Goblin sStories II

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

An average day for the King of the Goblins is, well, anything but average.

It was an early fall morning, and Will Bradshaw, the reluctant King of the Goblins, was on his way to trouble.  Dressed in his usual black and green uniform, he’d finished breakfast in the nearby human town and enjoyed the company of people with IQs over fifty (which is rare among goblins).  With that done he was expected to return to the kingdom and ‘rule’ his subjects.

This assumed they felt like being ruled, and nine times out of ten they didn’t.  Goblins did whatever they felt like, and orders from their king were treated as well intentioned requests.  This was in spite of the fact that not long ago he’d led them to victory against the human king Kervol Ket.

As Will headed down a road that ran between tall, young trees, he heard a banging sound up ahead.  Will unhooked his fire scepter and approached cautiously, making sure to keep behind cover.  As he came closer he could hear voices but not make out what they were saying.

When he came into a clearing he saw the source of the commotion.  A mob of goblins was building a rickety goblin catapult.  The catapult was smaller than the kind men used and would likely break down on the first use, but it had good range and let the goblins throw all kinds of offensive substances with some accuracy.

“Guys, what’s with the catapult?” Will asked.  “Are we being attacked again?”

A goblin with a beard reaching down to his waist smiled at Will.  “Hey, it’s the King!  Hi, boss.  Nobody’s attacking us…yet.”

“So why are you making a catapult?”

A builder goblin put down his saw and explained, “Representatives of the Yelinid Banking Cartel are touring the human villages in case people need to borrow money.  We figured we’d make a catapult and lob horse poo at them.”

Dreading the answer, Will asked, “Why would you want to do that?”

The bearded goblin asked, “Do we really need a reason to throw horse poo at people?”

“We have enough enemies as it is,” Will told them.  “We don’t need bankers mad at us, too.”

The builder goblin dropped his saw and slapped both hands against his cheeks in mock horror.  “Oh no!  If we upset them, who will loan us money?”

All the goblins broke out in hysterical laughter.  They were dead broke and planned on staying that way.  Goblins knew that if they did have money then bigger, stronger races would come to rob them.  Even if they could lay their hands on gold and keep it, no one would do business with goblins due to their reputation for being dirty, troublesome and dumb as toast.

“It’s not like they did anything good for us,” the bearded goblin said.  “They’re not doing the humans any favors, either, what with twenty percent interest on their loans.”

“Twenty percent?” Will asked.

“Minimum,” the bearded goblin said.  The other goblins nodded in agreement.

“Make another catapult, and bring extra buckets of horse poo,” he said.  The goblins smiled and went back to work

When Will started to hang the scepter back on his belt, one of the goblins said, “Better keep it ready, boss.  There’s a human up ahead on the road who says he’s looking for you.”

“Is he armed?” Will asked.

“No, but if he’s a wizard or lawyer that doesn’t matter,” a green skinned goblin replied.

“True enough,” Will replied, still mindful of how a lawyer from Cickam, Wender and Downe had tricked him into being king with their wretched (and nearly indestructible) king contract.  He kept his scepter in hand and set out in search of this mystery man.

Half a mile down the road, Will found an older man dressed in fashionable black clothes and carrying a satchel pack.  The man was surrounded by digger goblins armed with shovels and picks, supported by builder goblins wielding saws and hammers.  The man seemed unworried by the small horde around him, and the goblins were content to keep him there.  Oddly enough, a number of goblins were sniffing the man.

The older man smiled when he saw Will.  Speaking in a formal and respectful tone (something Will wasn’t used to), the man said, “Good day, Sir.  Might you be the Vickers the Cunning, King of the Goblins?”

“No, I’m his replacement, William Bradshaw,” Will said.  “He got out of his contract a while ago and went back to Earth.”

“I apologize for the error.  I hadn’t realized there was another change in administration.”  The older man kicked his heels together and bowed at the waist.  He looked surprised when Will held out his hand, but he shook hands without complaint.  “I am, ah, forgive me, but it would be best for all involved if I avoided a formal introduction.”

“Suit yourself.”  The man’s answer was odd enough to arouse Will’s suspicion, and he kept his scepter handy if something went wrong.  “If you can’t say who you are, is it too much to ask why you’re here?”

“Not at all, Your Majesty.  I am a steward for a young man of some wealth and influence, and sadly not nearly enough common sense.  My master has started a regrettable relationship with a young woman.  While it is normal for a young man to seek a woman’s affections, in this instance he chose his partner poorly.”

“Don’t like her much, huh?” Will asked.  He saw a goblin with a long nose approach the man and stick his entire nose into the satchel.

The steward gently pushed the goblin back before answering.  “My opinions of her would normally not enter into the matter, but no.  The problem is less her than her family.  Without going into details of who did what to whom and who owes whom a cow, her father, mother, uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews, nieces and family dog all want my master dead by the most horrible means possible.  They haven’t tried to harm him yet, but I fear for his life should this relationship become common knowledge.”

