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 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.

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“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.

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

35 responses »

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    I like the tone of this passage. You brought the two goblins to life.

  2. daryldevore says:

    Great snippet. I think I like the grouchy goblin 🙂 Tweeted.

  3. Great interplay between the goblins. Though the whole mission is sounding increasingly hopeless.

  4. Just keeps getting more and more fascinating. I can’t say those two were exactly helpful to her! Enjoyed the excerpt…!

  5. Yup, I would try to avoid them in the future. But I don’t think she’s going to be that lucky. 😉

  6. Botanist says:

    Love the bickering between these two 🙂

  7. Alexis Duran says:

    I like the kick to the shins- shows these goblins “humanity”. But I hope she finds more helpful helpers along the way.

  8. Eden says:

    These goblins definitely give a small example of their kind. The old female is… I suspect given more time, Zimmah would be a fun character to create a story around as well.

  9. Haha! I like that she kicked him. Had to keep him in line–or at least try.

    The story sounds intriguing. She pretty much has to go after her cousin. She’ll be in deep kimchi with her family otherwise. 🙂

  10. nancygideon says:

    What a delightful fellow. Will she take the woman’s advise? Oh, I doubt it.

  11. Diane Burton says:

    LOL that she kicked him. Good for her.

    I forgot to sign up in time, but I did post. http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/

  12. Carrie-Anne says:

    I love their interactions and personalities!

  13. Hywela Lyn says:

    I like the interaction between the two goblins too, very enjoyable snippet!

  14. elainecsc2013 says:

    A grouchy goblin. Very enjoyable.

  15. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    Great interaction with the goblins. I’m intrigued to know more.

  16. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    Well, they’re obviously not going to help her find Stephanie. I hope she’s not too discouraged.

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