The goblin stepped slowly, shackled and bound. Its wrists were secured with iron rings large enough to slip around a bull’s neck. It ankles were fettered with chains, each link as thick as a minotaur’s fist. Its eyes, yellow as rot, bore into my eyes, poured its hate into my belly, and made me sick with fear, a fear I needed to ignore.
“Turn around, you foul chunk of dung. Keep walking,” I shouted, slapping the back of the goblin’s legs with the broad side of my sword.
“Mark my words, child of man,” barked the goblin. Its voice was deep and gritty “I’ll gut you as I gut a fish and feed your heart to the seagulls and play dice with your teeth. Then I’ll…”
I smacked him with my sword again, this time against the side of its head. The goblin grunted, painfully, as a thin trickle of blood began to ooze from a wound just above its ear. Goblin blood is thicker than human blood, more like mud than blood; it’s green like the needles of a dark pine and it possesses an abhorrent odor – the stomach bile of a slaughtered hog, dozens of slaughtered hogs.
We walked for hours, weaving through tall trees, trudging through shadows, before the goblin spoke. “Are to to kill me,” it asked. Its voice was laced with hate.
Return tomorrow for Part II