Unseelie Museum of Goblinology

Recovered specimens and lore from the recently and mysteriously destroyed Unseelie Museum of Goblinology, Dr. Pieris Abdelkader, Curator.

Waltz?

I have slept poorly for many nights. I toss and I turn like a dust devil in my own bed. Extricating myself from the tangle of sheets has proven an unwelcome puzzle so early in the morning. And I’m tired, as if I had run a marathon sometime in the night. Stress. It must be stress. Catching goblins and working part time and making art is a lot to do all at once! But there haven’t been so many goblins at the moment.

These months have been very strange. Ever since I returned from Ireland and learned my boss had been possessed by the most evil Unseelie ever known, I have been unable to find any goblins. At this rate I’ll never keep them safe and repay my debt to Jatrophae’s family.

“Waltz.”

There’s that word again, heard as if whispered at the very edge of my consciousness. Ugh. I must have drifted off laying here worrying about goblins. I have discovered a new twist to the sheets. And Pippy (my cat) is racing through the house chattering and leaping up on things again.

“Waltz.” CRASH! “Pippin!!!! what have you broke this time??!!”

Irritation this morning proving more of a stimulant than caffeine, I leap from bed and race to the living room where I heard the unmistakable sounds of kitty hyjinx. Holy cow, what a mess! Pippin is not generally a messy cat, but it appears as though he has had one heck of a party out here. My receipts for my taxes are a swirling mass on the floor. Pain shoots up my left foot and i nearly fall over. A tiny hard bit of cat food is sticking to my heel. I look up and the same little bits of cat food are all over the floor. He’s lucky he’s cute.

The day proceeded more or less normally from there, except that once again I could not find my razor, my pen, and one of my earrings. I have been misplacing a lot of stuff lately. Must be stress….or that wormhole at the back of the dryer….the one who steals all the single socks.

Ah sleep, finally after a long day I flop into my bed ready to have a long peaceful night’s rest. Must have been only an hour when I startled awake with one foot in the air and my hands above my head. The word ‘waltz’ echoing in the fading dream. A very odd position to wake up in as though I had been maybe waltzing?

I had no time to further ponder my dancing puzzle because of the resounding crash I heard and Pippin growling and hissing. The sound was coming from my studio door, Pippin had somehow sprouted opposable thumbs and was sneaking in to make art in the night. No way could he be in there, I had not opened that door in days.

I swung the door open to see Pippy with his tail fuzzed to the max growling in the general direction of the back corner.

“Waltz! Waltz!” came a tiny squeaky voice. I have apparently had plenty of nocturnal waltzing for one night. “gggggggrrrrrrrrrllllllll” said Pippin. “WALTZ!!!’ retorted the corner.

I slowly crept toward the corner. As I came closer I notice a pile of junk. My junk! My razor, pen and earrings along with many other things I had searched for at one time or another over the past few weeks. And there in front of that little hoard was a teeny, tiny goblin. He had a pen in his hand and was using it like a lance to fend off the cat. He jabbed and poked up at Pippy, and with each jab squawked “Walt’s!”

Walt, as he was apparently called, was kind of cute. He was a reddish brown with tiny black spots. He had big feet and ears. His best feature by far I thought were his sweeping horns. looking over his tiny shoulder I could see what had upset Pippy so much. Walt had laid claim to his favorite toy.

Walt and I have come to an understanding. He has ceased wandering about the house claiming random objects as “Walt’s”, and I have given him a nice little pile of broken jewelry bits to hoard. He really needs to find a new home soon for the sanity of my cat since Walt continues to be amused by watching Pippy’s reaction when he claims his toys as “Walt’s”.

A very possessive little goblin!

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Meryl, The Sprout.

Abdelkader found me and made me forget. At least this is what Jatrophae says to me. He says it is fortuitous that I went to the Emerald Isle where the Veil is thin, if I hadn’t I might still be under The Doctor’s evil spell. This goblin saving business gets more dangerous for me by the day.

It was June when my boss at work began to change. He became less of a douchebag and more, well, evil. I began to sleep poorly. I began to forget things, many things. I forgot all things that did not have to do directly with my day job. I am not so sure I believe this.

“I can’t be burned out by my job? That is certainly a more likely story than the “Nefarious-Dr. Abdelkader-possessed-my-boss yarn.”

