Prompt by JS Riddle.
“Why is she still there?” asks Snotyowl, peeking through the keyhole.
“I don’t know,” replies Wartcollar with a bored yawn. “You’ve been asking this since she showed up. Before you ask, I don’t think she knows we’re really here.”
The goblins sigh and turn away from their front door, returning to their dinner of mushroom soup and rabbit chops. Their bones creak as they sit down after a long day of work. Snotyowl can still taste the coal mine dust in his mouth, a little annoyed that he has yet to be thanked by the benefactors of his work. Wartcollar quietly ladles out the soup and gives his friend the biggest chop since he gets to snack while tending to the gardens.
“So, I set up a few creaky floorboards near our entrances in case she comes hunting for us,” Snotyowl says with a crooked smile. He greedily slurps down his soup after the first taste. “A wonderful dinner as usual, my friend.”
“Thank you,” Wartcollar responds after tasting the juicy rabbit chop. “I set up some moaners in the walls to keep her attention there. I know it’s kind of mean to startle her, but I’m more scared about her coming after us.”
Snotyowl throws his unused spoon into the sink. “We were here first.”
“I know, but that isn’t how things work,” Wartcollar points out with another sigh. “The humans are bigger, meaner, and scarier than us. We’ve survived so long by staying away from them and helping them. If we help them then they won’t get panicky and tear down our home. You remember what happened down the road when Treeweevil and Pinegrout stopped gathering firewood?”
“The humans tore down their home and replaced it with a generator,” Snotyowl drones as if he practiced his response for days. “We live in the walls, Wartcollar. She would have to destroy the house to get at us.”
“Fair enough, but let’s just stay under her radar,” Wartcollar insists. “After all, she may be more scared of us than we are of her.”
“Not likely,” scoffs Snotyowl.