This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)
Here’s a WIP from NaNoWriMo 2017, currently titled King Under the Mountain. Set in Casper, Wyoming, in a world where goblins trade in magical goods with humans, traveling from their world to ours through stone circle gates. But if humans aren’t wary in their dealings with goblins, they can find themselves stolen away!
Stephanie and Alix, cousins, are biking home from a party, a bit drunk, and Stephanie vanishes in a ring of toadstools. Alix packs up her backpack, and calls for the King Under the Mountain–a goblin appears in the circle and asks what her claim is (on Stephanie), and when she tells him they exchanged a blood oath, he says “that’s most unfortunate.”
“The path to return your cousin to your world is perilous,” the goblin continued. “Many who try fail, and some perish in the attempt. I would prefer to keep you here, and safe. But if I cannot talk you out of it…” he trailed off invitingly, then taking in the thunderous scowl on Alix’s face, shook his head.
Behind him, two new goblins appeared in the mushroom circle. A kind Alix had never seen before, surrounded by a halo of pale blue flames, they both bowed to the king under the mountain and stepped out of the circle.
“Be warned, human,” he said, drawing her attention back to him, “that you have a fortnight to bring your loved one home. If you fail in your task, she will become a goblin forever.”
Then he vanished without another word.
* * *
I took inspiration from “The Ballad of Tam Lin,” and Christina Rosetti’s “Goblin Market.” The idea of people being stolen away, and a loved one journeying to get them back (though Tam Lin was stolen by the Queen of the fairies), and the bustling goblin markets with their dangerous fruit from Rosetti’s poem sparked this adventure. Alix and Stephanie are college freshman, 18 and 19 respectively, and cousins sharing a dorm room. They have just left an off-campus party where they did some drinking, and are biking back to the dorms in the evening.