Original fiction by Dr. Lindsey Scholl, Logic School Academic Director
We all know that we should encourage our children to read and that we should read to them. We also know that as our children get older, it can become difficult to find something appropriate to offer them. It is therefore in the spirit of easy access to edifying, enjoyable literature that TCS offers you this original series to read to your kids, or read to yourself. We will resume our regular blog posts in August, but for now, we want to introduce you to Thrill, a goblin in search of redemption. You will be able to follow his story every couple of weeks in-between our regular articles. Thanks! Dr. Scholl
Thrill, Son of Werva
There is more traffic underground than you could possibly imagine, especially if you live near a mountain. What you think are solid walls of rock are actually gray curtains hiding a maze of tunnels, caverns, and conference centers, all carved and used by the most ingenious creatures you could imagine. They are the goblins, and they work with stone as easily as you work with pencil and paper.
Goblins love to carve, and they love to talk about themselves. So it was inevitable that at some point they would carve into stone what they thought about life as a goblin. Such an inscription does exist, but it lies in the moist darkness under the mountain, chiseled deeply into stone and soaring high above your head. Goblins enjoy using cumbersome words, so it is difficult to read. But if you persevere, you will know goblins better than any human ever has.
These are the words written in the dark.
The Declaration of Goblin Rights
The Declaration of Goblin Rights, drafted by the Goblin Senatorial Committee (hereafter named GSC) and approved by the International Goblin Congress, in which Goblin rights and feelings are addressed. The drafters of this Declaration are of the belief that certain negative views toward Goblins have shaped the majority of presentations concerning our kind. Consequently, Goblin-kind has been maliciously attacked, libeled, and humiliated in the eyes of the public.
In the interest of this same public and for the preservation of world order, this Declaration will withhold specifics regarding the offending parties. It is sufficient to say that certain publications concerning Hobbit-kind have debased Goblin-kind by characterizing it as terrifying, cruel, and foul-smelling. Such characterizations have been the cause of multiple anti-Goblin protests and attacks. Other certain publications, while pretending to present a more honest view of Goblin-kind, have nevertheless classed Goblins as avaricious, unkind, and attached to the banking profession to an unhealthy degree.
This Declaration asserts that such negative treatment is inaccurate, unnecessary, and detrimental to the cause of a diverse yet peaceful global population. We the GSC and with the approval of the International Goblin Congress, therefore propose that the following articles be honored by all races as essential to proper and sensitive Goblin relations…
Several articles followed. Few have read them, or read the prologue, since they were carved not only hundreds of feet above the ground, but also on a sheer wall that faced another sheer wall just a few yards away. Because of this placement, even if the entire Declaration were illuminated, it would still be impossible to read it all at once. It was not illuminated, nor did any paper copies survive. They had been lost either through great carelessness or evil intent. If one went up to the upper level of the facing wall, one could see the words “Declaration of Goblin Rights, drafted by the Goblin Senatorial Committee (hereafter named GSC) and approved by the International Goblin Congress…” but after that the words faded into thick, close darkness. In consequence, shortly after the words were inscribed, they were forgotten. By the time of our story, most goblins were only familiar with the last few lines of the Declaration, which could be viewed from a large cavern located at the bottom of the facing wall.
Ambassador to Human-kind, currently under Goblin mind-lock
Lead Advocate of the Goblin Rights Committee, co-chair of World Domination Board
Both Steve Jensen and Werva had long since passed away, as had all the other signers of the Declaration. To them belonged the ages past, but their ringing proclamation of Goblin Rights had echoed down through the years. The fact that few goblins could not read their words did not stop them from having an influence. They provided every goblin with the comfort that, as their eyes strained upward into the darkness, somewhere above them were written truths about themselves and truths about their kind. They were good truths, different from what they usually heard from humans or dwarves. Whereas others labeled goblins as useless and mean, (when they bothered to speak about them at all), these stony words were different. They said that goblins were somehow, in some way, likeable.
These days, there was not much traffic past the Declaration. Occasionally, there would be a school trip; little goblinites would gather under the words, jumping up to touch the ‘d’ in “Board,” and otherwise ignore the wall’s sober message. Even more infrequently there would be a scholar who, over the course of an argument with another scholar, had insisted that Werva was the last of twelve signers instead of four. If grant money allowed, he would gather all the lights he could to study the spacing of the words, length of the letters, and the shavings in the upper part of “Steve.” Occasionally he would get tantalizing glimpses of another row of letters. Several years before the time of our story, an engineer had noticed these other letters, which had set off a storm of articles, counter-articles, monographs (books written on one subject and one subject only), and editorials. Despite great efforts of the academic community, The truth was that all that could be seen of these words was the very bottom of each letter, which told nobody anything.
This day, just one goblin stared up at Steve and Werva. His name was Thrill, and he was the great, great grandson of Werva. This was no remarkable claim: one quarter of the population was descended from Werva. If there were other goblin names up there, the other three quarters were likely descended from them, though no one could prove it. It was a safe assumption that Steve had no descendants.
Thrill was young, just barely out of school. He worked at the library as a book stacker. He was not allowed to read the books, of course; only the librarians were permitted to do that, and only under extreme circumstances. But he enjoyed their feel, their weight, and their smell. He could smell quite well. Like all goblins, he had a large nose, large ears, and large eyes. His skin was cool and gray, without hair, and was covered by a plain shirt and pants. No shoes were necessary; goblin feet were tough and their floors well swept.
Thrill loved the words. He was often at Cavern D, staring at the wall and thinking of the world outside. He loved Steve, even though he had been under mindlock, and he loved Werva, Co-Chair of the World Domination Board. He could picture them in his mind’s eye: strong, capable figures who changed history. The fact that the Declaration had never seen the light of day did not bother Thrill. It was there in stone, and one day it would be acknowledged as truth by all the races.
To be continued. . .
Part 2: Thrill admits to a crime.