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       I have tried my best to fit in, but I still feel as though I am that proverbial outcast. Never have I felt so much isolation with as many people are around. I know I am alone in feeling this way, since this family is so large.

              The matron of the family sits at the head of the table in a chair that resembles a throne, watching everything that happens, while I feel her heated glance of hatred occasionally shift towards me.

              I watch as siblings, cousins, uncles, aunts, all interact with each other in different sections of the living areas. The females work nonstop in their preparing the food for the feast, while their indifferent spouses and mates stand or sit around and talk. Some watch the entertainment of some sporting match, with rules I will never understand.

              The sons and daughters of the family race around underfoot, creating chaos and potential upheaval of food being prepared and brought to the great table for the feast. Their cacophonous noise of shrieks, screams, and tantrums are painful to the ears. I’m not sure how the rest of the members of this vast family can ignore them.

              How did I even end up here in this grouping? Last thing I remember is my friends and I were heading towards the village where we were told to take care of a problem. Simple enough.  We thought we were prepared for anything, but as everyone knows, even the best laid out plans will have something go wrong majority of the time.

              Bastian, the group’s self-delegated leader, had created a simple enough plan, that should have worked. We all teased him at the time, but it was a decent idea. His strategy was go in, get the matron out and have the others leave in order to have her returned. We just didn’t know how large of a family she in fact had.

              At the time, everything was going great. We had quietly slipped into their encampment, even the ones who were keeping watch never saw us wander by. The noise created by the hoots and hollers of the uproar inside the longhouse drowned out any we created, which was almost next to nothing. Of course, someone could have stepped on a twig and it might not have been heard.

              Balthazar silently lead us to the main house, where we assumed the matron would be housed. Ultimately, we did find our prize there, but not without the troubles. Balthazar was cool and collected the entire time, which is always good for someone leading a group of miscreants into an unknown situation. Once he quickly picked the lock on the door, he was able to get us into the place immediately. However, as soon as he shut the door, that was when all hell broke loose.

              He was the first one to drop with an arrow sticking out of his chest. None of us knew it occurred until it was too late. From the sides rushed the entire family. Some with rocks, some with knives, all with weapons. 

Bastian was the next to drop. Then the others. I stood in silence. My brain not letting me comprehend the loss of my friends or the danger surrounding me. As I came to my wits, I saw one member of the vast group talking to an old woman, who I later found out was the matron. He was livid and pointing at me, then himself. The matron glanced at me, glared, then nodded. The young male grinned and hooted. That was the last thing I saw just before I saw a hand holding a rock rushing towards my head. 

Now I sit here, looking at my new family and wondering how to get out of it. I look at the crude ring on my finger that was given to me by my new “beau.” The band was chipped away in an extremely rudimentary way, most likely using other rocks and similar tools. 

I feel the eyes of the matron on me once again, so I look at her and glare. She grins at the reaction. I am just a novelty to her. A plaything that is going to lose it usefulness soon. I know I don’t fit in with this family, just as much as they do. I am nothing to them, and vice versa. 

The smells permeating out of the cooking area is beginning to smell decent, but I can’t let them see that my hunger is going to give them satisfaction that I may need them. I sit silently and still as I watch the kids play their lively, grating games. I hope one injures another, just for my pleasure. I’m sure it will be happening soon since there have already been several near misses with sticks swinging at one other or balls being thrown towards those not paying attention.

I struggle to figure out how to get out of this situation. Too bad my friends aren’t around. They would definitely try to help me out of here. I miss them. I wonder what happened to them. Were their bodies returned to the city for proper funeral?  Were they buried in the mountains or tossed in the woods for animals to eat them? I will never know. That really troubles me. My grieving will never end, and that infuriates me. I can’t take much more of this ordeal.

Just as I try to stand up from my chair, the rest of the food is brought in. I sit back down. Defeated once again. There placed in front of me, for this humongous feast, are the heads of my friends. Bastian, Balthazar, and the others all gazing at me with empty eye sockets. I now know where my friends are. Jumping up, I grab the knife laying on the table and race towards the matron, who smiled in an appraising manner.

Just as I was about to reach her, my “husband” roughly grabs me by the wrist. His grasp is tight, and I feel the bones snap. I drop the knife as I fall to my knees, defeated once again. I cry from the pain of loss of my friends, the pain of my arm, the pain of the situation.

I look at the matron as she walks forward, slowly limping closer and closer. She uses her walking stick to steady herself, then with surprising swiftness from the ancient matron, swings the stick at me with even more surprising accuracy. I feel the club connect to my temple and smile as I am no longer a part of this family of monsters, of this family of goblins.

November 30, 2019 00:22

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1 comment

00:38 Dec 05, 2019

This story was interesting and had a few twists. I kinda got lost in the beginning trying to understand what the story was about. I figured things out towards the middle, but the ending was off putting because are saying you died, did the matron striking you change the direction of the story. Overall vivid imagination and a great use of the prompt for this story.

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