New Goblin Stories 16

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Some goblins are almost civilized and even hold jobs. They're dangerous.

Guzzle the goblin waited none too patiently for his unwanted guest to arrive.  He hadn’t asked for the man to come, nor particularly wanted him to come, but like it or not he was coming.  Normally Guzzle would set a trap for the man, but the goblin had been paid in cheese to behave, and there was the possibility of more cheese in the future.  Guzzle could overlook nearly anything when cheese was involved.

Many people didn’t think Guzzle was a goblin, although they weren’t sure what he might be.  Given that Guzzle had lavender colored skin, wore nearly stylish green clothes, had graying hair and was balding caused much of the confusion, but there was more too it than that.  Guzzle practiced a trade other than mayhem (which he wasn’t adverse to), and that was rare among goblins.

The morning sun was fully up and it was getting warm.  Guzzle liked warm sunny days like this.  His pets were at their best under these conditions.  The young forest teemed with flowers, and not far beyond that lay cropland planted with buckwheat.  His pets would grow fat under such abundant food.

Guzzle peered down the muddy trail and saw his guest coming.  The goblin’s mind raced at the possibilities of which traps he could set and where to place them.  This wasn’t a good attitude given how many men came seeking Guzzle’s business.  Every time he had a visitor, he was sorely tempted to torment them with traps, insults and inane jokes at their expense.

Customer service was not Guzzle’s strong point.

“Blessings be upon you,” the stranger said as he approached.  The man was middle aged with thinning brown hair, and he wore a simple brown robe.  He also had a leather backpack, which hopefully contained cheese.

“Enough pleasantries,” Guzzle replied.  “You don’t like me, I don’t like you, and the king hates us both.  So what’s this about?”

Such a greeting often provoked insults, shouts and whining, and occasionally made visitors leave.  This time was an exception.  The man didn’t loose his temper, instead smiling at Guzzle.  “I have no ill will toward you or any other.  My name is Brother Mayfield.  I am a fellow apiculturist.”

Guzzle stared at him.  “Did you just say something dirty about my mother?  Because I haven’t got one.”

“No insult was given.  Apiculture is the raising of bees.  I raise honey bees, and I am told you do as well.”

Surprised, Guzzle asked, “You’re a beekeeper, too?  Huh, small world.  Wait a minute, if you’re a bee guy then why are you here?  The messenger who told me you were coming said this was about bees, and if you’ve got your own then you shouldn’t need anything from me.”

“I need your help because I raise bees.  Mr. Guzzle, I serve the Brotherhood of the Righteous in Sunset City.  I manage thirty hives of bees outside the city to provide both honey and beeswax for church needs.  The brotherhood has a cathedral in Sunset City, and it is celebrating its bicentennial.  Such a celebration requires a great many beeswax candles, more than my hives can provide.  I had heard from others that you also raise bees.  I hope I can offer you a fair deal in barter for any wax you might be able to spare.”

Guzzle scratched his head.  He wasn’t used to being called mister.  It felt wrong.  “I think I understood a few words of that.  You want wax and you can trade for it?”

“That is correct.”

This meeting wasn’t nearly as vulgar as Guzzle was hoping for.  Eager to get it back on track, he asked, “What have you got to trade?  Dirty limericks, marked cards, incriminating evidence on public officials?”

“I though tangible goods would be a better trade,” Brother Mayfield said as he set down his backpack.

“You’re underestimating the value of dirty limericks.”  Guzzle watched Brother Mayfield unload his backpack.  “You got cheese in there?  The messenger boy paid me off in cheese to not dump cow dung on him or you.”

“I do indeed have cheese.”  Brother Mayfield unwrapped a small wedge of cheese covered in paper and handed it to Guzzle, who gobbled it up in one bite.  “I also have two ceramic jugs, a square yard of cheesecloth, a pair of scissors, a knife—”

“Forget the rest of that stuff!”  Guzzle snatched the knife and held it up to the light.  “I want this one.  It’s the perfect tool…for revenge!”

