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Kids Friendship Fantasy

Malt Anderson stopped vacuuming when a Brussels sprout rolled out of the hallway and bumped into his foot. He scratched his head and picked it up to make sure, and yes, it was indeed a Brussels sprout, out for a stroll in the living room.

He looked down the hall and saw another sprout roll out of the kitchen. It bumped off the wall and also wobbled towards the living room. Mom always said the apartment was tilted to one side, so he supposed it was true.

Then he heard a noise from the kitchen, and frowned. It was a grunt, a thud, a rip. A wet munch. It might have sounded like a dog, except they didn’t have a dog other than the imaginary one Malt used to imagine a year ago, when he was nine years old. He was too old for imagination now, and the apartment didn’t allow real pets. And they couldn’t afford a dog anyway.

The noise definitely didn’t sound like Mom or Dad, since neither were home. Malt set the vacuum down and approached the kitchen.

Their fridge was a brown war-era thing, heavy and dented. Its door was open and someone was rummaging in it. Malt’s frown deepened. He saw the back of a tiny, wide man, wearing a potato sack wrapped with a bungee cord, and tin cans for shoes. His legs were too short and his arms were too long, and his skin was a bumpy green. The little man was buried face first in their vegetable drawer, digging for gold.

“Hello?” said Malt.

The little man screamed. He fell over backwards and landed on his butt, and a torrent of cherry tomatoes showered him. Malt grimaced as they pelted the floor he had cleaned that morning, and when the last of them landed, the little man got up, retrieved a yogurt cup which he put on as a hat, and turned around.

His face was wide and flat with a bulbous nose and huge ping-pong ball eyes. He reminded Malt of a toad.

The toad man froze when he spotted Malt. Then, he said with a rumbling croak, “Oh craaaaaap!” Malt saw his mouth was filled with dozens of rows of jagged teeth, and numerous half-eaten vegetables.

“That’s rude,” Malt said.

The toad man hopped from foot to foot and licked his lips with a blue tongue. “Uh,” he said, his eyes darting around. “Hey, kid! Listen!” He held his hands out towards Malt and wiggled his fingers. “This is all a dream! You’re dreaming!”

“I am not,” Malt said.

The toad man made woo sounds.

“Stop that. Who are you?” Malt leaned against the doorframe and crossed his arms. “What are you?”

The toad man stopped woo-ing and lowered his arms. He let out a sad grunt. “I’m a groblin.”

“A goblin?”

“NOT,” the toad man said, “a goblin. A groblin.” Then he rolled his r. “Goblins aren’t real.”

“A groblin,” Malt repeated. “So… what’s a groblin?”

“I’m kind of, uh, like a guardian angel.”

“Really?” Malt’s eyes lit up.

“Yeah, only instead of guarding I’m more here to scare the crap out of you.”

“Oh.” Malt’s eyes lit down.

“It’s called grumpleflagritherning, and it’s kind of like haunting. Only we’re not ghosts. We’re groblins.”

“Grumple… feather…”

“Grumpleflagritherning,” the groblin said, and then he crossed his arms. “And let me tell you, kid, you don’t make it easy. Under the bed, in the closet, weird night noises – I give you my best material and I get nothing from you. Nothing! Not so much as an eep. Even now, you’re just standing there, not even trembling, even though you clearly see my terrifying, horrid, monstrous form. Aren’t you the least bit scared?”

“No,” Malt said. “I like toads.”

The groblin choked on his breath. “T-toad? I do not look like a toad!”

“Okay, sorry!”

The groblin glared at him but then waved it away. “Ah, forget it. What’s the point. Look at me, I’m reduced to stealing vegetables here. I’m going to lose my job.”

“Oh,” said Malt, looking at the floor. “Is it because you can’t scare me?”

“Yeah. See, scaring, that’s kind of like money where I come from. How come you don’t scare, anyway?”

Malt shrugged. “I’m a deep sleeper, I guess. I’m dead tired after cleaning all day.”

“Great,” the groblin said, kicking a radish.