“You said it yourself, he changed. And you stopped seeing us even though you have the Sight.” Jatrophae noted. “But you broke the spell!”

I didn’t recall breaking any spells. My magic wand is the plastic Harry Potter wand from the toy store. Not very powerful. My incredulous stare must have been obvious because he continued,

“none of us could reach you, so thick was the spell. So deep was his draining of your soul your entire being dimmed. But you came to the source! In Ireland you began to see the Guardians of the Wood. You listened to the land, let the land heal you and your strength built.”

“Wait.” I retorted. “You mean me quitting my job was some sort of lame counter-spell?” I wondered if I were not under the spell of my friend’s prodigious B.S. capabilities.

“Yup. By standing on your own two feet, his power was broken and we were all behind you. Those who know who they are and live it cannot be easily swayed by others. It is a very deep magic!”

I began to shake uncontrollably as the past few months became real to me. For over 3 months the most evil creature in the Unseelie Court had possession of my boss. I was in daily contact with him. “Why didn’t he just kill me?”

“He can’t. He needs to find the goblins you have placed and in the human world he cannot easily find them. Besides you are under Seelie protection. He can influence you, drain you, but that is the limit of his power.” my friend replied.

“Sad thing is he wasn’t really much different from my real boss. Just a slightly bigger ass than before.” I snickered.

“Well, Abdelkader can really only take over the soul of one who walks in darkness. But enough of this. It will be much harder for him to fool you now that you have cast him off. You must get back to the work. I must go on a journey for the Seelie Queen, I will contact you on my return.”

I waved to my wrinkly friend as he bounded off my window sill and flew off into the night. I wandered into the kitchen for my hot chocolate. Definitely a marshmallow night. I sat in my comfy green chair and just processed the past few months. But neither my thoughts or my hot chocolate were going to be enjoyed tonight.

I heard a squeal down below my window. It sounded like a very high pitched pig. I looked down, but couldn’t make out what was happening. I could see small shadowy forms, 3 or 4 of them darting forward and back taking swipes at something. That something was the source of the squeal.

I grabbed my box of goblin catching stuff and bolted out the door. I had collected a large stick along the creek the week before. Something told me I might be needing that. I raced around the building brandishing my stick.

Redcaps! Nasty little blighters. They had cornered what looked like a tree sapling and were tearing at it. It was terrified, but rooted to the spot and so it could not run anywhere. Crap! the redcaps saw me. Hissing the 4 of them began to sidle up to me.

“Get outta here!” I yelled in my most menacing voice. Not very convincing. They laughed. So I used my golfing skill and whacked the nearest one with my stick. He went sailing through the air and with a plop landed in the creek.

Now his buddies are mad. Their eyes rolled, their tiny teeth gnashed and they rushed me. They were fast. Far faster than I am. One sank it’s teeth into my ankle and began skittering up my pant leg, clawing and biting all the way. Their spit stung. I swung at the other ones with the stick and missed as my back twitched in pain from another red cap bite. I purposefully fell down. I could feel tiny bones snap and a hot rush of slightly caustic blood. I felt bad for killing the thing, but they leave me little choice.

The other 2 fled at seeing me fling broken bits of their companion from under my shirt. They fled, but not before taking bits of their pal, presumably for a midnight snack. I don’t like redcaps.

I looked down and saw tiny leaves trembling. The little sprout was quaking. I knelt down next to it and just began to hum gently. Music soothes terrified fairies just as well as savaged beasts. Once it stopped shaking I said, “You can’t stay here. They’ll be back.” The little critter nodded slowly.

It was obvious I’d have to dig it up since it was quite stationary. I got my trowel out of the truck and popped it into a pot. I saw once I got into the light that it was definitely a she and she was very young, a sprout really. I got the book and turned it clockwise 3 times. The pages fell open to the following entry:

Dryad: Earth elementals. More specifically, the Guardian spirits of groves, forests, trees. They may die at the same time their tree does if they are inside it as it perishes. Unlike hamadryads, dryads can move from tree to tree. They like milk, honey, and oil.

It became clear as I talked to her, that she was far too young to have much information on the Museum. But she told me her name was Meryl and she was 22 years old. She was sprouted in the museum and until now had never been in the wild.

She was far too young to know much about the Museum.

