I watched the scattering of stars through the patchwork clouds and wondered what I should do. Although I had only recently learned of the existence of Blavour, I now found myself there, a land that was supposed to be evil. There were no more voices and I had never felt more alone.
I began to see lights much closer at hand than those distant stars. Watchfires were scattered around the countryside. And one light was headed straight at me.
In a minute, I was face to face with a strange being. OK, maybe face to belly button because the guy (gal?) was only about half of my height. In stature, this thing reminded me of a dwarf before they became “Fair Folk”, but this creature was not fair in any way. OK, it was “fair” in that it was pale, but it was the ugliest thing I had seen in my life. No, it was even uglier than that.
“Oy, you there,” it said in an almost incomprehensible accent. “Now what’cha about, then?”
“Me?” I said. “Oh, I’m just taking a moonlight stroll. And aren’t the moons just lovely tonight?”
“Right. Now you knock that off. Death,” it pointed towards the moon that looked like a grinning skull, “and Agony,” it pointed at the moon that looked like a face in great pain, “are never lovely. They are hateful at best. Tonight I’d call them hurtful. We don’t call them The Cruel Moons for nuttin, now do we? Lovely indeed.”
“You are absolutely correct,” I said. “It was just a figure of speech, meaning I can hide a lot of sins under those treacherous moons. Uhm, that’s what you do, right? Hide sins?”
“You must be a stranger here. We make sure our sins are done out in the open for all to enjoy,” it said. “Stranger. Hey! I’m a guard! That means…” It fumbled for a minute before pulling out a sword. “I am placing you under arrest.” The thing pointed the sword, which was shorter than my forearm, at me.
“Whoa, careful were you point that thing! You might hurt yourself. And you realize that I can just kick the sword out of your hand, don’t you?” I wondered how this, for a lack of better word, goblin, with its scattered thoughts, would react.
It shrugged. “And then what would you do? Now come with me.”
He turned and walked away. I had nothing better to do but follow the ugly little creature.
After about five minutes we came to a structure. I was amazed at how sleek and modern the building appeared. I guess I was biased and assumed everything in a fantasy land would be medieval, and in the evil land it would be rough stone. This structure was all wood and glass, with tastefully blackened iron. In fact, it was surprisingly beautiful.
“Hideous moons that have been forced on us tonight, no?”
I had not seen the other goblin until it spoke. It was as ugly as the first.
“It’s just awful,” said “my” goblin. “Hey, that reminds me. It seems some bloke back there called the moons sexy or something like that.”
“Lovely,” I said.
Both goblins jumped.
“And who might this one be, then?” the “new” goblin asked.
“Blithers if I know. Oh, wait. I think I saw this fella earlier. Couldn’t account for itself.” The goblin pulled itself up and stuck out its chest. “Placed it under arrest, I did.”
“And what did you plan to do with it?”
“Well, see here. This place we are guarding. We ain’t to let nobodies in, right? So if he was in it, then part of it would be that he couldn’t get out. Right?”
The other stroked its chin. “Hmm. It seems right, but I must be missing something.”
I decided I should be helpful. “Excuse me, kind sir. Or is it madam? Or? Anyway, kind thing, if you are not supposed to let anybody into that building, wouldn’t you be going against orders to actually, uhm, you know, put me in there yourselves? I mean, just saying…”
The goblins looked at each other. “You know, he does have a point,” the first goblin said.
“Shut up,” the other said. “He does not have a point. He seems awfully dull to me. He is not talking sense at all. His thoughts seem all scrambled, with his lustful moons and puzzles about in or out. No. You were right the first time. Uhm, what were you saying?”
“He was saying that since you are guarding this building so nobody can get in, if you put me in, then I shouldn’t be able to get out. Uhm, because nobody is supposed to go in, so if I’m… OK, something like that.”
“In you go then! And stay out!”
The goblins fumbled with a door and then looked at me expectantly. I walked over, took the keys out of one of their hands, and opened the door. The first goblin pointed at the door with its sword. I entered the building.
I was in a square foyer. There were bars across the windows and across the ceiling. Between the scattered clouds and the prism-like glass roof, the light of the moons danced around my small cell in a most bewitching manner.
There was another room with a stairwell going down in one corner, but the bars made it so I could not go investigate.
Realizing that I was very tired, I sat down.
Something wasn’t right. Although it was evening in this place, for me it should have been morning, noon at the latest. Why was I so tired?
I tried to think back over the day, but couldn’t recall any details. Maybe I was wrong and had been up for a while.
I thought back to the scattered conversation of the goblins and then the words of the wizard. The seeing stone showed me the place I most needed to be and then brought me there. Where did I most need to be? And why would it be in Blavour?
I knew the answer should be simple, but my mind was growing foggy and my thoughts scattered.
A random thought disturbed me. I couldn’t place what it meant, but something told me that it was going to get worse. That as I sat in the prison to keep people out, not in, I would grow sleepy and forgetful.
I knew I must be vigilant, but my eyelids were just so heavy!
I had to stay awake!
— — —
So what tangled web did our hero catch himself in now? And if those goblins were sexless, why did they seem to think so much about sex? On the other hand, if you weren’t having sex, would you think of anything else? And are you offended by that question? Should you be? Hmm, can these questions get any farther away from what the story was supposed to be about (whatever that was)? And what is the story supposed to be about? All of these questions and more, will soon be answered! Stay tuned for our next exciting episode – same blog channel, same blog time!!