A/N I am back! Just a quick note, but I'll be doing things a bit differently. For example, I'll only reply to anonymous comments in chapters; all others, I'll reply via notes, just to keep things from getting too cluttered. Speaking of, I'm doing away with the author's notes at the end of chapters. I might change my mind about some things in the future, we'll just have to see.
At any rate, the original Princess and the Goblin story is owned by George MacDonald, and the movie by Entertainment Film Distributions and Budapest Film. Any unrecognized characters are mine.
It was horrible and chaotic that day when the goblins attacked. They came seemingly from nowhere; and when the water came flooding into and through the castle, it took them away to who one knows where.
For several years after, no one heard from the creatures. Not the royal family, nor the miners who knew the most about the goblins. Thus, the events that happened years after that day were a great surprise to everyone, royal and common-folk.
After urging her father to double the guard on account of the oncoming goblin threat, the king told Irene to stay in her room until they were sure the threat was over, or even not coming. She didn't protest much, as she still feared the creatures and what they could do to her people.
The golden-haired girl wandered about her room, finding herself bored without someone to talk to, or something specific to do. She ran her fingers along her harp, gently pushed at the rocking unicorn she had since she was small so it rocked a few times, and glanced in the various chests, only to find nothing new or of interest.
As she sat at her vanity, she thought back to what had happened only a few hours prior; when she tried to show Curdie her great-great-grandmother. It had hurt very much that he didn't believe her, and that they had parted on such cold terms. She had already forgiven him for his attitude—she could hardly blame him, and he was her friend, after all—and hoped she could see him again. And perhaps he could forgive her for being so rude and unladylike to him.
She jumped at the sudden sound. In the mirror, she saw the door leading into her room was open, and in the doorway was Curdie. He held a sword in his hand, and looked both bewildered and relieved. "Oh, thank goodness you're safe," he sighed.
"Curdie?!" Irene exclaimed, standing and approaching him. "What are you doing here?"
His smile melted into a determined expression. "The goblins are here!" he replied.
Irene's eyes widened. She knew it would inevitably happen, but she hadn't expected for them to come so soon.
The children failed to notice the rocking unicorn, which was next to the door, rock a few times as if something had bumped it forcefully. "Stay inside, and lock your door," Curdie continued, stepping back out of the room. "I'll help fight them off!"
"Can't I come too?" she asked as he hurried into the hallway outside of her room. After all, she knew singing would ward them off.
"No, stay here where it's safe," he shook his head, holding a hand to stop her as she began to follow him.
"You will come back though, won't you?" she asked in a small, yet hopeful voice. He seemed happy to see her, but she didn't know if he was still internally cross with her.
He paused in his step and turned back. "I'll be back," he nodded, waving his sword in the air. The light caught on it briefly, making it appear to be glowing. "That's a promise!" he declared before turning and running down the hall.
Irene could just barely hear what sounded like pounding feet and voices she didn't recognize, as well as what sounded like fighting. She returned to her room, closed the door, and turned the lock, letting out a sigh of relief that she was safe.
But she realized something as she turned and began to walk away from the door: something didn't feel right. She couldn't quite put her finger on it, but there was something... sinister in the air. It made the little hairs on the back of her neck stand on end, a chill run up her spine, and gave her an uneasy fluttering in her stomach.
She let out a whimper as she froze, and slowly turned around. Her eyes widened, and she involuntarily stepped back with a scream.
Standing right next to the door, thus being hidden behind it when it was open, was a tall, light-green goblin with wild dark-pink hair that billowed out behind and between two large, pointed ears, big, round yellow eyes, and a wide, maniacal grin. He wore a black cape lined with pink around his neck, pinned by a skull-shaped pin, and a dark-teal loincloth.
He chuckled darkly as he began to approach her. She let out another throaty scream as she stumbled away, bumping into the head of her rocking unicorn. Glancing at it, she shoved it around so it faced to the side of her and the goblin, and pushed it at him, all with surprisingly-sudden strength. It fell on its side against his shins, making him jump back with a pained grunt. She used this distraction to run away. But because she was so frightened, she ran away from the door, and instead deeper into her room.
The goblin shoved the rocking unicorn away and ran after her, growling, "Come back here!"