Malt walked up to him and held out his hand. “My name’s Malt, by the way.”

The groblin hesitated, and then grabbed Malt’s hand. “Kramblitt.”

“That’s a weird name.”

“Don’t start, Malt.”

“Fair enough.” Malt looked around the kitchen, at the perfect mess Kramblitt had made of the place, and sighed. “Say, how about this. You help me clean this up, and I’ll give you some vegetables. That way it’s not stealing.”

“Fine, whatever.”

They got to cleaning and it went much faster with two of them. They even turned it into a game, with Kramblitt running around with the waste basket and Malt throwing garbage into it, and by the time they were done they were both laughing and out of breath.

“That was fun,” said Kramblitt.

“Yeah,” said Malt.

“Say… I’m not normally up during the day. Is this what you do all day? Just clean stuff?”

“When I’m not at school,” Malt said, nodding. “I do the cooking too.”

“Don’t you have parents, kid?”

“Mom works late,” Malt said, looking into the distance. “Dad travels.”

“What about friends?”

Malt took a while replying. “Nah. I’m not really that popular.”

“Oh,” Kramblitt said. The joy of cleaning was wearing off. “Sorry.” Malt shrugged.

They sat like that for a while, just resting on the kitchen floor, Malt deep in thought and Kramblitt drinking a can of beans. Then suddenly Kramblitt slapped the floor with his sticky paw, swack!

“I’ve got it!”

Malt startled at the noise. “Got what?”

“I’m not scary and you’re boring, right?”

Unpopular,” Malt said, glaring.

“Right, whatever. What if we could solve both problems at the same time?”

“What do you mean?”

Kramblitt giggled, displaying a jungle of jagged teeth. “It’s easy, pal. You just tell the other kids you got a real monster in your house. Then invite them over, and I’ll scare the crap out of them. I make my fright quota, and you get a reputation – the kid with the monster house. Oh, the fearless kid with the monster house.”

“I don’t know,” Malt said, but a smile was tugging at his lips. “How do I get them to come over?”

“Just tell them you got a, a, a… oh! How about this. A haunted bathroom. I got a great evil toilet routine, they’ll hate it.”

“But what if they don’t want to see it?”

“Easy. Just dare them. Pick the biggest, toughest, dumbest kid you know, and dare him right where everyone else can see. And the next day when he’s crying and terrified, everyone will know you’re telling the truth. And everyone will want to hang out with you.” Kramblitt let his words sink in. “So, Malt, what do you say? Partners?”

He held his hand out. Malt grabbed it. “Partners!”

***

Dino Forlani and his gang almost beat the bones out of Malt the next day at lunch, but when he shouted “I dare you!” loud enough for everyone to hear, the bully had no choice but to agree.

“But if you’re lying,” said Dino, “I’m gonna end you.”

They came over after school and Malt showed them the bathroom. Dino didn’t even get a foot in before the lid flew off the toilet and water started spraying everywhere, and the pipes roared like a tiger. He and his gang ran out of there, covered in toilet paper and tears.

The next day all of fourth grade was whispering about what might have happened, and suddenly Malt had volunteers eager to see the haunted toilet for themselves. By the end of the week, kids were talking about nothing else, with some recounting how cool it was, and others how terrified they were. Even some fifth graders showed an interest in seeing it.

And Kramblitt had saved up enough fright to buy a new pair of red boots and a feather cape. After they’d scare someone they’d roll around on the floor laughing.

“Told ya it would work!” Kramblitt said.

“This was a great idea!” Malt said.

Then they’d both clean up together, laughing all the way.

A week turned into a month. Most of the school had gone to see the haunted bathroom by now, and some had even gone twice. And the toilet was getting kind of boring. Everyone knew what to expect and the frights just weren’t there, so Malt and Kramblitt expanded their operations. Suddenly Malt had an evil toy chest, a possessed TV, a malicious deck of cards, a demonic bicycle. Even a haunted toaster.

The insatiable kids always wanted more and newer frights. Huge crowds formed around Malt as soon as he got to school, kids fighting for his attention, fighting for the right to get picked that night. Everyone loved him.

