Making friends with Goblins

The goblins of Hopeless, Maine, are makers. Arguably the most capable of all makers. Their creations may not appear as striking as Balthazar Lemon’s lighthouse, or Lilly May’s demon infested blunderbusses, but goblins are able to do something that other makers are not: They make life.

Goblins are made by other goblins – usually out of found items. Once a goblin has been made in its entirety, and certain rituals have taken place, the new goblin becomes fully alive and self aware. Goblins tend to show up having a pretty good idea how to get on with being a goblin, and are independent thinkers from their first moment.

With regards to the life-giving ritual, it is difficult to describe because each one takes its own form, depending on the whim of the goblin-maker. One thing is clear – that to make a goblin, one must also be a goblin. Humans attempting to replicate the process do not achieve the same results. 

The choice of materials for a new goblin is mostly a question of taste rather than practicality. A bucket makes a perfectly good head. So does a rock, or a pumpkin. Rocks can be tied in place to create eyes. How do those eyes then see? How do goblins have mouths? These are uneasy questions, for which the most likely answer is ‘because it would be silly not to’. For some time now there has been a fashion for using chicken feet as both feet and hands, and goblins are always fond of bones. String is always a source of excitement to a goblin-maker as it allows you to get so much done.

One of the reasons that very few people notice goblins, is that their random assemblages are easy to disguise. A goblin who is not moving looks like a pile of inconsequential stuff, and you may easily overlook it. Your own pile of random stuff might even have been organised into life while you weren’t paying attention. Untidy houses can attract goblins looking for usable materials. Whether this is a curse or a blessing is open to debate.

It is difficult to say how long goblins live. Broken parts are replaced. Bits of goblins are repurposed. Sometimes goblins trade limbs, because they can. New goblins are made when previous goblins disappear. Do the goblins know what they are or how they function? Probably not. Do they sit awake at night wondering about the implications of having swapped their bucket head for a really good shell? Yes, they do.

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