Here’s a scene from my book, which I’ve never published yet. It’s kind of special to me. Formerly titled; The Professor Finds a Way, and currently titled Sagistic. In this scene Finklebrecht- nicknamed ‘Finch’- is teaching his soldier partner Attaclearon how to talk to gnomes.
Suddenly Attaclearon jumped.
“Whoa!” he said. Finklebrecht looked over and met the gnome’s eyes. Vanhi had just finished breakfast and joined them, and now he’d evidently spoken in Attaclearon’s mind again.
“Your partner is annoyed with you,” sent Vanhi as a message in Finklebrecht’s mind, and stating the obvious. “I can feel a strong impression of his emotion.”
“He’s had a difficult time being saddled with me,” sent Finklebrecht back, shutting his eyes.
“Gnome seems to be talking to both of us at the same time,” muttered Attaclearon. “Tell me again how to talk back to him, Finch.”
Finklebrecht explained. Patiently.
“His thoughts go directly to no target,” sent Vanhi. “I can’t receive them.”
“Put your thoughts in a box, Attaclearon, and send them out,” said Finch again. Attaclearon scrunched down, with his eyes clamped closed. But he only sat still for a few seconds before he expelled his breath with impatience.
“Quit wiggling and concentrate,” scolded Finklebrecht.
“Just what box are you talking about, Finch?”
“The box. The one in your mind. Don’t you see it when Vanhi talks to you?”
“There’s no box, Finch. He just talks to me; that’s all.”
“Not all humans can communicate with us, Finch,” put in Vanhi. “This has been noted before.”
“Maybe the gnomes should talk to Captain Bann,” said Attaclearon out loud. “Tell him, Finch.”
“I don’t need to tell him. Vanhi can hear and understand you just fine, Attaclearon. You already figured that out with Seskanu. They just aren’t comfortable relating to too many humans at once.”
“Just tell me about this box, Finch. Is it a wooden box?”
“No, idiot. Think of it like a frame, then.”
“A frame. Like a picture frame?”
“Like your mind is a chalkboard and I’ve just drawn a box on it with white chalk.”
“What’s inside the box? And do you close the lid?”
“There’s no lid, Attaclearon! Four lines, connected at the corners! Like this!”
“Well, you don’t have to shout.”
“Close your eyes. Sit still. Make your mind a chalkboard and draw four lines on it in the shape of a square.”
“Could’ve said that in the first place,” mumbled his friend.
“You see it? You’ve got a box?”
“Big box or small?”
Finklebrecht spoke very careful.
“Big enough to see the message inside it.”
“The one you’re going to send. Tell Vanhi you’ve got black fur from your navel to your neck.”
“I’ll tell him your bird brain fits in a box.”
“Quit picking for nits.”
“Quit ruffling your pinions.”
“I don’t know what you’re going on about anyway. I’m not riding off into danger this time. The unicorn won’t do me any harm.”
“You attract worms. You’ll find trouble in no time.”
“Attaclearon, you’ve the more challenging job. You have to hide Vanhi, deal with these prisoners and escort both the gnomes home if I don’t get back in time with Jisette. Just you be careful.”
Attaclearon sighed, and then he closed his eyes. It took a few seconds, but then Vanhi jumped beside him.
“Whoa!” the gnome sent.
“What is it?” sent Finklebrecht back to him.
“It was your partner. He just said something to me. He’s figured it out, Finch.”
Finklebrecht opened his eyes and stared at Attaclearon, and then he smiled. He clamped his hand on Attaclearon’s shoulder.
“Good job, my friend,” he said to him. “I knew I was leaving Vanhi and Seskanu in good hands.”