Fiction Fragment Friday
I am trying to complete NaNoWriMo again this year, but on day three I have not gotten off to a good start. I have the weekend to turn things around and I know I am capable of doing so. We will just have to see if the novel I am working on flows well enough to keep it up.
This week’s fiction fragment Friday though has nothing to do with NaNoWriMo. Instead I have written a story using all NPCs from the Dresden Files Roleplaying Game Campaign I am currently running. I started writing it in the third person perspective focusing only on the goblins, but it just wasn’t working. When I switched to first person it just came out much better. I think I need the goblins to be supporting characters to a human straight man. I hope you all enjoy.
It was a normal Friday night, and I was getting ready to raid with my MMORPG guild. To be honest the game was starting to get kind of old and I only agreed to the raid because my girlfriend Marie was working a catering job. So much had changed for me since meeting her and I was starting to look at the world differently. That and learning that magic is real, and we have a goblin clan living inside the walls of the house I rent a room at.
Speaking of the goblins, just as I was getting ready to log in three of them came crawling out of a secret passage into my room. I was still learning their names, but these three stood out. Gobo had written a LARP he calls Mundane the roleplaying game and keeps trying to get me to playtest it. Bobkin had recently learned to cook and was trying to become the greatest goblin chef in history. There apparently isn’t much competition for that title because goblins will eat anything. The last one was Whisper, and I mostly knew her because she was the strangely quiet goblin. She seemed to always be listening in and writing things in a notebook.
Gobo stepped up with the other two behind him. “Hey Mike, we need you to do a rules arbitration for us.”
Bobkin broke in, “Rules what? Stop using big words. Mike tell Gobo he’s wrong.”
I have to admit the little guys amuse me far more than they probably should. Most of the others in the house seem to get annoyed with them, but for me this is all new and they are just so much fun. “Guys I’d be happy to help. What do you need me to decide?”
Gobo and Bobkin immediately started talking over each other and gesturing wildly. “Woah, one at a time. Gobo you go first.”
“We’re playing cards, and I am totally winning.”
I broke in knowing that could have gone on for a LONG time. “Ok, I think I see where this is going. You were playing cards and need to have some rules clarified.”
Gobo looked offended. “No, I’m the rules master. I know all the rules for all the games.”
Bobkin spoke up. “I bet a spork and Gobo here tried to match my bet with a broken plastic fork.”
“Not just any broken plastic fork. It’s clear and that makes it a special.”
“No, No, No, a broken plastic fork is not equal to a spork. A spork is a spoon and a fork. It’s like two whole things in one. Way better than some dumb fork.”
“Your stupid spork it thin and not as good as a fork for stabbing things.”
“You can’t eat a soup with a fork.”
“Who wants to eat some stupid soup? Real goblins eat meat.”
“Soup can have meat in it.”
“Uhm guys. You don’t’ use silverware. You eat with your hands and drink right from the bowl. In fact Bobkin you are the only goblin I’ve ever seen use a utensil and that’s just when you’re cooking.”
“Well maybe I wanna start using it. A chef has to be all cultured and stuff.”
Whisper was just writing away in her notebook the whole conversation. She finally spoke up. “Well what if your decision. Is a broken plastic fork good enough to meet a bet of a spork or does Gobo need to throw something else in too?” She held the pencil up ready to write down my next words.
“As the designated arbitrator for the goblins I hereby declare that because it can be used for pick up things that a spork cannot a broken fork as long as it has at least three prongs is an acceptable match.”
“Ha, your stupid fork only has two prongs left. I win.”
The goblins crawled back into the wall still bickering, but they had agreed to abide by my ruling, and they cannot go back on an agreement. With the goblins gone I turned back to my game. The latest patch had finished applying so I was all set to play.
“MIKE,” a different goblin came crawling out of the wall. This one took me a moment to recognize. It was Bumble the inventive goblin. He likes to find broken things and tinker with them until they work. The problem is that he doesn’t really know what most of the broken items are supposed to do. Sometimes they aren’t even broken before he works on them.
“Hello Bumble, what can I do for you tonight?”
“Do you have any gum?”
“What do you need gum for?”
“Squeeky broke Luna’s binoculars so I figured I could stick them back together with some gum.”
I reached into my drawer where I kept my tools for model building and grabbed a tube of superglue. “Here you go Bumble. This is much stronger than gum and you can use it to fix other things too.”
“Wow, Mike you are the best. I can’t just take a gift without giving you something. Oh, I know next time you break something I’ll fix it for free.”
“That sounds great.” I made a mental note to never mention anything being broken near Bumble. I waited for Bumble to climb back into the wall and slid my dresser over the secret panel.
“Finally, time to kill a boss.” I turned back to my game and logged in to a stream of messages complaining about me being last. I typed my apologies and got ready to connect to voice chat. The first voice I heard when I connected was not one, I had expected.
“This game gets goblins all wrong. We aren’t anything like this.”
“Dizzy is that you?”
“MIKE, I totally joined your game, and I bought this really high-level goblin character so I can play with you.”
“Do you even know how to play the game?” I was starting to get private messages from my guild mates telling me that this new player was allowed in because they said I vouched for them. I decided In that moment I would be taking a break from the game as soon as this raid was over.
“How hard can it be? You play it so I should be able to learn it in no time.”
Dizzy then proceeded to aggro the boss monster and get the entire raid party killed because we weren’t ready. After three party wipes they kicked Dizzy and I both from the guild. With my plans for the night officially over I decided that maybe I did understand why my housemates get so frustrated with the goblins after all.