Chapter 13:

Chapter 13 Fight For Survival

Hermit's Diary

The scent of lush grass teased our senses, the intoxicating aroma of flowers painting vivid hues in our naive minds. Our feeble senses tingled with the tantalizing scent of meat sizzling over an open flame, skewered on merciless spikes. The scent of wood and the forest beckoned us, offering secrets and sensations that we, as mere hatchlings, had never fathomed.

"Look at those big, pointy things!" a goblin hatchling marveled, pointing at the towering trees in the distance. 

"Do you think they're friendly?"

"Whoa, what's happening? Where are we? Where are we going?" tiny goblins squeaked, their voices filled with awe and confusion as they gazed upon the bewildering world.

"I can smell something... something delicious!" another goblin chimed in, his nose twitching in the intoxicating aroma of the outside world.

"I want to touch the green stuff!" another hatchling yelled, attempting to reach for the grass but failing miserably due to the fact that he was still in the bucket.

"Why is the up so big and... umm... colorful? It goes on forever!" a curious goblin hatchling pondered, his tiny head tilting back to take in the vast expanse of the sky above.

As mere hatchlings, barely pecked out of our eggs and introduced to this world for mere hours, we were completely unfamiliar with these intoxicating smells. We had been imprisoned in a dank, suffocating cave, inhaling naught but the acrid miasma of festering feces. The purity of this newfound air overwhelmed our unused lungs, the very act of breathing akin to drawing in the sweet nectar of life. Our chests heaved, and we gasped in sheer terror, our nostrils itching and burning as if set ablaze by the novel scents.

We began to sneeze and cough uncontrollably, our feeble bodies wracked with the pain of newfound sensation. Our delicate sniffers itched and burned, driving us to desperation. We clawed and prodded our tiny fingers into our nostrils, attempting to scratch the invisible torment within, but to no avail.

"Achoo! My sniffer feels funny! It stings and itches! Achooo!" one goblin sneezed, rubbing its tiny nostrils with his plump fingers.

"Achoo! Achoo! I can't stop sneezing! It tickles!" next goblin wheezed, his tiny sniffer twitching uncontrollably.

"My eyes feel funny! Achi-choo! What's in the air?" another goblin fretted, trying to rub away the unfamiliar irritants.

The shift in temperature was equally startling. The cave had been an oppressive sauna, our puny forms drenched in sweat, but now, outside, the cool embrace of the breeze sent shivers down our spines. We gasped in sheer terror every time a frigid gust caressed our naked bodies, our tiny mouths chattering like castanets in the cold.

"I-I'm cold! Brrr... What's t-this chilly f-feeling?" One goblin shivered, his tiny body quaking in the unfamiliar cold.

"I don't like the cold-blowing thing. It's not cozy like our cave," another goblin whimpered.

"Let's hug, stick together, like a goblin pile! We'll be warm and safe," a hatchling goblin suggested, and the others eagerly agreed.

In our collective panic, we huddled together, forming a quivering pile of goblin hatchlings, our naked bodies serving as a feeble attempt at warmth against the biting chill. We wrapped ourselves with our plump, meaty ears, they were the only blankets we had in this cruel world. But even then, the merciless cold gnawed at our fragile forms, a reminder of our vulnerability.

After a while, our panicked gasps eventually subsided, and we slowly got used to the overwhelming assault on our senses. The world outside the cave was both wondrous and terrifying.

Our huddled goblin pile offered some solace against the bewildering world outside. We nestled together, tiny bodies trembling in the face of this sensory overload, our plump ears serving as our makeshift security blankets.

"Look at that!" one goblin yelped, pointing a pudgy finger at a fluttering butterfly. 

"It's like a colorful leaf with wings!"

"Yeah! And those big green sticks are really tall!" another goblin added, referring to the towering trees that stretched into the sky.

"Is that food I smell?" a particularly curious goblin wondered. Our sniffers twitched as we picked up the scent of something delicious nearby.

The chorus of hatchling goblin voices continued. Our observations and questions paint a picture of our innocent wonder and bewilderment. We were like sponges, absorbing the sights, sounds, and scents of the outside world, trying to make sense of it all.

The giant goblin stopped. The abrupt halt of our bucket sent our pile of goblins into a chaotic tumble, and we clung to each other as it swung to a stop. The once-familiar surroundings had transformed into a bluster of cheers, grunts, and an unfamiliar, unsettling commotion.

Suddenly, a colossal hand belonging to one of the adult goblins thrust itself into our bucket. It snatched a handful of us hatchlings with casual indifference, and in a heart-stopping moment, we were flung through the air, tumbling and flapping like discarded playthings. We screamed and cried out as we hurtled toward the unforgiving ground below.

I felt the harsh impact of the hard ground as I landed with a painful thud, "Oooff! Ouchies! Ouwies! Hurts so much! My poor ouchies hurt! So much ouwies on my poor body. Why must you hurt us so?"

My fragile form was battered and bruised, accompanied by grazes and scrapes marring my tiny hatchling body. I gasped for breath, pain shooting through my body, but I was one of the luckier ones. Some of my fellow hatchlings were not as fortunate, landing with more severe injuries that sent agonized outcries.