One day it was Stevie Doncaster’s turn. Malt knew Stevie was big into soccer, so he asked, “Hey, what if instead of seeing the devious coffee table, we just play some soccer after school?”

Stevie’s eyes lit up. “Oh? Do you have a haunted soccer ball!?”

“Um, no.”

“Then nah. Let’s see the coffee table!”

“Okay,” Malt agreed, frowning at the ground. He felt sad, but he wasn’t sure why. He had friends now, didn’t he? What was there to be sad about?

A few weeks later, when Melissa Simon had come over to see the vaguely irate duvet for the seventh time – she liked getting frightened, but not very frightened – things kind of flopped.

“Um,” she said, poking at the duvet. “It’s just sitting there. Is it broken?”

“No!” Malt said, putting on a fake smile. “I’m sure it’s just, ah, resting. It’ll get spooky right away.” He swallowed hard. “Um, just a sec, I just remembered I need to check on something.”

He hustled down the hall to his own room, and crawled halfway under his bed.

“Kramblitt!” he called out. Kramblitt lived under his bed, somewhere, in that one super dark corner at the far back.

He heard the distant sounds of Kramblitt laughing, crunching popcorn, and then some video game noises.

“Kramblitt! Where are you? We have a customer!”

The noises stopped, and were followed by a grunt, a thud, and then footsteps shuffling across the floor. Lots of footsteps, gradually growing louder. Kramblitt had explained the dark corner was much bigger than it appeared to be.

After a minute or so, Kramblitt stepped out of the darkness. He was wearing seal-skin slippers and a furry orange bathrobe, along with designer shades and a tiara. His fingers were covered with rings and he munched on a carrot.

“Oh, hey Malt,” he said, spraying carrot everywhere. “Didn’t see you there. What’s up?”

“What are you doing!? We have a client!”

Elsewhere in the apartment, Melissa called out, “This is lame! I’m going home!” Then a door slammed.

“Never mind,” Malt said.

“Oops,” Kramblitt said. “Oh well. Nothing wrong with taking a day off though, eh? Listen, I got enough fright saved up to last a while. I’m thinking I’m gonna take a vacation from the whole grumpleflagritherning thing.”

“Oh,” said Malt, frowning.

“Yeah, I want some time to play with new boat.”

“You bought a boat? Where do you even keep it?”

“Well, as you know,” Kramblitt said, “us groblins live in the places between spaces.”

“The what?”

“You know, where walls meet rooms, grass meets road, indoors meets outdoors, and left meets right. And as everyone knows, these places are mostly filled with water.”

“Wait, there’s water in the walls?”

“No, not in the walls. Between them and the floor. Pay attention, Malt.”

Malt frowned more.

“Anyway,” said Kramblitt, “I really want to get to know my new boat. I even put my Xbox on it! It’s awesome!”

“Oh cool! Can I see it?”

“Eh,” Kramblitt said, drawing it out. “You wouldn’t really fit. It’s kind of cramped in there for a human.”

“Oh.”

“I’ll tell you all about it though!”

“Okay,” Malt said, and Kramblitt disappeared back into the darkness.

***

Kramblitt spent a month motoring up and down the apartment and its neighbourhood in his new boat.

He blasted his music and played video games, gorging himself on junk vegetables all day. He bought three houses and six cars, and slept in a different nest each night. He had sixty four suits and nineteen-and-a-half pairs of shoes, and a mountain of hats.

One day he bought a novelty toilet and fell to the floor laughing, remembering the time he and Malt scared the crap out of that Dino kid.

He wiped a tear from his eye. “Hey, remember that time…” he started, but then he realized he was alone, and Malt wasn’t there.

His games became boring after that. His food tasted bitter. He still blasted his music, but for some reason he only wanted to play sad songs, and even then only at a moderate volume. And then one day the Groblin Repossession Agency came around and took back all his houses, clothes, and the boat, because he had bought it all on credit.

