Best to Leave the Country
"Goblins?!" Will shouted incredulously. "Are we honest-to-God going all the way to England for goblins?!"
Jacob bit on his thumbnail a little, looking out the window of their small flat. As per usual, his journal was lying open in his lap, a pencil gripped between his fingers, but lying on top of the journal was a nice, neat letter.
He removed his finger from his mouth, saying, "Goblins are quite tricky creatures, Will."
The older brother rolled his eyes a little, plopping his weight down into a sagging armchair.
"Lord Garoth will pay for our passage over, and he's going to provide room and board while we're there," Jacob informed his brother. "And that's before he pays us a hefty sum for ridding his little town of these devils."
Will leaned his head against the back of the armchair, closing his eyes, "You still haven't convinced me."
The room was silent for some time, save for the sound of rain pattering on the windows. Jacob knew it would take quite some persuading for his brother to agree to going to England. And although they hadn't actually taken up an offer asking them for their help in the world of magic and fairy tales, they had intended to since leaving the forests of a witch-haunted town. Nothing had ever seemed to draw them in though, that is, until now. Jacob was stuck on this story of missing trinkets and other shiny objects within the English town of Bruinn. That was goblin behavior as he knew it, and he wanted to help. Besides, they needed the money. The rent on their flat was overdue by two months and the only reason they hadn't been evicted was because Will flirted with their landlord's wife, who, in turn, persuaded her husband to ignore the missing rent. Jacob wasn't sure how long that would last them though.
"Oh, look here, Will," Jacob said, pulling the letter closer to his eyes. "It's says here that the mayor's daughter suggested us to her father to be rid of the goblins."
Will's eyes fluttered open and he he gave a face of sarcastic excitement, "We have a fan!"
His sarcasm did not go unnoticed by his brother who gave him a stern look and turned back to the letter. Racking his brain for some legitimate reason that would convince his brother to go, Jacob sat in the chair, silent and a little fidgety. No words passed between the two brothers for several minutes. That is, until they heard pounding foot steps coming up the stairs to their apartment on the topmost floor of the building.
"Looks like the authorities are coming for you, Will," Jacob joked.
Will smirked in return.
Before either of them could say anything else, though, someone began to found on the door, followed by a frantic and familiar voice, "Will! Will, open up!"
Will rolled his eyes a little as he got up and opened the door. In barreled a Mrs. Juliet Muller, their landlord's wife, who nearly knocked Will over as she rushed into the apartment. Her reddish-brown hair was sitting precariously atop her head in a bun, and her great girth was stuffed into a green dress, a dress that she believed to be enchanting and somewhat fornicating, but was, indeed, extremely unbecoming. Her small, beady eyes were wide and her doughy cheeks were blotchy as she panted for breath.
"Will! You must get out of here!" she huffed.
Jacob sat up in his chair, listening in slight amusement and curiosity.
His brother, however, did not find any bit of it amusing as he asked, "What are you talking about, Juliet?"
"It's my husband!" she gasped. "He has found out about us!"
Will tried to mask the disgust from his face, as this woman was clearly in a fantasy world. Sure, he flirted with her to put off paying the rent, but it wasn't as if they were having an affair, which was clearly what she was imagining and what her husband believed to be true. He could just imagine her fantasizing about sneaking around to share heated embraces in dark corridors while her old, grouchy-faced husband tried to skin Will alive. And in return, she probably imagined Will was going to fight for her, demanding they get a divorce so he could run away with her. He wanted to gag.
Jacob, on the other hand, was trying suppress a fit of laughter.
Will gently tried to push Juliet away, "I'm sure I'll be fine."
"You don't understand! He's furious!" she put her hands on his chest, pressing herself up against him. "He was stomping around, yelling about how ridiculous it was that you weren't paying your rent! I tried to persuade him to wait longer to bother you and he figured it out! He's going to kill you! He's coming now!"
