The Thieving Goblin 

Grace Hassell

“Oh, you’re kidding right?” Christina said in protest staring down into the black depths of a dripstone fanged cave. “In there?” 

“That’s the way the goblin went with the marketing papers for May” Amy replied relacing her boots before taking the first step into the abyss, torch in hand. 

Their echoing steps bounced off the walls as they make their way deeper into the chasm. “It’s so humid” Christina groaned, wiping the beads of sweat from her forehead. “Yeah, but we need those papers” Amy replied, trudging on. Little did they know, they were being followed. 

It was not long before the pair came across an opening lit by foggy moonlight. They were stopped in their tracks, watching in awe as fireflies danced around the flowering vine walls. In the centre of the clearing water trickled from an overhanging rock into a pool of crystal blue water. As more water trickled into the pool it continued to lap at the edges of its confine, never overflowing.  

“Check the walls, that goblin had to have gone somewhere” Amy said carefully navigating the mossy floor. Christina felt around behind the vines, but the jagged rock walls were the only mystery to be uncovered. They decided to do another loop of the opening, feeling top to bottom, then another feeling bottom to top. Every time they met back at the entrance empty handed.  

“Maybe we just need to take a step back” Christina said and stared upwards at the opening. Amy walked around snapping the vines off the wall. He could not have made it out upwards…. Amy’s eyes averted to the pool of water. 

“Can you swim” Amy asked. “Yes, why?” Before Christina could say anything more, she was shoved into the pool of water.  

Opening her eyes Christina saw that the water expanded kilometres across and down. “First Amy, you didn’t have to push me, second, it’s an underwater cave system” Christina said coming up for air. Upon this discovery Amy joined Christina in the water peering through the depths before coming up, “Can goblin’s even hold their breath?” Amy asked. 

Little did the marketing team know their movements were creating ripples disturbing the creatures of the deep. Christina shrugged, “I’m going to try looking again.” Ducking under, Christina was suddenly face to face with a huge aquatic monster. She peered into its unblinking yellow eyes too afraid to move. She carefully lifted her hand tugging on Amy’s foot. As soon as Amy saw the site, she grabbed Christina to swim away, but it was too late. 

The creature from the deep chased them away from the pool’s entrance. Deeper into the depths, away from oxygen and safety. They swam as fast as they could, towards a visible air pocket but they were not fast enough. The monster swallowed them whole. 

“Are we dead?” Christina piped up.  

“Not if I can hear you” Amy answered lighting a match. “Oh, you’re kidding” Amy exclaimed as the dim light revealed a familiar green face.  

“Funny seeing you two here” he said.  

Christina and Amy groaned before Amy snatched the soggy marketing papers back. “What are we going to do with this?” Amy shook her head looking at the smudged ink.  

“We have bigger fish to fry,” said Christina, referring to their current location.  

“Are you just going to ignore me?” asked the goblin. 

As the match went out, Amy lit another, throwing it at the goblin, followed by a roll of soggy paper. “Hey!”  

Before the fighting continued the trio were greeted by a light shining from beyond. “Sorry I’m late my car battery died,” said the scuba mask wearing figure holding the monster’s mouth open with a spear.  

The spear started to splinter as the monster released a guttural groan, clamping down. Christina and Amy leaped through the small opening back into the water. With the limited air they had, their only focus was swimming back to the pool’s entrance.  

Coughing and gasping for air, a familiar face greeted them from dry land. “TANEKA” Christina exclaimed in shock as she was helped from the water.  

“What are you doing here?” Amy added.  

“Helping hand” Taneka replied helping Amy up. 

The mysterious scuba diver was the last to be hoisted onto dry land by Taneka. Removing the mask Grace gave a timid wave. “GRACE!” Christina and Amy said in unison.  

“Happy to be part of the team” Grace replied.  

“This is all well and good but what about the marketing papers?” Amy asked. “Oh, I made copies, didn’t you see my email” said Taneka checking her phone, “Oh, whoops, no service.”