Kramblitt sighed. He couldn’t fight them, and he didn’t really feel like it anyway. He left his dark corner for the first time in weeks.

At the apartment, he saw Malt in the living room, standing on a stool and cleaning the windows with some spray and a rag. Kramblitt cleared his throat but Malt must not have heard him. So he sidled up to a potted plant and tipped it over.

The pot shattered on the floor and dirt and leaves spilled everywhere. Malt screamed and nearly fell off his stool. Kramblitt felt that familiar warmth that came with every good scare coursing through his veins.

“Kramblitt!” Malt said. “What the heck!? Did you knock over that plant?”

“Oops,” Kramblitt said. “Clumsy me. Hey, what say you I help you clean it up?”

Malt nodded and they got cleaning.

“I haven’t seen you in a while,” Malt said, scooping dirt up with a dust pan. “I thought maybe you moved.”

“Nah. I was just busy. You know, doing, uh, things.”

“Oh,” said Malt. “I see you’re wearing your potato sack again?”

“Yeah. I like how it flows, very comfortable on a hot day.”

“Um,” Malt said. “People don’t really come ’round any more, if you were, you know, looking to scare someone.”

“Oh, no, that’s cool,” said Kramblitt. “Actually, I was wondering if you wanted to hang out.”

“What?”

“You know, like break stuff and then clean it up afterwards, or whatever it is human children do for fun.”

“We could play soccer?”

“Yeah, or that.”

Malt grinned and they high fived, and the day was filled with laughter and fun for them, and with terrified screams for everyone else who witnessed the boy with the haunted soccer ball.

August 14, 2022 21:04

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61 comments

Seán Mc Nicholl
23:14 Aug 14, 2022

What a story! Where in under earth did you come up with this one Michał? It’s brilliant!! So charming, with a real warmth to it. Beautiful messages through it as well - money doesn’t buy happiness and popularity/fame isn’t the same as friendship. Loved Kramblitt, great visual description and a fantastic character!! Some brilliant lines: “Malt’s eyes lit down” “Yeah. I like how it flows, very comfortable on a hot day” And my favourite - “ You know, like break stuff and then clean it up afterwards, or whatever it is human children do for f...

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Michał Przywara
23:41 Aug 14, 2022

Hey Seán! I'm glad you picked up on both alternate currencies -- fear "money" and popularity :) I'm not sure where this one came from. I've been meaning to write something with the "kids" tag for a while though, and I've previously read some stories that played with the "monster under the bed" theme, so they must have influenced this. I don't know what the future holds for them, but Kramblitt at least seems to have a better grasp of priorities :) Thanks for the feedback!

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02:25 Aug 15, 2022

So you had me at brussel sprout... and then at groblin.... and then at Groblin Repossession Agency. I know you are looking for feedback, and things that might help make this story better, but I just dont have anything.

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Michał Przywara
02:57 Aug 15, 2022

Thanks, Jaden! No nits to pick is good feedback too :) I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

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This story was entertaining. Quiet, even-keeled Malt paralleled with loud, outgoing Kramblitt is rather funny. Also the fact that while Malt likes everything clean and neat, Kramblitt seems to enjoy making a mess. Critiques: [except they didn’t have a dog other than the imaginary one Malt used to imagine a year ago,] I would remove the word [imaginary]. [and huge ping-pong eyes.] I would make it {and huge ping-pong ball eyes.} [Then, he said, “Oh craaaaaap!”] Maybe you could give his voice a characteristic here? Croaking, gravelly, be...

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Michał Przywara
22:14 Aug 15, 2022

Thanks, Guadalupe! I'm glad the differences in character made for a fun story :) It was certainly fun to write, and a good challenge since the "kids" tag is not one I've tried before. I appreciate your feedback, and I've made some of the changes. Thanks!

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19:32 Aug 22, 2022

The Brothers Grimm need to move over -- what a fractured fairy tale, at a time when we need something otherworldly! I'm finishing up at school and have been surrounded by groblins all day. :) Thanks for this whimsical trip, where you channeled Dahl, Carroll, Hans Christian Andersen, and 1960's LSD. This exchange made me audibly laugh: “I’m kind of, uh, like a guardian angel.” “Really?” Malt’s eyes lit up. “Yeah, only instead of guarding I’m more here to scare the crap out of you.”

