Chapter 20:

Chapter 20 Goblin Slave Eatery

Hermit's Diary

We froze in place as we saw our fellow hatchling's lifeless, dirt-covered form in Kaka's meaty hands. Panic and confusion gripped us, and we bombarded Kaka with a flurry of questions and pleas, our voices high-pitched and filled with fear.

"Gob... gob... Mumma Kaka, what happened? Is gob okay?" one of us stammered, his eyes wide with terror.

"Dada Kaka, make gob wake up! Please! Wake up gob! You must!" another begged, his voice quivering.

A third hatchling wailed, "Gobbie can't be gone! We need gobbie! Friend, wake up! No sleep!"

"Kaka, what happened to gob? Why isn't he moving?" the next hatchling quivered, his eyes wide with fright.

"Is gob gonna wake up soon, Kaka?" another squeaked, a note of hope trembling in his voice.

"P-Please, Kaka, don't let him be dead," whimpered a hatchling, his chubby fingers trembling as he clutched his ears.

"Why gobbie friend no move? Kaka, why? Tell us, please! Make gobbie friend move, please!" cried out yet another, his voice tinged with desperation.

Kaka's voice trembled as he tried to calm us, but his sorrow weighed heavily on his words. 

"Little gobs, he is... with the goblin spirits now. He won't wake up anymore. He is gone forever."

As Kaka gently placed the disfigured and crushed hatchling's body on the ground, his brains oozing from the split-open and crushed skull, our tiny voices filled the air with muffled chirps and clicks of sorrow for our fallen friend.

 Kaka, his goblin heart heavy with grief, tenderly dug a hole in the earth. He lifted the corpse, placed a gentle kiss, and hugged it for the last time then carefully placed the mangled hatchling into the shallow grave. We watched in silence, tears streaking down our plump cheeks, as Kaka covered the tiny form with dirt and then placed a small rock serving as a makeshift tombstone.

"Goodbye, little gob, may the spirits of the wild watch over you," Kaka whispered, his voice cracking with sorrow. 

We gathered around the makeshift grave, our tiny goblin heads bowed in mourning, and we joined Kaka in a somber moment of remembrance for our lost hatchling friend. 

"Tummy hurt... hurts bad. Make eyes water," one hatchling whined, clutching his belly.

"Why gobbie friend not wake up? Where did he go?" another asked, his eyes wide with confusion.

"Wh-Why gobbie friend go away?" one hatchling stammered, his lower lip trembling as he clung to Kaka's filthy feet.

"Gobbie was our friend, Kaka. Friends no go away, right?" another goblin sniffled, rubbing his eyes with grimy fists.

"Kaka, tell gob to wake up! Tell him we want to play more!" a hatchling whimpered, his voice filled with yearning.

"Gob was nice to Goober, Kaka. Why does he not play with Goober anymore?" a timid goblin asked, his plump cheeks streaked with dirt-stained tears.

Amidst our muffled sobs and bewildered questions, Kaka's goblin arms enveloped us all, his gruff voice offering what comfort it could in our shared sorrow.

Kaka struggled to find the right words, his goblin brain grasping for an explanation suitable for our innocent hearts, "Little gob gone to a better place, little ones. He won't feel pain or hunger anymore. He's with the goblin spirits, watching over us."

But suddenly, our grieving moment was interrupted by a pained screech that pierced the air like a wounded animal, "Wreeeeee!"

Kaka stirred, eyes darted anxiously from one of us to another, as if he were counting us. A few seconds later, he yelped in fear, his voice trembling, "Little gobbies! One more is missing! One more hatchling is missing! No no no! Where did he go?! Did anyone see him?!"

We huddled together, our faces twisted in fear, our tiny hearts pounding with anxiety. Whispers of confusion and worry filled the air, each goblin expressing their bewilderment and dread.

"Had we seen anyone go?" a hatchling mumbled, his voice shaky.

Another chimed in, "No, Kaka, we don't know! We were all together, and then... and then one was gone!"

A racket of shrill voices erupted in response to Kaka's distress, "Missing? Hatchling gone? Where? What happened?!"

I watched as fellow hatchlings, their faces etched with fear and confusion, scuttled about, frantically looking in every direction as if the lost hatchling might magically reappear. Some sniffed the ground, hoping to pick up a trail, while others clung to each other in terror.

Another pained squeak echoed through the tall grass, "Reeeee!"

Kaka acted swiftly, gathering us one by one and sheltering us in the safety of his meaty ear cocoon. With urgency, he rushed toward the direction from which the scream had come. It didn't take long - just a few steps away, we encountered a grass snake coiled around our fellow hatchling.

Kaka scanned his surroundings, searching for anything to fend off the snake's deadly grip. His frantic gaze landed on a small, gnarled stick lying nearby. He snatched it up and wound it back, ready to strike the serpent when our wide eyes filled with shock.