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Not Said Ed the Goblin Head

I had thought moving would relieve me of my goblin problem.  I never wanted to be pulled into this, actually moving was one way I had hoped to be finished with the whole goblin business.  For a while it seemed to work.  No goblins.  Not even through the goblin lens.  I have conveniently forgotten where I packed the little goblin catching kit.  I like it here by the creek, I take walks, I have friends over to share dinner, and I sculpt.  But these tiny menaces seem to have their claws too deep into me to leave that easily it seems.

It started again last week.  I was walking along the creek as I usually do in the afternoons after work.  I find this wonderful old tree with grasping dendritic roots and a large opening.  I recall from Jatrophae’s lessons that it is likely a gateway to Faerie.  I haven’t seen any fairies in a month so I take a quick picture and choose this spot to meditate thinking the Folk are finally done with me.

Goblins come pouring out of the tree

I returned to this spot almost daily to meditate, truthfully it is the only place along the creek where the Anglers of Perkasie do not seem to fish.  They’re practically shoulder to shoulder all the way up the stream everywhere else, but not a single solitary one comes here.  This is quite surprising because there are many fish and the water is somewhat deeper just over from the tree, but I have by now sat next to this tree nearly every day and seen nary a fisherperson.  That should have clued me in.  It should have had me worried.

It was just last week when I started hearing the voices.  Never a good sign.  Tiny twittering voices whispered just at the edges of my hearing.  At first I thought they were birds, but there were words.  “This way, this way.”  “We’re almost there.” and the like.  Goblin voices.  I stopped going to the tree at all.  They can’t be here.  Not here.  I moved to get away from this.  I began to walk the other direction along the path instead or walked further up the stream and fought the anglers for a place to sit and think. I didn’t want to see that tree anymore.  Even this didn’t work because just last night, on autopilot during my walk, I found myself face to face with the mysterious tree.

As soon as I realized where I was I turned my feet around to leave, and no sooner did I take a step was the tree in front of me again.  Frantic I turned round again with the same result.  The voices from the tree became louder and louder, the base of the tree began to shudder and shimmer and out popped Jatrophae like a tiny cranky rocket followed by a swarm of every color and shape of goblin I had ever seen.  They disappeared from my sight just as they crossed the edge of the creek.  My heart was pounding, my thoughts racing.  How can this be?  I left these all in Hellertown.  I turned to run yet again and found my feet rooted to the spot.  Literally.  My sneakers had sprung little rubbery roots.  Undaunted in my panic I bent down to untie them and take off, but Jatrophae was before my looking very stern and tapping his tiny stockinged foot.

“You have been shirking your responsibililities!  Abandoned us!  Betrayer!” he shrieked, with tiny gobs of hob spittle flying all over.

Fear made me angry and I spat back “My responsibility?!  My responsibility.   I am not Faerie.  I didn’t turn these monsters loose.  I didn’t bring them over the veil into the human world, and I certainly didn’t ask to be a bloody goblin wrangler!  Round these things up and get them back through that tree and back into Faerie and leave me in peace!  I am done with them and I am done with you!”

Jatrophae turned a rather funny color I had not seen before, but it was the color of righteous indignation.  He put a lot of effort into calming himself enough to continue our little chat.  His breathing very purposely slowed down and his voice became low and cold as winter.  “Oh it is very much your responsibility.  Very much indeed.  Your family owes my family a debt and through you I am collecting.  Seven generations of your family have come and went and this happened on your watch.  For that I am sorry, but you simply cannot walk away from this.”

“Watch me.”  I had by now worked the laces of my shoes free and stepped right out of my rooted Nikes.  I only got 2 steps when my toes became roots and began to writhe into the ground.  A strange sensation, I could feel rocks and dirt parting before my toes as they pushed their way deeper and deeper. It was very cold down there.

“Like I said.  You simply cannot walk away from this.”

To this I had no coherent reply.  I screamed.  I cursed.  I tore at my rooted feet and screamed and cursed some more.  I cried, I threw rocks.  I became very tired.  When the tempest of anger had left me, Jatrophae continued.  “It is not a discussion for now the precise nature of the debt your family owes to us, it is only enough to know that this will not end for you until you repay it.  You can move.  You can cast protective spells.  Still we will come.  If you ignore us, we will become more insistent.  This will rule your life and ruin your life.  The only way around it is through it.  Capture the goblins.  Help me save them and I will consider the debt repaid for all future generations of your family. ”

“Bite me.” was my eloquent reply.

