Chapter 43 - Jason

Chapter 43 - Jason

“How many do you,” I ask Kaiden, as he stands on my shoulders.

“There’s just so many of them. Maybe 30 or 40. It looks like they’re just hanging around. They even look happy, like they’re joking. But they don’t look like Leprechauns,” he says confused.

“Well Sam isn’t a usual Leprechaun. He’s part Elf, and he’s a werewolf. What do these guys look like?”

“Well, they look like Goblins. But, they’re way shorter, maybe two or three feet tall. They’re also really pale, like a pinkish white color.”

“Yeah, those aren’t leprechauns.”

“Then what are they?”

“I don’t know, let me stand on your shoulder and look.”

“Ha-ha so funny. You don’t have a guess?”

“Yeah, they’re probably hobgoblins. Not really goblins, but they look alike. They mostly play pranks , but can be a real pain because they move in big numbers.”

“What are we going to do? You can’t beat them all up.”

“I could be up 40 hobgoblins. Easily. They’re small, and not really fighters. I could probably do it with just kicks.”

“Well, didn’t you tell me that fighting isn’t the solution to everything,” Kaiden does listen, even if he doesn’t seem to.

“Well, don’t worry. I got a different plan.”

“Alright, lets do it.”

Kaiden jumps from my shoulders. He lands on his feet and stumbles forward, I grab the back of his shirt before he face plants. We make our way to the door. I stretch and warm up. I don’t plan to fight but anything could happen. I take a deep breath and force one of the garage doors up before making our way in.

“Hey, who’s in charge here,” I yell out.

“Will you get a load of this guy,” one of the hobgoblins yells back, the others laugh along.

“I’m not playing,” I shoot a hole through the television. I’ve got their attention now.

“Woah, what are you doing? I thought you said you weren’t going to fight,” Kaiden whispers aggressively.

“I’m not. I got this. I’m just going to scare them out,” I whisper to him.

“You want us out,” a hobgoblin with a suit, a monocle and tiny top hat makes his way to my shins.

“Yeah, and if you aren’t out of here in twenty minutes, I’ll make all of you match that, TV.”

“Okay big guy, no need to get violent. Unfortunately, we can’t be bothered to leave. Some really good basketball games this time of year. So, you’re welcome to come back later without those little pea shooters and we can talk,” he smiles at me like he just won.

“I will smash you under my booth you little shi…”

“Jason, can I talk to you outside,” Kaiden pulls at my arm and leads me outside. “I think I got this. You said Hobgoblins are pranksters, right? They aren’t going to respond to threats. Maybe there’s another way.”

“You really think you got it?”

“Yeah, I can do this.”

“Alright, but if not, we’re punting them all for distance,” I follow his lead back into the building.

“Mr. Hobgoblin, would you please leave the warehouse,” Kaiden asks the one in the top hat.

“Ah yes, of course we can leave,” he smiles at Kaiden.

“Well, will you leave?”

“Under certain circumstances.”

“Well, what are those circumstances?”

“You have to answer three riddles.”

“Well, let’s do it,” Kaiden says cheerfully.

“Alright, riddle number one,” he pulls a slip of paper from his hand. “You can see me in water, but I never get wet. What am I?”

“Oh, that’s easy. A reflection,” Kaiden answers gleefully.

“Right, lets kick it up a notch, shall we?” The hobgoblin sticks his hand in a different pocket. “Oh, a good one. I am not alive, but bring to life love, beauty and strife. Though I don’t speak, I never fail to captivate you with my spell.”

“Don’t speak, spell. Bring to life. Hmm.”

“Time is ticking my boy.”

“I know it.”

“Then share.”

“The answer,” Kaiden drags out his words. “A book.”

“Very good. One more and we shall leave,” He doesn’t reach into his pocket and his face contorts into a mild rage. No longer smiling. “I don’t have eyes, but once I did see. Once I had thoughts, but now, I’m white and empty.”

Kaiden looks stumped. I know the answer immediately. Hobgoblins. They’re pranksters. They’re jokesters. Unlike Goblins. They look like smaller versions, and they live in large groups. One similarity that gets overlooked is that they can be violent. These days Goblins and Orcs are very different with how they’ve embraced the world. Goblins can still be violent, they were always stealthier than Orcs anyway. Hide in plain sight. Hobgoblins have not embraced the new world. They’re still the same. Charming, then they cut through your legs.

“I don’t know,” Kaiden whispers to me.

“What’s that? Did you answer? Time is up,” the hobgoblin smiles.

“The answers is a skull,” I speak up.

Rage fills his face, then quickly vanishes when I grip both my guns. “Very well, we will leave.”

They move quickly and efficiently to clear out everything they brought. I feel the malice in their little mayor, chief or whatever. The others are kind enough to wave goodbye. I almost feel bad for them. Almost. I still want to punt top hat into the nearest river.

“I thought you were going to have to shoot him.”

“Well, you were doing a good job. Didn’t want to ruin it.”

“We make a good team right,” he smiles at me again.

“We’re not a team. Don’t get ahead of yourself.”

“We’re a team. You like having me around. Admit it.”

“No, now lets go get paid.”


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