9: Churpo Gurpo…Marko Spooko (Chapter Nine…Undead Trouble)
“We should definitely follow those zombies,” said Skippy.
His statement was a complete ignoring of Dulp’s own question, but that statement piqued Dulp’s interest in a way that he could not possibly ignore it.
“What? Why?” asked Dulp.
“I want to hear that message,” answered Skippy. “If there are zombies here, then silver Sers to golden poundcakes it was the Duke who sent them here.”
“I think that’s a bad idea, but okay,” shrugged Dulp. “Still, about that hooch…”
“We’ll get it, we’ll get it,” nodded Skippy. “Just humor me on this. I’ll try and tolerate the stench of those things for as long as I can so I can hear that message. You’ll have to translate for me, though.”
“Whatever,” sighed Dulp with a roll of his eyes. “Let’s just get this over with…The sooner this is done, the sooner I can get to nursing a hoochover.”
“Priorities, Dulp,” smiled Skippy. “Let’s take care of this first. Besides, don’t you want to get in good with the Chief?”
“There’s no ‘getting in good’ with the Chief,” frowned Dulp. “I live in the real world, Skippy. The only one the Chief respects is Old Matron Bogo.”
“Really?” asked Skippy with one raised eyebrow. “Do they have a special relationship or something?”
“He wishes,” scoffed Dulp. “Back when they were younger, I heard the Chief used to catch her during Rush Time, but I can’t imagine that’s a thing now…I really don’t want to, either.”
Skippy eyed him for a moment, a strange and puzzled look on the ugly little gob’s round, peach face.
“What exactly goes on after you catch a bogo?” he asked. “What do you do with Lyga after you catch her?”
Dulp cringed out of reflex. He reeeaaally didn’t want to explain this one.
Skippy’s Field Notes #42:
No matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to pry the most basic information about what goes on during Rush Time from any of the gobs. Even Dulp has not been forthcoming about whatever activities occur whilst he is engaged with Lyga. I mean, Jenny said that I had already caught her, but all we did was have tea, which I supplied.
Hmmm…I did kiss Jenny.
Maybe they kiss a lot? That would explain why they’re so reticent to talk about it…Of course, they might kiss while being in the nude…Hmmm…This makes me wonder if they do other things while…like…I mean, I’ve done some research on the subject, but…
I need to stop thinking about this. It’s making me…err…a little flushed.
At any rate, I’ll just do the scholarly thing and continue to pester Dulp about whatever does go on during Rush Time.
You know, I’m beginning to think they might be having relations in a sexual sense during Rush Time, but that can’t be it. Everyone knows you must be married before any sexual relations can occur.
Having sexual relations before marriage will immediately cause you to suffer the wrath of the gods, and you will be struck down by Codblockus, god of the sanctity of marriage. Apparently, your male genitalia will shrivel up and fall off—a fate far worse than death in my opinion—which is why you cannot give into the temptations of the fairer sex when they try to seduce you.
Girls have a much lighter sentence. Their consequence is bearing an illegitimate child, but their lady parts don’t fall off, not like us lads…My mother told me so. In fact, she gave me a list of things I can and cannot do with the fairer sex before marriage. Seeing them in the nude is fine, and doing some things while in the nude is fine, but actual intercourse is not.
Of course, gobs are not subject to the wrath of Codblockus, so they ravish human women all the time, but as a strapping young halfling lad, I am forbidden to partake in premarital sex, though I have been tempted from time to time, most currently about a couple of minutes ago, but that is neither here nor there.
Come to think of it, all of the research I have done on sexual relations—very graphic materials, I might add—completely ignores the existence of Codblockus. It’s almost like the common man has never even heard of Codblockus, but that would mean my mother has lied to me…Nah, that couldn’t be it. My mother would never lie to me.
But about the gobs and their habits…
You know, it just now occurred to me that if gobs are not subject to the wrath of Codblockus, then bogos probably aren’t either, which means that Rush Time…
I think I need to research this further.
Also, I need to ask Jenny if there’s a ritual that will allow me to become an honorary gob. Of course, I’ll have to tell her that I’m not an actual gob, but this is fine. I think she’ll be fine with it.
