CHAPTER TWO: Grom Becomes an Adventurer (9)

     Imposingly appearing in the entryway, masked by the shadows of night but made vaguely visible by the still dimming forge, was a foul looking creature expressing the very embodiment of wicked intent. It cackled evilly as it approached the trio of dwarves, licking its lips menacingly. Taking three paces into the room, it darted for the adolescents with thoughts of devouring them on its mind, then dropped to the floor with a weighty thud. Meran struggled to pull her weapon out from under the dead carcass, and as she did so two more grotesque goblins hastily emerged from the storefront.

     Their hideous faces were etched with traces of malevolence, and permeated in a manner that discarded any doubts of villainous origin. Wild-eyed they were; their haunting stares, colored crimson or jet when glimpsed under certain light, illuminated an unsettling yellow glow when spotted against total blackness. Their spidery limbs scrambled swiftly, and one of them bounded forward with precision, landing right on top of Maren. The other extended one of its sickly green arms in an attempt to grab Grom. A fast thinking reaction, (better known as blind instinct), guided the scimitar as it liberated the arm from the rest of the goblin.

     It recoiled and angrily hissed, “This one’s got a sword.” The vile thing harshly spoke in the common tongue, navigating through the language of mortal men as gracefully as treading over broken glass on bare feet.

     “Feisty, aren’t they? I like when they struggle.” The second goblin grinned until it was nearly jeering. Its needlepoint teeth, which were crooked and gapped, (not to mention lacked any ascertainable evidence of proper hygiene), chattered excitedly as it said, “Go on, scream. I like when they scream too.” A long string of drool slowly dripped down and caressed Maren’s cheek wetly.

     The goblin amputee brandished its wooden club riddled with gnarly spikes, (adequately rusted and horrifyingly unsanitary ones, of course), and swung at the boy. Grom felt a sudden force that pushed him, thankfully, out of the course of impact. Chlora, after prompting Grom’s dodge with an urgent nudge, ducked out of the way of the swing. The cumbersome club crashed into the side of the forge. It bellowed out a voiceless, metal clang.

     “Nobody gets to make my wife scream,” a figure shouted while hurriedly emerging from the storefront, sword drawn, “except me.” Hedrum plunged sharp steel into the goblin’s back, running the wretch through. The corpse was kicked to one side, freeing Maren from her otherwise pinned position.

     The remaining goblin, figuring that the odds were heavily stacked against it, made a mad dash for the doorway, sluggishly carrying with it the club that acted more or less as an anchor. It could not outrun the throwing dagger Hedrum unsheathed and lobbed at it skillfully. The dagger spun end over end, whirling through the air unimpeded until nailing into its mark. Falling over, or rather booming into a barrel then bouncing off of it in ricochet fashion, the last domestic invader died instantly.

The End

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