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Grennobi stretched underneath the baggage conveyor belt, wiggling his toes and listening to the music of human baggage roll over him and through the plastic flaps into the bright forbidden world. Notes wash over him, as fingers clutch the oilcan in his left hand ever vigilant for nasty squeaks or drags in the machinery. Grennobi isn’t like the others, and does his best to keep his love of machines and humans hidden, but he can’t hide his true self from Ivynius, and is unsurprised when she interrupts his 3:30pm, Jet Blue Flight 307 baggage concert.

“I knew I would find you here. You promised!”
“I know,” says Grennobi, miserable, “I’ll get it done.”
“Will you? I can’t keep doing your tasks and mine. You have to stop this.”

Grennobi rolls out from under the baggage belt and meets the furious and worried eyes of Ivynius. He reaches out to stroke her long pointed ears, to let her know that he would never leave her alone, but she swats his hand away.

“I’m serious Grennobi. Foreman Jarnus is already watching you, please don’t give him more reasons to send you away.”

Sighing, Grennobi puts on his tool belt and heads towards the Delta baggage cart holding bay. His job is to sabotage the carts so they unhitch on the way to the planes during rush hour, scattering luggage and delaying flights, which seems utterly pointless to him. He doesn’t understand why they can’t put their knowledge of machines to good use, to helping the humans like they used to. But when he asks these questions all he gets is a cuff in the head and reminded of all the wonderful things that Gremlins did help humans make (Nikola Tesla was a very nice man, and kind to his Gremlins by all accounts) while receiving no credit of their own, in fact being wiped from the pages of history by a bottle of whiteout (not Gremlin). Grennobi thinks that credit isn’t as important as creating, and that he would be happy just to find a human to make things with and aches for the days when inventors prayed for Gremlin help.

Hunched and squatting, Grennobi, pulls out his tools and goes to work, fighting not to tighten the bolts, oil the rust, and polish the metal. Fat tears fall and he keeps Ivynius face in his mind. But try as he might, he finds his long multi-jointed fingers doing just those things. He knows that this means they will send him away for reconditioning, but he cannot help but think that if one wants beauty in this world, one must fight for it, and fight he will.

Prompted by: This week we’d like you to write a fiction or creative non-fiction piece set entirely in an airport. Take us on an adventure in 450 words or less.

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