Rated G. Contains not necessarily overlapping groups of heroes and good guys.
by Jim C. Hines
“I’ve never seen a goblin infant,” said the elf, stepping closer.
“You thought goblins sprang fully formed from the rocks for you to slaughter?” She jammed a knuckle into Jig’s mouth for him to suck. His baby fangs were just beginning to pierce the gums, but the pain in her finger was better than listening to him cry.
“We slaughtered nobody.” The voice came from below the outcropping. The elf relaxed his bow and knelt, hauling his companion up onto the ledge. “You goblins attacked us. We defended ourselves.”
Grell stepped to the edge and studied the woods below. Goblin blood turned the earth a gruesome shade of blue. Elves wove through the trees, making no noise save the twang of bowstrings and the ripping sound of blades tearing through goblin armor and flesh. “Defended yourselves? Next time, why don’t you defend yourselves over in the hobgoblin tunnels rather than sneaking onto our land to do it?”
The archer caught his companion by the arm. “She’s an old woman, Jonathan. With a child.”
“She’s a goblin, Rindar.” But he relaxed slightly. He was bulkier than his companion, and the mane of red hair meant he was no elf. Red stubble dotted his chin, though he was too young to grow a proper beard. He wore a heavy mail shirt, with a green tabard depicting a white dragon coiled around a tree. “If we let her live, she’ll lead another attack against us.”
Grell kicked the corpse of the goblin drummer. “If you let me live, I’ll go back to the nursery and get some sleep.”
“I won’t risk letting you go free,” said Jonathan. “Not until my quest is complete.”
About the Author
Jim C. Hines has written more than fifty published short stories. His first professional story sale was the award-winning “Blade of the Bunny,” which took first place in the 1998 Writers of the Future competition and was published in Writers of the Future XV.
Jim is an active blogger about topics ranging from sexism and harassment to zombie-themed Christmas carols, and won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2012.
About the Narrator
Christiana Ellis is an award-winning writer and podcaster, currently living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her podcast novel, Nina Kimberly the Merciless was both an inaugural nominee for the 2006 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction: Long Form, as well as a finalist for a 2006 Podcast Peer Award. Nina Kimberly the Merciless is available in print from Dragon Moon Press. Christiana is also the writer, producer and star of Space Casey, a 10-part audiodrama miniseries which won the Gold Mark Time Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Production by the American Society for Science Fiction Audio and the 2008 Parsec Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Drama. In between major projects, Christiana is also the creator and talent of many other podcast productions including Talking About Survivor, Hey, Want to Watch a Movie?and Christiana’s Shallow Thoughts.