Young Glorble, FINISHED 6/10

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    So, just to confuse people, the story is a few posts further down. 😆

    I cleaned up the first part I posted yesterday and added a few new paragraphs, moving the story along. I will continue to delete the story posts as I make improvements and write more, so that the whole thing is in one big long post, instead of having to bounce between multiple ones.

    A note on the text. For whatever reason, italics don’t work so good on this forum right yet. Being a terrible writer, I rely heavily on italics. Not being able to use them is no good. I have used them in the story, fairly often. It doesn’t wreck the story to not be able to see them, but it does make things strange at a few points. I’m working on an alternative. If anybody has any ideas, please let me know.

    Also, if anybody has anything to say – good, bad, or indifferent – please say it. I need to know the bad spots, the rough patches, etc, so I can fix them. Or if you just liked it, or hated it, or whatever.





    dammit, why won’t the italics work?



    That’s awesome! I dig it.



    nothing to see here. move along. 😛



    I’m digging the story Pete! Lack of italics doesn’t seem an issue to me.



    Young Glorble was in trouble.

    Mama had told her babies not to leave the yard and not to tease the blor porples Papa had caged behind the shed, but had her little werms listened?
    Oh no. Now one of the beasties was loose, three of her babies were waiting to see if they were going to be Returned or not, and Glorble (who had always been more of a Stanismist at heart) had most definitely left the yard.
    Truth be told, he wasn’t sure where the goose he was. One second he was poking the blor porple through the bars of the cage with a pointy stick, the next he was running down the lane, screaming. He was still running. He had to stop running for a second to check something. Yup, he was still screaming too.

    Glorble dared risk a look around since he’d already stopped running. The blor porple was nowhere to be seen, but if the screams were any indicator, it had found its way into the Wygg’s yard. Papa was going to give them seven different kinds of whoopin’ when he got home.

    The young werm decided it might be a good idea to sit down and think things through for a while. Well, for as long as the screams kept going in that direction. His brothers might or might not Return. One of the stock was loose, and apparently wreaking havoc all over the neighborhood. Papa would be in for a hot welcome when he got home, and he’d be all too willing to spread out some of that heat to the responsible parties. Glorble was the oldest, he’d be blamed. He could hear his Mama already, you’re the oldest, you should have known better, I’ll never get that blood out of your shirt. Slowly an idea formed in his addled mind – maybe, just maybe, if his parents were terrified enough, they might not take the afternoon’s events out on him. He knew just the thing for it. Glorble hopped up from his rock and walked towards the wood at the end of the lane.

    Never, ever, ever go into the woods. In fact, don’t ever leave the yard. Mamma had been pounding that into his head since he could squirm, Glorble and all his siblings. Most of the time, they listened. Once he’d led the others right up to the edge of the forest and had dared them to go in, but had been secretly relieved when they all ran home screaming instead. But that had been six yorts ago; he was much bigger now. And he didn’t want his hide tanned. Suddenly, a few trees didn’t seem so scary. So he told himself as he stood at the edge of the woods, watching the yellow fog from the Keister moving slowly through the giant trunks. He would take a few steps inside, find a rock to sit on (or maybe hide under, if things got too scary), and wait for Papa to find him. If Papa were worried enough, he’d just be happy to find him.

    It seemed like a good idea, anyway.


    A few hours later, the fog got thicker and the sun went down and Glorble began to have serious misgivings about his grand plan. There had been no more screaming, true, but nobody had come looking for him yet. He’d crept to the edge of the woods once or twice to see if anybody was even bothering, but the lane was empty. The smoke from Borf’s cookfires and furnaces mixed with the fog over their neighborhood to bring a premature darkness; by the time it was wrapped around him, Glorble was already firmly in the warm embrace of terror. Or maybe the embrace was cold, and it was just his pants that were warm. They got that way when you peed in them.

