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Fiction / Terri Mullholland

Dancing with the Goblins

Issue 2. June 21, 2021

They said to never go near the green hill at gloaming.
            Particularly not if you fall into one of the high-risk categories for goblin enchantment: fair maidens and those with difficult home situations, such as wicked step-mothers and drunkard fathers.
            And you don’t want to go up there if you’re looking for answers to the questions you ask yourself at 3 am, about who you are and who you could be.
            You’ll find the goblins readying themselves for their night party, the luminous decorations all in place, and they’ll invite you to join them.
            You won’t be able to resist.
            And if you’re reluctant, the goblin king himself will appear with his green smile and his green eyes. He’ll take you by the hand and make you dance; even if you’ve never danced before, your feet will obey and will keep moving until dawn.
            The other goblins will dance around you, smoking pipes of green smoke. They will offer you sips of green wine and mouthfuls of green treats, and you will indulge with a hedonistic pleasure you have never felt before.
            Until you wake up, lying on the hillside in the cold morning light, with no memory of what happened. You will wonder why your feet are blistered, your clothing ripped, and why your skin now has a greenish hue.
            You’ll walk around all day in a daze until the next gloaming finds you back on the hillside, your feet itching to dance again.

Terri Mullholland is a writer and researcher living in London, UK. She has a PhD from the University of Oxford, where she has taught English Literature and Critical Theory. Her flash fiction has appeared in Litro, Flash Fiction Magazine, Every Day Fiction, and Six Sentences.

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