If I do become an honorary gob, then I can participate in the goblin practices of premarital sex without consequence…uhh…err…for research purposes, of course. I’m thinking Jenny can help me with that research, too.
Well, I’ll put a pin in that for the time being.
Whew! This journal entry turned out to be far longer than I had anticipated!
“There is no way I’m reliving that trauma,” frowned Dulp. “It would take a lot of hooch for me to even think about it.”
“There’s an extra bottle in it for you,” smiled Skippy.
Dulp thought about this. Extra hooch was always a plus, but there was no way in Heckens he was going to describe any activities that went on between himself and Lyga. There was nothing short of a grand curse that could do that, and that meant having to override the grand curse of already suffering through a Rush Time anyway.
Still, there was a way around this…
“I won’t talk about it unless I’m really, really drunk,” said Dulp through tight lips. “I might say something after I’m wasted on a couple of bottles of hooch…We’ll see.”
“Excellent!” grinned Skippy.
Of course, hooch’s primary purpose was to forget about Rush Time, and it did a pretty-darned-good job of doing that, but Skippy didn’t need to know that. What Dulp didn’t tell Skippy wouldn’t hurt the ugly little gob anyway.
Still…Rush Time with Jenny Crazy Eyes? Is that what Skippy was planning? The thought of that horror shook Dulp right down to his thoroughly-gob bones. A normal gob would probably melt right down to his bearstrips during Rush Time with Jenny. Any poor bastage that delved into that territory would melt down to tallow.
Then again, Skippy wasn’t normal. If he could pull that off, then he’d be an eternal legend…No…Best not to think on it.
“Anyway,” sighed Dulp, “let’s just head over to the Chief’s hutch.”
“Right,” nodded Skippy.
Skippy’s Field Notes #43:
The Chief’s hutch is quite large and spacious, nearly four times the size of the common gob of Pingo’s hutch. I say, there are some definite perks to being Chief! Perhaps when the old gob has moved on, I could be chief? Hmmm…Now there’s a thought. No, I’d better not get ahead of myself.
Anyway, the Chief has an actual conference area set up at the entrance of the hutch, including a wooden table with six chairs around it, four of them human-sized, so I imagine his hutch is actually set up to accommodate the foul orcs that goblins so often entertain—May those piggish thugs burn in an eternal fire!—but this layout could easily accommodate humans as well, so getting in good with Hafenstadt is a must, especially now that the big pigs are breathing down Pingo’s proverbial neck.
Incidentally, there is a rather large murder hole set in the floor right beside the conference table, large enough for a human or orc, I might add, and it’s probably there to prevent any orc thugs from urinating wherever, so I can only imagine the Chief has his own personal murder hole in the back of the hutch, which is sealed off by a wall and a door. This feature makes the Chief’s hutch unique in the fact that it is not one giant open space like every other goblin hutch I’ve seen, though I’ve only seen the interior of Dulp’s hutch, but I’ll make my way into the other hutches sooner or later, preferably the bogos’ hutches, preferably sooner rather than later.
I’d really like to get inside Jenny’s hutch and experience her interior décor.
I…probably should have worded that differently.
They arrived at the Chief’s hutch without any more delay. There were multiple lanterns lit inside the hutch, because Dulp could see their glow through the hutch window slats, and that could only mean one thing…The Chief was in a meeting. Normally, the old gob only had one lantern lit at night.
“Hope it’s just the zombies in there,” muttered Dulp.
“What?” asked Skippy.
“The Chief’s already in a meeting,” replied Dulp. “I really hope it’s just the zombies in there and no more orcs have shown up.”
“Right,” frowned Skippy. “That would be…problematic.”
“You think?” asked Dulp with a shake of his green head. “Come on. Let’s get this over with…I’ve got drinking to do.”
“Priorities, Dulp,” smiled Skippy.
As far as Dulp was concerned, his priorities were just fine, but they walked into the Chief’s hutch without any other thought over the matter.
There was indeed a meeting going on, but it was not just between the Chief and the zombies…Lyga, Xenon, and Old Matron Bogo were also there.
