Goblin Stories XXVI

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
To a goblin's way of thinking, if you have to have someone ruling the world they need to be cute.

Submitted: January 14, 2016

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Submitted: January 14, 2016

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Thipins and Campots the goblins watched their leader, the Dread and Evil Overlord Joshua, crawl across the floor toward them as he smiled and made strange noises.  In most situations this would be a sign of trouble, but for Joshua this was actually a big improvement.

“Here, Joshua, over here!” Thipins cheered.  He waved Joshua’s favorite toy, a teddy bear, to bring his leader over.  “Come on, you can do it!”

Joshua pulled himself across the carpeted floor using only his arms.  He gave a few kicks of his feet, but that didn’t move him much.  Inch by inch he came closer to the goblins.

“Look at him go!” Campots exclaimed.  “He wasn’t moving nearly this fast last month.”

“Oh, you haven’t seen half of what he can do,” Thipins assured him.  “Next year he’ll be leading men into combat, and maybe even going potty by himself.”

Joshua was all of five months old and doing well for his age, but the infant boy was the victim of title inflation.  In the few short months since he’d been become the official ruler of a revolutionary organization, he’d gone from Overlord to Evil Overlord, and now to Dread and Evil Overlord.  Plans were already underway to include Tyrannical, Despot, Lion Hearted and Victorious to the growing list.

This didn’t bother Thipins and Campots in the slightest.  They even encouraged the madness, for like all goblins they were small and relatively inoffensive.  This gave them an appreciation of what Joshua must be going through at such an early age.  More importantly, the two goblins were small and would get no larger, while Joshua could only get bigger.  There was a chance that he’d grow into the role they’d invented for him.

Joshua was of peasant origins, his parents simple farmers before Thipins and Campots came across them.  In a twisted example of goblin logic, the two decided Joshua was bent on world domination and they set off to gather him an army.  They succeeded beyond their wildest hopes, and the tiny infant was now the head of a dangerous organization in the Land of the Nine Dukes.

Joshua finally reached Thipins and grabbed the bear with his chubby hands.  He pulled it close and stuffed as much of it as he could into his mouth.

“There he goes again,” Campots said.  The goblin had turquois skin and carried loops of rope over his ratty leather clothes.  “That bear must have done something to deserve getting chewed on like that.”

Thipins shrugged.  He had tanned skin and was a bit taller than Campots, with bony spikes jutting from both shoulders.  He was always careful to keep those spikes away from Joshua, who had an eat-first-question-later attitude toward life.  “You can never tell with bears.  I suspect treason, or maybe enjoying opera.”

As nominal ruler of a small army of roustabouts and far larger group of disaffected peasants, Joshua was awarded their finest accommodations.  This consisted of a wood house with rugs, simple furniture and a box of toys.  Joshua’s parents, who found this whole situation a bit hard to understand, were currently outside discussing matters with Joshua’s subordinates.  Thipins and Campots had snuck in to play with their ruler while everyone else was busy.

“He’s just not going to give that bear a chance,” Thipins said.  “If this keeps up he’ll take off a leg.”

“The bear had it coming,” Campots replied.  “You do not pick fights with a Dread and Evil Overlord no matter how cute he is.”

Thipins tried to pull the bear away from Joshua, but the baby was having none of it.  He smiled and pulled harder until the bear’s right arm was back in his mouth.  “Does this qualify as solid food?”

“Not sure.”  Campots peered out the window.  “Lots of noise outside.  Something’s got the guys excited.  I see Smile and Iron Fang rallying the troops.”

Thipins rolled his eyes.  “Not another fight!”

“No, they’re not drawing weapons.  I think it’s some kind of meeting.  It might be about that Ann Marie Quester girl.  She’s drawing a lot of attention from the guys.  They keep giving her flowers for some reason.  No idea why, but she’s complaining a lot about it.”

“That’s typical of teenagers.”  Campots turned his attention back to Joshua.  “Diaper still clean?”

“Cleanish.”

Campots kept looking outside.  Partly this was so they’d have advance warning if Joshua’s parents came back.  Neither of them liked having goblins around their young son and chased Thipins and Campots out when they found them.  But there was a far more serious reason for concern.