Irene tripped over one of her chests, pushed herself up, and continued running away. "Go away!" she yelled. She ran around a table that had a basket of roses, and instead of going around it as well, the goblin simply pushed it to the side, knocking it over, and sending the roses scattering about the floor.
She crashed into her bed, and ran around it so it was between her and the goblin. He grinned at her, revealing only two teeth in each corner of his mouth, and began to climb over the bed. Crying out in fright, she grabbed a pillow and began smacking him across the face with it. "Get out of here!" she shouted again.
He grunted in surprise, and grabbed out at her, though he merely grabbed and pulled at the bed curtains, giving Irene time to throw the pillow at him and run again. Shaking his head, and making his ears smack about, the goblin chased after her again; the two hit and knocked over furniture as they continued their game of cat-and-mouse, until he finally managed to grab her by the arm. "Gotcha!" he declared.
Yelping, Irene kicked at him until her foot hit one of his own single-toed feet. He cried out loudly in pain and let her go to grab at his foot. She used this time to run away again. This time, as soon as she saw the door leading out of her room, she ran to it and tried to open it, only to realize, and remember, that she locked it. But she knew she wouldn't have time to unlock it, open it, and escape, as the goblin would have surely recovered from her kick.
Then, she remembered something Curdie had told her when they first met: if there's one thing they can't stand, it's a song. They hate music. Granted, it was regarding the goblin pets at the time, but he had further explained that goblins also hated singing.
Turning to face the goblin, who had indeed recovered from his injury, and was now approaching her quickly with an angry expression, Irene pulled a determined face, opened her mouth, and took a deep breath.
He must have realized what she was about to do because he lunged forward, shoved her against her door with one hand, and covered her mouth with the other; he also stood on both of her feet. "If you th'o much a'th utter a th'ingle tune, I'll th'lit your throat!" he hissed in a heavy lisp, coating her face and his hand in spit. "Or, better yet, I'll do that to that Th'un-Boy! He could u'the th'ome punishment after the la'tht time we met."
Her eyes widened in horror. It was frightening enough that the goblin was threatening her, but to hear him threatening her friend was worse.
She grabbed his wrist with both hands, and pulled his hand down off of her mouth. She tried to think of something equally-threatening to say, but all that came out was a small whimper, "Y-you can't."
He blinked a few times, as if he was astonished at what she said, and then laughed out loud. "'Y-you can't,'" he mocked. Then, his expression turned from amused to angry, and he growled, "I can do what I want, Th'un-Prin'the'th!"
"P-please, don't hurt him," she pleaded. "I'll, I'll do anything!"
A smirk grew on his face, and he quirked an eyebrow. "Anything?" he purred.
It was then that Irene realized what she must do. A small part of her was urging, if not outright pleading, for her to not do it. But she didn't want anything or anyone to harm Curdie, especially if she could have done something to prevent it.
Taking a deep breath, she replied with as steady of a voice as she could muster, "Yes. It's obvious it's me you want, as you came into my room, chasing after me. S-so... if I go willingly with you, you mustn't harm Curdie." At the confused expression, she explained, "The... Sun-Boy, as you called him. You can't hurt him."
Snarling, the goblin asked, "Why shouldn't I? And why should I believe anything you th'ay?"
"Because I'm willing to leave with you in exchange for leaving him alone," she replied. "Especially since I was avoiding you before."
The goblin pulled a contemplative expression, even tapping his chin with a pointed dark-green claw. "I'm able to take you, do anything I wish to you, and in return, I leave th'e Th'un-Boy alone?"
"Precisely," Irene nodded, still taking slow, deep breaths to calm her still-racing heart.
After a few more seconds, he grinned, "Very well, Prin'the'th, I'll not harm a hair on hi'th head. Now then, if you would be th'o kind," he said sarcastically, nodding at the locked door.
As soon as the goblin agreed to the deal, even though it was what she wanted, she still felt her heart skip a beat in fear. But still, she nodded, and turned to unlock the door. As soon as she did, the goblin held both of her arms behind her back with one large hand, opened the door with the other, and peeked out. Irene almost hoped someone was out there, so they may save her.