“Suit yourself,” he replied, “but it will no longer be so easy for you to avoid us by not seeing. I wonder if you will soon feel some compassion for our plight when you can no longer choose blindness.”  With that he climbed up to my shoulder and spit in my left eye.  Disgusting.

My toes returned to normal.  Jatrophae disappeared and the air became warmer  The tree stopped shimmering and pulsing and was just a tree.  No wonder I could see the goblins leap from the tree, I was in Faerie!  I quickly looked at my watch.  6 hours had passed.  I retrieved my now normal shoes and began to walk back to the trail, still shaking and still angry.  A tiny wrinkly goblin with a sad face skittered across my path, he looked right at me!  I shouldn’t be able to see that without the lens!

I rationalized it.  I may still be in Faerie.  So I picked up the pace a bit.  It didn’t help.  They were everywhere.  Sad, miserable looking creatures.  Hundreds of them searching for places to rest for the evening.  I started to run.  I ran as fast as I could staring at the trail just in front of my feet.  I didn’t want to see them.  I got back to my place and slammed the door.  I could see them out the window, in the house, on my car.  Everywhere.  I can’t be in Faerie anymore, why can I see them?

The saliva I realize.  Jatrophae gave me the Sight.  That made me madder than ever.  I shooed them out of my house and eventually went to bed.  Today is another day.  I am still angry and my sculpting has turned to goblins.  I guess I may as well turn to them for inspiration they are certainly not leaving.  I sculpted a little guy who says his name is “Not Said Ed.”  Goblin nonsense.  Sculpting is at lease keeping me from thinking about my family’s debt to Jatrophae and from looking out the windows to see even more goblins.  He may be right.  There may not be such an easy way out of this task for me….

Not Said Ed the Goblin Head

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Quercus, Ancient Tree Spirit

Snowing again. It is one of the quirks of my particular personality that when I shouldn’t go outside I feel the overwhelming urge to do so. This weather is not fit for man nor beast…nor goblin, but I laced up my black clunky snow boots, put on a wool hat and coat and trudged into the yard.

The snow was very dry and creaked like old floorboards as I walked on it, clearly very poor snowman snow. It did not meet my old Idaho definition of cold. When I sniffed my nose my nostrils did not freeze together momentarily. Chilly, not cold. I reached into my pocket and withdrew the Goblin Lens. As I held it up to my eye the veil between worlds parted and I saw once more the refugees of Faerie skittering abut my yard. I had received a note from Jatrophae yesterday telling me the holidays were no excuse for not catching goblins. I guessed I had better step up my capturing and interviewing.

I scanned the yard with the lens to my eye. I saw a myriad of creatures. One tried to make himself look like a mushroom at my approach, another with a bowl shaped head hissed and swiped the air with it’s claws. I’ll leave that one for last. I looked up into the oak tree and saw the wizened old face I had witnessed there nights ago. As my lensed eye met his eyes he smiled a slow, wooden smile. A sense of peace flowed over me. This would be my quarry.

I reached into the my inside pocket, withdrawing the vial of herbs. I crunched over to the base of the oak tree and sprinkled a tiny bit at the base. Uncorking the vial of amber liquid I let a drop fall. I put the lens back up to my eye to watch him come to me, but he did not! He was smiling away and inhaling deeply, clearly enjoying the scent of the bait, but he remained stuck fast to the bark of the tree. Impossible to tell where he ended and the tree began.

Ugh, this isn’t how this is supposed to work at all. Like an idiot I began to try to coax him down like I would my cat. Saying things like “smell that nice goblin bait, little guy.” and “yes you want to come down right now and have some of this nice smelly stuff.” He regarded me coldly, his smile slipping and a slight scowl appearing in his face. Still I kept on, waving the bottle of bait around and talking in a twittery high voice.

“I am 900 years old.” said a voice that sounded like creaking branches. I looked back up the tree to a very cranky looking critter.

“What?” I replied not sure if I was experiencing an auditory hallucination.

“I am 900 years old. You don’t need to talk to me like a human child. Now run along back to your human affairs and leave me to my tree in peace.”

Undaunted, I said. “But I need to capture you. Make you safe.”

