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All’s Fair in Love and War, part 3: Lucifer Rises.

Wednesday 25th May – As I’m lying in my bed of snow, I realise I haven’t slept in about two weeks…

I just close my eyes.

Once upon a time, there lived a renegade goblin. Cast out by his clan for mischievous behaviour, this goblin decided to take up refuge one day in a long abandoned attic, thinking he could use the domain to lay low for a while. At least until the end of summer, which was enough time to plot the downfall of his faraway land. Weeks pass and the planning goes well. What the goblin had not planned for, however, was someone stumbling upon his lair. Panicking, he uses one of his old hallucinogenic tricks, fooling his adversary into a deep trance that should have covered the next four months. Unfortunately, Mathematics wasn’t his strong point at Warthogs School for magic Goblins.

Thursday 26th May – I wake up. The snow is gone. Josephine the yeti is gone. My new exciting life as a daring treasure hunter and part-time hero is gone. Bland colours inhabit the atmosphere around me as if they’d never left. Realising it must all have been a dream, I get out of bed only to get back in again once I remember my new job as a door-to-door sales person awaits. I could really do without that.

Saturday 23rd July – Multiplexes need a change of decor.

Friday 5th August – But maybe not a change as drastic as that. The recent paranoia of constantly being watched culminates in a journey from the cinema to Brazil to the desert to the Arctic Circle to the cinema again. Thinking that this sort of thing really has to stop soon, I decide to head back to my attic. Perhaps I shouldn’t have waited this long to investigate that goblin I met up there a few months ago. But what can I say… I procrastinate.

Friday 26th August – Wait. This can’t be my attic. For one thing, I’m pretty sure it had a roof before, and a floor to walk on (or at least a collection of boards masquerading as a floor, that were there to prevent you falling through the flimsy fluff underneath to the ground below). This, well, this is just…space. Literally space, I mean; there’s stars surrounding me and everything. I see a rather plain looking door at the far end of the…space. Four symbols of fire, water, air, and earth surround an outline of a star in the middle. Looking down to the right side of the door, I see a rather random blue star, begging me with its blue starry eyes to be used as one of the weirdest keys I’ve ever used on a door. I glance at the door, then back at the ‘key’, then at the non-existent camera that I imagine is watching me. Yeah, I’m going to use it, I think, and say inwardly with a wink. What’s the worst that could happen?

Saturday 27th August – Nothing at all. Disappointed at the anti-climax, I turn around, into a snowfield, and begin making my way home. Part of me tried to question why a snowfield had suddenly appeared, but a bigger part of me reasoned that this sort of erratic climate change was normal this summer. Instead, I questioned the black-rimmed hole that had opened up in front of me. And the sudden aura of anger in the atmosphere. A shadow that wasn’t mine extended far behind me, a sharp turn revealing my worst fear, causing me to slip into unconsciousness. I don’t often feint, but in this extraordinary case, you’ll forgive the subtle inconsistencies left uncovered in my character notes.

Sunday 28th August – The banana-man stood over me as I awoke into a new nightmare. Scrambling away with a refreshed vigour that would have impressed Usain Bolt, I noticed an unmistakably gigantic footprint in the snow, followed by a monstrous roar that had become ingrained in my subconscious mind since May. No doubt about it: a yeti was near. She leaped overhead, landing between me and the shadow. “Hello, old friend“, said Josephine. For a horrible split second I couldn’t accurately decipher whether she was talking to me or my adversary, but a slight nod in my direction followed by a nice twinkle in her eye eased the tension, allowing me to concentrate on the growing suspicion that no matter who won the upcoming battle, I would ultimately lose.

Monday 29th August – This is how it went down: Josephine faces up to the shadowed banana-man. He stands and awaits her attack. Being a powerful creature of myth, she is able to jump huge heights and stride great lengths. Utilising both, Josephine closes the gap between her and b-man in a matter of milli-seconds…only to verge into the mysterious doorway I had previously opened and be sucked into its vortex. In that same space of milli-seconds, banana-man had flickered out. In his space stood an insignificant, angry little red man holding a remote control. He barely had the chance to utter ‘damn thing‘ before I stepped on him. The scene fades, leaving me here, a goblin staring at me from his corner in my attic.

The name’s Loki,” he says, preempting my first question. “I must thank you. I couldn’t open it myself.”

You did all of this?” I ask.

In a manner of speaking. I should congratulate you. You just beat the devil.”

A multitude of arguments go through my head, not least of which is why am I talking to a goblin in my attic!? However, not wanting to over complicate things, I keep the conversation simple; “Why did she protect me? Fight for me, even? I thought my days of peaceful interaction with the world’s yeti population were long gone.”

My friend, that’s all she was ever trying to do: protect you. She was actually quite taken with you, from the start.”

Hmm. Pretty lousy plot you wrote there.”

Hey, I only create the scenarios; I don’t control what happens in them. But I did need you to open that door for me. Now, I can go.”

“…”

I remember reading somewhere that it’s hard to outsmart a Graeme. I guess that’s what I just did, eh?

I’m not just any Graeme,” I said, “I’m a writer. A critic.”

Oh, so you’re one of them one’s, are you?

Actually,” I smiled as I looked forward to my next adventure, “the second one is a number.”

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