“Hahaha-a-ah,” Grueg howls. “Ack, ha, oh-ho,” a fly smacks the back of his throat, breaks skin. A trickle of blood and bug guts mix. He munches the snack, giggles, humps the bird’s leg and squeals in delight. Another bug hits the side of his face, then he’s blasted by a spray of gnats. He forces his eyes open, really tries to feel the sting of each pelting thwap.
That’s the thing about goblins that most folks can’t—or refuse—to appreciate. Of all the creatures across the multiverse, goblins are one of the—if not the—most impulsive. The mistake people often make is to think that goblins don’t care about their lives. That they’re suicidal. That their willingness to strap themselves to bombs, step on mines, go into too-small-holes, poke wild beasts, taste poisons, and jump from cliffs is due to mental deficiency. Simple-minded they may be, their actions are done with some thought. For example, look at little Grueg here. You could see his willingness to grab hold of a bird’s leg and go for a ride as a foolish escapade. But you’re seeing this through your eyes. You’re thinking, “What a fool, I’d never do that. Why the only flying creature I’d get on is a trusted pegasus. Something I know to be safe, carry me from place to place in gentle fashion.”
But that’s just it, goblins have done that. Goblins are a species always trying to outdo each other. Why do you think Squee is the most well known goblin of all? Because he can’t die? Not at all, he’s legendary because of just how many ways he has died. Grueg knows he’ll never top Squee—every goblin knows that. So instead, he’ll do what he can to be remembered in his own special way. If one story is told about him around a roasting fire, he’ll be happy.
As the bird flies, it tires of its passenger, banks and swoops over an outcropping of rocks and shakes Grueg free. As Grueg falls, he realizes no one will see his final moments. Well piss, at least the ride was exciting and the snacks free. In his final moments he thinks, It was fun while it lasted. A sentiment a million goblins have had before, and millions more will share.