tirsdag den 17. august 2021

WEP - August 2021

This is my entry to the WEP challenge. The prompt this time was Freedom of Speech as in the badge

I continue a chapter of my never-ending fantasy story of Susan and her friends on the Nordic school of Magic, called The Unicorn Farm.


Gobblikek and Susan followed Heidi along a hedge of lovely smelling wild roses, Gobblikek turned his head to the water, and sniffed the salty spray as soon as the hedge ended. "Phew!" he said, "What a luck that this hedge does not extend all the way down to the hut. I surmise it is that hut situated down there you're thinking of, girl." Gobblikek pointed to a house between two low dunes.
"Yes, Gobblikek," Heidi said. "As far as I know nobody uses the hut any more. The ornithologists told us that it would be cheaper to build a new hut than to renovate this one. My father helped them empty the hut of their bits and pieces when they returned in the Spring and saw what had happened. They're building a new one near where the road is blocked now, and Daddy's helping them again."
"Ah! Them's what's clopping and sawing, scaring wildlife and Goblins alike!" Gobblikek said, once again turning a dark green.
"They'll be done soon,"  Heidi said. "Dad says. Monday or Tuesday at the latest."
Gobblikek drew a deep breath and turned his normal green again.
"Well," Heidi said, "if you move here, you will be out of earshot of the builders - and of most of the summerhouses on the island too."
Gobblikek looked sharply at her: "Smart girl you are. Let's have a look at that hut."
Inside the hut was sound. Walls and roof and windows looked good, the door could close all the way, and the windows could open. Only the floorboards that had soaked up the rainwater all winter, were twisted and warped.
"This I can live with," Gobblikek said with a smile. "But I have to bring the whole family here. Everyone from toddler to man and wife and even our parents have to agree. We Goblins are fierce in our stance for freedom of speech."
"Do you extend that freedom to human girls?" Susan asked, then put a hand over her mouth, scared by her own audacity.
"You are not so stupid, after all," Gobblikek eyed her sharply, turning a bit greener and then back to normal. "Actually we do. Humans, deer, merfolk, fairies, Nisser, unicorns, and of course we Goblins all have the same freedom."
Susan looked round in the hut: "Then I have to say that I'd love to live in this little hut, unfortunately I can't. And in this case I'd love to know that a Goblin family lived here. The hut feels so lonely."

Gobblikek turned his back, scratched his left ear and pulled his right in a twisting motion. A loud POOF! resounded from the walls and the hut was filled with Goblins.
"Listen!" Gobblikek said and continued in Gobbledegook. Susan and Heidi looked at one another. It was not nice to listen in. On the other hand they were afraid to stop the conversation, and they were curious too. For of course they understood Gobbledegook as well as Swedish, Finnish, Icelandic, Littoral and any other language under the sun as long as they were on Unicorn Island and under Gilvi's spell.
The smallest Goblin children soon became bored with the speaking of moving, noisy neighbours, mermaids, floorboards and so on, and began eyeing Heidi and Susan with curiosity. They sneaked closer and dared one another to touch the girls. The two girls smiled hesitantly at Goblinettes in varying states  of dishabille, and in the end a daring, small boy, if Goblins were endowed like humans, dared to touch Heidi's knee. She kept still, smiling at the brave little one, and soon enough Goblinettes swarmed the two girls while Gobblikek, his wife, and her parents and the older children all had had their say on the hut, its assets and the opposite.
The Goblinettes poked their knees, pulled gently at their hair and twisted and turned their dresses to inspect the fabric. Susan and Heidi had a hard time not smiling over all the stupid things the small ones said to one another. Susan took courage herself and patted one of the larger, and cleaner, of the children on his straggly head. Goblin hair was tough and springy to the touch, of a colour somewhere between jet black and deep green. Also their eyes were green, in all shades imaginable, from Gobblikek's seagreen eyes to his wife's emerald coloured, to the washed-out spring green of one of the girls, to the almost black of the brave boy that first touched Heidi.

Finally it seemed that the Goblins all agreed on moving into the hut. The argument that won the day was that the hut was so much larger then the hollow tree, that the grandparents could have their own room.
Gobblikek's wife hurriedly, if belatedly, called the small ones to order and gracefully bowed to the girls. "I'm Gallina! Please to meet you. And how says you two?" she asked in broken Danish.
Susan and Heidi looked at one another. Would their secret be betrayed? Susan drew a breath, clenched her hands and answered slowly: "Pleased to meet you Gallina, I'm Susan. And as I told Gobblikek before you came, I'd love to know that a Goblin family lived here. The hut feels so lonely." As Susan would have known, had she had just a few moments to herself, the words left her lips as normal Danish words. The Goblins had not been to the Farm this morning and received the spell. She sighed, relieved that their, well not a lie exactly, but deviousness, had not been unveiled.
Gallina said: "You're generous girls. This hut is good for Goblins. We would like to live here."

As the girls departed, Gobblikek looked sharply at them: "Later we will cast a spell on this hut," he said, "not unlike the one you have on the Unicorn Farm, to make it unattractive to anyone else. But I think you two will always see the hut as it is. At least I'll try."


Word count 995. Full critique applicable. And as I'm not a native speaker, corrections to my spelling and word usage are more than welcome.

