Challenge #02008-E184: What About Me?

in fiction •  9 months ago

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The older jade-skinned female shook her head with a sympathetic smile - not angry, but understanding good intentions gone misinformed.
"Lana, you're young and determined, but also human. Tall, white, human. Not short, not green, and definitely not goblin. I appreciate you wanting to plan this 'goblin pride' rally thing, but it's kinda romanticised. Just because we mixed into human society doesn't mean we risk losing ourselves. We still know our history and have our beliefs and traditions, as crude and vulgar as some of them are in the opinions of some humans."
The goblin woman frowned a bit, as if hesitating slightly. "But Goblins... we weren't exactly the whole 'noble savage' thing like you were taught and want to show, nice as that might sound to pretend otherwise. We were craven little gremlins, jumping at shadows - funny to learn fantasy roleplaying games were pretty accurate on that, to a degree, huh?"
A pause as Lana chuckled, then she continued. "Before the humans discovered the first goblins, we were little monsters; we scavenged carcasses or garbage, lived in swamps & caves, and basically used sex as currency. Integrating with human society was a good thing. Medicine, good food, safety. Lives got longer, kids got smarter. We... are better off now. Now come here, kiddo, let's see if we can't get things a bit more presentably accurate..." -- Anon Guest.

There were many things to be proud of, as a Goblin. The species' tenacity was definitely in the top ten. As was their adaptability to any given environment. Not mentioned in polite society was how Goblins knew how to prepare, cook, and eat the flesh of other intelligent species. Their inherent magic to render any normally inedible and soft enough substance into edible material, on the other hand, was widely celebrated after an inordinate spate of food terrorism.

Well. It was called food terrorism now. Back in the era it was happening, it was called The Deregulation and Dismantling of the FDA. Or it was better known at the time, a bold new move for the invisible hand of the free market. The free market had loved being able to add poison to foodstuffs to make it last longer, taste better, look healthier, and otherwise make vast amounts of profit with the least amount of expenditure. And the medical market had loved putting people into debtor's prison for their crimes of being sick and poor.

The Goblins had come out of the woodwork, safely consuming that which sickened humanity. Things were revealed. And suddenly the invisible hand of the free market had competition from a species that could make all the adulterated food safe to eat once more. The revolution came shortly thereafter, when the ruling class attempted to make these unlikely saviour cryptids illegal and openly urged for Goblin extinction.

The history books didn't mention how the Goblins took Humanity's long-standing metaphor, eat the rich rather literally after the rebels had won. That was a little detail of miscommunication that most polite people preferred not to talk about. And it was that little wrinkle that Lana was attempting to sanctify through her attempt at throwing a parade. There was a proposal for a beheaded human corpse on a rotating spit that periodically shot coloured streamers out of the stump.

Lana was going to make it out of flowers. As if that was going to make that unpleasant wrinkle of history any more appealing. And as for her designs concerning the parade costumes... the less said about that, the better.

Deep fried meat balls, candy skulls, and costumes representing the personifications of disease, greed, and anger were approved. Floats representing modern Goblin industry were preferred over the gory and racist past. And any attempt at humans in Greenface was politely shut down.

Lana broke, at last. "I don't get it," she whined. "Why won't you include us in your celebration?"

The elder, Blass, glared a little. "You were the one wanting to throw us a party. Based on our history. Our heritage. Our struggle. And you want to be in it?"

She didn't get it. "Why not?"

"Are you in any part of our history?"

Lana puffed herself up. "I'm the grand-niece of the second cousin of the best friend of the husband of the woman who campaigned for your people on Facebook."

"Campaigned," echoed Elder Blass.

"Yup. She liked every single Goblin Rights meme that turned up on her feed. Sometimes it took her two hours."

"Wow," said Blass, in spite of the fact that sarcasm was lost on the slow of mind. "That must have taken some heroism. Nothing at all like the bravery of the people who actually acted as human shield for Goblin children, or those who defied the law to usher Goblin families to places of safety."

The metaphorical penny may have begun to fall through the slow molasses of Lana's mind. "Er," she said.

"Or those who began the revolution by teaching entire litters of Goblins that they could be more than craven scavengers. Or those who forcibly liberated camps where the corporations were holding thousands hostage or in enslavement for corporate gain." Blass sipped her tea. "But I'm sure you're distant associate by nebulous association suffered horribly from blisters on her clicking finger."

Lana's face looked like a smacked bottom. "Well if you're going to be mean, then I'm going to scrap the whole thing! You ungrateful Snots."

"Nice racist slur," said Blass, unaffected. "Just what I'd expect from someone with such a noble heritage." Her pack of guardian warriors seemingly appeared out of the woodwork to make certain that she didn't do much more than throw a tantrum.

Some people still got salty that they couldn't turn up to the party two decades late with romantic visions of still being some kind of saviour.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / Mikesilent]

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