~ Dirt Eaters ~

Turned out that Brock was wrong.
The gun worked just fine.
Most people, sitting back on their couches and watching this play out on television, might have wondered why I believed all this from the start. It was a good question; if I’d been writing this as a story, I think my main character would have yelled bullshit right off the bat and spent most of the story being convinced. The problem with that is that sometimes there are things going on that no one knows about.
I saw a goblin shambling along the bottom of a ravine with an old and rusted sword across his back like the yoke of a wagon. I didn’t bother mentioning it to my mother; I just assumed I’d imagined it.
Except I hadn’t. Not really. My life had gone on without a hitch, certainly; I wrote my stories and did the right things, but there was always a small dark spot in the back of my mind that watched the ravines and kept an eye on the shadows of alleys that led to the back of old houses — a part of me that never really believed I’d made it up.
When the goblins boiled out of the thickets around us, that small dark spot in my mind stood up and said ‘fucking KNEW it!
And the gun worked just fine.
On the other hand, I wasn’t all that great for the first little bit. There’s a hell of a long distance between target practice, hunting for food, hunting for sport, and finally shooting at something that could talk back to you, even if it was running straight at you with a weird little bow-legged gait and swinging a sword straight at your head.
The first one would have killed me, I think, except that Brock was there; he had his axe out (‘of course he has an axe, every dwarf would use an axe if they could I guess’ came the errant thought) and it was a great beautiful thing of which I’d only seen the polished grip, poking over his shoulder — then there was a cresent flash and like that the goblin-thing was very still on the ground. Brock clapped me on the shoulder and grinned.
”Dirt-eaters,” he drawled, and I noticed for the first time that his eyes were bright, clear blue.
I had to shoot the next one in a hurry, so I didn’t have time to say anything about it right then.