turned on their heads.
Maybe I should click my heels together and say, "There's no place
like...gnome." I thought irrelevantly, and had to laugh.

"What's so funny?" asked Danny.

"Oh nothing. I was just wondering what your dad would say if he walked in
on this," I lied.

'Oh Jeez...Dad!" said Danny. He wiped away the oil on the dial of his watch
and swore under his breath. "He could be here any minute. How's the gnome

"I doubt if it's going anywhere," I said, staring at the dismal results of
my handiwork. "Unless your father's eyesight has taken a dramatic turn for
the worse then this certainly isn't going to fool him." And then I had a
brainwave. "On the other might be going to lots of places!"

"Sorry? I don't get it."

"I've just remembered something I read in the paper a couple of months ago.
A group of students kidnapped a garden gnome and left a note saying that it
had decided to leave home and see the world. They sent postcards from all
over the globe supposed to be from the gnome!"

"Are you suggesting we do the same?"

"Why not? I think they demanded a ransom to be paid to charity for its
return. Your dad is always giving to good causes so he won't mind. And we
can use the time to get a perfect copy made!"

"Hmmm...maybe we should just tell him the truth."

"Oh come on! Where's your sense of fun? We've done too much to give up now."

"You're incorrigible! Oh alright. Why not? What are we going to do with
this one, then?"

"Bring it over to my place. We'll hide it in the garage. Maybe we can give
it to your dad when we've got the other one. Say it's a friend his gnome
made on its holidays!"

Together we cleaned up the mess on the lawn and I quickly scribbled a note
and left it by the pond. We were finished just in time as we heard Danny's
father's car drawing up outside. Grabbing the counterfeit gnome we
scrambled over the fence into my garden.

"So how does it feel to be a gnomenapper?" I asked with a grin.

"Exhausting," Danny replied. "And pretty messy!"

"Oh my God, you're right." We stared at each other. We were going to have
to clean ourselves up before anyone saw us.

"OK. Mum and dad are out so we can use the shower here."

I grabbed a bottle of turps from a shelf and we made our way up to the
bathroom. I found some old cloths and started removing the worst of the oil
from Danny's back and arms. .Rubbing the pungent liquid into his skin with
my fingertips I had great difficulty in controlling my feelings. As my
hands moved over his taut muscles Danny said, "That feels great. Ever
thought of taking up a career as masseur?!"

"Just one of my many natural talents." I joked.

"Oh...and what are the others?" Danny asked.

"Wouldn't you like to know?" I laughed.

Danny laughed, too. "Come on," he said, his blue eyes twinkling, "Now it's
your turn. Let's see if I've got any hidden massaging skills!"

We changed places and as I felt his cool hands on my hot skin I shivered.
His fingers ran up and down my legs, kneading and stroking, and I was
painfully aware of the sexual frustration building up inside me. When he
touched my inner thighs I almost lost it and groaned, hastily turning it
into a cough. "Damn fumes," I muttered. I knew I'd never be able to smell
turps again without thinking of this moment. Danny's hands were now rubbing
the stuff into my neck and shoulders and the top of my chest.

"What an earth were you doing with that paint?" he asked. "It's even gone
down your cleavage! May I?"

All I could do was nod my head weakly as I felt him gently massaging the
round curves of my breasts. I realized that he was breathing heavily and
suddenly his hand was inside my top. His fingers brushed my nipple and I
gasped. He was staring at me as If waiting for me to pull away in horror. I
had no attention of doing any such thing. Reassured, he began to rub my
nipple between his fingertips. I could see a suspicious bulge growing in
his jeans. "Yes" I thought gleefully, "At last he's realized that I'm a
female!" and I fell into his arms. Our lips met in a deep passionate kiss
and I felt myself going weak at the knees. We sank to the floor. Danny's
hands were all over me. Pulling my top over my head his mouth closed around
my nipple. His hand reached between my legs and, pushing my shorts out of
the way, he was just about to discover how wet I was when he stopped and
pulled away. I screeched in frustration, "What's wrong? Why did you stop?"

"Um..I think I've just saved you from a fate worse than death.
least from a very uncomfortable experience!"

"What are you talking about?! Surely you know by now that I want this as
much as you do?!"

He laughed, "I doubt it."

"Stop teasing me!" I yelled and pummeled him on his back.

Catching hold of my hands he said, "Whoa, tiger. What do you think would
happen if I went on?"

"That's a stupid question! You know damn well what would happen!"

"Oh yes. I do. You'd scream and hit the ceiling!"

""Hey...don't flatter yourself! I doubt you're that good!"

"Oh no...probably not. But have you any idea what turps will do to your
private parts?"

"Oh my God. I hadn't thought of that."

"I didn't think you had. Good job that at least one of us is sensible!"