Will laughed now, Juliet's husband, Friedrich Muller, was a thin, hunched man who was at least a foot shorter than he was. With a little gray mustache and thinning hair that he combed over his bald spot, he wasn't exactly intimidating. Stepping away from her, he said, "I think I can take your husband-"
They all jumped very suddenly as a gunshot echoed through the room and a chunk of wall from the ceiling fell down, right in front of Will's face. Shielding his face with his forearm, Jacob looked up and saw Friedrich himself standing in the open doorway, shotgun in hand. Juliet shrieked, Will's eyes widened. He hadn't been expecting a gun.
"Uh," he stammered nervously. "G-Good day, Mr. Muller!"
Friedrich pointed the gun right at Will, "Don't you g'day me, boy!" he snapped. "I want you to give up the rent you owe me and stay away from my wife, or get out!"
"I'll stay away from your wife," Will said quickly, putting his hands up in defense. "But I can't give you the rent right now."
Another gunshot sounded and another piece of wall fell, a foot or so away from Jacob this time, who leapt out of the armchair, journal clutched protectively to his chest.
Friedrich looked pleased with the amount of control he was obtaining, "No rent. No board."
"We'll get it for you soon, sir," Jacob interjected. "It's just been rough for us right now."
The landlord pointed the gun at Jacob now, "Boy, it's rough for EVERYONE right now! That's why I need my damn rent!"
"I thought you loved me, Will," Juliet whimpered, as Will's quickness to stay away from her had hurt her more than he realized. "How can you stay away from me when I thought you had such unbridled love for me!"
Jacob watched in anxiety as Will snorted, "Unbridled love? No, Juliet, not I."
"Are you saying my wife's not desirable?!" Friedrich shouted.
Another gunshot, but this time it hit the wall behind Will.
Jacob clenched his jaw and hissed, "Will, why are you such an idiot?!"
"I'm just being honest!" he retorted. "It's not my fault the old man is insane!"
Juliet was wailing and sobbing now, tears pouring out of her eyes as her husband aimed and fired at Will again. This time he ducked before the man could even miss.
"You better get out, boy!"
"We'll pay you the money sir, just give us one more week!" Jacob pleaded.
Friedrich's patience diminished and he screamed, "OOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUT!"
The brothers were so startled by it that they both leapt and ran from the room. But Friedrich Muller was not done with them. He chased them down the staircase as other tenants popped their heads out of their doors, wanting to see the drama of the moment. Juliet waddled after them, crying and begging her husband to leave them alone. And even though Will and Jacob were getting out of the building, just as the man had roared, he was still trying to shoot at them and was missing every time.
Out of the building they ran, slipping into the rain-drenched street, straight into the frigid shower that was falling outside. Frantic and scared they ran and stumbled down the road, looking behind them every once in awhile, catching glimpses of the angry Friedrich Muller who was determined to catch and kill Willhelm Grimm.
Finally, they found an empty stall in the town stable to hide in. They crouched behind the walls, breathing heavily, soaked to the bone, chests heaving, limbs aching. Outside the rain was turning into a downpour, but they didn't believe Mr. Muller had called off the search just yet. He was a man on a mission. This was confirmed as they heard him talking loudly with one of the stable boys who hadn't actually seen Will and Jacob sneak in.
Their landlord was ranting to the young boy, shouting and raving about how he was going to find Will, how he was going to kill him. He said that he didn't care whether they came up with all the money and then some, or if Will never looked at his wife again, if he ever saw Will he would shoot him dead. They were somewhat surprised by the magnitude of the man's anger, but they didn't question it, only listened silently as he stomped out of the stable, cursing and shouting.
Jacob still had his journal clutched to his chest, although it was a little dampened from the rain. He felt some form of comfort in knowing he had it with him. He looked down at it and saw a loose page sticking out. Plucking it out from between the pages, he realized that it was the letter from Lord Garoth in England. He looked over at Will, whose eyes were shut tight, and realized the best solution to his brother's problem, and a way for him to rid Bruinn of their goblins.
"Going to England for goblins seems like a pretty good idea right now, huh?" he hissed.
Will opened his eyes and looked at his brother.
After a moment he nodded and said, "Good idea. It would probably be best to leave the country," he swallowed. "England is a great idea."