So, prompted by Ori – this is all his fault, I decided to write this serial tale. How long it goes on for and whether I bother does depend on the response. At the moment I’ll peg it to ten ‘s’more’ begs, and I’ll write the next bit.
It’s about the personal lives of two changelings.
The Survival of Slub and Forrest, teen-age changelings.
I don’t know what I did deserve this.
Okay, so I do.
But I didn’t think it was going to happen.
Look I’m just a goblin, not a demon or one of those smart alec unseelie. It was an accident.
Festering Frogspawn! I didn’t mean it to be a good deed.
This is just a disproportionate response.
I mean, having to live among humans is bad. But I couldn’t have got some decent ‘parents’? Not that I don’t feel sorry for the human that got mine. They can hardly even make a cow go dry or give sheep spavins. But I could have got good redneck chicken-stealing neo-nazi moonshine brewers. Or slave keeping Somalia pirate fanatics. Even French economists…
No one, but no one, deserves what I got.
And why Sydney? I mean, like, a million square miles of Siberia… And I get Sydney. Okay so it could have been…West Virginia.
And when I saw the robes and pentacles and mummu beads ‘Mummy’ was wearing I thought well, at least there’ll be some midnight cat sacrifices to look forward to.
That was before I met the cat.
Or discovered they were vegans.
I have been kidnapped by some weird cultists. Probably christians or meat-eaters. I don’t how they got me to this mud floored hovel, with, honestly, like sixteen of them living it. They are all ugly and in need of orthodontic help. And they’re just weird. I mean the biggest of them sneaks up while I’m standing there, trying to decide if I should scream for help or childline, and says ‘hee hee hee,” as he pokes me in the ribs. “Nice layer of lard, pork-features. More crackling on him than on old Slub, gang. You’ll roast up a treat, human.”
And while I was looking at him with my mouth open, a fly flew into it, and and while I was gagging, one of the little ones came and stole my medical bracelet. I tried to get her to give it back and she just laughed at me and stuck her tongue out at me, and made crude flatulence noises. While I was pleading with her, one of the others was trying to pick my pocket. To steal my I-phone! I only just caught on in time to save it. The others jeered at him. Told him he was a loser.
I managed to speed-dial the emergency number.
Only… there isn’t any reception here.
There are chickens and a pig in this house. A rooster has just climbed onto my foot and left its dropping on my trainer. Eugggggh!
I’m going to have to have to live here unless the Unseelie take me back. And I know they’re watching. So I’m going to have to be as good a goblin as possible. Be a real model goblin… you know, steal, backstab and indulge in painful practical jokes. Make my Ma proud.
So I thought I’d start with the cat.
Yeah. Someone could have told me cats can see through glamor, and Siamese are the goblins of the cat world anyway. Except they’re a bit more like banshees. But I didn’t know this. I mean, any cat back home that sees a gang of goblins leaves. And I’m not used to having to be my own whole gang.
There’s the cat. And me. In a room full of mystic crystals, vases, bric-a-brac, and with a chandeliery type thing, but with electric candles, so there’s no nice hot wax and burning stuff down. I think ‘bit-of-cat-by-the tail-swinging, lots of broken glass, sparks, maybe some electrocution. I’m not really too sure about electricks, but tricks have got be my sort of thing…
And the cat doesn’t even run away as I sneak up on it. Just stalks along the glass coffee table, waving its tail in these S-bends, ignoring me.
So how was I to know what that meant?
They didn’t seem to be be watching me very closely, so I thought I’d see if I could slip away, and perhaps find civilization and mobile reception. But these obnoxious children are like… flies. Even the littlest one, who has a face full of sticky dribble and snaggly teeth wobbles after me. He tried to bite me! He has probably got some kind of nasty disease.
I thought nothing could be more revolting than that hovel of theirs, but the place is even worse outside. There is mud. And brambles and nettles. And bugs. I need an antihistimine. I thought if I walked fast… they run. They were always just ahead of me, breaking bushes, throwing things at the bushes.
So I ran, while they were chasing a bird. I got away! Ran until I couldn’t any more. I was standing there, hands on my thighs, panting. I don’t run. It’s bad for my knees. I have a letter mummy got me from my specialist physician saying I have Hyperpigrumalia, that excuses me from participation in sport. I got my mobile out… still no signal at all.
And then I realised I didn’t know where I was. Or even where I’d come from. There are no signs anywhere. No buildings you can recognise. There should be a law against this. It’s not safe. And now that I couldn’t hear those disgusting children, there were… other noises.
I was getting ready to shout for help, as soon as I had my breath back.
Next thing three of horror children popped up out of a bush and shrieked ‘boo!”at me.
I did jump a bit and they found that sort of childish humor funny. “New-Slub, why’s your face so blotchy?” said the one in the knee-breeches.
“‘n why are you breathing like a boar-pig on heat?” demanded the one in what might be a skirt. “You gonna be sick, New-Slub?” She seemed delighted at the idea. “Betcha he’s gonna be sick, Glorbwit!
They all stood around me watching. More and more of them popped up out of the bushes, chanting: “Puke, puke puke!” and sniggering. And while I was looking back at them, the littlest one came and slimed my trousers and bit me again.
“You could have startled poor Pussy-wussy yelling like that, Forrest-darling,” tutted mumsy-wumsy. “Does Pussy-wussy LOVE mumsy-wumsy?” she cooed at the monster cat as the dagger-claws squeaked on the glass. “You musn’t play so roughly with him, Forrest. You might hurt him,” she said as the claws-of-death head-butted her hand gently before going back to pacing and yowling. My arm was leaking ichor. Typical human, she managed not to see it. “Oh mumsy-wumsy’s baby is upset!” she said, and picked up the cat that just turned itself into a rotating sawblade on my arm.
