Wednesday, 23 October 2013

500 Word Challenge: Holiday Hunting

Challenge: The story is set atop a tree. The story must have a goblin in it. The story must involve a javelin in it.

- - -

    Liam and I thought our boss was joking when he told us that a goblin that had been killing people. Then we saw photos of the bodies it had left behind, and it became our job to hunt it and kill it.
    After a couple hours of searching the forest where the attacks had happened, we had found its nest and followed it up a huge oak tree. But now we were stuck there.
    I kept a firm grip on my javelin and tried another upward thrust. The goblin, a scrawny, big-eyed, grey-skinned ‪Kallikantzaros‬, hopped to another branch and hissed at me, showing its shark like teeth. It swiped down at me with its claws, and I had to pull my hand back before its claws sank into me.
    I leaned back against a branch, getting frustrated.
    “If you have any ideas, now’s the time to share, kid,” I called to Liam, my eyes still on the ‪Kallikantzaros‬.
    “I left my good ideas back at home, along with my body heat,” he grumped.
    “At this point, I’ll take some bad ideas.”
    We were sick of being in this damn tree, unable to throw spells at the goblin because there were too many branches in the way and it moved too quickly.
    “I got it,” Liam said. He started climbing the branches, moving past me.
    “Care to clue me in?”
    “Just be ready,” he said.
    Liam positioned himself onto a branch under the ‪Kallikantzaros‬, its attention focused on him. Uh oh.
    “Liam,” I started.
    It was too late. Liam threw a small binding spell at the ‪Kallikantzaros‬. The goblin jumped aside, avoiding the spell, then launched himself at Liam.
    I hurled the javelin at the ‪Kallikantzaros‬ as soon as I saw my opening. The goblin screeched as the tip pierced through its heart, taking the weapon with it as it tumbled down the branches. Seeing that Liam wasn’t going to fall, I dropped down the branches to where the ‪Kallikantzaros‬ lay on the snow-covered ground. I nudged it with the tip of my boot to make sure it was dead. Liam dropped behind me and glanced over at him.
    “Your plan was to make yourself bait?” I asked sharply.
    “No,” he replied. “My plan was to paralyze it. My backup plan was to make myself bait.”
    I frowned. “That was a dangerous idea, kid.”
    “Yeah. But I’m cold,” he smiled, but saw that I wasn’t amused. “Besides, I knew you wouldn’t let me get hurt.”
    He was right. There was no point in dragging it out.
    “Come on, let’s get hot chocolate.”
    He picked up the dead ‪Kallikantzaros‬ then started walking away. I sheathed the javelin onto my back, grabbed a handful of snow, then rushed up to Liam and put it all down his shirt.
    He jumped and shook, trying to get it out. Now I was smiling. He whirled on me, a scowl on his face.
    “What the hell, Derek?!”
    I shrugged. “Consider it payback, kid.”

- - -

I know this story sounds like it should be taking place in December, but I got hooked on the idea and thought it would be a fun little short.

Now, I'm sure you'll all wondering just what the hell a Kallikantzaros is. Basically, it's a Greek Christmas goblin. Not very fun, right? You can get a little more information on them here, but don't get them confused with the French metal band of the same name. Accidents do happen on the internet.

Not what I would want to see around the holidays.


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