“Great,” frowned Dulp.
The zombies were standing beside the conference table in-between it and the murder hole. A fitting place for them, as their stench mixed in with the smell wafting out of the open murder hole, just a wonderful smell that Dulp couldn’t get enough of in the most sarcastic sense possible.
“Double great,” frowned Dulp as he held his nose.
“Brains, brains, brains, brains, brains, brains, brains,” said the lead zombie, the deceased farmer freshly missing a nose. “Brains, brains…brains, brains, brains…brains, brains…Oh, and brains.”
“Oh, really? Is that right?” asked Lyga, but her tone was not nice.
Dulp was all too familiar with that tone of voice, a tone of voice he cringed at whenever he was unfortunate enough to hear it. That usually spelled trouble…Scratch that…That definitely spelled trouble.
“Now, Lyga, dear—” started Old Matron Bogo.
The beautiful and deadly bogo that was Hippolyga was only half the size of the big undead farmer in front of her, if that, but she was dressed in her battle gear, complete with spear and buckler, and she only dressed like that when she was looking for a fight.
Incidentally, Xenon was also dressed in her battle gear, so this was going to get ugly.
Obviously, the Chief wanted some guards for the meeting, because you could never really trust the undead (being dead and all), but choosing Lyga and Xenon was just a bad idea in general. Those two were fire and hooch together, and Dulp wouldn’t ever put it past them to burn down the entire village just to “save” everyone.
Unfortunately, his instincts proved to be right.
“You tell the Duke that he can take his ‘surrender’ and shove it up his big human butt!” yelled Lyga.
She brandished her spearpoint at the lead zombie’s crotchal area, but Dulp doubted that would intimidate a zombie, mostly on account of them not needing a crotchal area anymore, but that was any bogo’s go to point of attack, so this did not surprise Dulp in the slightest. No, if intimidation was what Lyga was going for, her personality alone could easily do that. Dulp knew that for a fact.
“Brains, brains, brains…brains, brains…brains, brains—” started the lead zombie.
“Oh, he does, does he!” yelled Lyga. “He’s going to do that to me! He actually thinks he’s going to do that to me! Say that again, mother—!”
“Uhhh, Lyga—” started the Chief.
The deadly bogo pushed her spearpoint into the zombie farmer’s tattered pants, and the lead zombie shuffled back a step, his four undead companions stepping back as if to mimic his actions.
In fact, Dulp wondered if the other zombies were ensorcelled to follow the lead zombie’s…err…lead, which seemed stupid to him, but that wasn’t his problem…Eh, it was probably a necromancy thing.
“You tell that bloodsucking, pompous, pinheaded, quill-dill windbag that I’m going to cut off his walnuts and wear them as a necklace!” screeched Lyga. “I’m gonna take his dill, pickle it, and then feed it to a rabid badger! Do you hear me!”
Her face was super red, and no wonder. Dulp was not going to translate to Skippy what the lead zombie had said the Duke was going to do to her…It was not something for polite company.
“Lyga—” started Old Matron Bogo.
“If he ever steps one foot in Pingo, I’m going to shove my spear so far up his big human butt he’s going to taste his own scat!” yelled Lyga.
“Brains, brains, brains—” started the lead zombie.
“Surrender!” screeched Lyga. “There’s no surrender!”
Her normally gorgeous face currently reminded Dulp of the color crayfish turned after being boiled in water. It was a nice shade of vermillion he could not deny was induced by sheer rage.
Lyga jabbed her spearpoint again into the zombie farmer’s pants, and the undead human backed up even farther, his entourage following his lead in retreating a bit.
“Lyga, we need some diplo—” started the Chief.
“You’ll get nothing!” yelled Lyga. “You come in here and threaten me and think you can demand anything!”
“Brains, brains, brains!” said the lead zombie in an exasperated, if raspy, tone.
“Madness!” screeched Lyga. “This isn’t madness! This…is…Pingo!”
The crazed bogo rammed her spearpoint into the wood floor of the hutch, jamming it in fairly deep, and then she used the haft as a pole, swinging her entire body up and around off the floor—an impressive feat, Dulp had to add—only to plant both soles of her bearstripped feet into the lead farmer’s rotting chest.
