When I first began to inhabit the Treehouse, I soon found out I was not the only inhabitant of this dwelling. I shared the Treehouse with a small tribe of Gnomes, whose civilisation, in a sort of time paradox, had only recently reached the Iron Age. Somewhere along the years, the Gnome-people developed changing rituals and identities, at one point even taking to worshipping an awe-aspiring Monkey God. Maybe it was because of the strict guidance of this deity, the absence of natural enemies, or the comfortable living amongst cakes of yarn, but for whichever reason, the Gnomes never developed into a very war-like people. Indeed, it is safe to say that few of the gnomes are eager warriors at all.
Maybe that is why human film industry has proven so incredibly incapable of predicting the gnomes’ first contact with aliens.
There is really quite little to say about the whole business, as all those involved considered the matter to be rather amicable and uneventful. Although the extraterrestrial visitors were received with all due hospitalities, including the proper banquet, the composed civilities the gnomes offered their visitors did not extend beyond the welcome that was usually reserved for the gnomes’ neighbours, or the mail man, or pixies, fairies, wood trolls and other such mundane visitors.
Obviously, this all changed when the Gnomes turned on the Baumholm Evening News on their tiny television sets: after all, the results of the elections in the Faroe Islands where expected, and events like that concern gnomekind all over the globe. In a harmless, but certainly not consequenceless, instance of cultural miscommunication, the aliens understood this as the start of a ferocious technology-based bragging contest. Seeing as how the Gnomes had not yet upgraded their television from antenna to cable, the contest turned out to be a short one. The space-age technology imported was shiny and magnificent: sleek, white armoured suits, made of a material that was not quite metal, nor quite plastic. In the boots, rocket thrusters propelled the unearthly space-gnomes to a distance above the Treehouse floor, where they hovered and displayed magnificent images of their home planet on holographs emitted from the wings of the flight suits.
Most surprising was a little ball, which the aliens placed on the floor. To be more precise, that which attracted awe was not the ball itself, but what happened after it was activated. It started first to glow, then to pulsate. Bright images flashed through the room, and a gust of wind blew everything out of place. Soon, the whole Treehouse started to change. Clutter and dark matter was vapourized. Colours changed. The natural light seemed to become amplified. Huge projections materialised high upon the walls, changing -along with the colours of many details in the Treehouse such as the doorknob and the windowsills- on the mere whim of a change of collective will of the gnomes. The shelves in the right corridor were ordened, and replaced into futuristic hologram-cabinets sliding soundlessly out of the left wall.