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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 calls for the King Under the Mountain, and is allowed to try to bring Stephanie back, going through a gate with two guard goblins ( a rude man, Zimmah, and a more polite woman), and the woman offers Alix some advice.
“You might as give up now, before we have to bury your rotting corpse,” Zimmah, who had drifted a little closer while the woman explained, said.
“Zimmah!” the woman snapped, and said something in the same scolding tone, though not in a language Alix recognized.
He snorted in response, and turned his back on them both.
“Human!” the woman said, slightly more gently.
Alix nodded to show she was listening.
“Pay attention, and survive. Or better yet, go home–all of the stones here will carry you there. I hope not to see you again, human.” She turned and walked past Zimmah, kicking him in the ankle as she passed.
He swore at her, but followed, and they rounded the trunk one of the enormous trees towering over the beach, and didn’t emerge from the other side.
* * *
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.