The big undead farmer was thoroughly booted backwards into the large murder hole to where his bottom was stuck in it, and normally he could have easily been pulled up and out of it, but his four undead companions immediately followed his lead, jumping bottom first on top of him. The leader of the zombies was folded in half as several other zombies impacted him, and then he was gone like that, sucked into the hole with his legs straight up and his surprised noseless face between his knees.
“Braaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiins…!” cried the lead zombie as he fell down, down, and down farther still until his voice could not be heard.
The other zombies jumped in one after the other, each one in turn yelling, “Braaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiins!,” which wasn’t actually a word, but instead roughly translated to “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!,” or something like that.
“How deep is that hole?” asked Skippy.
“It’s deep,” nodded Dulp. “You have to make them that way in order to avoid the smell of orc scat. Those zombies smell like roses compared to that stench.”
“Gotcha,” nodded Skippy in return.
They heard the faint “BLOOP!” splash of water far, far below, and that splash was followed by four more splashes, and then silence.
That silence was broken by the loud “SMACK!” sound of the Chief smacking himself in the face with his own green right hand, and then he ran that hand down his frustrated face as he looked up at the hutch roof and sighed.
“That went well,” snorted Xenon.
“What happened?” asked Skippy.
The others in the large room turned to stare at Dulp and Skippy as if seeing them for the first time.
“I don’t speak zombie,” shrugged Skippy.
“The Duke received Lyga’s message,” frowned the Chief. “Now Duke Werner Jäger is demanding the complete surrender of Pingo village along with the turning over of you to him as a political prisoner. Also, he wants Lyga stripped and tort—”
The enraged bogo turned and glared at the Chief with such a look of animosity that it stopped the Chief’s sentence before it could be completed…Even the Chief wasn’t going to poke that bear.
“What he wants is not very nice,” interrupted Old Matron Bogo. “Let’s just say, Skippy, that he wants us to do terrible things to Lyga before he does even worse things to her. What he wants is not very nice at all.”
“That’s an understatement,” snorted Xenon.
“Shut up!” yelled Lyga.
The old matron lifted up both hands, palms down, her knotted wooden cane in her right hand, and then she waved both hands downward as if to indicate silence, that motion directed solely at Lyga.
“Inside voices, Lyga,” she said in a soothing tone. “Go sit in the corner until you cool off.”
“Are you kidding me!” screeched Lyga. “Did you hear what that rotting piece of—!”
“Go sit now, dear, or you won’t get any dinner,” finished Old Matron Bogo.
Lyga’s face worked up into a furious fit before she spat out one angry word in reply.
“Fine!” hissed Lyga.
The fearsome bogo that was Hyppolyga stomped over to the southeast corner of the room, sat down hard on her rump, drew her leather-greaved knees up to her face, wrapped her arms around her legs—her buckler still strapped onto her left arm—and muttered to herself, though Dulp could not quite make out what she was saying.
He was impressed that the old matron could control her, because there were very few beings on Central Earth that could accomplish that feat. Dulp doubted even Skippy could do that. Dulp knew he sure as Heckens couldn’t.
“We are in it deep now,” muttered the Chief.
“We’ll be fine,” said Old Matron Bogo. “Skippy’s people are keeping the orcs off of us—”
“It’s not the orcs I’m worried about,” frowned the Chief. “The Duke has taken a personal interest in us, and we normally aren’t even a blip from a bat for him.”
“That, I think, we can handle on our own,” nodded the old matron. “What say you, Skippy? Any thoughts on the matter?”
The ugly little gob scrunched up his lips as his face delved into what Dulp could only assume was “thought,” something most gobs never engaged in past escaping the wrath of whatever was trying to kill them, but since this situation fell into that category, Dulp imagined that Skippy had his work cut out for him.
“The orcs will definitely have their hands full,” said Skippy. “That I can assure. However…if zombies showed up here—and we already know they’re from the Duke—that means a necromancer or someone…or something…with necromantic powers is in the area. I think if we can stall the Duke long enough to let everything play out, then we won’t have undead trouble for long. We just need to hold out long enough for all of the dust to settle. Then Pingo will have the army it needs to back itself.”
