Friday, August 24, 2012

Day Two-Seventy: All Kings Are Abnormal


Robert told me not to write in big letters like that, because that was something he'd been trying to drum out of Dragomir, but Gok has earned it. THAT LITTLE SON OF A BITCH, I say again.

I went back to my room to 'rest', like I said, and waited for Gok's attendants to come get me. Sure enough, they appeared shortly after all the other humans had vamoosed and brought me back up to the throne room. Everything had been reassembled and looked normal again -

- only Gok's table, to the side of his throne, was now covered in food. And drinks. And cutlery. And linens. And candles. You know, fancy shit. That don't impress me much, but I was hungry, and so was the baby, so I greeted the king and took a seat.

I don't know when Gok had the time to change, but he looked much different. He'd swapped out his kingly robes for a suit, complete with bow tie, and his moustache was waxed into curled crescents. Reminded me of an ox's horns.

He grinned at me across the table, which, I realized, was now much smaller than before. "Greetings, lass. Intimate, eh? More t'my liking. I hate crowds, they jangle everythin' up."

I ignored the silverware and dove into the buns fists-first. Fuck that etiquette garbage Harold taught me, it doesn't get results. "Yeah, sure. Crowds suck. Thanks for the food."

"Aye!" Gok sat back and rubbed belly. "Gotta feed two, now, hey? Can't do to give you the same garbage I be feedin' to yer friends down there. Ain't t'say they aren't deservin' of a good meal, of course, but… VIPs get the best treatment. Hey?"

I shrugged. Food first. Banter second.

Gok watched me eat. I didn't notice, at first, but soon I was keenly aware that he'd stopped talking and started gawking. I was halfway through a big piece of corn before I called him on it.


He waved his hands. "Nuthin'! Nuthin'. Just, ah, like te… see… my guests eat. Yeah. Makes me appreciate m'own cookin' a mite more. Logic, that, innit?"

"Not… not really." I dropped the corn. "Be better off if you'd have somethin' to eat too. Or, maybe… y'know… tell me why I'm up here, insteada down with everyone else?"

Gok sniffed. He turned and looked out the giant window surrounding us, watching the rain in silent contemplation. Then he slid off his chair and tottered over to me on old legs, laying a hand on mine.

"Lass," he started, "I… I lost someone precious t'me, too. Like I, ah, intimated. Last time. Ye remember?"

I nodded, stuck between compassion and not wanting him to touch me. "Y… yeah. The picture. What about it?"

"It's…" He sighed, gathered his strength, and fell to one knee. "Look. I, ah, I just want ye t'know that I'm here to help. There isna anything more tragic in this life than a babe without a father t'guide 'im along. 'specially if he died doin' the right thing, 'n it sounds like your man went out bravely. Yeah?"

I nodded. A spark that could have blossomed into tears burned in my breast.

"So… I'm here for ye. Life 'n limb." He hesitated. "Ye're getting' big. Can… can I listen in, maybe…?"

I cocked my head. Suspicious.

"Just a quick glimpse," he assured me, flicking his ears. "We goblins, we've got somea the best ears in the lands. I wanna see if the tyke's tickin' like he should. Ye've got enough tragedy in your life; best make sure this lad's naught more but a miracle. Please?"

I thought it over. All my past instincts told me, 'No, this is a terrible idea'. But Gok had been so nice, and his words so soothing, that I gave up. I slid my shirt back, over my belly, and let him move in to listen.

Gok pressed his ear against my belly, gently, breathing hard. He gasped and cooed. "Oh! Ach! I can 'ear 'im! Strong beat on that boy, aye. He'll be just fine. Ye should be proud, lass."

I relaxed, and not just because my fears about Gok were unfounded. The baby was alright. He was healthy. I'd been afraid, since the dream, that it might turn out all wrong. What if Eve's strangeness had been my fault? What if I'd fouled up? Could that same fault carry on to this next child? Would I be doomed to never have a normal kid?

I felt better. Much better. I slumped in my chair, smiling a little, a tear slipping out of my eye, as I watched the rain.

I was so relaxed that it took me a minute to notice the lap of wet movement against my belly button.

Eyebrows furrowed. I glared downward, jolted into inaction. King Gok had his tongue in my belly button, wiping it clean. I'm fairly positive I saw a piece of lint enter his mouth, and that, little diary, was enough to bring back the old Libby.


Gok's eyes bugged. He stared up at me, grinning nervously. "Um… ach… whoops, didna… didna… oh bugger."

Surprisingly nimble, Gok avoided my attack and rolled under the table. My fists followed him, and so did I, trying hard to slide beneath the low surface and throttle his scrawny neck. He evaded me time and time again, though, his age obviously just a front to hide his abilities. Don't underestimate the elderly.

"Shit, I hafta stop doin' that." Gok knocked a fist against his forehead as he swept behind an old clock. "Y'ruin more dates like that, Gok, 'ol boy."

"THAT was a DATE?!" I picked up Gok's globe and hurled it at him, swearing as it bounced harmlessly off the floor. "MY HUSBAND JUST DIED, YA LITTLE FUCK! YOU SAID YOU UNDERSTOOD ABOUT LOSIN' PEOPLE AND SHIT!"