“You are really quite annoying. I seem to be safe right now and it has been 200 years since I lived in a tree. I believe I am going to stay right here. Abdelkader is dead, the Museum destroyed. I will be just fine without help from impatient sing-songy humans.”

“Abdelkader is not dead.” I retorted. “Jatrophae says his body was not found and he likely escaped before the destruction. He says he will seek to continue his work…whatever that was.”

The tree creature’s eyes widened. Clearly this was news to him. “When will it all end?” he sighed in a voice like the last breeze of summer.

“I don’t know.” I said. “But I am here to help. Find you a home safely away from Faerie, far from the reach of the Doctor.” I explained to him about finding a Guardian and my work with Jatrophae to discover what Dr. Abdelkader was up to and end it once and for all. He reluctantly agreed to come down from the tree. Apart from the tree, he has a wispy inconsequential form, like a ghost.

Once in the house, he drifted over to my ficus. The wispy substance he was wrapped around the tree and began to thicken. Before long his face appeared out of the woody stem of the little tree. I held the little guide book as I sat on the floor next to him. The pages turned to an entry that said:

Tree Spirit: Said to be the soul of a tree. This is not entirely the case since trees already have their own spirits. Tree Spirits were once embodied in a very rare kind of tree in Faerie. When those trees were destroyed in the first Great War, the tree’s spirit lived on and drifted to meld with the spirit of other kinds of trees. Theirs is a symbiotic relationship much like lichen.

He told me his name is Quercus because of his fondness for oaks. He said my ficus was young and “chatty” and he looked forward to finding a nice quiet old oak to converse with. Quercus had been in the museum for a very long time, and because he listened more than he spoke, he provided much information. I am unsure just now what it all means, but I recorded it in the little book. Quercus described being paired with many different types of goblin and other magical creature via spells and a strange machine. It was painful and clearly meant to measure something. I did also discover that the purpose of Dr. Abdelkader’s work was to create some sort of living device for “reconquest”. I couldn’t wait to see Jatrophae to find out what “reconquest” meant. Did it have to do with the Seelie-Unseelie war?

In any event, Quercus is in need of a Guardian
.Museum of Goblinology

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Captured Stray Sod.

Specimen #2 from the recently and quite mysteriously destroyed Unseelie Museum of Goblinology. This Stray Sod was one of the first Goblins I spied through the Goblin Lens. It was snowing that day and very cold. As I peered through the lens from the warm safety of my home, I saw this little guy darting back and forth over the snow. He stood out against the white, his little leaves quivering with cold.

Up to that point I had been very angry at my friend Jatrophae for pulling me into this and leaving me with a pack of miserable Goblins causing trouble in my yard. My anger melted away immediately as I saw this poor miserable creature freezing in the snow.

He came to me very quickly when I cast the herbal spell. I did not even need to use the strange device, he hopped willingly into my hand. Once I got him in the house he zipped to one of my potted geraniums and settled down. I almost couldn’t tell he was a goblin at all in there. I let him rest for a while before I questioned him. I took the opportunity to look him up in the little book. Here is what it said:

Stray Sod: An earth type goblin with a peculiar type of camouflage. Vegetation grows on the creatures back allowing it to blend in with its favored surroundings, meadows and grassy areas. Stray Sod are usually harmless unless you tread upon them. They hate this and consider it the worst possible insult. Those stepping on a stray sod will likely wander lost for a very long time and never reach their destination.

The little sod was awake. We spoke at length. He had been captive in the Museum of Goblinology for a very long time. He was housed far from where Dr. Abdelkader did most of his work, but he says the Doctor’s goal was to possess several of every kind of faerie. Seelie, Unseelie, Elemental, and Solitary. The Unseelie visited often to see the creatures within. From time to time the Doctor would take one of the Goblins into the basement from where they did not return.

I dutifully wrote this information down for Jatrophae at the back of the book. I explained to the little Stray Sod (who refused to give me a name, even a nickname) that he needed to go somewhere to be safe. He did not object to going to a Guardian.

The little stray sod settled down into one of my Geraniums

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Goblin catching is hard work!

