tirsdag den 17. august 2021
WEP - August 2021
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.