Karin: Okay, I know it's been a long time, but here's chapter two, and I'm really sorry for making everyone wait so long. What actually pushed me into finishing this chapter was that I received the Princess and the Goblin movie for Christmas yesterday. While I was watching it, another idea struck me, but then I realized I need to update this first before I plan out my other idea. Anyway, I hope this chapter doesn't kill the awesomeness of the first chapter in your eyes. Hope you have a fun read!
Disclaimer: All rights of Princess and the Goblin go to George MacDonald.
Summary: She was raised in the dark among nasty creatures called goblins. Never knowing anything else, she took the mental and physical abuse as was taught. However, a meeting with someone like herself will change everything and the truth about herself and the plot that her torturers planned with have her life spinning in turmoil as well as discovering what it means to love and be loved. Irene/Curdie
"May the love hidden deep inside your heart find the love waiting in your dreams. May the laughter that you find in your tomorrow wipe away the pain you find in your yesterdays."
The Boy that Arose Irene's Curiosity
Irene quickly did her work while ignoring the stinging in her hands at her carelessness in dealing with the sharp rocks. In retrospect though, the poor girl didn't have time to marvel at her aching hands. She had work to do, and not much time to do it in.
All the other goblins had left a little while ago with the command that she finish up the rest of their work. Their delighted smiles on their nasty faces and their eyes lighting up in absolute bliss at assigning her most of the work. Clearly they wanted her not to attend the meeting tonight. If she didn't attend, she would most likely be punished. Ah, what a show that would be! That is what their eyes said.
The child winced at a nasty cut she just received too busy lost in her thoughts. She waved her hand a little, as if that action itself would rid her of the pain. However, the pain still stayed even with the assistance of waving her hand back and forth.
Must hurry. Must hurry. Must hurry. she repeated in her mind like a sacred mantra. The horn was blown only a little while ago and she only had a few rocks left to sort out. She did not want to be late more than she had to. Oh, the punishment she would receive if she was late!
But surely they would not notice if she had missed only a few minutes, would they? No doubt right now that everyone was just filling in the Great Hall. She still had time, she told herself. Surely she must still have time.
Nevertheless, a feeling in her gut told her that yes, they would notice if she didn't show up. Their mocking smirks and their taunting gazes upon her as soon as she would enter. For she was, and always will be in their eyes, the ugly child whom they love to torture and abuse. She was their puppet, their doll, to thrash around and break her little limbs as much as they wanted.
Throwing the last rock in the pile, Irene hastily scrambled down the cart onto the ground setting out for the Great Hall. She could make it, she chanted in her head. She still had time, she convinced herself.
She wasn't late, she prayed. Oh how she prayed.
Sadly in her haste, poor Irene tripped down the stone steps leading into the tunnels which would lead to both the Great Hall and the Goblin Village. Neither of which she was usually allowed in nor did she know her way that well as it was just occurring to her. The goblins viewed she needed no reason to know her way around for she was forbidden to go to either place without permission.
Tears stung her eyes lightly as fresh, red blood flowed from her knee down to her shin. Now not only did her feet and hands hurt, but her leg did as well. Misery at her situation welled up inside her as she desperately struggled to stand up straight and proceeded towards her destination.
I can still make it! I know I can make it! she shouted in her mind while she limped aimlessly. But where should she go? Which way led to the Great Hall? What would happen when she got there? All this worried thinking was starting to make her head hurt, but she would ignore it for the time being.
However the negative feelings in the pit of her stomach made her ill and despair clouded her senses. What was the point of hurrying anymore? her saddened mind asked. Why bother showing up when you're already late enough as it is?
Because I've been invited for the first time! she answered back. For once I am being included! That's enough reason for me. she told herself determinedly.
With newfound vigor, she raced towards a random direction where she hoped would lead to the Great Hall. Despite her body's tired protests, Irene continued on in an effort to come to her destination.
