Chapter 37:

Chapter 37 Looming Adventure Beyond

Hermit's Diary

With a tentative plan forming, we exchanged worried glances but resolved to face the unknown. The fear of the pig-wolf lingered like a ghost in our minds, but soon returning gnawing hunger pushed us to consider venturing beyond the safety of our familiar turf in search of sustenance. We braced for the looming adventure beyond the depleted food source, where the pig-wolf and other imagined monsters awaited in the shadows.

Before parting ways, we gathered for a final emotional huddle, our tiny bodies pressed together in a display of fellowship. The exchange of warm cuddles and hushed words of encouragement served as a silent acknowledgment that we might not meet again. 

Squabble, his eyes wide with worry, cried, "Huddle tight, gobbies! Scary out there, like dark with big teeth! Me going to miss you all!" He clung to Scratchy, their leaf coats entangled in a clumsy attempt at an emotional embrace.

Scratchy, trying to lighten the mood, chimed in, "No worry, Squabble! We find num-nums, come back safe! Maybe even bring a maggot feast!" He wiggled his eyebrows with an attempt at a confident grin, which turned into an unintentional snarl.

Tinker muttered, "Stay safe, gobbies. Watch out for grass monsters and sneaky bugs. Be sneaky, sneaky, like little shadows!" He demonstrated with a witty tiptoe, prompting a round of giggles.

Squeak added in a squeaky voice, "Me scared, but me brave too! I find yummies and come back fast!" He stood on his tiptoes as if trying to appear taller, an adorable and funny gesture.

As we pressed our tiny bodies together, the collective goblin chatter filled the air with a clamor of absurdity. The exchange of warm cuddles turned into a chaotic jumble of flailing limbs and unintentional pokes, creating a scene that was both heartwarming and comically awkward.

With a last emotional huddle and warm cuddle, we exchanged words of encouragement and a promise.

"We meet back here at the tunnel when the sky goes dark. Wait for others but do not go looking if one does not return. Goodbye, gobbies!"

With a final, almost nonsensical rallying cry of "Go gobbies! Find num-nums!" we broke the huddle, each of us heading in our designated direction with a mixture of fear and anxiety etched on our faces.

As we dispersed into the unknown, each team ventured into the tall grass with fear and worry. Tinker and Squeak, their small forms barely visible amidst the vegetation, scuttled to the left side of the tunnel. Squabble and Scratchy, their leaf coats rustling, moved forward with a shared glance of anxiety. I, the lone goblin on the right side, set off with a cautious stride, my eyes darting nervously between the swaying grass blades.

As I ventured deeper into the tall grass, my eyes scanned the surroundings for any sign of potential danger. The tall grass loomed like a fortress, hiding secrets my imagination could not ponder. The distant calls of unknown creatures added to the eerie atmosphere, amplifying the sense of fear.

Hours crawled by like reluctant snails as I painstakingly moved through the dense vegetation. Every pebble, every stone, received my scrutiny as if it held the secret to our survival. I checked every nook and cranny, my eyes darting nervously, searching for signs of life or an undiscovered cache of precious num-nums. The tall grass towered over me like an ancient forest, its secrets teasing my imagination with every step.

"Oh, tummy grumble a lot, but no give up! No, no," I muttered to myself, my goblin brain in a confusing mix of hunger and fear.

 "Stupid mud, want to eat gobbie feet, but gobbie won't let it! No, no." I giggled, imagining the mud as a naughty creature trying to pull me in and nibble on my toes.

"Sweaty face, yucky, yucky. But num-nums out there, num-nums! Gobbie not give up, gobbie find num-nums," I chanted to boost my own spirits. The beads of sweat on my face became a badge of honor, a sign that I, the brave lone goblin, was on a grand adventure.

"Muddy feet, go squish-squish. Leave gobbie mark, gobbie trail! Maybe friends find gobbie trail and say, 'Look, gobbie was here!'" I chuckled, imagining my friends discovering my tiny footprints. The goblin brain, fueled by hunger and a touch of silliness, rambled on as I trudged through the muddy terrain.

 The muddy ground seemed to suck at my feet with every step, threatening to drag me into the abyss of exhaustion. Yet, driven by the desperate need for sustenance, I pressed on, my tired feet dragging through the muck, leaving a trail of tiny foot imprints.

Suddenly, a subtle movement caught my eye - an intricate dance of blades of grass that seemed to part like a curtain revealing a hidden world. 