But there was no one. Not even her little kitten, Turnip—though she knew he wouldn't stand a chance against a goblin. Satisfied, said goblin pushed her out of the room, and shut the door behind him. "Now, th'tay quiet," he hissed in her ear, dampening it and her hair as he spoke, "and don't make a th'ingle th'ound. Otherwi'the..." he trailed off as he shoved her down the halls.
But she didn't need him to further explain. She knew the consequences if she alerted anyone to her predicament. So, she let him force her down the hallways. She could still hear battle sounds, but after several minutes of walking, and hiding to avoid humans running through the castle, she began to hear something else: people calling out for her. This made a shiver run down her spine.
Soon, they were walking down a set of stairs into the wine cellar. Shelves had been knocked to the ground, some barrels were smashed to pieces, and empty, half-empty, and full wine bottles were scattered across the ground. In the back of the room, she saw a large hole in the floor and against the wall. This must be how they got in, she thought to herself.
There were also several knights in the cellar. Some were coming out of the tunnel, and others were looking throughout the entire room. But this didn't stop the goblin. He carefully, yet quickly, snuck down the stairs, past the knights, who were starting to leave, and hid himself and her among the remaining wine barrels. "Remember, not a th'ound," he reminded her, whispering so low into her ear, she could barely hear him.
She nodded numbly as she saw all but five knights go up the stairs. Three of them approached the entrance to the tunnel, and the other two continued looking around the room, presumably for her and any remaining goblins. She gulped nervously, and let out a tiny gasp when the goblin squeezed her lower arms.
After a few minutes, there was an urgent voice coming down the stairs, "Get out! Quickly!"
To her shock, Curdie came running down and into the cellar, panting heavily as if he had been running throughout the entire castle. The sword he had previously was gone. "Drop everything and run!" he shouted to the men.
The goblin backed further behind the wine barrels, taking Irene with him so she could no longer see what was happening. "I'll check the cellar! Get out, quick! Or you'll all drown!"
She heard the knights chattering among themselves as they stopped what they were doing and ran back up the stairs. She could hear them still shouting for her.
It all sunk in what she was doing: she was allowing her enemy to essentially kidnap her, and take her back to his lair under the mountains to do whatever he wanted with her. She would never see any humans again. She wouldn't see any of the knights, she wouldn't see Lootie, or Curdie, or her dear father again.
At these thoughts, she began to cry. The goblin tugged her back, as if to tell her to be quiet. But it was too late. "Who's that?... Irene!" Curdie said softly.
When she looked up, she saw him standing in front of her, looking both sad and relieved. "Curdie!" she gasped, subconsciously trying to step forward, only for the goblin to hold her back. "Look out!"
"Froglip!" Curdie exclaimed, glaring at the goblin over Irene's shoulder.
"Don't you come one th'tep near her, or I'll wring her neck!" the goblin, evidently named Froglip, threatened her friend, tracing a claw up her chin before grabbing her neck. She screamed in fright as he shoved her towards the tunnel, while Curdie could only watch. "She'th mine now!" Froglip declared as Irene continued to snivel. "I'm taking her back with me!"
"No! Not down there!" Curdie exclaimed. "You won't stand a chance!"
"Oh yeah? You try th'topping me, Th'un-Boy!" The goblin continued to push her down the hole as she tried to look back at her friend.
"But the water!" he protested as Froglip, and Irene by proxy, shuffled down. "It's coming down the tunnel!"
Irene let out a whimper as she heard roaring from where they were going. But it didn't sound like an animal, or crowd of humans or goblins. It sounded like a waterfall.
"Ugh," Froglip scoffed. "You really don't think I'll be fooled by that old trick?" He laughed, and declared proudly, "I'm not th'tupid!"
Irene had glanced one last time at Curdie. And when she and Froglip looked forward, they both screamed in fright; she could feel him grab at her shoulder.
Water was rushing towards them, encasing the whole tunnel. Irene's vision turned foamy blue-green as she felt herself get swept away. Then, everything faded to black.
Irene's eyes popped open with a throaty gasp. But she didn't see rocky walls, or even water. She saw red velvet curtains, and the edge of her own bed. Right in front of her own nose were light-pink sheets, balled up in her fists.
"Ohh, I was dreaming," she sighed with relief. That horrible day had happened ten years prior, and she was safe, with only nightmares to remind her of what had happened.