That statement gave Brother Mayfield pause.  “Who do you want revenge against?”

“I’ve got an enemies list,” Guzzle said proudly.  He dug a grubby sheet of paper out of his shirt pocket and held it up.  The moment should have been dramatic, but was ruined when Guzzle frowned and asked, “Who are these people?  Does this look like my handwriting to you?”

Brother Mayfield briefly studied the paper and read off the first few names.  “That guy.  That other guy.  The guy with the thing.”

“This is insulting!” Guzzled yelled as he snatched back the paper.  “I don’t want to get the wrong guys after I went to all this work.  Do you know how long it takes to get a beehive up and running?

Brother Mayfield returned the rest of his belongings to his backpack.  He hesitated before asking, “You have a troubled relationship with others?”

Guzzle tucked the knife into his belt.  “What’s it to you?”

Brother Mayfield looked even more sincere than normal when he spoke.  “The Brotherhood of the Righteous is always ready to resolve disputes between neighbors.  We’d be only too happy to help if we can solve this problem for you.  What person has hurt you so much that you hold such anger?”

“It’s not about me.”  Guzzle looked down, his hands clenching and unclenching.  “I had a friend who got pushed around a lot.  It wasn’t fair, and the guy who did it hurt a lot of other people.  Goblins can ignore most of the bad things that happen, but there’s got to be a reckoning for his guy, and I aim to give it.  There have been plenty more since him who deserve what they get, except I can’t remember their names.  But that first guy, I won’t ever forget him.”

“If he has done wrong, we can aid you,” Brother Mayfield offered.

Guzzle looked at Brother Mayfield.  He didn’t doubt the monk’s word, but he shook his head all the same.  “This is personal.  Come on, let’s get you your beeswax.”

Guzzle led Brother Mayfield up the path to his home.  The trail was lined with flowers, and Guzzle’s bees were thick in the air.  They buzzed around him as they sought nourishment from weeds and wildflowers that grew in a thick carpet between the trees.

“I came out here to be alone with my bees,” Guzzle told Brother Mayfield as they walked.  “There’s good eating for them with all these flowers, and nobody around who could rob me.  I had trouble with wild boars for a while, but I fenced them out.  Then one year after I moved in, these people come asking for honey.  I mean, dozens of them!  It was like there was a glowing sign pointing to my house.  I was going to let the bees keep all their honey, but men wouldn’t stop bothering me for the stuff.  I finally agreed just to get them to leave and traded the honey for things I need, like your knife.”

“I’ve found men, elves and dwarfs ever eager to purchase honey,” Brother Mayfield replied.  “I produce hundreds of pounds per year, and it’s never enough.  I hope to obtain more hives and one day meet the demand.”

The goblin laughed.  “Good luck with that!  Anyway, they came so often I couldn’t get anything done.  I even cut down trees to block the path, but the bums cleared the road inside of a day.  One of these days I’m going to have to get a dog to chase them off.”

Bees became more numerous as they walked until their buzzing was as loud as a busy city street.  They finally reached Guzzle’s house, a crude wood structure next to a fenced in field.  Inside the field were dozens of beehives set on tall wood tables.  The hives were simple affairs, just straw rope coiled to form wide hollow cones.  This was enough for the bees, and they were content.

“This is a very healthy population,” Brother Mayfield said approvingly.  “How do you support so many?”

“I let them feed on one batch of flowers, and when they’re done I move the hives at night to another patch.  I’ve got fenced in places like this all over the woods, each one by good feeding sites.”

Guzzle climbed the fence and dug through a pile of debris next to one of the hives.  “Let’s see, straw rope, mouse traps, smoker, leather gloves.  Where’s the wax?”

Brother Mayfield raised a hand and let a bee land on his palm.  “I admire bees.  They have so many qualities man should copy.  Hard working, cooperative, loyal.”

“Pugnacious,” Guzzle added.  “Kill one bee and every one in a hundred feet will come after you, and they don’t give up easy.”

“I tend to group that under loyal,” Brother Mayfield replied.