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Michał Przywara
20:41 Aug 22, 2022

Heh, thanks Deidra :) Love the audible laughs -- best kind of impact for a story like this :) I can't deny Dahl et al. were influences. Well, I don't know about the LSD, but now I can't unsee it, and now I got the Beatles running through my head.

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20:44 Aug 22, 2022

I am the groblin, they are the groblin. I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob.

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Suma Jayachandar
12:51 Aug 18, 2022

This is a very unique take on the prompt. You have pulled off the right mix of quirkiness, scares and charmed characters. This, took me back to my childhood, again. Much like Reincarnation did. Thanks for sharing!

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Michał Przywara
14:26 Aug 18, 2022

Thanks, Suma! It had been a long time since I wrote a kids story, so I'm glad some of those themes and feelings came through :)

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Tommy Goround
23:49 Aug 17, 2022

Sounds good with the "@ voice reader" free on play-store, but totally worth $10 to get rid of ads. It is a different story in audio. Might work great for you to read on that website. The emphasis on details comes out better in audio. Still contemplating potential symbols here: Malt /Germanic names / etc. Clapping

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Michał Przywara
02:46 Aug 18, 2022

Paying to get rid of ads is so often worth it, yeah. They are so distracting. But there's some real cheeky apps nowadays, where they charge you to buy it, then include IAP, *and* they show ads. Triple dipping :P Some days, I dislike my profession. I actually caught a couple mistakes in this one by running it through the text-to-speech in Windows. No frills, and I'm satisfied with the results. I'll consider recording it, yeah. Voice does get some extra nuance across that's so hard to do in text alone. Thanks for the feedback :)

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Tommy Goround
03:11 Aug 18, 2022

The pacing is great in the audio. In written... it did not move as fast as the regular Michel stories (for me). The chances of haunted toilets to soccer balls were very different from Monster's Inc, described before. Sorrentino writes of Picadilly (the small person in his piano) but your small person is different in the initial muse: How to get this boy to clean? The gamey way in which it becomes a friend that is needed by the boy. The opener is maybe a symbol if Brussel Sprouts are universally detested by young men, like cleaning. Like ...

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Aesha Amin
12:31 Aug 16, 2022

I can totally see this being my little sister’s favourite story!! We read Roald Dahl together sometimes and this story fits right in. This was an unpredictable take on the prompt but I love it so much. The names (Malt, Dino, Kramblitt) were so fun. I want a groblin too now😤

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Michał Przywara
21:36 Aug 16, 2022

Thanks, Aesha! I liked Roald Dahl as a kid too, and I'm sure some of his stuff must have been an inspiration here somewhere. And the names were fun to play with :) I find the less serious stories give more freedom with names. I appreciate the feedback!

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09:36 Aug 16, 2022

Scares dished out by good-natured monsters and measured quantifiably - please tell me Monsters Inc. was an inspiration for this charming story?! Someone else mentioned buttery smooth dialogue and I second that. Genuinely a learning point for me. Kramblitt is so lovable and funny - there were a bunch of moments that made me chuckle, like when he's snacking on popcorn and gaming after getting all those scares, and his retort about Malt's name. Love your work!

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Michał Przywara
21:39 Aug 16, 2022

I've not actually seen Monsters Inc.! My movie backlog's always been pretty bad :P Though, I'm sure I subconsciously drew inspiration from any number of kids movies, books, and shows. I'm happy to hear the dialogue and characters came out well. Those are two things I've been focusing a lot on for the past while, with pretty good results. I think it comes at the cost of descriptions though. Everything is ever a balance. I appreciate the feedback, Shuvayon!