Gok peeked out from behind his hiding spot. "Aye, I did! See that fur on the portrait? That's m'old pet fox, Mitsy-Boo! M'bitch of a sister skinned poor Mitsy 'n turned her into a fashion statement, damn her!"

I looked at the portrait again. Sure enough, there was a fox-skin fur around the female goblin's neck. Howling, I picked up the portrait and hurled it at Gok.

He dodged, hopped on top of his clock, and jumped to the ceiling. With a spryness I seldom see in people my own age, he hung from the rafters like a monkey. "Guess we ain't givin' that tyke 'o yours a little goblin brother, then? C'mon, ye should always have more 'n one kid! We could try 'n make it happen, at least! Several times!"

Most of me wanted to murder King Gok. It still does. A tiny, rational part of my brain flicked on, though, and it pushed questions that needed to be answered through the haze of anger. "WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT WITH US?!"

"You? Specifically? A night 'o lovin', lass, if ye be up to it. I think I know yer stance." He shrugged sadly, hiding behind one of the rafters. "If ye mean the whole lot, well… not much. Answers. Think I got 'em from listenin' in on your room. Much easier than tryin' te pry info out of ye durin' interrogations, yeah?"

I attacked Gok's throne, storming up the steps and kicking it over. It clunked off the glass but didn't break through as I'd hoped. "LISTEN IN?! YOU LITTLE FUCK! YOU'VE BEEN SPYING ON US!"

"'course I have. I'm a goblin. S'what we do, lass." He scuttled overtop of me and leered down. "Bah. Ye need to dress more promiscuous-like. The top view could be a whole lot better."

I jumped at him. My fingers fell well short of grabbing his leg. Stupid baby belly.

"Whoops! Nice try, lass. Listen, hey, while we're bein' honest, I have te confess. I might've imprisoned yer bonnie boy Dragomir the last time 'e came through. He got out, so no hard feelin's, right?"

At the sound of Dragomir's name I grabbed Gok's abacus and ripped it apart. Beads flew in every direction.

"Dammit, woman, ye're makin' this date worse than it's worth! Bugger. GUARDS! YE HAVE PERMISSION TE RESTRAIN THIS BLOODY HARPY NOW!"

I began to build a ladder out of the broken pieces of wood so I could get at Gok, but it was too late. Five guards charged into the room and scrambled up my body, pulling me down and away from the half-finished steps. I cursed and flailed, but the goblins proved surprisingly strong.

"WHERE IS BARREL, YOU SON OF A BITCH!?" I shook my hand at him as they slowly dragged me away. "AND ROBERT?! YOU TELL ME OR I'LL RIP YER BALLS OFF!"

The last I saw of Gok was a quick, annoyed shake of his head as he tumbled back to the floor. He didn't give me any answers, and my questions turned into rage. That rage was shortly directed at the wall of a prison cell.


I swore for some time, and when the threats of the guards proved ineffective, Grylock came for a visit. He peered at me through the bars and snickered, proving once again that he is, in fact, a bastard.

"I warned you," he said, rolling his eyes behind his glasses. "I told ya he was a pervert. Should listen, next time."

"I DIDN'T HEAR YOU!" I screamed through the bars.

Grylock swore back, though he did it while clutching his ears. "Bah! Crazy-ass woman. Gods know why Dragomir put up with ya. Y'sound like a freaking banshee, and you're so damned ugly that I'd be surprised if a swamp dog wanted to mate with you. 'course, that's… just how King Gok likes 'em, so…"

I roared and gripped the bars. Grylock rolled his eyes again, shoved you through the door, diary, and retreated. So I guess he's not totally bad.

I guess.

FUCK. I'm in jail. You're my only company, diary. I've had nothing to do all day, and no word of what's going on with anyone else. Gok's come to visit a few times with 'invitations' to 'discuss the matter', and I've driven him away each time. There isn't a chance in the many hells below this planet that I'd get intimate with a fucking slimeball like him.

Fuck. FUCK. This is why sex is so damned stupid.

I dunno how long I'll be stuck here. It better not be long. I have shit to do, like have a baby, and get out of this city, and maybe, just maybe, take a few hours to mourn and bury my fucking husband.



  1. Elderly goblins cleaning the lint out of the belly buttons of preggo muscle chicks is MY. NEW. FETISH.

    I'm somewhat impressed by Libby's use of Combat Carpentry. Building a ladder? Mid fight? The Prince of Persia and Shadow of the Collossus' Wander WISH they had such skills.

    1. It's a very useful set of support skills. They can be used both defensively and offensively. Pretty well rounded out character. I'd want her in MY group!

  2. By the way...thought i'd point this out

    "I roared and gripped the bars. Gok (Grylock) rolled his eyes again, shoved you through the door, diary, and retreated. So I guess he's not totally bad."

    I mean, its cool if you wanna blame it on Libby, but I thought you'd might like to know...

    1. DANGIT, I caught that a few other times when I was editing. Must've missed one. In my brain, Gok and Grylock are apparently interchangeable.




      They're all the same, amirite?