“Then that means finding that necromancer,” frowned the Chief. “We put out that fire, and we’re all good…Ugh…I hate to say it, but I think we need Jenny for this one.”
“Agreed,” nodded Old Matron Bogo. “I’ll get her.”
The old matronly bogo raised her gnarled wooden staff, and the tip of the staff glowed with a white light as she drew in the air next to herself. The glowing tip of her staff left a streak of white light in the shape of an oval, and then she proceeded to draw a triangle within the center of that oval, which glowed brightly as well. The whole glowing image then faded, though it took a couple of seconds to do so.
“Oh, Jenny, dear, I summon you,” said Old Matron Bogo. “Come to me now.”
A black portal of pure shadow formed out of thin air, right where the old matron had drawn her magical pattern. The portal in question first formed as a triangle that spun in the air until it formed an oblong portal of darkness, and then Jenny appeared out of that portal, but Dulp immediately had to avert his eyes upon seeing her.
The terrifying witch was naked.
Jenny had a scrub brush in her right hand and an ivory bar of what those humans called “soap” in her left, and the suds from that bar of soap covered some things, but other things…not so much.
Dulp’s reflexive survival instincts kicked in just in the nick of time, or he would have gone permanently blind. He was pretty sure that’s how the Chief had lost one eye in the first place, probably by seeing a naked Jenny out of his peripheral…That was the prevailing theory going around the North Quarter anyway.
“Wha…What!” cried Jenny in sudden awareness of her new surroundings.
Both Lyga and Xenon erupted in stark laughter.
“Why am I here!” screeched Jenny. “I was taking a bath!”
Her face was quickly turning red, a sheer sign that she was about to explodied everything in sight. Thankfully, Old Matron Bogo had just as much of a handle on her as she did Lyga, which was a good thing, because Jenny Crazy Eyes was the only thing Dulp considered even more dangerous than his insane other half. Jenny was just a straight up force of nature, and she was a destructive one at that. Even Lyga couldn’t compete with her in that department.
“Oops,” chuckled the old matron.
She stepped in front of the terrifying witch, and Jenny crouched down to hide her nakedness behind the old bogo, a bit of mercy that Dulp was instantly grateful for.
The Chief shielded his one good eye with his left hand, ensuring that he would not go completely blind.
“What do you want!” cried Jenny, but her frantic reply was only met with more laughter from Lyga and Xenon.
“There’s a necromancer in the area,” grunted the Chief as he looked the other way. “We need you to locate it…him…her…whatever. Just find the bastage for us. We’ve got to take him out before the village gets attacked.”
Jenny’s face was as red as a beet, an old human saying to be sure, but one Dulp found quite appropriate for this situation, because Jenny had to be insanely angry at this point. Thankfully, he knew the old matron would keep her in check. He sure as Heckens wouldn’t have wanted to be around if the crazy witch had decided to explodied the Chief’s hutch, which would have probably been any second now if it weren’t for the presence of Old Matron Bogo.
“That’s why you were summoned, dear,” said the old matron in a soothing tone. “We wouldn’t have called you here if it wasn’t an emergency. That necromancer is something we simply cannot wait on.”
“That’s…I…Oh…Okay…” stammered Jenny. “I’ll get right on that…”
She turned to survey the room, but her dark, crimson-tinged eyes widened in what Dulp assumed was surprise mixed with horror, but that was odd, because he hadn’t figured Jenny to be afraid of anything. Of course, he had seen the effect Skippy had somehow had on her in the past, that weird tension between them, but apparently, this time it was merely Skippy’s presence to blame. Jenny’s horrified gaze was fixed entirely upon the ugly little gob.
“Skippy!” she choked out. “Skippy’s here!”
Dulp turned to his right to view Skippy’s beaming face, the ugly little gob’s lips grinning from ear to ear.
“Don’t worry,” grinned Skippy. “It all happened so fast, I didn’t see anything.”
