This week’s #writephoto prompt is
Dognob the Unravelled was one of the most feared goblins of the seventh century and one of the last of his kind before the sad demise of goblin kind that followed the introduction of packaged holidays and novelty knitwear.
His withering sarcasm had caused several religions to falter; his breath had exfoliated thirteen minor royals and a pre-pubescent tin miner; a simple side eye had genetically modified spinach making it disgusting to school children for several millennia; and he had once caused a wave of heart failures through the utterance of what appeared to be a compliment but was more likely wind.
No one challenged Dognob, no one gainsayed him and no one sought his company which, more than anything else left him feeling a touch choleric.
He felt shunned and inclined to bouts of cantankerous harmonics, which proved his downfall. The King, who frankly preferred competitive lacework to bestowing favours did his best to ignore the clamourings of his court for ‘something to be done’; if he was honest, having his family with smooth acne free skin was a plus in his book. Eventually however the caterwauling and lack of happy endings to Dognob’s songs left his royalness with little choice.
‘I suppose we have to get rid, Chamberlain?’
‘Indeed sir. That would seem to be perspicacious of you regal oneness.’
‘Er, do we, you know, issue an edict?’
‘An edict, sir? I fear that might be trifle optimistic.’
‘Really? I do like to be upbeat, as a general rule.’
‘I meant sire, that a simple edict to, say have the troublesome goblin garrotted…. were that to be your supreme highness’ wish… would be less than felicitous.’
‘I suppose anyone having their neck… you know, would be less than hip-de-do about things.’
‘Indeed, and… and this is perhaps the clincher, your most perfect topness… it wouldn’t work.’
‘No, my liege Lord. Not even close. Goblins aren’t inclined to die, if they can avoid it. You’ll have to bury him.’
‘That sort of goes with the territory, sir. Records show that there are several hundred goblin burials over the last thousand years.’
‘What happened to the rest?’
‘They wither away, sir, but sadly I don’t think we can wait for this one to wilt.’
‘And once buried? He’ll wilt then?’
‘It’s not known, sir. No one has dared open one of these burial chambers, in case the interred goblin is waiting. Imagine how aggrieved they might be.’
‘Yes, well, that would be understandable, wouldn’t it?’
‘So shall I set too?’
‘Would you? Thanks everso.’
‘I’ll need to commission a goblin box. They’re rather expensive.’
‘Oh well, if it’s needed.’
‘Indeed. It has to have a key motif on the lid, carved out of Westphalian granite.’
‘It makes it look like the goblin can get out. It’s the only way to persuade them to get in. They’re not the sharpest of minds. Then we bury it as deep as we can go and leave it unmarked.’
‘You know a lot, Chamberlain.’
‘Google? What’s that?’
‘One of those things I know about, your wonderousness.’
And so it came to pass. And so the goblin box was filled with Dognob and some chicken drumsticks and a piece of wax, not that anyone knew why. And so the box was buried several fathoms down. And so there it might have stayed but for an unfortunate shifting of the water table. And so some fourteen centuries later, one wet spring, the goblin box popped out of the ground with a slimy ‘poll-op’ sound, rather reminiscent of the slapping of a moist armpit. And so, the men of science were called to open the intriguing box. And so they did.
Dognob blinked into the sunshine and sniffed.
The men of science stood back, surprised at how their faces felt as if they had been brûléed.
Dognob held out a hand. ‘Chicken, anyone?’
The men of science looked at each other. And then at Dognob. ‘What are you?’
The men of science were astounded. They looked at each other again. Each felt their burning faces as another layer of skin was removed. Silently they agreed that there was only one thing to be down with this amazing discovery. Quickly they put the lid back on and pushed the whole box back under the grass, before covering it with concrete and a symbol suggesting a rather egregious leak of nuclear waste. They weren’t men of science for nothing and they too had access to Google.