I hit him again. Grabbing my wrists he pulled me into the shower cabin.
"You know 'Save water - shower with a friend' has always been my favourite
government slogan," he chuckled.

"Well just make sure it's not a cold one!" I giggled as he turned on the
taps. Stepping out of my shorts I threw them onto the bathroom floor.
Danny's eyes travelled up and down my body. He obviously liked what he saw
as his wet jeans tightened around his crotch. I decided I'd help him out
and, undoing his zipper, I slipped his jeans and jockey shorts down his
legs...and gasped. I'd had a couple of boyfriends before but none of them
had been as impressive as Danny. They say big surprises come in small
packages. From the size of this package I reckoned I was in for the
surprise of my life!

Danny kicked off his jeans and pants and reached for the soap. Gently he
covered my body in lather. Sliding his hands down my sides, his fingers
brushing my breasts on the way, he ended up on his knees. Leaning forward
he pulled me against him and buried his face between my legs. His soapy
hands parted my pussylips and with a gasp I felt his tongue on my clit. As
his tongue did its work his hands reached up and began to massage my
breasts. My slippery wet nipples rose to his touch as he pinched them
softly. I was beginning to pant heavily and had to grab hold of the soap
rack for support or my legs would have given way completely as I reached a
shuddering climax.

Danny stood up and put his arms around me, his huge erection pressing
against my stomach. My heart was still racing and I was having difficulty
breathing., but I wanted more. Now it was my turn to return the favour.
Sinking to my knees I began to stroke him and, although I wouldn't have
thought it possible, he seemed to grow even larger. Never one to decline a
challenge, I slipped my lips around him and began to move my head up and
down, my tongue flickering against his sensitive glans. A low groan escaped
his lips as he pushed himself deeper into my mouth. A girl could dislocate
her jaw like this, I thought fleetingly. Imagine explaining that in ER! Oh
well, Danny was always saying I had a big mouth so now was the time to
prove it. I sensed he was on the edge and quickened my movements. Suddenly
his whole body went rigid. I felt a hot jet hit the back of my throat and I
swallowed convulsively. I was aware of a ringing in my ears. My God, I
thought, I've never experienced that before! It took me a moment to realize
that it was the front door bell.

My first reaction was to ignore it but there was always the chance that it
was my mum. She was constantly forgetting her key, and if she decided to
come in the back door then I'd have a lot of explaining to do. I jumped out
of the shower, kissing Danny full on the lips on the way. Draping myself in
a towel I peered around the bathroom curtains. It wasn't my mum at all. It
was Danny's dad and he chose that moment to look up! I waved at him weakly,
and hissed at Danny to get dressed.

Slipping on a clean pair of shorts and T.shirt I ran down and opened the
front door. I smiled sweetly at Danny's dad. and then remembered that I'd
forgotten to clean my teeth. I closed my mouth again quickly.

"Sorry to disturb you. I was just wondering if Danny had come here?"

I felt a tremendous urge to burst out laughing at his words but managed to
control myself.

"I...uh...did see him working in the garden earlier Reverend Jones. But I
think he out for something."

"Oh...that's odd. His car's still there. Oh well. I suppose he'll be back
soon. I don't suppose you saw any suspicious characters hanging around did

"No. I'm afraid I didn't. Is there anything wrong?" I asked innocently.

"The strangest thing. It seems that someone has kidnapped my garden gnome."

"No! Really?"

"Yes. It seems they want me to pay a ransom for it. I suppose it's some
silly student prank."

I nodded my head sympathetically.

"Very strange. And the note was covered in green paint for some odd reason."

"Oh?" I said. I was beginning to feel a bit uncomfortable.

"Still I'm sure everything will work itself out in the end. If you see
Danny before I do tell him he did a great job will you?"

"Excuse me?"

"On the garden. It looks great."

"Oh I see! OK! I will."

"Well I must be getting back. I've got a sermon to write." He seemed to be
deep in thought. "Yes. Luke, Chapter 12, Verses 2 and 3, I think," he

I nodded politely. Having no idea what he was on about.

"Sorry I couldn't have been of more help," I said politely.

As I shut the door I heaved a sigh of relief and ran back up the stairs to
the bathroom.

"Phew!" I said to Danny. "That was a close thing!"

"Yeah. I nearly had a heart attack. Still he's none the wiser."

"Yep. I think we got away with it."

I saw that Danny had picked up the turps bottle and was shaking some onto a

"We don't need that any more," I grinned. "I've got some massage oil
somewhere. That works a lot better!"

"Take a look in the mirror."

As I turned around my smile faded. My reflection stared back at me,
revealing my damp hair... covered in spatters of green paint.

Lynne den Hartog-Smith ( 2000


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