Guzzle pushed aside a large roll of burlap and picked up a block of yellowed wax weighing twenty pounds.  “So there you are.  Here’s all the beeswax I’ve got.  If you’d wanted honey you’d be out of luck, but not many people trade for wax.”

“That is perfect,” Brother Mayfield told him.  He took the block of wax and turned it over in his hands.  “I can melt it and filter out the impurities to get pure wax, and produce the candles the brotherhood needs.  Mr. Guzzle, I am grateful for your help and will tell all who will listen of your good deed.”

“Yeah, can we skip that last part?  I’ve got enough yahoos pestering me without them thinking I’m nice.  Let me walk you back to the main road.  I’ve got traps to reset now that we’re done, and signs redirecting visitors to a dung heap.”

“That’s not very nice,” Brother Mayfield told him.

“That’s me in a nutshell.”

The goblin and monk walked down the trail and had only gone a short distance before they stopped.  There were five men ahead of them sticking to the shadows provided by trees.  Brother Mayfield said, “I fear you have more guests, whether you have goods to sell them or not.”

Guzzle squinted at the men.  “They’re not here for honey.  Two of them have swords.”

“Hello, Mayfield.”  The men swaggered out of the shadows and onto the trail.  They wore street clothes no different than you’d find in any city, but all five wore broad shoulder straps with red hands printed on them.  Two men had short swords, easily concealable and good for stabbing, while the rest carried daggers and hand axes.  “Been a long time, aint it?”

Brother Mayfield turned white as a sheet and backed away.  “No.”

“What’s the matter, no friendly greeting?” the man jeered.  “No smile and salute?  You remember the sign of the Red Hand, don’t you?  Twenty years shouldn’t be long enough for you to forget, traitor.”

Guzzle drew his brand new knife.  “Who are these clowns?”

“We’re the Red Hand,” the man said.  He was roughly the same age as Brother Mayfield but had plenty of scars.  Sometime in the past his nose had been broken and not healed right, and his dark hair was shaved so close it was hard to tell the color.  The man pointed his sword at Brother Mayfield and said, “All six of us are with the Red Hand.  There’s only one way you get to leave, and that’s not by walking away.”

“How did you find me, Staback?” Brother Mayfield asked.

The men came nearer and spread out across the trail.  “It wasn’t easy, traitor.  We looked for you everywhere after you left.  Ships, bars, slums, no trace of you, and here it turns out you found God and went to a monastery.  I’d have never guessed it in a million years.  But somebody found out, and he left these fliers all over town.”

Staback held up a sheet of paper covered in writing.  “I wonder why he used blue ink.  You know what it says, traitor?  No secrets: Your leaders are keeping the truth from you!  The Brotherhood of the Righteous has accepted known criminals into their ranks.  Robbers, smugglers and forgers have taken religious vows as if they were law-abiding citizens.  They’ve got some names here, traitor, with yours at the top.”

“I had to go, Staback,” Brother Mayfield said.  “I couldn’t live with the violence, the hate, the suffering.  We were making life miserable for thousand of people and for ourselves.  How many of our friends did we bury?  How many were left crippled?”

“You don’t get to use the word friends around me!” Staback screamed.  “You were my right hand man!  I counted on you!  When I needed you, when the Red Hands were ready to take over Nolod’s port district and finish off the other gangs, what happens but you ran off.  Worse than that, you got a quarter of my men to leave with you.  The Red Hands could have controlled the port and gotten rich looting warehouses and ships, selling the goods on the black market, and instead we were pushed off to a stinking corner of Nolod.  Friends?  You have no friends.”

“Every corner of Nolod stinks,” Guzzle said.  “I’ve been there.  Not good for bees.”

Brother Mayfield regained his composure fast.  “We were monsters on two legs, Staback.  Nolod knew constant suffering because of us.  I tried to talk to you, but you wouldn’t listen.  I saved as many of our brothers as possible, and I would have saved you if I could.”

Staback threw the sheet of paper to the ground.  “I didn’t come for a sermon, traitor.  I came for your head.  You love your God so much, then I’m happy to introduce you to him right now.”

