Estella ran down the trail, her dog, Gerard several feet ahead of her. A gust of wind ripped through the forest and a loud crack on her left caught her attention. She watched the tree fall, then turned back to the trail, but Gerard was gone!
Going around to the other side of the tree, Estella noticed a tunnel where the tree had fallen. As she approached, she heard Gerard howling. His howling was growing distant. Gerard had run away before. He was a blood hound and often followed his nose…
Calling was of no avail. This was something Estella knew from much experience. Still the tunnel was intensely foreboding. It must be confessed the shout she gave for Gerard was rather a limp one. She gave one final shout, then thwarted destiny no longer, and entered the tunnel. Thankfully she was always prepared and had a flashlight in her backpack. Sadly, it did not work anymore. Curious very curious she was able to stand up in the tunnel.
How far did a tunnel under a tree possibly extend? Estella had walked for two minutes and finally she started to panic. How in the world did the hole made by a tree go on for so very long? Feeling confused she sighed and rubbed her brow. Her face brightened (though it was not observable in the darkness). She raised her head and shouted “echo”. An echo rippled back towards her. So, there was an end in sight! (Well not actually in sight because it was so dark.) It was in fact so dark, that she fell into a hole in the ground.
When she awoke it was to find herself lying flat on her back with Gerard licking her face. So, she must have been dreaming, good, but why was her bed so hard, and why was it bumping up and down? Looking around, Estella gave a start! She and Gerard were in a wooden prison like enclosure on wheels. The cart like thing was being pulled by strange creatures the tallest of which were only about three feet high! One of them turned its head and calmly said “Hi” in a ringing, high pitched voice. They marched in a swarm around the cart and seemed to be carrying it somewhere. Through tunnels lighted by torches they went.
Estella dimly recollected that she should be worried. After all she was in cart with bars to hold them in but was so charmed by the comical little voices coming from the creatures that she heard herself candidly asking “What are your names?”. Another one of the creatures (I shall call them fairies) replied, “I am named Jeer, my wife here is named Perfidious, these two are our son’s Snoop, and Execrable.” Estella had been so infatuated by how tiny and adorable they were that she didn’t even notice the prick of horror that went up and down her spine as she heard their gruesome names for such adorable things. In fact, she could remember nothing of her previous feelings towards the blackness around her.
Estella subconsciously patted her dog’s head still totally absorbed in the little fairies. “Aren’t they the cutest things Gerard?” she asked. Gerard gave a nervous whimper in reply. Estella did not here a word that the creatures were saying. All she was able to take in was the delicateness and beauty of the fairies. Perfidious had a tiny, tinted, tiara containing rainbow-colored gems. Jeer, Snoop, and Execrable all had little felt caps and capes. Gerard nuzzled her, whimpering and sadly, waging his tail. “What is it boy?” she asked, still watching the goblins.
Gerard looked at her and then he howled. Owwwoooooooo! Estella glared at him, “how you must have frightening them Gerard”. She gave him a little smack and he whimpered. It was not like herself to smack him, her “loyal dog”. He wondered what was going on. Laying down, he whimpered some more. Turning, Estella hissed “Do be quiet, won’t you?”.
They went through one passage after another, and the deeper they went the more entranced Estella became. Finally, the procession stopped in a large cavern room. In the center of the room was a large pile of stones. At the top sat a very old fairy with a crown of what looked like spun rainbows. He banged a large staff twice his height upon the ground and the mob of fairies went silent. Watching, waiting. A fairy came forwards and began to open the cart. Estella moved forwards and took the creatures hand. Slowly the climbed the hill, with Gerard following.
At the top the old fairy beckoned for her to come forwards. She came closer and the old one said “We have claimed you as our own. After today you will be one of us! First you must go through a procedure to perceive evil as brilliance and love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control as abhorrent. After this procedure you will be able to do anything you want in perfect comfort because put simply this is the removal of your conscience. You will also need a new name, perhaps Malice or Envy. I don’t know yet, you may choose when the time comes.” He said all this with a twinkling smile and tone of flippancy that was almost irresistible.
Estella was smiling and nodding, she was almost convinced. However, Gerard was not! He dove forwards and bit the goblin king on the shin for the old fairy was a goblin, and so were the rest of that deceitful people. The moment that Gerard’s teeth contacted skin the King shrieked and shriveled up into his natural form, which was that of a hideous goblin. Seeing their game was up the goblins all took on their most hideous form. Then they began to laugh in chorus and bang hands on the floor in a rhythmic beet. Gone were the merry tinkling little voices. What greeted the ears was not in any way comforting and it echoed off the cavern walls.
Estella shrieked very loudly. Gerard Barked angrily. They ran. To this day Estella does not know how they got out of there. Only faintly does she remember scrambling after Gerard. If Gerard could talk, he would tell you that he had been situationally aware the whole time and had known the way back home. He would also tell you that in her fright Estella trampled at least five goblins and that her feet were nothing to be trifled with.
Note: This was partially based off of the song In the Hall of the Mountain King.