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Daniel R. Hayes
04:36 Aug 15, 2022

This story was fantastic. I could tell that you put a lot of thought into this one. It was a great story to get lost in and you did a wonderful job (as usual) writing this. The dialogue was buttery smooth, and I really liked the characters. I must say that this just might be my favorite story from you so far. Keep up the great work!! :)

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Michał Przywara
05:04 Aug 15, 2022

Thanks, Daniel :) It was a fun one to write, with more freedom to be ridiculous. Always happy when the dialogue and characters come through :) I appreciate the feedback!

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Zack Powell
00:22 Aug 15, 2022

If only we were allowed more than three genre tags per story. This gave me serious Bedtime vibes (negligent parents, kid having to do all the chores around the house - totally getting Cinderella from this, and I'm here for it). Alas. This is quite charming. The genre tags you did use were absolutely appropriate, and the way that you wrote this catered to them well. The imagery was appropriate for a Kids story (the Kramblitt descriptions were really, really well done and quirky and fun), and the Friendship aspect felt genuine and unforced. T...

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Michał Przywara
22:13 Aug 15, 2022

Hey, Zack! First off, yes, you are definitely making sense. I do sometimes slip into an omniscient third person narration. There's a place for that I believe, but perhaps near the end of a short story isn't it. Thanks for pointing it out! I've moved the most egregious part into dialogue, where he first mentions the boat, though I've kept Kramblitt's POV otherwise. I was worried there'd be too much talking, but it's actually not too bad. I'm glad it was enjoyable! Definitely fun to write. The Cinderella parallel is interesting. Not someth...

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Rama Shaar
04:07 Aug 27, 2022

What a great take on the prompt! This was an enjoyable read with an unexpected ending!

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Michał Przywara
16:07 Aug 27, 2022

Thanks, Rama! It was a pleasure to write. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

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Kelsey H
10:42 Aug 26, 2022

I loved this, such a creative idea, total fairytale feel with the little creature and yet also so strongly set in the real world with the kitchen cleaning and neglected child. I love how it is at once simple enough I know my 12 year old will love it (am going to get him to read it!) yet also with the sort of themes which make it enjoyable for adults too with the loneliness of each character and the cycle they go through of coming together to each meet their own desires then not feeling truly fulfilled by them, before the ending where they jo...

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Michał Przywara
20:46 Aug 26, 2022

Thanks, Kelsey! You got the things I was hoping would come across :) That whole theme of loneliness, and popularity not being the same thing as friendship. (Or in Kramblitt's case, keeping up with the Joneses). That Malt was someone we could empathize with makes me glad :) A number of times in my life, I've come upon a story (mostly I'm picturing Shrek now) where it's enjoyable for both younger and older audiences, and I've always been in awe of people who could create things like that. Certainly something I've drawn inspiration from. ...

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Riel Rosehill
07:31 Aug 26, 2022

Michael, I'm super late reading, but this was soo lovely! Felt sorry for poor Malt, only ten and spending whole day cleaning by himself or getting bullied at school. My favourite parts were: "“I’m kind of, uh, like a guardian angel.” “Really?” Malt’s eyes lit up. “Yeah, only instead of guarding I’m more here to scare the crap out of you.” “Oh.” Malt’s eyes lit down." - love the phrase "eyes lit down" here! and "“I’m not scary and you’re boring, right?” “Unpopular,” Malt said, glaring." - poor kid! I'm glad there was a wholesome ending t...

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Michał Przywara
20:49 Aug 26, 2022

I didn't even think of Yoda, but I can totally see it now :) The dialogue was fun to play with in this one, and I personally liked the boring/unpopular line too. I've met people who'll take a fact in a conversation, and extrapolate it into all sorts of things. Makes for fun characters :) Thanks for reading, Riel!

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Raluca .
11:57 Aug 25, 2022

I LOVED this! I laughed so hard at “It’s called grumpleflagritherning, and it’s kind of like haunting. Only we’re not ghosts. We’re groblins.” The characters are so well built! I love how you manage to make the dialogue sound like they're different people and they don't sound similar, even if they might use the same speech. The descriptions, the way you make your readers hear the munch and the wet sounds and imagine the whole picture. It's truly amazing what you did here! Using fear as currency is a whole new level.

