Penny had never enjoyed the elevator music-esque soundtrack that would play as she waited in the queue to be connected to a service provider. The music was always lo-fi and too upbeat for her anxious mind as she mentally prepared what she would say in advance to the person who picked up her call.
It didn’t seem half as bad compared to the fever dream that she found herself in now.
Dozens of gnomes clambered over her living room furniture, pointed red hats shining bright warning red signs against the dull browns of second-hand furniture. Her brain was struggling to provide any logic for the current situation. She had picked up the phone to get help with her brother’s NDIS support coordination. The line had responded in its familiar, cheery tune, and out from under the couch pillows the gnomes had jumped.
The gnomes had immediately begun to wreak havoc on the room, climbing up curtains and knocking over glasses. Penny was frozen until one of the gnomes advanced toward her brother’s empty wheelchair. It reached its grubby paws toward the wheel and Penny snapped.
“Don’t touch that!” she yelled in vain. The gnome paid no heed. She began to move to pick it up when she changed trajectory after spotting another group of gnomes beginning to chew through the moving boxes that she had carefully packed whilst preparing to move into SDA housing (Adelaide had a long waiting line for one of those and she was not letting these gnomes cause even further delay).
Frantic, she placed her phone on speaker mode and hurried over to the boxes. The events that occurred next made her stop dead in her tracks. The gnomes had ceased all of their mischief. Their eyes turned to the phone in unison. They blinked once. Twice.
Then, their heads began to bop together, each row alternating to form a red wave of pointy hats. They hummed along to the tune playing through her phone speaker, finally calming down.
Penny, unsure of what to do, slumped down into the closest piece of furniture that wasn’t littered with gnomes. She knew getting the right disability support could be difficult, but this was not what she was used to. “Thank God for elevator music,” she muttered softly, exhausted.