Good grief! They’re everywhere! I stood out in the yard for several minutes with the Lens to my eye. The unreality of it all washed over me. There was a little creature with a grassy back skittering back and forth over the snow. There was a face that magically appeared in my oak tree. I heard the chuffing of a squirrel and looked up to see a very tiny goblin in her nest. He was hopping up and down squeaking and chattering while the squirrel flicked her tail and chattered back. I decided this little guy looked like an easy first catch.

I climbed up to the first branch of the tree and poured out a small amount of the herb blend. As soon as the drop of liquid was on it the tiny thing sniffed the air and locked eyes with me. The squirrel was still chuffing away. Like lightening he zoomed down the tree! I barely had time to get out the locket device. The instant I opened it it began whirring madly. My heart pounded as I blue arc of light shot out of the center of it right to the little goblin. He was frozen in his tracks. I stared at him for almost a full minute before I remembered I needed to trap him.

This was WAY too easy I thought as I scooped him up. Then the little blighter bit me! Hard! A little drop of blood welled out of the spot where he bit me. After a bit more biting and a lot of cursing on my part he was safely in a box.

I took him inside. He was squeaking away at me. I found that I could make out what he was saying. It wasn’t very nice. I put his box down on the counter and attempted to explain why I had caught him. He was not amused. But after several attempts at chatting he revealed he knew little of Dr. Abdelkader and the museum, only that all the creatures within it were terrified and knew something awful was happening. He revealed that he was a hobgoblin and preferred to live close to people anyway.

One thing was for certain he was terrified about going back. After more squeaky discussion he agreed it was best he would be placed with a human Guardian.

So I picked up the book and looked up his species. To my surprise it sped to the page containing the entry on Hobgoblins. It read:

Hobgoblins: Diminutive goblins who prefer to assist humans in their ousehold concerns. Similar to the Brownie but somewhat smaller. Favored tasks include the threshing of wheat and the churning of milk. Hobgoblins are easily offended and when put off by their human hosts can be quite destructive. They are brown or brownish green, a little hairy, and naked.

After I completed my reading the book paged itself to the very back where it was blank. The words “Specimen #1” appeared. I took this as an invitation to write what I had observed:

“Hobgoblin named Drit. Found in birch tree arguing with squirrel. Had no information about the doctor or the Museum itself but says he likes cats.”

Now to find him a home….

Specimen 1 from the Museum of Goblinology

If you would like to be Drit’s Guardian, click here!

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How Do You Catch a Goblin?

It has been over a week since I found the box. No further sign of strangeness or my childhood friend. I put the box far back in the cabinet under he sink. A great many things have gone into that netherworld never to return. I hoped along with the box, my feeling of lost time and coming unhinged would be lost forever. My life slowly started to return to normal over the past few days. I made dinner, went to work, talked to the cat, all the things normal people should be doing.

I looked out the window, it was still snowing, and it was a windy night, the tree outside was sporadically clawing at the window. I fell asleep watching the news. My dreams melded with the scraching sounds of tree on glass. I heard a measured tapping . That was not the wind stirring the tree, it was too measured. “Wake up”!

I was launched from the bead, eyes saucers, heart fluttering. I was on my feet as my gaze went to the window Jatrophae’s pointy face was pressed up against the glass. I remembered the box. I didn’t want to remember the box, or the scene at the tree or the missing time. There it all was though, encompassed in the pinched little face of a creature I knew shouldn’t exist. I moved to the window and opened it. He sprang into the room immediately. He looked terrible. My tiny friend was generally a neat and tidy fellow, but he was presently filthy and his clothes torn.

“You look terrible” I remarked.

Jatrophae was clearly in no mood to banter. He glowered at me, wrinkling his already extremely wrinkly nose. His tiny yellow eyes narrowed. ” did you catch one yet?”

“Catch one what?”

“One of the Goblins! What did you think the supplies were for?” He was clearly wasting no time on pleasantries.

“I have been just hunky dory fine all these years, thank you just the same. I did not know what the junk in that box was for. And wait a minute. Catching goblins? No way. I am all grown up now, no time for galavanting through the forests with hobs.. Besides, they bite.” I replied slightly cranky and getting more cranky by the second.

Jatrophae was becoming agitated. He hopped up on the counter so we were roughly at eye level. “If we can’t catch them, Dr. Abdelkader will. The goblins and other creatures fled all over Faerie and into the human world. He’ll be coming for them. He needs them. And where he goes, destruction follows.”