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Michał Przywara
21:10 Aug 25, 2022

Thanks, Raluca! I'm thrilled you enjoyed it :) The characters were fun to write for this one. I've also been playing around with adding more sounds to stories - I think I focus too much on what people see - so it's good to hear people are picking up on that. I appreciate the feedback!

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Lily Finch
21:43 Aug 24, 2022

Friendship versus popularity is priceless. Malt and Kramblitt learn this lesson. Money does not buy happiness. Kramblitt learns this lesson. I thought that the story was very creative and extremely well laid out. I could visualize Kramblitt. The ending was excellent. I would offer some feedback to make this better but sorry - I got nothing! Loved it. It had a Monsters Inc feel to it for me. LF6

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Michał Przywara
22:42 Aug 24, 2022

Thanks! A number of people have said it reminds them of Monsters Inc. I'm starting to think I need to see this movie :) I'm glad it was enjoyable! Thanks for leaving your thoughts.

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Lily Finch
23:18 Aug 24, 2022

Yes. If you have not seen the movie then it is a pretty cute movie. LF6

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Mary Duke
17:40 Aug 24, 2022

This is an excellent story! The characters are so alive and I love it! The friendship dynamic between Malt and Kramblitt is great. It's hard to show good chemistry between characters, especially in just a few words. Wish this was a book. My nephews would enjoy this. Well done!

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Michał Przywara
21:04 Aug 24, 2022

Thanks, Mary! That's made my day :) The friendship was a key focus, and if they ended up having good chemistry then I'm pleased. I appreciate the feedback :)

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Glenn Holt
15:21 Aug 24, 2022

The ending made my hairs stand on end. Wow I can’t even imagine what a haunted soccer is but it sounds frightening ;). Wonderful story of friends.

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Michał Przywara
21:08 Aug 24, 2022

Thanks, Glenn! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

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Chris Campbell
00:50 Aug 23, 2022

Michal, What if Monsters, Inc franchised? You'd get Grumpleflagritherning, Inc. The heart of this story is not really about the boy and his friendship with a Groblin. Yes, they put an agreement in place to launch a co-dependent relationship that suits their own needs, but when one has accumulated all that is required to live a high life, he neglects and even terminates the business agreement. How many of us have been trapped within the system of buying things on the never-never? I can tell you from experience that getting out of that trap c...

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Michał Przywara
02:47 Aug 23, 2022

Yes, exactly Chris! That was one of the themes I hoped to convey. "Living beyond your means is a risky undertaking" indeed. How much time do we waste chasing someone else's dream? Someone else's idea of how we "should" live? And if we're being honest, how often does following these dreams basically just mean buying all sorts of crap we don't really need? I'd wager, pretty often. And what else do we give up, in the pursuit? But it's probably a lesson we each have to experience ourselves. Thanks for the feedback!

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Marty B
00:23 Aug 23, 2022

It was worth the read for this line “You know, where walls meet rooms, grass meets road, indoors meets outdoors, and left meets right. And as everyone knows, these places are mostly filled with water.” Also best first line I have seen this week! Malt Anderson stopped vacuuming when a Brussels sprout rolled out of the hallway and bumped into his foot.

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Michał Przywara
03:11 Aug 23, 2022

Thanks, Marty! I try to give my opening lines extra attention, so it's nice to hear when they work out :) I appreciate the feedback!

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Craig Westmore
20:24 Aug 22, 2022

That was a fun and whimsical story. Great characters. The lonely kid and the unsuccessful groblin. And lots of great lines: -gorging himself on junk vegetables all day. -Malt’s eyes lit down. -His face was wide and flat with a bulbous nose and huge ping-pong ball eyes. -The toad man made woo sounds. -grumpleflagritherning -nineteen-and-a-half pairs of shoes.

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Michał Przywara
21:08 Aug 22, 2022

Thanks, Craig! Yeah, I feel I had more opportunity to play with lines in this piece. Maybe because it's a more light-hearted, less realistic story. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I appreciate the feedback :)

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