The Locksmith of the Spotted Hills

Thinking of his evening in Crumbald Centre, Slagfid smiled to himself as he fished his keys from his belt. A sound caught his ears before the keys reached the door. He listened, nothing. The dwarf stood still. The lock and key swayed gently above his head in the night breeze. His thoughts returned to the tattered man at the tavern. Again, a noise, it came from behind the cabin. Slagfid bent down and tossed his keys through the gate into the forge porch. He could pick his own locks later. Besides, he had another set secured in a case hidden at the Musty Mule. He gripped his Warhammer and slid into the shadows. He moved quietly around to the back of the cabin. He listened. He moved toward his woodpile and surveyed the grounds in the starlight. His ancestral, subterranean eye site tried to compensate to bring the blurred shadows into focus, but the starlight was too bright. The crack of a twig, and another footfall, were followed by a guttural sound. Suddenly, the air was full of the smells of filth and sweat and…goblins. Goblins? Slagfid felt a thud on the back of his head and the starlit sky vanished.

by Nelson Cosgrove

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