I thought to myself, all the more reason to not be involved. Instead, I asked the inevitable question. “Who is Dr. Abdelkader. Oh and FYI, I have NO idea what you are talking about.”

“We don’t have time for that now, I wish I could tell you everything, but I am not so sure what happened, myself. Suffice it to say, he is a very, very bad man.”

“Why did he keep the goblins in a museum?”

“That was what I was there to find out. The place was destroyed before I got any answers. I also need these goblins safe so I can find out what was going on and relay that to the Seelie Court. I do know if he succeeds he may win the war between the Seelie and Unseelie that stretches back further than your species has walked the earth.”

This seemed like a faerie matter to me and I recall my hard learned lessons regarding getting involved in their business. But he continued.

“You are the only person I can trust. And I need the goblins safely kept in the human world. If you don’t help, they will probably be killed and this war will pour out of Faerie into your world.”

“What the hell am I supposed to do with a bunch of goblins?”

Jatrophae rolled his eyes. “Find them homes, of course”.

I laughed out loud at this. “I am not so sure there will be people lined up to adopt a goblin. They bite.”

“Humans are so stupid. Of course people won’t be keeping them as pets. The guardians need only keep them in their boxes where they should be safe from the Unseelie. If you were to keep them all it would be too easy for Abdelkader to capture them and start back where he left off.”

“Look, Jatrophae, I can barely catch my cat when he gets out, I am pretty sure you will want to be asking someone else to go on a goblin hunt.”

At this he hopped off the counter and scurried to where I had left the box by the sink. He popped the lid off the box. He reached in and pulled out a vial of herbs and the tiny vial of yellow liquid. “It’s easy. he said. “You take some of the herbs out of the vial, then drop a single drop of the liquid on them and any goblin around will be drawn to you.”

“Bait.” I muttered.

“Goblin bait”. He replied. “The Goblin Lens will allow you to see them even when they don’t want to be seen. You may want to use that to check for goblins in the area before you set the bait.”

I nodded slowly, dubious of how this would all work and not at all certain I wanted to try.

He continued, “The Locket contains a machine Dr. Abdelkader used to put the goblins into a state of suspension. You will do the same. Then you simply put them in a box using the needles in the kit to seal the box and the little blighters can’t get out!”

“So what’s the miniature book for?” I asked.

Jatrophae picked up the book turned it clockwise, 3 times and it began to grow rapidly! In seconds it was the size of the Complete Works of Shakespeare. I’ll never get used to faerie magic.

“The book”, he said, “is so you can identify what you caught. Keep track of these, what they tell you, and their guardian. Leave that information under the oak tree at dark of the moon each month for me to collect and take to Titania.”

He was turning the book counterclockwise 3 times and it was shrinking back down to the miniature it appeared to be.

“Look, Jatrophae. I am not a child anymore. Adults don’t go off with the fairies. I have sympathy for what has happened, but this is just not my fight.”

His eyes narrowed. He handed me the lens and motioned to the door. I took the lens from his clawed hand and walked to the door. I opened it a crack, bringing the ornate lens to my eye. My God! They were everywhere. In the trees. Running through the snow. All over my car! There were big ones, pointy ones, tiny ones, beautiful ones, and horrible ones. I quickly took the lens form my eye, slammed the door and locked it. My wide eyes found Jatrophae and his smug little grin. He shrugged, picked up his bag, and squeaked “What choice do you have. There are more on the way.”

There was a “pop” and he was gone and I was pissed. He tricked me, not I HAD to capture these monsters or they’d make a mess of my yard. An evil little thought crossed my mind. I bet that kit would catch my little friend!

I had had enough for one night. I’ll decide what I want to do in the morning. But I couldn’t resist one more look through the Goblin Lens. I leaned to the window and peered through the lens. Down by the pole that holds the birdfeeder was a miserable looking creature that stood out in the snow. He looked like he had turf growing out of his back. He was moving pretty slow and kicking the snow off his feet like a cat when their feet are wet. I could see the vegetation on top of his head shaking. Clearly this wasn’t where he was supposed to be. My angry heart melted. Maybe my friend was right. Someone had to help this little guy.

Winter is not the time for green leafy critters to be out!

Categories: Unseelie Museum of Goblinology | 1 Comment

They’re loose.