He gave that reply in a straight, matter-of-fact tone, but his glowing, almost-ecstatic expression strangely belied that response.
That reply, of course, was met with more obnoxious laughter from Lyga and Xenon.
Dulp pondered on how Skippy hadn’t seen anything, because he, personally, had seen more than enough, and without hooch, he was going to have some serious nightmares about it.
Maybe Skippy was lying, but that meant…Nah, that couldn’t be it. Skippy would never lie, especially to him. They were buds now, besties, and that was a fact.
Skippy’s Field Notes #44:
So, I have finally achieved some reference points for drawing “Bath Time Jenny.” I have committed to memory everything I have seen, and I have thoroughly sketched that memory in but a few pages, only twenty or so, those sketches from different angles. She is definitely my top candidate in researching premarital sexual relations, though to be fair, she was already at the top of that list.
Anyway, it appears that Old Matron Bogo is some sort of magic wielder as well, or perhaps she just has the ability to summon Jenny; I don’t know. I do know that the old matron can certainly keep the bogos in line, and that is magical in itself. Of that, I am certain.
Also, it appears Jenny cannot perform any major magical feats without her staff, including teleportation. Therefore, she had to, first of all, wear some ill-fitting clothes provided to her by the Chief, and secondly, she had to be escorted home to the South Quarter, of which, I graciously accepted in that duty.
I think she was a little miffed at me at first for seeing her in the buff, but considering I had nothing to do with that, and also considering that she’s undressed me and seen me naked as well, she relented on that anger. I mean, we’ve practically done everything a couple does in private anyway…I think.
I escorted her to the South Quarter, and she invited me into her hutch for a brief moment of conversation, so I got to see the inside of her hutch, though I imagine every bogo hutch is different.
Jenny’s quite the accomplished artist with bones and feathers, for she has quite a few fangs, claws, bones, feathers and various animal skulls decorated about the hutch as necklaces, amulets, and other such trinkets. Her bedding is made of fine black goat fur, and she even has a human-made wooden dresser for her clothing, that clothing consisting of various black dresses of an identical nature.
She undressed in my presence, but only until after I had turned around and promised not to look. I am certainly not one of those cads who would break such a promise, nor did I stare into the reflection of a large mirror that she had somehow acquired and was set into the north wall of her hutch, something she most certainly forgot about. Oddly enough, Jenny does not use her mirror for scrying like a wizard would. Her mirror is purely for vanity purposes, and I must say, it does its job quite well.
Incidentally, I now have a mere twenty sketches of “Dress Time Jenny,” but that is neither here nor there. Speaking of “Dress Time,” Jenny proceeded to wear one of her dresses, a look and style I am all too familiar with, but one I enjoy, nonetheless.
It occurred to me that I will no longer have to request a nude posing by Jenny for artistic purposes, but I most certainly will anyway, because she is an artist’s dream when it comes to the female body.
Aside from that bit of wonder, we talked for a short period of time about the presence of a necromancer, and then she did a divination in front of me, but this was outside the hutch near a small circle of stones where a fire could be lit. She lit the flame there via magic from her staff, and then she threw in some squirrel bones, but the bones could not divine the exact location of the necromancer.
Both of us deduced that the foul wizard in question was using a spell to avoid detection, but Jenny had a way around this. She used the bones to divine where any shadow magic was being used, as she is well proficient in such, and the bones indicated a concentrated darkness forming outside of the West Quarter.
I think, therefore, that outside the West Quarter is where we shall start in our hunt.
Also, I have been smiling this entire time, and for the life of me, I cannot figure out why.
Dulp reluctantly looked out across the field outside the West Quarter and at the tree line beyond that field. He was currently using his night vision, but he hated doing so, because only lowborn Underearth gobs did that sort of thing, but whatever. The Chief had tasked him with this punishment, but by the Great Gob, he was getting tired of jumping to that crusty old curmudgeon’s every whim.
“What do you see?” asked Skippy.
“The same thing you do,” replied Dulp. “A whole lot of nothin’. Why do you even ask? Can’t you see in the dark?”
“Uhhh…I…uhhh…am having trouble with that right now,” said Skippy.