42 kommentarer:

  1. I always enjoy the continuing saga of Unicorn Farm. This is no exception. I wonder whether Susan and her friends could learn different spells from Gobblikek? I hope so.

    SvarSlet
  2. It sounds like this is going to work out well for everyone. Your description of the goblin children is delightful.

    SvarSlet
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    1. Thank you. I was afrait it was too much, so thanks for the thumbs up.

      Slet
  3. Good question with the freedom for girls. Think you´d cried seeing our news yesterday on our chancellor´s thoughts.

    SvarSlet
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    1. Oh, if this is how you read it, I should have re-phrased it. It's not girls vs. boys; it's Humans versus Goblins. All the goblins, even the small one had their say.

      Slet
  4. I'm happy to read the hut will now be filled with goblins and no longer lonely. I smiled at the goblin children inspecting Susan and Heidi. A good story chapter.

    SvarSlet
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    1. Thank you, River. I felt sorry for that hut, and I'm pleased that you can feel it as well.

      Slet
  5. Hi Charlotte - always interesting to read another chapter ... you are weaving a wonderful tale for us with the goblins and humans, especially the children. That's good the freedom extends to all - congratulations - Hilary

    SvarSlet
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    1. Thank you. My aspiration is to delight people with my story - and eventually make it into a book. All your sweet comments and corrections are urging me onwards.

      Slet
  6. I'm glad the hut will no longer be lonely! Lovely addition to your stories!

    SvarSlet
    Svar
    1. Thank you. SOme empty buildings just look lonely.

      Slet
  7. I was raised in a household where silence was the order of things. I raised my sons just the opposite. It's wonderful when children get a say. I love your stories!

    SvarSlet
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    1. I'm with the Goblins here, everybody needs to have their say.

      Slet
  8. Love the goblins. I wish all humans have the same freedom of speech as the goblins enjoy.

    SvarSlet
  9. I still think you've done a great job threading the WEP theme through out your story. I couldn't do that. Loved the Goblinettes, and could picture them.

    SvarSlet
  10. Those goblin children, Goblinettes that is, are adorable, just like human children. It sounds like Gobblikek's family is pretty huge to fit into a hut. Generally speaking, huts are supposed to be built small but maybe the goblins with their magic can expand the hut.

    Have a lovely day.

    SvarSlet
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    1. Goblins are small ;) I maybe did not make this clear enough. But the family is rather large. I suspect Gobblikek inherited some goblinettes from a brother or sister who has gone missing.

      Slet
  11. Hi,
    I was raised where storytelling was a part of life and older people who lived around me told me stories to keep me occupied. What the older peope didn't know was that their stories planted seeds to change.
    Shalom aleichem

    SvarSlet
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    1. Stories are meant to change, or at least improve people.

      Slet
  12. This is just delightful! And I've got to say the goblins seem to have a fairer society than us humans with our various biases and discrimination ridden world.

    SvarSlet
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    1. Maybe because they are all green and grumpy ;)

      Slet
  13. How wonderful to have a place where everyone's opinion counts. Well done!

    SvarSlet
  14. This is such a sweet story, and I'm glad everyone got to have their say before a decision was made.

    SvarSlet
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    1. Thank you. Goblins are a grumpy, but very sympatic lot.

      Slet
  15. This is delightful. Love the children, especially. I feel your theme is everyone must have a say in society. We don't in human society; perhaps in goblin society? A lovely thought.

    As you're not a native speaker, there are many suggestions I could make to improve your story. We usually put a space before dialogue so it's easier for readers to follow. And the paragraphs seem a bit random. But sometimes writers get upset by critique even if it is requested, which is probably why no one else has pointed these things out.

    I'd be happy to critique it in private if you want. Email me your chapter, or perhaps you want to wait until you have your book done?

    SvarSlet
    Svar
    1. Thank you. The magic society is a bit differnet - more egalitarian, or rather meritocratic, whereas Goblins are fiercely egalitarian.

      You're very welcome to put all corrections in the comments, I won't get angry or even upset, but say "Thank you!" Space before dialogue ... I'll have to look that up, we dont' do that in Danish ;)

      I suppose I'm going to publish my book in Danish; so suggestins, help and critique to the chapters as they appear here would be heplful and hopefully able to teach me something.

      Slet
    2. ... and after reading a few more WEP posts, I get what you mean. Even on the one marked FCA nobody ever says anything but the nice stuff :(

      Slet
    3. Space before dialogue: Do you mean like this (New line before nwe person speaking):

      "Blah, blah, blah!" he said.

      "Erm, uh, oh," she answered.

      Or like this (indented before each new person speaking):
      "Blah, blah, blah!" he said.
      "Erm, uh, oh," she answered.

      Slet
  16. What a great yarn, and so believable. I love it that the Goblin keeps turning green when roused. Well told!
    Carole

    SvarSlet
  17. A delightful and imaginative tale. Well done.

    SvarSlet
  18. Beautiful use of magic. A very pretty story.

    I caught a very minor typo (surmise it it that hut), even experts get double it instead of "it is" sometimes. Easy fix, right?

    SvarSlet
  19. Looks like it works out in the end.

    SvarSlet