My Goblin Boyfriend from Whispers Collection #1

“My dear girl.” She looked down her nose at me. “I think I know the difference between an elf and a goblin.”

Excerpt From My Goblin Boyfriend

“Obviously, there’s something unusual going on with the native fauna.” My neighbor Maggie Abromovitz spoke with the quaver of her eighty-some years. Our conversation had taken a quick left from mocking the recent excitement over a series of sightings of Bigfoot, a mountain lion twice the normal size, and/or a man raised by wolves. Eye roll.

“I’ll say.” We’d moved on to a discussion of the local Tolkienesque creatures. Again. Not that I minded.

“My dear Violet. A Goblin war, if that’s what’s going on, is not something to be taken lightly.” She gave me another look. “Whatever happened to that strapping young man of yours?”

“Kicked him to the curb six weeks ago.” I’m twenty-eight and a single girl these days because I told the cheating cheater boyfriend to get himself the hell out of my house which he did. Lately, though, I’ve been missing the human contact parts of having a boyfriend around. I like a big strong guy, and if there’s anything good to be said about my ex it’s that he was big and strong. In and out of bed.

Yeah. I like it like that.

“Hm.” She looked down her nose at me. “Can’t say as I ever cared for him much. I don’t feel he treated you as you deserve.”

She’s a sweet, cranky old lady, and we get along great. Maggie is a good friend. “You were right.”

“Nevertheless, a young woman alone? You should be careful.”

“I am.”

“Well, take my advice, if you’re ever lucky enough to meet any of the real creatures of magic be cautious, polite, and respectful of their place in nature.” She waved her hands in the air. “Don’t contaminate them.”

“No contamination.”

Maggie has white hair, steel-rimmed glasses, and dark brown eyes. She drives a 1978 Lincoln Continental that’s in pristine condition. She’s sharp as a tack, Maggie is. She lives in a geodesic-dome house about fives miles past my place. Whenever I visit her I wish I lived in a dome house, too.

I live near Occidental, California where there’s still communes, a decent amount of open space, and very large redwoods. If you’re at all familiar with that part of Northern California, you’re probably nodding. If you’re not, all you need to know is this is an out-of-the-way place with great food and a quirky population of retired and/or self-employed hippies.

Maggie comes over for tea every now and then. I stock the cookies she likes and keep a box of her favorite Oolong tea since she’s not a coffee hound like I am. I also keep a bottle of Pappy’s bourbon on hand because she prefers her tea medicated and, at her age, I see no reason not to spoil her with Kentucky’s best. We yak, and she eats cookies that taste like cardboard and drinks tea-flavored bourbon while I have espresso straight up and all the chocolate chip cookies I want.

My house is on twenty acres I inherited from my grandparents. It’s an 1880’s farm house at the north end of the property. There’s not many neighbors out my way. Maggie’s probably the closest one. Behind my house is nothing but open space and forest. It’s not much different in front of the house.

Sacred space, according to Maggie. Elves live here. So do pixies, fairies, werewolves, goblins, hobgoblins, and various and sundry other non-human sentient creatures. Tolkien, she maintains, should be read as a user manual that’s right in the broad strokes and dangerously wrong in the details. I’m always asking her how soon she’ll be done with her Official Guide to Magical Creatures of Northern Coastal California. Snort. From her non-answer, I figure she’s working on it.

According to her, Tolkien’s orcs were modeled on real goblins. Elves, which he made beautiful and noble, are notoriously bad-tempered, and every third full moon, the oaks and redwoods hold a dance. Hobbits and vampires are made up, and it’s a disgrace, she says, that Tolkien left out demons and the several varieties of shape shifter. I just nod and eat cookies. Maggie’s a hoot.

“Don’t call the authorities, either. They won’t understand.” She nibbled her vegan cookie. “Once, back in ‘65 I think it was, there was an unintended revelation—these things do happen from time to time—and a tourist called the Sheriff.”

“And?”

“And… the Sheriff shot the poor thing.”

“Dead?” I love when she comes over. Maggie has no shortage of stories, and I’ve heard the best ones several times. But this was new information for me, so even better.

“Their bodies decompose rapidly and, besides, they’re so good at hiding from us, a wounded creature especially so, that it’s highly unlikely even a skilled tracker with a Hellhound would find one. Dead or alive.” She sighed. “The most recent sightings are almost certainly goblin, though one can never be sure.”

“How do you know they’re not hobgoblins out tromping in the fields and scaring the children?”

Maggie took a long sip of her tea. “Hobgoblins are not that large.”

“An elf?”

“My dear girl.” She looked down her nose at me. “I think I know the difference between an elf and a goblin.”

“Okay, then.”

“Your grandmother used to see them all the time. One of the larger septs nests near here.”

“Elves or goblins? Or hobgoblins? Wait. Septs?”

I got another patented Maggie look. “My dear, elves wouldn’t be caught dead anywhere near Occidental. They prefer Cotati or Sebastopol. Hobgoblins moved up to Eureka a generation or more ago.”

“So, a goblin.”

Maggie leaned forward. “The owner of that new deli in Cotati is an elf passing for human.” She took a long drink of her tea and eyed the Pappy’s.

I gave the bottle a nudge in her direction. “Oh?”

She splashed more bourbon in her tea and after a test-taste, added a dollop more. “He’s thoroughly unpleasant.”

I nodded.

Maggie leaned forward and resettled her glasses on her nose. “Goblins, Violet, are magnificent lovers.”

A bite of my cookie went down the wrong way. Maggie waited until I could breathe.

“You’d never think it to look at them, but it’s true. They’re wild, of course, so things are bound to get rough, but they’re not selfish like the elves or the satyrs.” She leaned forward some more, and I gave her an encouraging smile. “Dear girl, you’re young and vital.”

“Thanks?”

She stage-whispered; “They have big cocks.”

Luckily, my mouth was empty.

She sat back, a smile on her wrinkled face. “One always likes a creature who knows what to do with his parts, you know.”

Right. So, that was that visit. After that, things got bat shit crazy.

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