    His mind bubbled and spit with possibilities. What if nobody came looking for him? What if the blor porple had gone back and let all the others out of their cages? There had been a dozen back there, three months of Papa’s hard work and worth enough in the fighting pits across the Big Drink to keep them all fed for a year. What if one of his brothers was Returned and told Papa how Glorble had tossed each of them, one after another, into the path of the blor porple so he could make good his own escape? That wasn’t exactly the kind of big brother behavior parents tended to reward… He could just hear Mama now – you’re the oldest, we named you after the Founder, you should be protecting your brothers, not feeding them to monsters. His cheeks burned with the shame of it now, but at the time…

    Papa’s not coming for you. You know that. Glorble sat in the brume-stinking dark and tortured himself with the voices in his head, waiting. Thoughts of running away, to Borf, maybe, or down the coast to Floom itself, danced on the edge of his brain, but he kept running into one minor complication. He was only eight yorts old, and Keister Island was no place for an eight yort old to be running around alone. If nothing else, there was the ENN-TEE to contend with.

    That lying horc kid in the stall next to Papa’s on market day, he knew all about the ENN-TEE. Supposedly. The Nukular Terrachikkun, he claimed, roamed the moss and the wetnesses from Stan’s Rug clear down to the Grumblerent, and everywhere in between. Stories said it had even eaten a posse of occifers and well-meaning adventurers out of Floom, every single one of them, right down to the bones and gristle. Could there really be a nine-yort tall, bright green deathboid just down the street from his house? With a sapphire-blue tongue and eyes to match? Glorble wasn’t too sure about any of it – the kid did lie about pretty much everything; but then, Papa had fought his fair share of huge monsters around Borf, so he supposed anything was possible. And the Rug wasn’t all that far away… but really, the kid was a liar…

    Glorble sat in the dark for a long time, kicking the stone under him and digging himself further and further into a nice, deep hole of self-pity. Occasionally he would argue with the voices in his head about the merits of running away, or whether all of this was really his fault or not, or if the ENN-TEE was real, or even if that cloying stink was dried-up fear-sweat or the pee he’d unloaded in his britches.

    Turns out it was neither. The werm had been so busy – and so loud – arguing with himself, he hadn’t even heard the pack of blor porples sneaking up behind him. First warning he got was an evil giggle from the lead monster. It came bounding up onto the rock, squealing and clutching a stick. The same stick Glorble had used to torment it before. It was a lot messier now than it had been then. He made a queer half-moan half-scream and leapt off the rock, meaning to run deeper into the woods. The blor porples cackled and gibbered and danced on top of the rock, pointing at him. They were playing with him, he knew, but he ran anyway. Deeper into the woods, away from the rock and the horrors cavorting atop it. Their noise never dissipated, though. They stayed just far enough behind him to stay on his trail, but close enough to keep him running.

    When he tried turning back towards the lane, they would run faster, get in between him and it. Papa said there was no end to these woods – they ran right to the sea, yorts and yorts holewhence. Glorble cried as he ran. He didn’t want to get eaten, or poked to death with sticks. He didn’t want to try testing his luck to see if he would be Returned. If the blor porples left enough to Return, even. At this point all he wanted was to go home and get his hiney royally smacked, and cherish every second of it.

    He ran for a long time. At some point it started raining, but only a little. It wasn’t stanky rain, at least. Still there was no telling when that might start, and he couldn’t breathe for the stitch in his side, so Glorble found a wide dead tree half-uprooted and hid in the exposed and petrified roots. When he could finally hear something other than his own hearts pounding in his ears and his labored breathing, he realized there was something else he wasn’t hearing.

    The blor porples. The giggles, the cackling, the flatulence – they’d all stopped. Stealth was lost on those things, he knew. So where were they? Risking a stick in the eye, he popped his head out between the stony roots.

    He didn’t get a stick in the eye, so that was something. But the something he did get was much, much worse. Whatever it was, all he knew was it had a bright blue tongue.

    And an appetite.



    Very nice. The story is going well.

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