“I see,” Will replied.  He scratched his head and asked, “I know it’s not my business, but if things are that bad then how did this relationship get started?”

“Beer,” the steward answered.  “Rather a large quantity of it, I’m afraid.”

A small goblin barely a foot tall scurried up to the steward and climbed into his satchel.  The man gently removed the goblin and set him on the ground.  The goblins’ interest made no sense.  They cared nothing for treasure or human belongings.  Will knew of only one reason why they would be so eager to get in the satchel.

“Odd question,” Will began, “but are you carrying cheese?”

“A wheel of cheddar.  I was told it might smooth negotiations.”

“That brings us back to why you’re here,” Will said.  “You’ve made your problem clear, but not why you brought it to me.”

The steward reached into a coat pocket and handed Will three sheets of gold paper folded up and tied together with red ribbon.  “Have you heard of forever paper?”

“That’s a new one on me,” Will said as he accepted the papers.

“It is magically enhanced paper.  A page become permanent and unchangeable once a signature has been placed on it.  Unchangeable also means the paper cannot be destroyed.  In a touching but ill advised move, my master wrote two love letters on forever paper and the lady sent a reply in kind.”

Will took a sheet and tore it at a corner.  Seconds later the edges knit themselves back together, leaving no sign that the page had been damaged.  “It’s depressingly like my king contract.”

“Perhaps now you see my dilemma,” the steward said.  “The young lady’s family suspects their relationship but can prove nothing.  Should they find proof, however, I fear they will try to take my master’s life.”

“I doubt they’ll be happy with her, either.”

The steward looked down with a guilty expression.  “I imagine not.  I’m ashamed to admit that the thought hadn’t occurred to me.  Sir, I must dispose of the letters so no one can ever find them, no easy task given that they cannot be destroyed and others search for them high and low.  But I am told goblins can dig bottomless pits.  Surely if the letters were thrown into one they could never be found.”

“Yeah, we have one of those,” Will said.  He scratched his head before he said, “This sounds like a reasonable request, but I only have your word for what’s going on.  I need to read the letters before I help get rid of them.”

“A reasonable request, and one I would make in your place,” the steward replied.

Will paged through the letters, reading aloud.  “Dearest J, I count the seconds until we can meet again.  I dream of your face, your touch, and so on.  Let’s see, letter two, Dearest J, the thought of being separated from you leaves my heart empty and cold.  To be without you, to never smell your perfume nor stroke your raven locks, blah, blah blah.”

Then Will got to the third page.  “Dearest R, it tears at my very soul that we must be apart even this long.  My heart bursts with passion for you, and if you were with me now I would—”

Will’s eyes snapped open as he read, and he blushed crimson red.  Folding the paper shut, he asked the steward, “Was this woman raised by pirates?”

“Contrary to all evidence, no.”

Will handed back the papers.  “Everything fits with what you’ve said.  I’m going to give my blessings on this.”  He turned to the goblins waiting for their chance to get into the man’s supply of cheese.  “Take him to the bottomless pit and then lead him out of the kingdom when he’s done.  I don’t want you to give him any trouble, especially as he seems to have enough of that as it is.”

An indigent goblin slapped his hand over his heart.  “You wound me!”

“The very idea!” a second goblin cried out.

The small goblin said, “He can leave, but the cheese stays.”

The steward bowed again.  “Thank you, Your Majesty.  I am in your debt, as is my master and his love.  If the situation were different I would praise your name for all to hear, but doing so would draw unwelcome attention to us both.  I cannot offer a reward without drawing the same evil attention.  I fear I can only give my thanks.”

The long nosed goblin nudged the steward.  “And cheese.”

The steward smiled.  “But of course.”


Submitted: December 09, 2014

© Copyright 2021 ArthurD7000. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Alteng

Again, another good story. I find William Bradshaw a strange name for your goblin. This may be explained in another story though.

Cheese is an interesting bait for the goblins, I will have to admit. Are we saying that they are a little ratlike. This has implications! Don't ask about my wicked mind. Which leads to those letters. The last one was entertaining. Ah, but would a goblin stop there? Maybe, Will would, right? I need to know more about this character. I know, read on.

I do question seriously about the bearded goblin knowing about the money lenders and the 20%. That seems very enlightened for a goblin. I do get your point, but are goblins exceptional with finance, despite low IQ.

All the same, a fun story.

Fri, January 30th, 2015 7:07am

Author
Reply

Will Bradshaw is the main character from my book, and he's human. This gives him a slight edge on his followers when it comes to brains. And you are correct, my goblins do tend to show more intelligence and awareness from time to time. I figure some of them are brighter than others, and they have a habit of listening in on other people's conversations where they can pick up nasty facts like that 20% interest.

Tue, February 3rd, 2015 7:26am

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