Hendra’s World • Book One • Part One
“The Most Dangerous Creatures”
A spear flew past his head!
Dwarves! The most dangerous creatures in the world.
Were they coming after him?
No? Thank the Demon Mother. He was lucky to be alive, and he intended to stay that way!
His eye — or more exactly the deflated sack of shit that used to be his eye — was throbbing like a toad in a hole, and his left arm was floppy and screaming with pain. Every step, leap, and dodge he made in his desperate escape through the dense forest was a new experience in agony for him.
As a Goblin, of course, he was used to pain. It was his lifelong companion, if not his very best friend. He kept running.
Survival is everything.
The wounds on his neck left by the wretched Dwarven torture device were raw and bleeding, but not deep. None of his injuries were life threatening. If he could just find a place to hide for a few hours, or days, find some newts, salamanders, efts maybe, rub their guts on his wounds, he was gonna live for sure. Maybe even grow a new eye some day.
As he ran through the low branches of the forest, a dry stick raked across his face, scratching his other eye.
Arrg! Fuck! Fuck fuck fuck those bastards!
Aigar hated Dwarves, yes, but the “bastards” he cursed to himself now, as he ran blindly for his life through these unfamiliar woods, were all sitting safely back at Mount Hel, doling out orders and rolling in spoils. Those fat, rich turds who sent him here to face these vicious Dwarves in their cursed black armor in the first place! No amount of coin, nor Human kinderflesh was worth losing so many of his brothers, plus one of his eyes! And possibly his arm.
His foot slipped, and he stumbled, falling face first into a large pile of elk dung.
From there he dragged himself along the ground, and blindly clawed his way under a massive rotten tree, long prone in death upon the forest floor. As he burrowed deeper under his moss-covered refuge, and blanketed himself with the wetness and decay therein, he could feel small creatures moving all over his body, crawling on his face, getting under his leathers. He grabbed at something alive in the blackness that he hoped was a newt, and popped it in his mouth, gnashing it with his jagged, broken teeth.
He spit the bloody pulp into his hand, and rubbed the fresh guts under his bandage, and on the wounds around his neck, then swallowed the rest, licking his palm and in between his bony fingers with his long, coarse, forked, green tongue.
Feeling better already.
As he relaxed into the loam, a thousand living things with a hundred thousand legs moved all over him nibbling at his scabs and supping on his open wounds.
He wished he could stay there, live there, just as he was, forever and ever. If only he could.
His brothers needed him, though, Dwarves are coming.
As the pain in his body began to ease, Aigar was comforted by the cold, undulating embrace of the crawling multitude with whom he now shared a bed.
After a long while, he drifted, fell asleep, and as Goblins always do when they slumber, he had a horrifying nightmare. This time, he was being chased up a treacherous mountain by a pack of huge black rats, red-eyed and rabid, claws and fangs as sharp as razors, intent on tearing him to pieces! At the top of the mountain was an ancient, crumbling staircase, which seemed to reach all the way up to the Silver Moon, sitting precariously at the very top. Aigar climbed and climbed the cracked and faulty stairs to a dizzying height, the rats clawing at his feet as he stumbled ever upward, the moon growing bigger and bigger, brighter and brighter, he was almost there! Escape! Fair Haven. Then the stairs moved, rocked, swayed, and broke away before him, leaving him trapped, with naught but gaping blackness in front, and murderous rats quickly approaching from behind, he had no choice but to jump into the abyss!
And to his surprise, he floated safely to the ground.
~ end part one ~
PART 2 COMING SOON