Oswald Pineshadow


Oswald was born a very ugly human child indeed. His parents could barely stand the sight of his over-inflated head, and his weird pointy ears. What bothered them the most was probably the fact that he was albino, with very pale skin and freakishly demon-looking red eyes. But they loved him of course, because he was their son.

However, when he grew his teeth and they were a full row of sharp incisors, which he one day used to bite off his mothers nipple with, then his parents turned against him. They could not tolerate their son’s abnormalitites any more and so Oswald was said to have “wandered off” when his mother visited a swamp to collect some herbs.

Oswald lay in the swamp all day, but he wasn’t bothered. The mud was squishy and fun to play in. Soon he was covered in a layer of greenish slime as he played in the moss under a rotting tree. By the time it was dark, and the goblins came out looking for human children to kidnap and eat, Oswald was quite hungry himself as he had not seen his mother all day, so he called out when he heard the goblins making their way through the swamp to the village. A goblin stood over him, peering at Oswald, so Oswald smiled at him and the goblin seemed surprised. The goblin took Oswald to the goblin camp, and gave him to one of the women to look after.

Oswald, who was currently green-skinned, with red eyes and sharp teeth, had been mistaken for a goblin and was now being fed by one of the women-folk of the camp. In time, he forgot of his human mother as the goblins raised him as their own, searching in vain for the goblin mother who was missing a baby.

Fears What am I scared of? I’m scared that the goblins that raised me, the goblins that have been my family since I can remember, will find out my dark, disgusting, terrible secret. I found a weed that gives exactly the right shade of goblin green when mixed with some water and a small dab of clay. Luckily my eyes are already a burning red, or I surely would have been found out straight away. I’ve always been teased for my odd smell; I can’t seem to replicate the exact smell of a goblin no matter how I try. When I was 7 I took a knife and split my ears from the top; folding them over to create a point at the top. Yet I still live constantly in fear of them finding out.

I could simply leave and not risk it, but the shadow pine tribe are my family. I AM a goblin, and I have no choice in the matter. We don’t choose our families, as we’re not around to make the decision. So I live in fear. Fear of the day when, sleeping in my goblin bed, I am woken to shouts of “liar!” and “fake”. Fear of being ripped from my bed and stripped naked, of being splashed with water and my pale human skin being revealed; blanched from the lack of sun. Then I fear being tied to a spit above a fire and being roasted alive as my goblin brethren sticks me with knives; too excited to wait for the flesh to cook. I fear the look on Conquers’ face as I slip into unconsciousness from the lack of oxygen. A look that simultaneously says how disgusted and ashamed he is but is also disappointed at the empire I will never help him to build.

Oswald Pineshadow

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