Halls of the Goblin King
In the halls of the Goblin King she went. She didn't know what to expect. But everywhere she skipped merrily and opened every door as if they were not locked, barred, or otherwise barricaded. No resistance did she encounter until the Goblin King learned her truth.
She was beautiful. On the inside she was beautiful first. She opened the doors with ease due to her wonderful intellect. He was none the wiser at first.
She was caring. On the inside she was caring first. She calmed him into wanting to be distracted because she was never a threat to his survival. He didn't realize this.
She was, as it turned out, tremendously gorgeous on the outside too! But she didn't think so. She opened the doors in the Goblin King’s halls and found the most treasured room of all, though he would not admit to her that she had seen his soul that had been hidden away with intent so many years ago.
No barrier he constructed kept her out. Every wall, door, and bulwark fell apart as if it were nothing more than an illusion to her. She was no ordinary thief. In fact, she wasn't a thief at all.
She was who she was and she was this:
An equal in intelligence to his own.
An equal in compassion to his own.
An equal in attraction to his own.
And mostly importantly, an equal in desire to love to his own.
He didn't know it at first, but in time he came to understand that only she ever did what he thought was never possible. Yet the truth is this:
She didn't mean to wonder into his halls. She was driven there by curiosity and the failure of others to understand her; particularly the failure of one to understand her.
And thus began the most difficult journey of all for the Goblin King.
To reject and shun one another forever or figure out how to live together with one final barrier that only she can remove because she put up: The one who found her first and forgot how to love her.
Though the Goblin King forgot a single detail; but for now, he though he knew what had to be done.
Dark days always seem to be filled with more despair than they really are. And his despair was fueled by the fear that all the love he had to give was about to be bottled up again. Forever!
He could see this magnificent princess and feel her soul with his. Things were spoken that would have made others cringe and cower in fear. But none within, save the two who exchanged such words, could hear them.
He helped her knowing full well that he was helping the man who forgot how to love this beautiful princess and giving away something he wanted more than anything else an eternity could offer. Surely the outside world would condemn him for not seizing the opportunity and claiming a destiny he earned justly.
Some would argue that he was selfless, loving, and genuine of heart. Yet none could see the truth. None would ever know as none could see the two interact.
Well, she could see the truth all too clearly. She knew that he feared the ridicule of all who banished him to his kingdom. She knew that he was adamant about his principles, that which gave her more than a sense of security in his presence. It gave her hope that there were good men in this world and a light to guide her own soul to happiness, but not through the Goblin King’s heart.
But it also scared her tremendously. She never meant to invade the Goblin King's domain. Though she did and in the process discovered another truth that no one could see coming.
Her heart of hearts realize that she found the desire that matched everything she wanted presently, in the past, and that she could even remotely fathom in the future. She knew their hearts were beating as if choreographed to all manners of exciting, gentle, and somber music.
She found no monster in those caverns. What she found was the light she sought in another. What she found was the humanity that all outside the Goblin King's domain lacked while loudly proclaiming only they could maintain.
What this tale is lacking is precisely what neither of the two has yet to say to one another. What is missing is the acknowledgment of consent. And both of them know it all too well. He likely more than she as her heart is divided between her first and the Goblin King.
Just the whispering of three words or gesture of an innocent but meaningful touch is all that would be required to change things forever.
The Goblin King did not know what had happened until it was too late. He was jovial and enlightening because of the magic that was her. Many months of visitations by her, eagerly awaited by him, and encouraged by both set things in motion that neither were prepared for.
They were both terrified; she of loving two gentle souls and having to choose. One banished to a mountain fortress of intellectual, emotional, and physical solitude. The other who was immersed in years of interactions comprised of loyalty, devotion, and love by her.
The Goblin King did everything he knew how to ensure she didn't have to choose. There was no contest. If word ever got out of his domain that he in any way pressured her to pick him over the one who simply forgot how to love and pushed her to him, then the world would certainly see him as the monster they have already unfairly labeled him as. The world would simply show its fickle sense of understanding and condemn him since all tales must have a monster.
Just as she has realized that she wants to rebuild with her first, who encouraged her to wonder into the Goblin King's halls, so too now must the Goblin King rebuild. Bigger walls, stronger steal, and greater techniques of subtlety much to be employed are now being arranged. But how quickly, he fretted?
The Goblin King was no fool, but for a glimmer during that fleeting moment while all of his defenses were stripped without counter-measures, because he had hoped so much for something he desired above all else, he sabotaged that future for principles. Out of love and respect for her he tells himself.
He is the bastard heretic of the lands. And he is among the loneliest creatures, though it doesn't seem so upon first glances. She knew to look deeper because her curiosity and honest desire to understand told her to.
Of all the loves to grace his heart, this one is by far the most difficult to turn away after forty years of building defenses against it. His first was taken by Death on a timer that no medicine could cure. He second was taken by a childhood mistake resulting in pushing him into the direction of his goblin halls. And the third, an emotional hurricane which beat and battered him on the rocks of dull ignorance and religious superstition.
So what now for the Bastard Heretic Goblin King?
Nothing! He will return to his halls and pray that his wisdom is right. That his wound will heal and he will eventually pass away into obscurity as time often has that effect on everything.
But do not take this to mean he is bitter and resentful. He is just sad and tired of being the foundation for hope in so many while the world makes jest at his simple and humble means, ripping him apart because they don't understand the unintended consequences of their actions over a mind and heart that wants the same things theirs do: Acceptance, love, and understanding.
Alas, he may never get that until he shuns the dishonesty from his heart and tells her the truth. He loves her and is not sure if he can ever truly be satisfied to be just her friend. From the moment she began healing he began lying to her. How long he can keep up the charade will determine how long she will be allowed to visit his halls in any capacity.
The Goblin King is among the most resolute and sturdy works crafted by Humanity, but he is not perfect. Does he tell her he loves her leaving her with that burden knowing she is everything he desires and knowing that she wants to hold his heart too?
Or does he keep it in, never letting her know what she already suspects but is not focused on due to their healing she is encouraging with her first?!
And that is why he is the Goblin King. The sacrifices seem so insignificant but the costs are immeasurable making solitude the only payment capable for rewarding his hidden sacrifice and insurmountable courage! Alone in that mountain of a heart, guarded by stinging intellect, and a seemingly ordinary outward appearance he carries on.
To most he is cold, calculated, and cunning. He has to be. The world made him that way and he fights daily to protect from it what they don’t understand, lest it is destroy before it is allowed to be seen again. After all, he loves her and cannot honestly deny it.
-Jim Limber Davis
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