It's funny how Fate works in funny ways, isn't it? That when things are gradually, seemingly changing—whether for better or worse is questionable—Fate throws in something completely and utterly unexpected. The throw is so potent at times that our entire outlook on life can shatter in an instant.
So it only makes sense for little Irene to be apart of this warped cycle that Fate has set out. After all, if Fate never threw humans a bone, so to speak, things wouldn't be interesting now would they?
And so Fate, once more in the many centuries she existed in time, has decided to throw the dice of destiny again…
Irene, so focused in her running, had smacked straight into something on her way. The impact of the collide was so strong that it threw the little child back onto the stone ground harshly, causing her to hiss out in pain. Her fresh wounds—such as her knee—were throbbing even more painfully than the rest of her aching body.
A sudden grunt made her snap her head up in the direction, her blue eyes wide with fear. Oh no, she thought panicky, for she had bumped not into an object, but a living creature! Oh, she would be punished surely! She would be locked away in a small, dark space for hours on end no doubt! Just when things were looking up, she has been knocked down by the circumstances of bad luck once more.
Unable to meet her accuser eye to eye, she shut her eyes tight to prevent the tears forming in her eyes to fall. Irene sat there shaking, awaiting her fate. Her heart pounded a mile a minute—deep and loud—resounding in her ears.
"Wha…" a voice trailed off with a trace of astonishment. As if the person speaking could not believe what was in front of them. Irene felt confusion dwell in her—she should be hearing a sneering voice. One that would be angry and sadistic, not one of surprise. What's more confusing was that the pitch of the voice didn't sound like the scratchy tones the goblins had. Deciding to satisfy her curiosity, Irene cracked open one of her eyes to examine who she had bumped into.
But yet, when young Irene took this chance to see her supposed accuser, her eyes snapped open and she stiffened in absolute shock. It was as if her body, at that moment, had chosen to shut down on her. Her lips parted a bit under her scarf and all she could do was stare.
Pools of brown blinked back at her, still in their disbelieved stupor. Brown hair fell into the person's face and his skin had a much healthier tone of pale than she. He was dressed in simple clothing and there was some dirt on his cheeks. He appeared a couple years older than herself.
He was… this boy was so similar to herself. Could this be possible? Is she dreaming? Certainly it is not a dream. Her aching body reminded her of that, but… this was impossible!
And yet the impossible was clearly standing about two feet away from her.
A sound of grunting made him snap out of it, and his eyes took on a quality of panic in them as he turned towards the sound.
"Goblins!" he muttered frantic. He then looked around, trying to find a way to escape it seemed. Irene felt herself sympathize—she wouldn't want her fellow goblins, whether intentional or not, to run into her either.
"Come this way." she heard herself say. Her mouth was working on its own away from her frazzled mind, which was currently screaming at her, questioning her on what she was doing. She didn't even know the tunnels much herself!
However, this boy—the reality he brought with him that she wasn't one of a kind as she thought she was—made her want to spring into action. To savor this discovery a little longer. Thoughts about the goblins' meeting she was supposed to attend and her desire to be accepted was buried in the back of her head. With that, she took his hand hastily and ran in the opposite direction they heard some goblins coming in. All the while praying that she was leading him the right way.
"Wait—" he started but she yanked him again while she searched for something—anything that would led them to wherever—just as long as there were no goblins.
A voice in the back of her head whispered to her, asking her why she was looking for an escape for him. Let the goblins see him, it said, perhaps then you'll gain some pleasant recognition, no?
Irene did not like this voice. She knew what the goblins are capable of, and strangely a protective instinct overcame her—pressing her on to make sure this person didn't endure that too.
It is because he has the same features as me that I am like this, Irene thought to herself, aimlessly turning them around a corner. It is because he does not want to be found, that I am helping him so.
And that, she was positive, was what drove her to this temporary insanity.
They heard some more marching and sounds in the direction they were heading, making them cease running. They then went to go in the direction that they ran from to try to find a better route, but they saw the shadows of the goblins there too.
