Chapter 35:

Chapter 35 Gleeful Ignorance

Hermit's Diary

The air inside the tent hung heavy with the scent of goblin urine, sweat, feces, dirt, and the intense musk of filthy goblin hatchlings. The feeble structure, held together by a precarious arrangement of sticks, vines, and tattered giant leaves, offered little protection from the harsh elements that raged outside the tent.

 I took a look at starved-to-the-bone, beaten, and tortured hatchlings that bore scars of brutal abuse. Their once vibrant green skin, now dulled and blotchy, clung to their frail frames like a tattered cloak. Sunken eyes, rimmed with dark circles, held a haunted emptiness, reflecting the toll of endless suffering.

Their scrawny bodies, covered in patches of feces and grime, spoke volumes about the neglect and poor care they endured. Bruises, welts, and lumps, the cruel imprints of relentless beatings, marred their small forms, a sign of the brutality they faced daily.

The once-cuddly and adorable personalities were crushed by fear and terror, their childlike glee replaced by a quiet sorrow. Their limbs, though designed for childish play and exploration, moved with a sluggishness that betrayed the exhaustion within. Each movement, each glance, told a story of survival in a world that had little regard for their well-being.

With clumsy scuttles and awkward moves, the gobbies rushed around Kaka in a circle with a hushed clamor, "What do, what do? Kaka hurt, need help! Look at Kaka, not good, not good. Gobbies scared. Gobbies will be no more without Kaka."

 I raised my voice slightly above a whisper, a hushed urgency in my tone, I addressed my fellow hatchlings, "Gobbos! Kaka needs morsel and quencher! We need to feed Kaka! Kaka needs our help, this time we need to help him."

The goblin crowd, still gripped by a mix of fear and concern, shifted uncomfortably. From the hesitant gathering, one goblin, a timid soul named Tinker, meekly stepped forward and stammered, "B-but we are starving! We had no tasty grub or quenchy since we left the egg cave. We barely survived all this time by lapping the wet thing from the sky that fell on the ground. And the beatings! Oh, the beatings were ruthless! We want morsel, but where do we get morsel?!"

I whispered, "We go outside the camp, and bring tasty bugs for Kaka. Feed Kaka till his belly is happy. I dig a tunnel under a big wall, the secret path to critters. But we are crafty, sneaky gobbies. Wear leaves on the back, and hide from evil guards' eyes. Smart gobbies stay safe, and get lots of num-nums for friends!"

A murmur of uncertainty rippled through the hatchlings, but the idea of helping Kaka overcame their hesitation. The hatchlings exchanged glances, a mix of fear and hope in their wide goblin eyes. Tinker, a scrawny and timid hatchling, mustered the courage to step forward, despite his initial hesitation, nodded in agreement, "We help, we help Kaka. We will be crafty and sneaky, like you."

The hatchlings exchanged nervous glances, their small frames quivering with fear and anxiety. Despite their unease, a shared longing to help Kaka bound them together. Squabble, with an insatiable appetite for delicious bugs and wormsies, eagerly followed suit. 

"Wormies are tasty! I will help! Squabble is good at helping and sneaking!"

The scene took a comical turn as two more hatchlings, Scratchy and Squeak, tumbled forward in an enthusiastic attempt, tripping over each other in their eagerness.

"Scratchy wanna help too! I do! I do! For Kaka! For tasty morsel!" 

"Squeak help too! We all help Kaka!"

I stood tall, or as tall as a goblin hatchling could, and held up a leaf with pride.

 "See this, little gobbies? We're gonna make leaf coats to be sneaky so that the big gobbies would not see us. Watch and learn!" 

Tinker, the timid one, squinted at the leaf in my hand, "Leaf coat? What that?" he asked, his voice curious.

I grinned, "Watch closely! We punch holes," I demonstrated by jabbing the leaf with my tiny fist, "then we wear it, just like this!" With a triumphant twirl, I draped the leaf over my shoulders, creating a makeshift coat. The gobbies stared at me, their eyes filled with wonder.

Squabble, yelled, "Whoa, leaf coat! So cool! Looks cozy and warm too!" He mimicked my actions, attempting to punch holes with his spindly fingers, but the leaf tore into a mess. 

"Uh-oh," he muttered, looking at the torn leaf, but I reassured him with a hearty laugh.

"Don't worry, Squabble! We're just practicing! Now, watch the next part." I threw myself to the ground with a theatrical thud.

"We crawl on the dirt, like this! Slowly, like sneaky gobbies." I demonstrated a slow and exaggerated crawl, my fellow hatchlings watching with rapt attention.

Tinker, attempting to mimic my fall, stumbled and giggled. 