I waited for it to shred her in a wonderful arc of dyed blond hair, blubber and blood.
It purred and snuggled into her.
Gave me a malevolent blue eye-balling that would have been normal for a forty foot dragon with a sore fang, wanting a goblin toothpick. Told me, without words, that there was only going to be one resident evil in this place, and as far as it was concerned, it wasn’t going to be me.
I looked at the glass ornaments. The room. Damage… nil. Well, except for my arm.
“You vile brutes are just… inhuman!” I shouted at them. I must admit, I forgot that shouting achieves nothing.
They seemed to take it as a compliment. “Too right. We’re Goblins!” said the one the ‘girl’ (well, wearing a skirt. I know it’s sexist to assume) called Glorbwit with a nasty snigger.
“And vile brutes,” said the girl gleefully. “I’m viler than you Glorbwit,” she announced picking her large nose to celebrate.
“Yeah, Mistonker, but I’m brutaler,” Glorbwit said, strutting. “I’m the brutalerest.”
Mistonker inspected the fruits of her mining and ate it. “I’m vilerest.”
She was right, I had to admit. But I should have realised that they were just distracting me. Next thing someone behind me pulled open my collar and dropped a frog down my back.
Aghhhhhhhhhh! They all rolled around laughing and giving fist bumps to little horrors who had done it, while I tried to get the frog out of my shirt. I was trying to shake it down and it was trying to climb up me.
Seeing as ‘Mummy’ (I thought the kind with frightful moaning and trailing bandages killing people was more like what was required for the good raising of humans, but they don’t really understand what is needed for child welfare) had left cuddling the demon-cat, I thought I’d better investigate my new home. The kitchen was a place that naturally facinated me as I’m a growing goblin. You could often steal something to eat there, if you were quick.
So I slipped in there. Well, that’s what looking at the orb had me believing it was. But it barely even had a proper smell of garbage, let alone the smell of good nine day old stew. It was all granite surfaces and not even a crumb. Very unhealthy. No wonder these humans are so pallid and weak. I picked on the biggest cupboard as a likely place for a nice slab of fatty bacon to stashed away, seeing as it wasn’t hung up properly.
A cold-spell knocked me backwards, with the icy breath of winter spilling out onto the floor in cold clouds. I slammed it shut on the the demon and muttered a curse against it and all its workings even before it occured to me I was doing good again. Too late! I heard it gasp and rattle and die in its lair behind the white cupboard.
They were all standing there laughing at me, when suddenly it all went quiet. Dead quiet. Even the crows in the trees went silent. The vile children all dropped to their knees, looking terrified. Good! I looked around expecting see someone from social services and the police. “They’ve kidnapped and tortured me!” I yelled as I turned. “Arrest them!”
Only it wasn’t the police. It was a horse. A horse with a tall slim rider on its back, and fake Spock ears, dressed as if he was going to a medieval theme party. With furs. We don’t approve of people wearing furs. And he had a huge sword. “It’s illegal to have a blade more than three inches long in public,” I told him.
He got quite upset at this… or maybe he just has anger management problems and needs to see a psychologist. His eyes went all narrow. “Why do you not show proper respect, changeling? Kneel.”
“I have bad knees and I’ve been excused from sport,” I told him, but it didn’t stop him from pulling that sword out. So I knelt down quickly. It might not have been quick enough.
“I think you need some help with learning respect,” he said cruelly, as he put the sword back into the show-off scabbard, and waved a finger at me.
I was suddenly aware of a terrible pain in my… well the seat of my trousers. And then a tearing noise… from the seat of my trousers. I tried to see what cruel trick had been played on me this time. All I could see was a large fluffy pink and chartreuse furry thing behind me. I scrambled up and tried to run away.
It followed me.
feeling behind me…
It was part of me.
So I was a bit wary about more demons in the cupboards. You could tell it wasn’t a healthy place. It wasn’t natural for a place to be that clean. Even the cockroaches had died. It must be cursed, or haunted with not even the chitter and skitter of a rat to break the silence.
All right, so it was a good deed. Un-Goblinly. It hadn’t been that good, surely, that I deserved THIS.
Hunger eventually gave me a quite unnatural courage. I opened a cupboard a crack. Ducked back so I could hit whatever lived in it over the head from behind with the ladle I’d taken from the rack. It had never been used. It was all shiny.
Nothing came out of the cupboard. I got clever, and used the shiny ladle as a mirror. I was horrified at what I saw there.
There was nothing there. No monsters. No little raveners. No house-gnomes with cross-bows. No slugs and no bugs. Not even ants. Just… pots.
And then next thing I knew there was mummy dearest. Thank heavens without the monster cat. “Ah there you are, Forrest Darling. I wondered if you were feeling well, not on your computer. I’m about to have a soy yogurt carrot smoothie. Would you like one? Funny, the ‘fridge light is not working.”
Now we watch humans. They’re really funny on the pot or when they’re bludgeoning auntie. And the annual show where they sing old lamp-shine and hug each other and fall down in their own sick is great. But a lot of human doesn’t translate. I knew what a carrot was. You put them in stew when you’re short of meat. If you cook them long enough they don’t taste too much like carrot. Soys and yogurt and smoothies… what? Some kind of exotic animal made ito meat paste
Mummy dearest has gone called the doctor, and change her pants.
It serves her right. I thought the blender thing was cool, all it needed was some frogs.
And then she gave me RAW carrot.