Irene's heart was pounding. What to do? What should she do? Inside her mind she felt as if the world was spinning. Either way they went, they would be trapped! May someone be with her, please. May someone be with her when the goblins caught her. She begged with desperation in her head.
"In here!" the boy's voice brought her back to reality. She turned her eyes to see a crevice in the wall big enough for them to crawl through. He went in first and she began to climb in after him before her sense finally came back to her.
What was she doing? She didn't have to go with him, did she? Her place was here! This is where she was raised! It may not be like she wished it was, but this is what she was supposed to get. What she was supposed to endure, the goblins words came back to her at last. No, she had gotten him out of harm's way. Her job was done.
"Come on!" he urged her hurriedly while halfway through when he noticed she wasn't coming. All she did was step away from the hole and shake her head. She made motions with her hands, telling him to keep going. She was going to stay.
Her place was here. It was what she deserved.
"You!" Irene turned quickly from the hole as the boy made his escape. The goblins had found her. The one who addressed her sneered. "Now what have you been up to, Princess?"
"Her Ugliness apparently was roaming around." another goblin snickered mockingly at Irene.
"Ah, have we grown arrogant, Your Ugliness?" the first goblin twisted his expression into a malicious smirk. "Oh no, Prince Froglip won't like that. Especially when we have been so generous as to let you come to our meeting."
"One Her Ugliness has been so conceited to skip." a third goblin hissed cruelly with a grin. "What would Prince Froglip say?"
"Let's go find out then." the first said, grabbing one of Irene's arms in a vice-like grip making her wince at the pain. Her blue eyes widened in fear when they mentioned her fiancée. Oh please, not Prince Froglip! No! No! No! No!
She almost cried while they dragged her. She would do anything if they did not report her to the Goblin Prince, but she knew it was fruitless. Even if they did not report her by some miracle, the Prince or any of the Royal Family would come to give her punishment since they would realize she was not there.
Fear gripped her heart like the icy hand of Death. What was going to happen? What would Prince Froglip do? Whatever it was, she knew it would not end well on her part.
Eternity in her mind came and went, and before she knew it, she was standing in the Great Hall with all the goblins inhabiting it. The Royal Family was up on the throne platform. She stood in the middle of the goblins, which were parted like the Red Sea on each side of her.
"Guess who we found taking a stroll in the tunnels, your majesties?" it was obviously a rhetorical question for everyone could see her and very well knew the answer to that inquiry. As if that wasn't horrid enough, her captors pushed her forward.
"Ah yes," a voice drawled and some spit came out of their mouth, "I was… wondering where you have gone off to, Princess." Irene's heart stopped for a moment before it hammered in her chest again. She stared, transfixed in horror, into the eyes of Prince Froglip himself.
He was a gaunt goblin unlike most of the bulky goblins around him, towering over her small and scrawny form for certain. His nose was large, like all the goblins preceding him and standing around him, and his eyes were a gold yellow all around except for his black coal pupils. His hair was wild, and a vibrant shade of magenta. All he wore was a black cape with a skull and a teal loincloth.
"I, erm, got lost…" Irene replied meekly—so meek it was a wonder he heard it at all—"My prince." she added quickly.
"Lost you say?" Froglip questioned, playing along with her before he would go in for the kill. "Strange as you've been living here for… eight years now correct? I would think you would know the tunnels like every goblin around you, Princess." he said her title disdainfully.
"Yes." Irene said sorrowfully, knowing that if she tried to argue that she wasn't allowed to know any routes or destinations would result in a far worse punishment.
"And since you know all of the tunnels like you say you do, there is no reason for you to get lost, is that right?" he questioned with a vicious glint in his yellow eyes. Her stomach clenched in nausea.
"Yes." she squeaked out, urging herself to quell her upset stomach.
"So, you have missed our meeting—a meeting that required your presence I believe—without a plausible excuse then?" Froglip didn't wait for a response, "Well then, I see some retribution is in order for your rudeness."
"Make her work double time!" a goblin shouted.
"Make her work with the sharp rocks!" another cheered for.
