There is nothing funny about being sick. My sinuses are clogged. My ears are blocked. My nose is running and I’m coughing up what I don’t know. I just feel blah all over. The covers settle over my head as I try for pass out or sleep, whichever comes first. I, Mrs. Walters am sick with something.
This cold wet thing is pushing at my head and making “wuffling” noises around my right ear. “Aschoot!” Snot sprays across my cheek. I open an eye. It’s Tootsie Too, checking to see if I’m still living.
“It’s okay sweetie. Mommy’s feeling a little off today.” I rub his head. Wait! How did a miniature dachshund get up on this bed? Rolling over on my back I pick up my head and look around. Sure enough, there’s Lex my gargoyle looking at me innocently from the bedside. Could they possibly be up to something? Nah. They’re not kids. A dog and a gargoyle would never dream of taking advantage of my being down and out. I smile. They care about me. Laying back down I pass into the oblivion of sleep.
I feel like I’m floating on the waters of a great lake in a sail boat. It’s a lovely hot Summer day. Then it changes to shaking like that time in college when the earthquake rocked me and southern Indiana. Can dreams be my subconscious mind trying to tell me something?
Suddenly awake , I sit up. Yes the shaking continues. “What the …?” Loud music surrounds me along with hoots and yelps.
I rise from the bed, tissue box in hand. “Whoa” I sway a little back and forth. I adopt a wide stance that’s more stable. I proceed to the doorway and down the hall. The music is coming from below. Throwing open the basement door makes the noise louder. My head spins. Do I really want to know what’s happening down there? The house shudders again. Partway down the stairs a coughing spell comes on and I have to sit down. A silver goblin face appears at the bottom of the stairs.
“Cheese it! She’s on the stairs! I thought you said she was out!”
Really? They’re having a party without me? I turn at the bottom of the stairs.
The littlest goblin is tied to a large flat rock in the center of the room. I think it’s from the front garden. A silver colored one is frozen in place wearing an odd costume made of feathers with leather strips and shells from the bird cage. The mahogany one is still draped in Christmas lights. I should get those back. Lex is munching bacon with Tootsie beside him. Where’d he get that? Must check the fridge later. The large forest green goblin is standing over the littlest with a ritual knife poised to strike. A yellow one is in the corner with the silver one from the stairs. This is beyond what my children ever did. I have no words.
They all look terrified. Did something follow me down the stairs? I check over my shoulder. Nothing. As I turn around I catch a glimpse of a horrific monster out of the corner of my eye in an old mirror leaning against the wall. It’s six feet tall, about a hundred pounds overweight, wearing a ratty nightgown with mis-matched socks and waving a very threatening tissue box in one hand. The hair is the worst. It’s going in every direction with one lock plastered across the forehead. Oh wait it’s me.
Turning back to the crowd, “What’s going on here?” I fill a tissue with green gunky stuff as I blow my nose, I gesture at the room with the box.
They all shake their heads and assume an innocent air. The Christmas light draped one goes, “Nothing.”
“Turn off the noise and untie him.” I point with the box to the littlest one. “Clean this mess up and put the rock back in the front garden. Whatever were you thinking?” There’s no answer to that question and I expect none.
The tiny goblin runs to me and tries to hide behind my leg. He looks up at me with tear filled eyes. “It’s okay they won’t hurt you any more. I will hurt them if they try.” I pick him up and carry him upstairs to my room. “Here. Read a good book while I catch some sleep.” I crawl onto the bed and try to pass out again. Oh yeah, covers. As I pull them over me, I notice he has the book upside down.
Dreaming again. This time I’m in a swing rocking slowly back and forth enjoying the wonderful weather of a warm Spring afternoon. Birds are flitting around me. I can hear their giggling. The gentle breeze smells of chicken soup. Birds don’t giggle. Chicken soup?
I crack an eye. The largest goblin with Lex behind him is standing by the bed with a tray carrying a bowl of chicken soup. He’s thoughtfully brought the empty can with him so I needn’t worry about the contents. I hope. I sit up. The rest of the goblins and Tootsie Too are all around me on the bed. The sun colored goblin is reading to the tiny one I just rescued. The large mahogany one has plugged the Christmas lights into his ear and is now merrily blinking in all sorts of colors.
Will I ever get some rest? I slurp the soup. Perhaps I should find out what their names are? Do goblins have a religion? Do they have family groups? What do they eat?
“This is very good. Do you cook a lot? What’s your name?”
“All the time and I’m called Bert short for Herbert,” the large forest green goblin about Lex’s size replies. He points to the sun yellow goblin reading to the littlest one. “That’s my wife Molly and the one in lights is my dad. We call him Gramps. Those are the twins, Sid and Cheri.” Two silver goblins wave at me.
“What’s the little one’s name?” The creature is a deep burgundy color.
“He don’t have one and he’s not part of the family. We were wandering in the woods last Fall looking for somewhere to spend the Winter, and he started following us. Couldn’t get rid of him. Tried to chase him off. He’s a pest. You know what I mean. We figure times get really tough we can eat him.” Molly hugs the little one closer to her. She has a worried look on her face.
“You could adopt him.” Molly’s face brightens.
“Nah, not something goblins do.” Molly’s face falls and she looks almost angry.
“Well you can always make it something goblins do.”
I catch some images from Lex’s mind. He wants them to stay. Apparently, Gramps has been keeping him company while on guard duty. I see pictures of Tootsie playing with Sid and Cheri in the back yard. If only they could clean house as well as cook. Lex shares visions of them wiping down the bathroom. They are small enough to get behind the toilet – a major problem for me. He’s telling me they need a place to stay and they’re willing to work in exchange.
“You’re hired!” I take the tray from Bert and shake his hand. He looks a little stunned. “You clean house and cook me some supper every day and you can stay in the basement forever. The little one will be named Lester from here on out and will belong to me, Tootsie Too and Lex. Agreed?” Molly is nodding her head yes.
“I read in Lex’s mind you need a place to stay and you’ll clean and cook for me.”
The goblins are frozen in stunned shock. Oh okay, I have that effect on people some times. They just have to learn to keep up. Slowly they all stand at the end of the bed and bow deeply in my direction. Lex sends pictures of worship. I can rock this.
“Agreed,” Bert says in great solemnity. I hand the tray back to him.
Fabulous! I now have servants. I lie back down and pull the covers over my head. Both ears pop and I drift off to the land of clouds watching goblins, a dog and gargoyle all playing happily in the back yard. I am truly a goddess among goblins.