One of Staback’s men threw an ax at Brother Mayfield.  Guzzle shouted a warning, but to his amazement, Brother Mayfield slapped the ax out of the air with the palm of his hand and sent it spinning into the forest.  A swordsman charged the monk and tried to skewer him.  Brother Mayfield used the block of wax as a shield.  The sword sunk so deep into it that the blade stuck, and Brother Mayfield twisted the block and wrenched the sword out of the man’s hands.  Another man tried to strike the monk with an ax.

Guzzle was used to being overlooked.  It came with the territory when you were a goblin.  These men were so focused on their target that they forgot all about him.  Guzzle ran straight for the man with the ax and kicked him in the shin.  It wasn’t a crippling blow, but enough to make the man howl in pain and stagger off.

Staback went after Brother Mayfield.  The monk dodged one swing and then a second, losing only a piece of his robe to the furious swings.  “I see you ain’t forgotten what I taught you, traitor!”

Brother Mayfield slipped off his backpack and swung it into Staback’s face.  The blow knocked him down and left him at the monk’s feet.  Another gang member threw an ax at Brother Mayfield.  This time he blocked it with his backpack.  The ax shattered the ceramic jars in the backpack, but it got stuck in the leather.  Brother Mayfield pulled out the ax and looked down at Staback.  Man and goblin alike were shocked when he tossed the weapon to the ground.

“I won’t take a life, not even to save my own,” Brother Mayfield said.

Staback got to his feet again.  “Then you’re a bigger fool than I thought, and you’re going to be a dead fool.”

Guzzle grabbed Brother Mayfield’s hand and pulled.  “Back to my place!  Hurry!”

The two ran.  The gang members didn’t follow right away, instead recovering their weapons before chasing their prey.  Guzzle huffed and puffed from the exertion, but he and the monk reached Guzzle’s house.  The goblin climbed over the fence and urged Brother Mayfield to follow.

“You ain’t getting away that easy, traitor!” Staback shouted.  “You’re not getting away at all!”

“I’m sorry,” Brother Mayfield told Guzzle as armed men surrounded them.

“I’m not,” the goblin replied.

“No more running away,” Staback said and he raised his sword.

Guzzle sneered and grabbed a beehive.  “We didn’t run away.  I came here with malicious intentions, you pathetic little man.  Let me tell you something no one’s ever understood about me.  I don’t raise bees for honey or wax.”

Grinning like a maniac, Guzzle said, “I raise bees to have bees.”

With that Guzzle threw the hive at Staback and struck the man in the chest, killing a few bees in the hive and enraging the rest.  Thousands of angry bees swarmed over the gang members.  Worse was to come.  The other hives emptied out as over a hundred thousand bees poured forth.  As Guzzle had said, killing one bee brings more bees to avenge the loss, and they came eager for battle.

“Get down!” Guzzle yelled.  He and Brother Mayfield dropped to the ground, and Guzzle covered them both with the sheet of burlap he kept by his hives.  They heard angry buzzing and equally angry yells from Staback and his men.  Those angry yells turned to panic and then terror.  The yells receded into the distance as members of the Red Hands fled for their lives.

Guzzle and Brother Mayfield stayed safe under the burlap for nearly an hour, only daring to venture forth once they were sure the bees had calmed down.  They found weapons abandoned around the fence and house.  Staback and the rest of the Red Hand he’d brought were long gone.  Brother Mayfield looked shaken.  Guzzle was exuberant, awed that his bees had proven themselves such a potent weapon for the next time he needed them.

Smiling, Guzzle turned to Brother Mayfield and said, “That went well.  What should we do next?”

Submitted: January 14, 2018

© Copyright 2021 ArthurD7000. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



That was hilarious! Bees - the perfect weapon for a goblin. Enjoyed this very much.

Sun, January 14th, 2018 4:55am


I'm glad you liked it. Bees and wasps were historically used as weapons of last resort, so they make a good choice for a goblin's first resort.

Sun, January 14th, 2018 6:44am

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