Right, now were are back to the main story. I'm not letting François get in the way anymore, and he might be sulking because of it. But don't mind him, the plot, as they say, thickens!
What has the goblins so worked up? Read on!
Charlotte stifled a yawn. Securing the restless goblins hadn’t been easy; until she received her orders as to how to dispose of them, she had to keep them from escaping the netting. It had been years since she attempted a restraining sigil so large and complex, but she finally had them fettered and quiet in an unused storage shed.
It was well past midnight by now and everyone was feeling the effects of hunting down the goblins. Charlotte wouldn’t let them rest, however, until she discovered why the goblins had attacked so viciously.
“It makes sense, you know.” Amanda was studying the catalog of items already uncovered from the dig site. “They aren’t unbound; this city was their home and they are simply protecting it.”
“Why didn’t they leave when the city was destroyed? Why would they stick around?” Max Fischer asked. He was keeping up with the conversation remarkably well considering that most of what was being said sounded completely insane. Most people, upon learning that the stories that haunted their childhood were real, tended to break down into gibbering hysterics. Max seemed more interested than frightened, but perhaps it more an effort to impress Charlotte.
François, still harboring a jealous grudge, scoffed. “It is obvious. They are protecting someone, this lady they keep screeching about.”
“But who is she?” Charlotte rubbed the bridge of her nose. “That is what we have to find out. Max, have you uncovered any remains?”
“No, none. Not yet anyway. I suppose it is possible there are some still buried, but we have no way of knowing.”
Amanda stared at the list of items. Beside her, perched on the edge of a table, the little goblin nibbled on a fruit bar nervously and kept glancing at Charlotte. Amanda tried to smile reassuringly; she knew how he felt. Charlotte was intimidating.
“Don’t worry,” she whispered to him, “Charlotte won’t hurt you as long as you don’t give her a reason to.” Then, a thought occurred to Amanda. She flipped through the inventory and then rifled through the papers on the table.
“What is it, Amanda?” Charlotte asked.
“The goblins only became violent today, before it was just stealing or vandalizing. What was uncovered today, Max?”
Max handed Amanda the handwritten inventory and she scanned it intently. “This here, the statue fragment, where is it?”
They all followed Max to one of the storage units and he opened the crate for Amanda. She studied the object. Though badly damaged by the passing ages, with a little imagination she could make out the features of a face, a woman’s face. Amanda carefully slid the bust out of the crate and examined it more closely.
“I think this is part of a funerary statue, which means there could have been an urn in here once. Maybe there still is, if it was sealed in tight enough. This might be the lady the goblins were talking about.”
The little goblin, who had been hiding behind another crate, shuffled closer to the figure and reverently reached out and placed his hand on it. “This is our lady. She must stay hidden and closed. That is what others were doing. To stop you from letting her out.”
“What happens if she gets out?” Amanda asked almost jokingly.