Around me, I could hear the pained cries and whimpers of my fellow goblin hatchlings. The pitiful cries and wails of the injured hatchlings echoed through the makeshift arena as we lay scattered on the unforgiving ground, nursing our wounds and crying out in pain.

"It hurts! Ooof...! It hurts so much! Eeeek...! My tiny walking sticks snapped! Reeee...! How to walk!?" one goblin sobbed, tears streaming down his pudgy cheeks.

"I want my cave! Owies! I want my warm nest! Ouchies! Me, not liky skin leaking and scrapes hurting! Wreeee...! Reeee...!" another tiny goblin wailed, clutching at his bleeding bruises.

"My hand! Eeeek...! My hand bent on the wrong side! Eeeek!" a third goblin shrieked, writhing in agony holding his wrist.

I glanced around, taking in the grim reality of our situation. We were in what could only be described as a makeshift arena, massive in scale compared to our smallish goblin hatchling size. The ground around us was littered with rocks and pebbles, large leaves, and small sticks, a treacherous landscape for our vulnerable bodies.

My attention was drawn back to the encircling adult goblins, who had now formed a boisterous crowd around the arena. Their cheers and shouts filled the air, a deafening roar that seemed to reverberate within my very bones. It became clear that we were not merely innocent observers but rather unwilling participants in some twisted spectacle.

As the adult goblins wagered their dinners and trinkets on our fate, I couldn't help but tremble with fear, my bruised body aching as I pondered the grim unknown that awaited us in this colossal, nightmarish coliseum.

The adult goblin's ominous voice echoed through the makeshift arena, sending shivers down our tiny spines. He approached the fighting pit, his malevolent eyes fixated on us as he bellowed, "You will fight now! Only one survives! If not, all will be fed to the hounds!"

With a cruel gesture, he pointed his gnarled finger at a nearby cage, where massive, snarling wild hounds lurked. These creatures, colossal in comparison to our puny size, radiated an aura of danger. Their hungry, bloodshot eyes locked onto us, and they growled menacingly, saliva dripping off their razor-sharp teeth.

Panic gripped our fragile hearts as we found ourselves in the grim arena. There were six of us in the pit, our tiny forms quivering with terror. One brave hatchling, a glimmer of innocence still shining in his eyes, dared to question the towering adult goblin.

"But... but we don't want to fight!" he squeaked, his voice trembling with fear, "We want warm hugs, tasty food, and to be friends with everybody."

The adult goblin's response was swift and brutal. He stomped on the poor goblin with merciless force, silencing him forever. A collective gasp escaped the remaining five of us, our tiny bodies trembling in sheer terror.

The towering goblin loomed over us, his malevolent gaze unwavering. 

"Fight or you will meet the same fate!" he thundered, his voice dripping with cruelty.

The pitiful scene unfolded before me as my fellow hatchlings, driven by fear and desperation, engaged in a clumsy, absurd battle. None of us were fighters, and the violence was as foreign to us as the world beyond the cave.

 Panic had taken hold of my fellow hatchlings, and they resorted to clumsy, desperate attempts to harm one another. I, however, had managed to roll under a massive leaf, finding a meager refuge from the gruesome spectacle.

From my hiding spot, I watched in helpless horror as my fellow hatchlings engaged in their futile struggle. Their attempts at combat were comically ineffective, a testament to their complete lack of fighting prowess.

One goblin resorted to using his palms to pat at his opponent with fast, frantic motions, achieving little more than a series of ineffectual slaps. Another goblin, driven by desperation, seized his own large ears and began to slap a nearby hatchling with them, creating a bizarre and pitiful spectacle.

Yet another goblin, perhaps driven to madness by fear, extended his elongated tongue and used it to whip at his fellow goblin, the strange weapon causing more confusion than harm.

Then there was the hatchling who discovered a tiny pebble that fit snugly in his minuscule palm. He leaped into the air with all the force his tiny body could muster and slammed the pebble into the face of a fellow hatchling. The impact crushed his visage and painted the ground with hatchling blood. The poor gobbie fell to the ground wriggling in pain, he was in no condition to fight or defend himself. 

Only four goblins left.

The hatchlings flailed and stumbled, their fists swinging wildly in all directions as they attempted to land blows on each other. It was a cacophony of clumsy kicks, missed slaps, and exaggerated tumbles. 

One hatchling tripped over a small pebble, falling face-first into the dirt and split his head open. He completely knocked himself out leaving only three goblins standing. 

Another hatchling attempted to wrestle a leaf, thinking it was an opponent. The dim-witted goblin hatchling lunged at the innocent leaf, attempting to grapple with it as if it were a formidable adversary. But in his clumsy effort, he tumbled into a nearby trap hole, completely oblivious to the needle-like spikes lurking within.

As the spikes impaled him, his screams pierced the air, and the gathered crowd of adult goblins erupted into boisterous cheers. It was a cruel spectacle that delighted their twisted senses. 

 Only two hatchlings left in the arena.

The next hatchling, caught in a bizarre twist of fate, somehow managed to get tangled in his own plump ears. He stumbled in comical circles, his eyes wide with bewildered panic. In his clumsy dance of desperation, he accidentally bumped into a precariously stacked tower of rocks, and they came crashing down upon him with unforgiving force, smashing him under their weight. He was still alive, moaning in pain but he was in no condition to continue his fight for survival.