Slings Words sat.
From the tree branch high above, he could see the other members of the Readers of the Scrolls tribe busily went about their work. Knowing full well he should be helping them, he just couldn’t bring himself to do so. The day was too beautiful and, once again, his imagination was running away with itself.
He rolled onto his back…letting his arms lazily hang off the branch on either side of him. He stared upward through the intertwined leaves and branches at the bright gleams of sunlight streaming through the small openings in the canopy above. He had already finished most of his chores and typically he helped many of the others with theirs if he got the chance to. Today…today, however, he had felt a strange bout of inspiration.
He reached into his hip pack and pulled out his parchment and quill. Laying the parchment on his chest, he chewed on the already worn feather of his writing utensil. Eyes glazing over, lost within the chasms of his mind, he thought and formed his next story. Several minutes passed as he did his best to choose a proper beginning for his next tale and finally it struck him like a warhammer.
The quill left his mouth and the point went straight for the parchment.
Slings sighed and rolled off the branch into a dangle. Down below, an olive green goblin peered up at him.
“What’re you doing up there?”
“Well…I was about to write something. We are known for that,” Slings gave a slight apologetic smile.
Dances grinned up at him. Dances had been Slings friend for many years, despite their slight age difference.
Slings enjoyed how Dances was much more energetic than he was. Many would say Dances was more fun, and Slings would tend to agree, but Slings had always considered sitting around thinking about the world to be more enjoyable than playing around. Than again, Slings found many things enjoyable that others didn’t.
Slings climbed down with some dexterity and landed on the ground before Dances.
“Yes, we do write. But you’re not writing the same things we write, Slings.”
Slings nodded, blushing slightly, and put his parchment and quill away. They began to walk back through the village, the hustle and bustle engulfing them as they went.
“I know you like to write about adventures and warriors, but that’s not what our life is about. We’re goblins. We’re meant to stay put and fight off those damn humans who try and kill us for experience. It’s what we do.”
He looked at Slings. Slings didn’t reply, but rather was looking off at some unseen point, again lost in thought.
“There have never been any famous goblin writers, Slings. The children really like your stories and the rest of us think they’re great, but you can’t always keep getting lost in your own imagination.”
Again, Slings didn’t reply.
“Don’t you think you’re skill would be best suited for recording everything around us? Like the rest of us do?”
Slings stopped. Dances stopped with him.
“Don’t you ever wonder what else is out there?” Slings said.
He reached his hand forward, his gray skin patched by the filtered sunlight from above. His gaze held fast to it.
“Don’t you imagine what sort of wonders this hand could touch? There may be mountains of treasure, untold dangers, fearless warriors, goblins out there who wanted more than this sort of existence, fighting for something greater than what we have. Why can’t I be the one to tell those stories? I don’t understand why we have to stay put and record only what we see when all we see is the same thing day after day. Wouldn’t it be more interesting to find other goblins…see what they’re doing? Experience what they experience? Who knows? Maybe there are brave goblin fighters out there who deserve to have their story told. Maybe they have no one to tell that story. Maybe I’m that person.”
He flexed his hand open and then clenched it tightly. After what seemed like an eternity, Slings seemed to return to reality and turned to Dances, smiling apologetically again.
They continued to walk.
After an awkwardly silent pause, Dances looked at Slings.
“I never get tired of hearing you say that, Slings. Maybe you’re right. Maybe someday?”
“Maybe someday…” Slings mused.
They continued until they reached a campfire where many of the goblin children were anxiously waiting.
“Hey kids…I found him for you!” Dances announced as they got close.
The children cheered loudly as they crowded around Slings. Slings smiled kindly as he greeted each of them.
He moved toward the fire and sat down, the children crowding around him as closely as they could.
“Which story would you like to hear about today?”
The air was suddenly abuzz with dozens of suggestions, all stories that he had told countless times before, yet never got tired of retelling. He listened to each of them and finally settled on one that he hadn’t told in a while.
“All right…I’ll tell the one about Fights for Love’s greatest adventure to save his beloved from the evil human wizard that kidnapped her.”
Dances stood a few feet away, smiling as he watched his friend do what he did best. He had only known Slings to be relatively sociable when he was telling a story. Despite how seemingly quiet Slings typically was, Dances enjoyed his company. He shook his head and turned to leave as Slings began.
“Now, Fights had been traveling for what seemed like weeks through the Forest of Inescapable Peril. He knew that his only chance for saving Eyes Like a Deer was to find the legendary weapon the teller had told him about…”