"Look, I do too!" he laughed, falling onto the ground beside me. The other two, Scratchy and Squeak, joined in with their versions of the fall, creating a chaotic scene of goblin antics.

 "Great job, little gobbies! Now, let's all wear our leaf coats and crawl, just like we're going on a secret mission!" The hatchlings, each clad in their unique leaf coats, giggled and clumsily crawled in a line.

With our makeshift leaf attire securely strapped to our backs, we embarked on our mission, crawling through the dirt toward the oppressive walls of the goblin camp. The fate of Kaka rested on our small shoulders, and the hatchlings were ready to do everything in their power to bring him the sustenance he so desperately needed.

The hatchlings, their leaf coats flapping with every unsteady crawl, exchanged glances as they moved through the dirt toward the towering walls of the goblin camp. Still clutching his leaf coat with fearful eyes, Tinker quietly spoke up in his scratchy goblin voice, "We need to look out for the evil goblins! Let's move slowly! And look, look!"

Squabble, his stomach audibly growling, added with a scared voice, "Yep! Evil gobs will eat us if we get caught! Like bugs or wormsies! We be gobbies no more but a snack!"

Scratchy, stumbling a bit in his leaf coat, chimed in, "We move on! Save Kaka from big bad guards! Bring lots of munchies!"

Squeak, with a hushed giggle, chuckled and said, "Ghehehe! Leaf coats sneaky! Guards no see us! We get food, save Kaka, feed everyone!"

I nodded in agreement, my leaf coat barely holding together, and whispered, "Quiet like mice, little gobbies. Sneaky, sneaky, so guards no catch us! Not hear us!"

As we approached the camp walls, Tinker, wide-eyed, whispered, "Look! Big walls are scary, but we brave gobbies! For Kaka!"

Squabble, already imagining the feast ahead, grinned and said, "Walls no stop us! We are too smart and sneaky!"

Scratchy, excitedly pointing to a hole in the ground, shouting, "Look! The secret way in! We found a tunnel, save Kaka!"

Squeak added, whispering, "Guards do not see gobbies. We masters of sneak!"

 Tinker, gazing at the entrance, mutters, "We should hurry and get inside the tunnel!"

Squabble, catching on to the idea, cheered, "Yeah! We hurry before evil gobs find us!"

Scratchy added, "Tasty bugs! Eat all day!"

In the confined darkness of the tunnel, the starved hatchlings caught their first glimpse of the Grub worms. What followed was a scene straight out of Goblin's absurdity. With wide-eyed excitement, Tinker, the scrawny and timid one, blurted out, "Wormies! Yummy wormies! I want wormies, yum-yum!" He dove headfirst into the pile, his leaf coat fluttering like a flag of unbridled hunger.

Squabble, with a perpetual grin plastered on his face, chimed in, "Grab wormies and eat, but no biting fingers! Fingers for eating later! Wormies! I eat lots, get big and strong, yes!" His enthusiastic dive into the worm pile sent dirt flying in all directions as he wrestled with the squirming Grub worms.

Scratchy and Squeak, always in their little world, giggled uncontrollably, "Wormies dance!" Squeak declared with joy, performing a clumsy jig that sent worms scattering in confusion. Scratchy, not to be outdone, added, "Me king of wormies! Bow to Scratchy!" as he draped a worm around his leaf-coated shoulders like a makeshift royal robe.

Amidst the feeding frenzy, I tried to maintain a semblance of order, urging, "Slowly, little gobbies! Save some for Kaka!" But my attempts at restraint were met with gleeful ignorance as the hatchlings continued their uncoordinated and exaggerated feeding.

As the last morsels disappeared into the greedy mouths of the hatchlings, a moment of eerie stillness settled over the tunnel. The air was thick with the scent of earth and worm juice. The gobbies, their bellies finally filled, emitted satisfied burps that echoed through the cramped space.

Taking charge, I impaled what remained of the Grub worms with makeshift splinters, creating a skewered offering that we could carry back to Kaka. With our impromptu skewers in hand, the hatchlings and I hurried back through the tunnel, the damp soil beneath us echoing with the pitter-patter of tiny footsteps.

Upon returning to Kaka's side, we left Squeak and Tinker, who wanted to stay behind in the tunnel, eager to hunt for more critters to supplement our meager bounty. Armed with their wooden splinters, the duo emerged from the tunnel, their eyes gleaming with a mix of fear and curiosity. With cautious steps, they ventured to the other side of the towering wall, equipped to hunt for additional bugs or any small prey that might alleviate the persistent hunger.

When we stealthily crawled back to Kaka's tent, a somber scene unfolded before us. There he was, leaning against the sagging tent support, his limbs sprawled on the unforgiving ground. Kaka slouched, a mere husk of his former self. His head hung low, eyes half-closed, and lifelessness permeated every inch of his being.