The Fallen King, sociopath, disgraced prince and overall bad apple was on the march, rampaging through the Land of the Nine Dukes with his army of deserters, thieves, bandits and other affiliated scum.  He’d clashed with the Dread and Evil Overlord Joshua’s forces several times and won every fight.  It was a matter of quantity over quality, since he outnumbered his enemies ten to one or more.  Joshua’s forces had fallen back time and again, and they were running out of places to run to.

“I’m worried about Joshua,” Campots said softly.  “I think we may have done a bad thing putting him in charge.  The Fallen King has got it in for the little guy.”

Thipins kept his eyes on Joshua, smiling and stroking the baby’s head.  “Nothing’s going to happen to him.  We won’t let it.”

Playtime was interrupted by two new goblins entering the room.  The first had blue skin and hair, and wore nothing save swim trunks.  The second carried a mop and had brown hair tied into a long braid, and he wore a red shirt under his dirty leather clothes.

“Ooh, new recruits!” Thipins exclaimed.  “We haven’t gotten any new guys since Ibwibble the Terrifying joined.  Howdy do, boys.”

The blue goblin shook his hand, but said, “We’re not joining your army.”

“It’s not so much an army as it’s a club dedicated to world domination,” Thipins told him.  “We’ve got good benefits.”

“Pass,” the other goblin said.  “We came with Julius Craton, and he asked us to look for somebody named Joshua.”

“That’s him gumming the teddy bear,” Campots said.

“No, the Joshua in charge of this place,” the blue skinned goblin said.

Thipins pointed at the baby.  “Same guy.  We haven’t got any more Joshuas, but if you come across another we’d be happy to take him.”

The two new goblins looked to one another, their expressions worried.  The blue skinned one asked, “How does a baby run anything?”

“He doesn’t.”  Campots put an army around Joshua and explained, “Joshua is currently what we like to call a figurehead.  If you’ve got an army you need someone in charge, in spite of what the Barrel Wrights seem to think.  Joshua is that someone.  Some people might take exception to him being so small.  We get around that by keeping him in the background.  Nobody meets him in person, just representatives like Iron Fang, so nobody complains.”

“Give him a few years and he’ll grow into the role,” Thipins added.  “Until then the others do the talking and he bids his time.”

Outraged, the blue goblin shouted, “How could you put a baby in charge of an army, figurehead or not?”

Thipins picked up Joshua and held him up for the new goblins to see.  “Look at that face, those pudgy cheeks, those big brown eyes.  Tell me you wouldn’t conquer the world for a kid like this.”

By goblin standards this was a compelling argument, but there was more to it than physical appearances.  Joshua didn’t hate anyone.  Greedy, ambition and bigotry were equally foreign to him. He loved and he wanted to be loved, nothing more, and to a goblin’s way of thinking that was all the qualifications he needed.

The new goblins hemmed and hawed before the blue one said, “Well, I’d try to.”

“He’s got charisma,” the long haired goblin admitted.  “And nothing’s more dangerous than an ambitious baby.”

The noise outside grew louder.  Some of the shouting was from Iron Fang with his lisping voice, but there was a new voice arguing with him.  “I don’t intend to conduct this discussion with an emissary.  The message I carry is for the Overlord Joshua and no one else.”

“That’s Julius Craton,” the blue skinned goblin explained.  “We’re helping him not get killed.”

“It’s a full time job,” the long haired goblin added.  He turned to the blue goblin and said, “I don’t see this ending well.”

“I don’t see why not,” Thipins said.  “Give him a few hours holding Joshua and we’ll win him over.”

The blue skinned goblin looked dubious.  “Julius is kind of responsible for the lives of thousands of people.  He needs help protecting them from the Fallen King and his army of loonies.”

Campots smiled.  “We’re having trouble with him, too!  Be fair, everyone’s having trouble with him.  That guy is the human equivalent of a skin rash.”

Thipins took a paper from inside his shirt and showed it to the new goblins.  “We’re in contact with the Barrel Wrights, another secret, evil organization—”

“They say they’re not evil,” Campots interruted.