"Eh? What's that? Num-nums smell? Maybe sneaky bugs? Sneaky bugs have num-nums smell too, right?" I scratched my head, eyeing the intricate dance of grass blades with wide-eyed confusion. 

With cautious anticipation, I approached the mysterious opening, the scent of num-nums lingering in the air. My heart raced as I uncovered a small clearing, and to my delight, a cluster of overgrown mushrooms adorned the damp ground. The mushrooms were towering over my tiny form and even the tall grass. 

"Ooh, lookie, lookie! Giant mushy-mushies! Num-nums hiding in the mushy-mushies, me thinks!" I shouted in a high-pitched, excited goblin voice, my eyes widening with delight.

I came close, my tiny fingers poking at the mushrooms with curiosity.

 "What if mushy-mushies have tiny bugs? Bugs are crunchy, num-nums!" I giggled at the thought, imagining the crunchy delight of tiny, hidden bugs within the mushrooms.

As the intoxicating sweet scent of mushrooms enveloped the air, I couldn't contain my excitement at the sight of the towering mushy-mushies. Their oversized red caps, adorned with peculiar white patterns, beckoned to be explored. 

Unable to resist the allure of the giant mushrooms, I opened my maw as wide as I could and chomped down on a stem, tearing off a big chunk. The tingling sensation on my tongue felt odd, but I paid it no mind, reveling in the perceived bounty before me. My relentless feasting continued as I ripped chunks of soft, rotten mushroom with my hands, stuffing them down my throat into my already full-to-the-brim belly. Before long, I resembled a plump, round ball with only my limbs protruding, my cheeks bulging from the overindulgence of the mysterious mushrooms.

As the effects of the poisonous mushrooms took hold, my blissful ignorance gave way to a nightmarish reality. I convulsed on the ground, foam bubbling out of my mouth, my eyes bulging and dilating. The initial euphoria of the feast turned into a grotesque spectacle as my body succumbed to the toxic effects.

 I writhed on the ground, resembling a poisoned rat that had overdosed on a deadly concoction. The num-nums that had seemed so enticing moments ago now betrayed me, and I lay sprawled on the damp ground, the consequences of my ill-fated feast.

As the swirling colors and distorted reality enveloped my goblin senses, my nut-sized brain struggled to comprehend the chaos. The world spun in a kaleidoscope of hues, a dizzying display that left my already meager cognitive functions in disarray. With a feeble attempt, I pushed myself off the ground, stumbling blindly through the psychedelic landscape. The toxic poison coursing through my veins added a bizarre layer to my disorientation, amplifying the surreal experience.

In my stupefied state, I tumbled further into the unknown, each step a blind tumble. The surroundings blurred into a chaotic tapestry, and I collapsed into the wet mud, the intoxicating mixture of colors and sensations overwhelming my goblin senses.

Hours drifted by like elusive shadows, and finally, I stirred from my stupor as a cold breeze kissed my sensitive goblin skin. Frightened convulsions wracked my tiny frame, and I instinctively curled up into a ball. My eyes darted around, pupils dilated, desperately trying to make sense of the unfamiliar surroundings.

 The forest, with its tall trees and thick foliage, had replaced the familiar tall grass near the camp. I was now completely lost, the memory of how I arrived here obscured by the fog of confusion induced by the toxic poison.

Fear gnawed at me as I realized the gravity of my situation. The forest loomed with an alien intensity, its mysterious depths hiding unknown dangers. The goblin within me, normally driven by childlike curiosity, now grappled with a primal fear of the unknown that lurked in the heart of the mysterious forest grounds.

Me, feeling all dizzy and wobbly with my brain barely working, I mumbled to myself, "Ugh! Ufff...! What happened? Colors everywhere! Goblin's brain is confused. Where... where goblin? Lost! Not camp. Tall things, scary things! Goblins not like tall things!"

I tried to stand but instead, I stumbled.

 "Oof...! Ground moving? No, goblin moving. Goblin confused. Need help! Anyone here? Hello?! Goblin alone. No friends. No tasty bugs. Scary trees! Maybe trees eat goblin. Bad trees!"

I looked around with wide eyes, my brain attempting profound thoughts, "Goblin needs a plan. Plan to not be eaten by scary trees. Maybe crawl? Yes, crawl. Sneaky goblin! Sneak through a scary forest. Find camp. Find friends. Not be eaten by trees. Smart goblin!"

I attempted to crawl but ended up rolling in mud, "Goblin failed. Too dizzy. Mud good. Soft mud. Maybe sleep? Nap in mud. Zzzz..."