Dulp turned his gaze upon the ugly little gob, and he could immediately tell that Skippy was having trouble seeing anything five feet in front of him, much less across the field and to the tree line.
“You looked at Jenny naked, didn’t you?” he accused.
“What?” asked Skippy in clear verbal affront. “I would never—”
“Save it,” said Dulp with a roll of his eyes. “Can you see anything at all?”
“Normally,” said Skippy. “I’m just having trouble seeing in the dark right now, is all.”
“That has to be an aftereffect of seeing Jenny naked,” said Dulp as he shook his head. “You’re lucky you didn’t go completely blind…And why are you still grinning like an idiot? You’ve had that stupid smile plastered all over your face ever since the Chief’s hutch.”
“Another aftereffect,” nodded Skippy. “I’m sure it will pass.”
“You gobs of the White Skulls must be tough as nails,” said Dulp. “I’m thinking a direct look at Jenny while she’s naked would kill any one of us gobs of Pingo. It’s kind of unfair when I think about it, not that I’d ever have any desire to see Jenny naked.”
“Oh?” asked Skippy. “She’s gorgeous…Speaking of which, have you ever seen Lyga naked?”
“Waaaay too many ti…Wait, wait, wait,” said Dulp as he closed his eyes and sucked in his breath. “We are not going there. Nope, not doing it.”
“Spoilsport,” said Skippy.
Dulp was going to reply to that, but he immediately shushed Skippy as he detected movement in the trees.
“What is it?” asked Skippy.
“Can’t tell,” whispered Dulp. “Whatever’s going on, we’ll see it coming across this field, though.”
“Wait…Why do you have this field and not grow anything in it?” asked Skippy.
“Grow food?” asked Dulp. “Who in the Heckens grows food? No gob in his right mind would waste his good time doing farming stuff. That’s for humans.”
“Ah,” nodded Skippy. “Hence the raids to get food.”
“Exactly,” said Dulp. “All good gobs worth their salt nick their stuff in honest raids. Growing stuff would incur the wrath of the Great Gob. I know I don’t want to go to Heckens, and I sure as Heckens don’t want to be reborn as a bogo. I’d rather burn in Heckens for an eternity than suffer that fate.”
“What’s so bad about being a bogo?” asked Skippy.
Dulp was flabbergasted over this. This should not have been a question any rational ears had to suffer through.
“Are…Are you scatting me?” he asked. “Tell me you’re not serious!”
“It’s just a question, Dulp,” said Skippy flatly. “It’s for research purposes.”
“It’s insane, Skippy!” hissed Dulp. “That’s like every gob’s greatest fear! Like every gob! What in the Heckens is wrong with you!”
“Okay, so what’s so terrifying about it?” asked Skippy.
“They are the Gobdarned worst, that’s what!” hissed Dulp. “They’re obnoxious, abusive, insane, and…and they make us work!…Plus, Rush Time, but that speaks for itself. Anyway…Anyway, I’m not invoking the wrath of the Great Gob by talking about this. The fact that we’ve even had a gob get punished in such a way is an embarrassment to the village as is…I’m not naming any names—cough, cough, Jenny, cough, cough—so I sure as Heckens don’t want to be the second.”
“And how are you going to incur the wrath of the Great Gob?” asked Skippy.
“By not paying attention and having the village attacked for one thing,” frowned Dulp. “Now less gabbing and more watching…and I’d rather not have this conversation again, if you don’t mind. The Great Gob may be the perfect gob, lazy as all get out, but he does have ears, and blasphemous talk will get us in trouble.”
Dulp realized right then that both he and Skippy had been talking face to face this entire time, so if movement had occurred out there, neither he nor his night-blind friend had witnessed it.
He turned to inspect the field before him, but he was given a severe start by the shuffling horde of bones standing less than ten feet from him. Skeleton warriors, a good ten of them, had silently crossed the field whilst he was conversing with Skippy, and this was not good…Not…at…all.
“Aww, crap!” hissed Dulp. “There goes my afterlife!”
Goblins in the Mist: Chapter Nine Copyright © 2022 Matthew L. Marlott