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Special Interest

The Darkling One

It takes no effort at all to see myself through their eyes, a red bar and then, at death, a green number, a pile of gold. What I carry is rare, even unique, another desirable piece for their endless hoard. And myself? Nothing of me is in this veil that I have labored so hard to create, because from their point of view, an ugly Goblin like myself cannot really exist as more than a container to be smashed and opened.

From my hovel, where I hide this great treasure, I hear them jabbering at a great distance. It is a near religious, sacred practice to them, that they should never stop speaking, never give a moment over to silence or discomfort, lest the spell of their beauty be broken.

As they approach I hear them speaking about themselves, as always, and how they are so down to earth, how they are such oddballs and outcasts. From the sound of their voices, I can tell that they truly believe this utter nonsense, this self-con they’re always going on about, even while sparkling, darkling, flashing, glowing–the glittery center of all attention, aggression, and love in this world. Their false humility is the most despicable conceit, and I feel sick for what is about to be done to me.

She is coming now, the darkling one, and the sickness burns in me like a fire of passion. We all must feel this way about her. But now my heart soars at the thought of her joy, at the opportunity to give her the treasures I carry. Not just common gold, but a gift that will truly lift her spirits, make her sad day a bit special. I see this misery about her, almost every day is sad for her, but it is a feature so obvious it does not require my discerning eye. The beautiful ones are always sad, consistently miserable, from this endless grinding charade.

Her magic is immense and it fills the hollow with pink light, casting shadows darker than the space between stars. Every tree here is covered with perfect moss, the sky with towering cumulus which never breaks into storm. The sun is always setting, the hour always golden. How ugly I feel by contrast, how miserable my little home. And her, surrounded by a bubble of purple light, absolutely immune to any of my attacks, bearing down on my hovel and my treasure.

For a moment, I imagine it is me that she truly wants. That is her great mistake after all, to see the world without love, only as a vast container to be emptied for loot. How sad that must be. I should know better than to fantasize, to daydream like this. But there is no other escape from her, temporary though this reverie might be.

My treasure is actually quite rare and special, I know this, and it is one which lends her no power, only adornment. I would give it to her gladly, offer her some tea, and we could talk as equals. It would not be like with the rest, perhaps she would give way to love, she’s so unlike the beautiful ones, really, and she might see that we are the same, that her powers are inconsequential in the final analysis. My ugliness and her beauty would melt together, for they are at last the same substance, and she could see my soul in the beauty of this gift, this veil I have made for her. She might even thank me for it.

It is only after this reverie that I am struck by her magic and dazed. Hearts circle my head and my cock becomes comically enlarged. I am embarrassed and ashamed to be seen like this. I feel rage at being so betrayed, but I am paralyzed into this idiot caricature by her magic. The deathblow does not land.

“Thank you for the gold I am about to take from you,” she smiles, revealing dark elven fangs. An insult. She just does not yet know what it is I have made for her. The beautiful ones are so often stupid like that. My reverie is broken, and the terrible meaning of her words come to me, even as I am beginning to recover from the awful daze: She will wear what she takes from me and feel more beautiful for it, and this will mean less to her than a few more coins in the hoard.

And still, she toys with me. She is confident enough to let me recover, to give me a chance to attack her. Perhaps her glimmering sphere of immunity is newly attained, and she wishes to see it tested by a stupid Goblin.

My brethreren are practically mute. I feel great pity for their incessant whinging and sickly moaning. I imagine that I might speak for them, give words to their squealing at being crushed, humiliated, and broken for a few pieces of gold and experience points. If I only wanted to deliver revenge, to make her feel as we all feel, the words would come easy. But I would be lowering myself from the earth, the great throne from whence she and her kind imagine that they rule. No, I must say something so much better than that. But how could I resist some words of condescension from the earth? Some snide words revealing the truth of her despicable magic and its fraudulent power:

“How sad you seem to me, beautiful one. If it is power that you want, you’ve come to the wrong hollow, the wrong hovel, and you enchant the wrong goblin. I have nothing but a few scraps of gold.”

“Are you not Goarkil the Goblin Craftsman, maker of the iridescent shroud?”

That she should speak to me like this, as an equal, was a terrible shock, the reverie from earlier now made real. I became agitated and fumbled about, attempting to make tea, only to tumble to the ground like a fool.

Struggling to my feet, I realized what was truly happening, that this was her idea of farce, to be retold to the other beautiful ones at some later time while showing off the iridescent shroud. I would have struck at her if not for the magical barrier.