I awoke early this morning with a scream in my head. I sat up, still sleep-addled and quite foggy. Of only one thing was I certain. It hadn’t been my scream. It sounded a lot like Jatrophae, a little hob I had conversed with in the woods as a child. Jatrophae and I had shared a love of hunting for fungus, I hadn’t seen or heard from him since I moved East. I dug the sleep out of my eyes and got up to turn on the coffee, but the dream and the scream had me in it’s grip. It was already slipping away like water through grains of sand.

He was screaming something in particular. I could recall his face now in the dream, desperate and filthy. The coffeemaker began the sputtering gurgle that indicated it was almost time to be caffeinated. What was he saying? Something about getting to the giant oak tree in the yard and the words “it was waiting”, I think. I so rarely remember dreams this vividly, so on a lark I slipped on some old boots and slung a coat over my shoulders. The blast of cold November air that rushed forward to whip my face with stinging wintery fingers did far more to dispel my grogginess than the caffeine ever would. The ground was still soaked with rain, it squelched and bubbled as I trod to the tree.

As I neared the oak I began to see many branches down and the sod torn up around the tree. It looked as of there had been a drunken brawl there the night before. A scan of the yard showed that the area around the oak was the only place that appeared affected. I reached the base of the tree as a gust of wind tore through my hair. I knelt down, one knee sinking into the mud. There, about 2 feet above the roots of the tree, was a black circle like the tree had been scorched only in that spot. I touched it, it was still warm. My hand came away soot covered. What the heck was this? My eyes traveled up the trunk of the oak, several more similar scorched spots were all about the tree reaching up as far as I could see. All my addled brain could utter was a repeated “what the?”

I stood there for a couple minutes looking at the ground and at the tree. I could begin to make out tiny strange footprints the size of a toddler, but not quite human. Bigger footprints from what looked like a quadruped with surprisingly big claws. Other things I couldn’t even begin to identify. Something terrifying happened here and very recently, whatever it was should have been very noisy so why didn’t all the commotion wake me up? A wave of realization broke over me followed by that rippling of the skin that happens when facing something impossible. Maybe it did wake me up. The scream of my childhood friend I dreamed wasn’t a dream at all.

In the haze of half belief I walked slowly around the trunk of the tree, surveying the damage. Unconsciously I removed my coat and turned it inside out, just like Jatrophae had me do when hunting for mushrooms. He always said it was “so the others wouldn’t take me”. At the back of the tree, a rock was digging into my heel. I shifted my weight to relieve the pain andturned my gaze to peer at the offending mineral. It wasn’t a rock; it was a tiny box. Dropping to my knees, I tore at the earth with my hands. Sure enough it was a tiny ornate box. I opened it and found a crumpled note on top of several strange things of varying sizes. Beneath the note was tiny book with foreign words in it, a strange device with a nasty looking barbed needle, an extra needle, a bottle of some herb, a tiny bottle filled with an amber liquid, a fancy magnifying glass, and the most curious of all, a locket that opened to reveal a copper mechanism of some kind.

I laid these things aside and opened the note. My heart pounded when I saw the scorches and what looked like blood, what has happened to my friend? By now I was shivering with cold so I headed inside looking forward to some familiarity and some warm coffee to think over. My mind was spinning with the box, questions about the Museum and Doctor mentioned in the letter, and the scene I found at the oak tree. I went through the motions of pouring the cream, adding the sugar, and the coffee like a mindless automaton. I brought the cup to my lips and spewed cold coffee all over the kitchen. Cold?! I just brewed this 20 minutes ago, as I bent to examine my clearly malfunctioning coffee maker. Mr. Coffee announced that it was 1:23 in bright blue LED digital time. I had to sit down or my jelly knees would give out. What the hell just happened? It was just after 6 AM when I went out to the oak tree. There is no way it is 1:23!

Mysterious letter from a hob friend accompanied by strange devices.

This is by far the strangest day of my life. If this is a prank, it is a very good one. I took a picture hoping if it is a prank the prankster comes forth. If it is not, can someone tell me what all this stuff is for? Does anyone else know Jatrophae? Is he OK? And just who is Dr. Pieris Abdelkader and what is The Museum of Goblinology? For now I can only wait for answers and make some more coffee. If you know anything or have any theories, I welcome your input.

Categories: Unseelie Museum of Goblinology | Leave a comment

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