Thipins laughed.  “Yeah, right.  Anyway, according to them, the Fallen King is polling so low that he’s less popular than taxes, five infectious diseases and lawyer infestations.  Somehow his own men haven’t killed him, which I can’t figure out.”

“That’s why Julius is here,” the long haired goblin told them.  “He’s hoping that your guys can work with his guys to stop the Fallen King.”

“We’ve got kind of a bad track record there,” Thipins replied.

Julius Craton was talking outside again, his voice rising in anger.  Iron Fang and Smile were looking surprisingly nervous given that they had Julius outnumbered dozens to one.

“Kind of funny them not standing their ground,” Thipins said.

The blue skinned goblin didn’t seem surprised.  “They’re being smart.  People who stand their ground against Julius end up in the ground.”

“I know those guys, they’re tough,” Campots said.

The long haired goblin studied the men facing Julius.  “I give them four minutes, five if they run.”

Again they were interrupted, this time by a little girl entering the house.  She was only six years old and wore worn clothes that swept left to right along with her long brown hair.  Most children avoided strangers, but the girl was fearless and marched right up to the four goblins.

“I want to hold the baby.”  Her tone was firm, and she took Joshua from the goblins and sat down to cradle him in her lap.  Joshua smiled and laughed as the girl rubbed his stomach.  “Tummy rub!”

“Older sister?” the blue skinned goblin asked.

“Neighbor girl, and a social climber if ever I met one,” Campots said.  “She marches in here every chance she gets and takes Joshua away from us when we’re playing with him.  I don’t know why since she’s got three brothers.”

The girl spared Campots a glance and said, “I don’t like them.  They hit.”

Campots kept watching the uneasy meeting outside.  “Your friend is meeting with our top guys.  Hey, Vasellia the Swordswoman is running over, and she’s smiling.  I’ve never seen her do that before!”

“She and Julius have some sort of shared history,” the blue goblin said.  “Hopefully that will be enough to calm things down before—”

“A baby!” Julius shouted.

The blue goblin sighed.  “Or not.”

“It’s not what it sounds like,” Vasellia told him.  “It started out as some kind of mistake with the recruiters.  By the time we knew what happened it was too late to change without making it look like we’d had a leader and lost him.  Organizing these people was the smartest thing to do, and we couldn’t risk losing it.”

“A mistake?” Thipins said harshly.  He patted Joshua on the back and reassured him, “Don’t you worry.  You’re in charge on purpose, and you’re staying in charge.”

The little girl pulled Joshua away from the goblins.  “You had your turn playing with him.  It’s my turn.”

The door opened for the third time, with Julius Craton and Vasellia the Swordswoman entering.  Heavily armed and armored, Julius was a man to be feared and respected, which made his puzzled expression so out of place.  Julius looked to the new goblins, who pointed at Joshua.  The blue skinned one said, “Say hello to the revolutionary in diapers.”

“It pays to start early in this business,” Thipins said.

Julius bent down to take a closer look at Joshua.  The girl holding him scowled and said, “You don’t get to hold him.  It’s my turn.  You come back later.”

Julius frowned and looked to Vasellia.  “I’ve got thousands of people barely holding out against a superior force, and the leader I’d hoped to ally with is too young to stand.”

“We’re in the same boat,” Vasellia told him.  She took his hand and said, “Alone we’re doomed.  The best we can hope for is to weaken the Fallen King so badly he can’t go on to hurt others.  Together, we’ll still be outnumbered, but there’s at least a chance we’ll win.  Ignore the baby for a second—”

“Watch it!” Thipins scolded her.

Vasellia ignored him and kept talking.  “You and I won battles with fewer men than this.  We can do it.”

“We have to,” Julius said.  He pointed at Joshua and said, “The baby stays here.  If you have to keep up the illusion that he’s in charge then do it, but I’m not bringing an infant into this mess for any reason.”

The little girl looked up at Julius and asked, “I still get to hold him?”

“On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with alternating weekends,” Thipins told her.  “We get to hold him the rest of the time.”

Scowling, the girl clenched her fists.  “You take him from me and I’ll punch you in the nose!”

Campots laughed at her.  “Oh come on, you’re not going to—she hit me!  You saw it, you’re witnesses!  I call brutality!”


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