Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Tuesday Tease - The Goblin Trilogy by Jaq D Hawkins

We have something for fantasy fans for this week's Tuesday Tease. Jaq D Hawkins has provided an excerpt from The Goblin Trilogy. This book is on an Amazon countdown until Novemeber 10th - so grab your copy at the sale price now!

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The Goblin Trilogy
by Jaq D Hawkins

‘Do you know why I’m here?’ Namah asked, half wondering if Alinea could read her thoughts. Alinea nodded, goblin fashion, as she answered.

‘You wish to see my world.’ Alinea looked thoughtful for a moment before she continued.

‘We spoke before of this. It is a serious matter to bring a human into the caverns. Are you sure you wish to do this?’

‘Yes, please Alinea. I will follow your lead and stay close to you, I promise!’ Namah’s words tumbled out in her excitement. Alinea looked at her with that unblinking stare that had disconcerted Namah on the night they had met, but this time it did not unsettle her. Namah knew she was being examined, down to her deepest motivations. She felt her friend’s consciousness penetrate her physical self and touch minds with hers. It was a wordless exchange, the emotion behind the intent was clear to them both. It was a necessary test.

‘Very well then. Come.’ Alinea motioned gently with her hand. It was a graceful motion that might have been inviting the breeze to follow her, yet pulled at Namah’s spirit through their recent mental link. Namah followed obediently.

She felt no surprise when Alinea led her to the strange, gnarled tree. Namah had recognised that there was something different about it all along. Alinea led silently, climbing into the hollow tree with the familiarity of one entering a path well known. Namah followed, amazed that she had not seen that the inside of the tree could lead anywhere. It had appeared as just a twisted, hollowed tree. Namah followed Alinea through a downward climb within the trunk that seemed impossible, passing far below the tree’s roots and through the ground towards a different world.

It wasn’t as far as Namah had expected such a portal to drop. Goblins were too clever to create passages to the outside that would require extended confinement within a narrow opening. Namah speculated that the distance beneath the ground was no more than twice a man’s height. The subtle hand-holds that Alinea showed her within the tree made it easy. Then there was a short drop, and the girls were standing in a tunnel that led severely downwards in two different directions. Namah could see that it would be an excellent escape route for a goblin running from surface enemies. One of the passages immediately split into several directions. The other was where Alinea led her. It soon forked as well. There was no enemy to run from now, so Alinea led her slowly, allowing her eyes to adjust to the dim light that reflected from the iridescent stone walls.

Namah shrank closely to her friend, nearly blind in the increasing darkness. The unfamiliar closeness of the caverns frightened her. She tried to remember that this was home to Alinea, a place where the goblin girl travelled confidently and knew the way. A place where Alinea and her other new goblin friends belonged. Still, Namah felt like a trapped animal. She was completely dependent on the guidance of her companion not only for direction, but also for protection. Despite meeting the child goblins on the surface, Namah was not prepared to deal with coming across an adult alone in the isolated atmosphere of their own realm.

She ran her fingers along the rough texture of the walls as they descended deeper into the unknown world. They vibrated. Within these walls was a rhythm unlike anything Namah had encountered before. She had learned enough of goblin ways to know that somewhere, someone was drumming, yet the drumming was accenting the rhythm that already existed within the stone itself. It called to something deep within her... something primal. This is what they had meant. This was the rhythm of The Dance.

‘Alinea, what would happen if you took me with you to The Dance?’

Alinea turned and looked at Namah in surprise. She could smell the fear in the human, yet she had asked this of her. Looking within herself, she did not know the answer. What effect might the power of The Dance have on a pre-pubescent human? Namah was one that had been nurtured in an atmosphere of extreme restriction against all that was of nature.

‘I do not know,’ Alinea answered honestly. ‘I think that it may not be a good idea.’

‘Would the goblins… hurt me?’

‘No!’ Alinea exclaimed quickly. The human girl had misunderstood her concern. ‘My people would not lay hands on you. You are guest. Only… I am not sure what effect The Dance may have on you. You are not accustomed to it.’

‘Count Anton is human. He dances among your people.’ Namah had set her chin stubbornly. Alinea recognised the determination. She had behaved so at times herself, as did all of the young ones. The goblin attitude was to let them learn through experience, so long as they did nothing to seriously endanger themselves. She had said it herself; her people would not harm the girl. It was only herself that Namah had to fear.

‘Anton is a magician. He came to The Dance naturally, and in his own world.’ Alinea turned to Namah, meeting her eyes to emphasise her words. It was almost a challenge. ‘I will take you to The Dance if you will promise to stay close to me, so that I can look after you if things get… frightening.’

***

‘This?’ Namah’s voice rose in consternation. ‘I can’t wear this! It’s… immodest!’

‘It is what all goblins wear, apart from when we go to the surface.’ Alinea’s calm tone seemed to pacify the girl a little, but she realised too late how goblin clothing would seem to a young girl of Namah’s background. The humans wore clothing that covered more of their bodies, especially the Southerners.

Namah’s own black dress covered her from neck to toe. The goblin children she had met had dressed for the surface, except for Drazek. The human girl’s fear of his physical form had probably prevented her from noticing the exposed flesh of his body. Apart from his posture and the wings, he was actually formed much like any young goblin, or a particularly muscular human child for that matter. The girl had even turned away as Alinea had changed into the loincloth and the strip of fur that kept her small breasts from bouncing painfully during The Dance. The constant temperature within the caverns did not require dressing for warmth.

Namah looked up from the skins she had been given. Her eyes looked like those of a rabbit that had been caught for the feed pot. Alinea nodded to her.

‘I will leave you for a moment, to change.’ Alinea didn’t really understand the human’s shyness, but she recognised that it caused her genuine distress and so left her alone. She did not want to leave her for very long in the strange world. For a moment she thought, and perhaps hoped, that the distress over the clothing would cause Namah to change her mind, but when she returned to the cavern Namah was dressed in the skins and examining the effect they had on her young body.

‘You’re sure all the goblin women will be dressed this way?’ Namah asked. But the need for reassurance wasn’t as pronounced as Alinea might have expected from the human girl. There was a glint in her eye. The goblin dress did suit her, and it was easy to see that she recognised that this was so.

‘Many will be wearing less. The mature females only wear skins across the breasts to stop them bouncing too much in The Dance, and a short kilt like the one I wear. They will be openly seeking to mate. Are you sure you are ready for this?’ Alinea looked intently at her human friend, looking for a reaction. The girl must understand the ways of the goblins as much as possible. The Dance would be very different from the world she knew.

‘Yes’, Namah answered confidently. ‘I understand. No one will approach me?’

Alinea shook her head.

‘Among my people, the female chooses. Those who are too young only dance. They will take no notice of you, although they will be aware of a human in the caverns.’

Namah grinned.

‘I am ready then. Let’s go.’

Click here to buy The Goblin Trilogy from Amazon US / Amazon UK

Author Bio:

Jaq D Hawkins is a published writer with 10 books in publication in the Mind, Body, Spirit genre published by Capall Bann Publishing, as well as four Fantasy novels in print and E-book; The Wake of the Dragon, Dance of the Goblins, Demoniac Dance, and, Power of the Dance, published by Golbin Publishing. 

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