"Stamp on her feet!"
"Break her fingers!"
"Enough!" The Goblin Queen shouted at them. Irene trembled as the Queen trained her nasty yellow eyes on her. If there was one person other than Froglip she was frightened of the most, it would be the Goblin Queen. The very same queen who had came up with more than half her punishments and tortures over the years. Her eyes turned adoring when they landed on Froglip, her son. "Now my beastly little boy, what shall we do with her?"
Prince Froglip took a thinking pose, one that was not required for Irene was sure he already knew what he wanted to do. A cruel, excited grin came to his ghastly features.
"The thing she hates the most, Mother." he announced, grabbing Irene's arm and dragging her out of the Great Hall. All the goblins immediately followed, never bored of seeing their Prince's fiancée having a penalty.
The harsh dragging continued for a minute until they came to a stop. Irene's eyes were wide with fright. Oh no…
"Move that bolder!" Prince Froglip commanded gleefully. Four goblins moved the stone mass and the Goblin Prince shoved Irene down the dark hole. A splash sounded and the girl found herself submerged in water up to her neck. Blue eyes observed around her in alarm seeing that the space was very small and the roof of stone above her was only an inch away from her head.
Oh please not this! she cried in her mind. Begged in her head.
"Have fun in there, Princess!" Prince Froglip sneered while spit flew everywhere from the way he spoke.
"Push that bolder over the hole!" the Goblin Queen commanded. The same four goblins began to move the bolder quickly.
And Irene's view was drowned in darkness.
"No!" she screamed, bringing up her hands to claw at the stone helplessly. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! Please let me out!" her screaming pleas went on deaf ears, or they just didn't care. Her mind was in a frenzy as she tried to calm herself down.
But she wanted to get out! She hated being in here so much! The closed spaces were making her go insane! The suffocating feeling that came from the small, dark space with little oxygen made her fill up with panic and desperation. Oh please someone let her out of here!
Her pleas were not answered.
Karin: (wipes forehead) Sorry that took so very long. Truth be told, I had most of it done a long time ago, but I never got around to finishing it until today. I hope you all enjoyed this chapter and I will try very hard to get the next chapter out in a shorter amount of time than this one. I'm really sorry you all had to wait and I hope you enjoyed reading. Please review if you can. Thank you very much.
Also, the part where she met Curdie was like in the movie where Curdie had just heard the goblins were going to flood the mines and then tried to get out of the caverns—the goblins didn't know he was there.
Next Chapter: The Musings of Her Ugliness
See ya Next time!
Replies to Reviewers from Chapter One:
Rosa Cotton- Congrats on being the first reviewer Rosa! I hope to see more from you in the future since your reviews are a joy to read. Thank you for the praise—I actually read a bit of the book right before I was writing the first chapter because I wanted to go with the same flow George MacDonald had. I thought it would be cool to do that.
ThePrincessTigerLily- Thank you very much. I'm glad you think this idea is creative. I hope you continue to read more in the upcoming future.
Alika Jones- Aw, thank you so much. I'm happy that you think I capture the movie and the book well. That's good to hear and I hope I didn't spoil that belief with this chapter.
ChildoftheLight- She'll go topside soon. Sorry this wasn't as soon as you would've hoped it to be.
Shizuku Tsukishima749- Happy you think that I carried this idea out so nicely. I hope it didn't destroy that notion with this chapter. As for me, I thought it was an interesting "what if?" to test out after pondering about it for a while, and I came up with this. Hope you continue to enjoy it. And no, Curdie isn't being abused. He's basically normal like in the movie/book. I hope the meeting between Irene and Curdie wasn't bad.
P.S.- Irene is only eight. Curdie's supposed to be eleven or twelve—I'm pretty sure he's twelve though. Thanks for the grammar advice.
Flyleaf908- If I write more, will you update your fic "The Prince and the Goblin" too? Please? I want to know what happens next! (puppy dog eyes)
Aeae- Thanks for the compliments on the idea. I hope you continue to read more in the future.