In that horrifying moment, we watched as our poor goblin friend's head exploded under the crushing pressure of the coiled snake. With a quick hiss, the serpent darted away, leaving its lifeless prey behind. 

Kaka fell to his knees, tears streaming down his wrinkled and brused face. The branch he had wielded slipped from his trembling hand and plopped onto the ground.

We tiny goblins tumbled out of Kaka's meaty ears, our bodies hitting the ground with painful thuds. We scrambled to our feet and rushed to our crushed friend. One of us tugged at the headless body, shaking it and squeaking in sorrow, "Gobbie friend! Get up! Get up! Please! Do not leave us! Gobbie friend! Please, get up!"

But it was too late; he was missing a head, and there was nothing any of us could do to help him now.

As the realization of our friend's tragic demise sank in, sorrow enveloped us like a suffocating fog. We clustered around the lifeless body, our tiny goblin hearts heavy with grief. Some of us wept silently, our tears mingling with the dirt on our faces. Others simply stood in stunned silence, unable to comprehend the cruel twist of fate that had befallen our friend.

Kaka, his face streaked with tears, gently picked up the headless hatchling and cradled him in his arms. He murmured a mournful prayer in the goblin's tongue, a lament for the lost soul, as he rocked the lifeless body back and forth.

Our tiny voices joined in a mournful chorus, each goblin expressing their sadness and confusion. We babbled and wailed, our voices rising and falling in a clamor of sorrow. Some of us clung to Kaka's legs, seeking solace in his comforting presence.

"Gobbie friend gone... reeeeee!"

"Squeak...! Snakey bad!"

"Reeee... miss gobbie friend..."

Kaka gently laid the lifeless hatchling on the ground and began to dig a shallow grave with his bare hands. We watched in somber silence as he carefully placed our friend in the makeshift tomb and covered him with dirt.

As the last clump of earth was placed atop the grave, Kaka muttered a final farewell to our fallen comrade. Then, with tears still in his eyes, he turned to us, his voice trembling, "We must go on, little gobs. We must remember our friends and honor their memory by surviving in this harsh world. Stick together, and we will endure."

We nodded in agreement, tears still staining our puffy cheeks as we huddled closer to one another and Kaka, seeking whatever comfort we could find in this world of sorrow and danger.

After a few minutes of grieving, we finally started to walk. Kaka gathered us all in his ears and picked up the pointy stick from the ground. He pointed the stick toward a massive tree that was down on the ground, decaying and rotting, and said, "Listen up little gobs. Now we'll head to our secret goblin slave eatery. It's time for a scrumptious feast to fill our bellies with some crunchy critters and bugsies, maybe even a juicy earthworm if we're lucky."

Our chorus of clicks and chirps filled Kaka's meaty ear sanctuary as we rejoiced at the prospect of filling our starving bellies. After a few minutes of trudging through the tall grass, Kaka gently set us down by the rotting tree. As he began to explain, our tiny forms trembled in anticipation, drool escaping our eager lips.

"Listen good, little gobs," Kaka spoke with a grumble, "This here, this tree, it's treasure for us. Full of crunchy, tasty bugs and worms. We goblins love bugs and worms. But we gotta be sneakety, not let the bad creatures know we're here."

We nodded vigorously, our eyes wide with hunger and fear.

"First," Kaka continued, "we look for bugs and worms under the bark. See?" He demonstrated by digging his stubby fingers into the rotting wood and pulling out a wriggling beetle.

 "Like this. Then, we gotta check inside the holes. Bugs like to hide in there."

Our tiny forms copied Kaka's actions, poking and prodding at the holes in the tree, our nimble fingers pulling out creepy crawlies with glee.

"Good, good!" Kaka praised, "Now, remember, don't eat the ones that look all spiky or weird colors. They might be bad for gobs like us. Stick to the regular bugs. And if you find worms, even better. Worms are juicy and tasty. But do not go chasing ants, they are nasty bugs."

Kaka's voice continued to guide us, his words a strange mix of goblin wisdom and the harsh reality of our lives. 

"This, little gobs," he grumbled, "is a secret munch spot for us slavey goblins. Whenever we sneak away from the camp, we come here to stuff our bellies with whatever bites we can snatch. We've put these big ol' rocks near the stinky wood to draw out the creepy crawlies and nibbles."

Our big, meaty ears perked up like sails on a rickety goblin ship, flapping eagerly in the wind, our wide, beady eyes scanning the rocks and crannies for the secret treasures hidden beneath them. Kaka's words were like a bubbling stream of wisdom, and we clung to them with greedy hearts, our bellies growling like thunder in the distance, yearning for a taste of the riches he promised.