“I am any Goblin, anywhere. My eloquence, this shroud, it is nothing.” I threw the cursed piece onto the dirt floor of my hovel and stepped on it in rage and disgust, “This is what I think of you and your kind, who are always grinding away at me and mine.” Grinding now at the shroud viciously with my foot, “Kill me you miserable bullying bitch, and put on this goddamned shroud. Tell your beautiful friends how it came from a Goblin who spoke of beauty, and when you’re all done laughing, you can take it off again.”

Whatever fun she might have had in the ugly jape now utterly spoiled, she hacked away at me with her immaculate purple longsword and nothing showed on her face but the vast indifference typical of the beautiful ones, the heroes of this fucked realm, as they grind onward. If the words had any effect on her, I could not tell. I felt every painful point of her power, every level she’d gained, and finally, the gold spilling out from my insides. I was crushed open, vomiting golden love. Already she wore my shroud, and as I lay dying, again the reverie overcame me.

Behind the mask I’d made, which was so outwardly beautiful, she was ashamed and miserable, trapped in a lifelong grind that could never end, wishing she could be free like me, like the other Goblins. She would see things from my perspective, as I’d seen them from hers. She would be freed of the self-love, the incestuous tendency of the beautiful ones to love only one another and nothing else, and if this inspired no love in her for me, then at least she would feel something for the world. No longer would the world be a fearful ugly vessel to smash and empty, to hate and humiliate. Her grind would no longer be a grind but would rather be a life illuminated by mysteries, potential meanings, perhaps even, I hoped, the wonder and playfulness of a child.

But again, of course, the reverie gave way. The freedom of my silence, of my ugly words and appearance, these only made her mad with jealousy, a counterpoint to her misery that could never be extinguished as easily as my life. But she would try. Retelling many times the story of how she condescended to a lowly Goblin, straining ridiculously with an excess of details illustrating just how down to earth she was, her insult to me would be described as a great and undeserved kindness. With my dying words, I mocked her practiced, self-absorbed tone, “See what a fantastic person I am? And these Goblins, so monstrous, so ugly, such shitty personalities, do you see how little they deserve me?” Her back was turned, and I doubt she heard these nasty words, which I regret punctuated my short and brutish existence.

But I again thought well of the idea of tea with her, of the equality and friendship that she offered only as bait, but the fantasy was empty for me now, only a tactic so that I might not feel such a sour mood in my final moment.

6 replies on “The Darkling One”

Let’s begin by noting how fucking self-pitying, overtly verbose, and asinine this opening passage is. This overwrought writing style is the hallmark of “auteurs” who speak much and say little, taken by pretension. The opening paragraph is important, it is the first thing the reader sees. And while one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the opening paragraph is a good place to start.
The character is whiny. Nobody likes a whiner. One can sympathize with a man in genuine pain snapping, but we see no evidence of pain. It is the ramblings of an outcast whining about how popular everyone is, and how they lord it over him.

It’s so goddamn pretentious. Dialogue flows like two tweenage girls pretending to be Edward Cullen to each other in a Hot Topic. In the attempt to sound sophisticated and Shakespearian the author must have surely forgotten that Shakespeare was written in a vulgar tone at the time of writing. Narrative is overadorned with too many adjectives and bizarre similes.
The narrative is nothing but the thoughts of one pretentious little dickwad explaining what he thinks others think like without a scrap of evidence to the fact. There’s no indication others are completely devoid of thought or inner beauty at all. Just the sad little rambles of someone who isn’t them dictating what he thinks others feel like.

In terms of plot, there is no plot. A character walks up to a goblin, stabs him, and he dies. In terms of character, there are no characters. The woman has no personality. Nobody has personality aside from the whiny, self-centered, extremely vain creature that has the unfortunate role of narrator. He is the sort of creature that anyone would learn to hate. Devoid of anything but contempt for the world around him, so assured is he in the thought that he has everyone else’s innermost thoughts determined, incapable of true introspection. His is the sort of personality I would reserve for an antagonist, since to see a narcissist gutted is a cathartic thing.
In terms of message, there is no message. There is no philosophical statement of any merit conveyed by this tripe.

The majority of the story is exceptionally sophomoric wannabe philosophical musings that hold no water, for we have no proof that any of the things the creature blathers on about occur at all. Granted, even if we did have proof in narrative, that would only shift the problem from being a narrative fault by reason of expecting the audience to side with a baseless claim to a narrative fault by making the world and everyone in it stupid.

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