Apr/May 2006  •   Fiction

The Goblin

by Jonathan Redhorse

Corse the cows died. The cattleda died anyow. Theyda ben soldoff en slotturden mashed up inta little patties for me an you to cook up en fry at dinnytime.

The Goblin nocked on our door during dinny. E was an ungry lad lookin for somethin to eat as ees always ben. We new eed a slotturd the cattle en eaten em one bi one. Weed a erd the mooscreems late in the nite. Eld out is and end asked for munny. Regnold gayvit to impolitelike like e asked. The munny was nuttin. The Goblin e cursed us en wentenisway. Regnold came back en asked us all to finish our meel. The Goblin watched us thru the windo pain as we ate en ate en ate. E tapped on the glass. Carl shivvered Alice shooken young Pattie jus looked around all inocentlike. Regnold ate. I ate. Ignore im! I sed We gayvim somethin now eat yer stake!

Regnolden I dint sleep. Yoosed to surtinly. Sleep all nite. Nothin to it. Jus a matter a closin the ize en thinkin bout nuttin. With the cattle ded tho it was a bit dificult. We new twas a stalling mesure. The Goblin’d be back. We erd the chikkens that nite bockking and sqweeling and no Regnolden I dint sleep. I erd the noises rountheousen checkeden sawtwas only Alicen Carl talkinta Pattie crying inner bed.


The next morn Regnold went en chekked on the chikkens. Ther eds ur gone en the rest a them left allover the yard. Kood see the blood thru the fog, e sed, dint eat anythin seemed like. Dunno wot wur gonna do Mildred, Regnold sed to me, its gettin spensive. E glanced round the kitchen en seemed weary. So I hugged im and oped that wud elp. E just stared for a long time at the floor.

Later Regnold left fer town on bizness en I cooked brekfast fer the kids. I fried the last a the eggs en warmed bred with the mold pikked off. Carl Alicen Pattie came down in ther peejays, still rubbin there ize. Carl was 9. Alice was 7. Pattie was 5. They dint say much cept thanks wen they finished. I spent an our pikking lice off the kids eds and dug at ther skabby skalps smashing nits with my nails. They skwirmed en moaned without somuchasa thanks mum afterwords.

Thunder it en kraked en rain fell en then we erd a nock on the door. The kids ran en I ansered it.

The Goblin stood on the porch as tall as my wayst. E shivvered en wet from the rain en snot dripped owta is nose greenlike is skin. Is ize wide en suffrin, I invited im in.

Shookiseden sed no, anding me a letter. Then off e went, wanderin off into the fog en rain. I went back inside and opened the wet letter.

E rote:

pardon the intruzshon maam

foggy wether we been havin eh reel coldlike at nicht ope ya ben able to stay warm

myt be wonderin wot the notes all bout seeings dressed to yaall en all

wen me pater kept this land e yoosed to tell bout how id havta keepit tended en safen in the famly

lild i know itd be a diffcult task wot with bein surroundeden all by the lotaya not that im complanin wotsdonesdone and soz on and soz fort

the problem is me famlys longone en offen the mines en no onesere to keep me compny

notis ya got a child or too ta sparen i was wonderin praps a deal cud be made

i leev yer cowsen farm alonen ya gimme a child asa trade

no ya gimme rententhelike notlike i ken use it muchplace tho think boutit a childedbe a proper pay for the land yer in ill even leevyalone fer the nicht without botherin yer farm.

pleese think bout the offer maam


Thatwas thend of is letter. I put it back in its envelop en sed to the kidstwas alright. The Goblin was gon. Do yor chors pleez.

Upon Regnolds return I showed im the letter. E redit best as e cud en then I elped im en then e new wot itwas bout. Nyther of us new wot to do boutit. Wotwud e want with a child, Regnold sed. I dunno, I sed back, wotar we gonna do.

Regnold told me bout is bizness in town. E told me we were gonna havtodo somethin or els we’d be in trubble. Whatabout Pattie, he sed.

That nite, the Goblin dint bother us. Itwas calm thru the nite. But nonufusslept. I went downstares en found Alice reeding the Goblin’s letter. She looked upatme and stared for a longtime enay told er to gotosleep en notowurry.

We agreed thatay had to take Pattie owt. Pattie trusted me the most, Regnold sed. Sheed think it odd if Regnold tooker out for a walk.

Comalong now, I sed, lets go Pattie. Alicen Carl watched us gloomlylike as Pattien I left the ouse.

Wherere we goin, Pattie sed skaredlike.

Em gonna show you the woods, I sed.

Whattabout Alicen Carl, Pattie sed.

Theyve alreddy seen the woods, I sed.

O, she sed.

I thot about telling Pattie to run, butay new the Goblin wud no en find er or become angry en drive us to ruin. Soay led er to the center of the woods en tolder to sit in the clearin.

Why, she said.

Waitensee, I sed, Em going to leeve yooere for justawhile.

Why, she sed.

Waitensee, I sed, be good, enay started makin my way outta the woods, saying Waitensee. Walked across the meadow tords the ouse. Kept on sayin, Waitensee, to me all the way ome.

Nite fell fast with the clowds comin. Me, Regnold, Alicen Carl ate at dinnytime. Nonufuss talked. It started to rain. Regnold bit is tungen winced. Eeda taken Pattie’s dinnychair outta the room en left it outside en the rain.

That nite, nonufusslept. Regnold en I stayed up in bed. We dint talk. Around midnite we erd screems far off. Regnold en I uddled under the covers en closed our eyes. We pretendedto sleepuntil the sunrose, thinkin everything wud be alright enthen we sleptallday.