Goblin Lullaby (378 Words)
“Sing to me, Emri.”
His father’s voice was low, faint with semi-awareness. Hearing him, seeing the goblin lord’s paleness and the dark hair uncombed, clinging to his dewy brow, the little goblin child could not bear it. He burst into tears.
Lorthal heard his son’s choked sobs at once. His eyes opened, his hand reaching for the child. He found the little one’s knee.
“Emri,” he said.
Emri held himself and cried.
“What’s the matter?” Lorthal’s slurred words were crisper with tension. “Emri.” He raised himself, aching in his fever-stressed limbs. “Come here. Emri, come here, my little bird.”
His father’s endearment shattered the small goblin’s heart. Emri threw himself into his parent’s arms. He wept achingly, violently. Lorthal held him, feeling the shake in the little one’s body, the heat of his son’s tears on his breast. The small goblin’s fists pressed tightly in the warmth and solidness of his father.
“What is this, deara?” Lorthal said.
Emri pulled away from him. His pushed the goblin lord’s chest.
“Lie down, Dada.”
Lorthal considered his son. His black, tired eyes were softened with thought.
“Emri,” he said. “Tell me what is wrong.”
The child hesitated. He squirmed. He looked down at the rumpled bedclothes and his lips quivered.
“I am not dying, little bird,” said his father, quietly.
Emri raised his head. His eyes were full, afraid.
“Hush,” said Lorthal, though the child was silent and tight-lipped. His lips quirked in a small smile. “Why is it that you always try me with tangled moments, when I am tired?” he murmured, fondly. “My little one, my child. Lie here beside me.”
Emri rested his cheek on his father’s pillow. Lorthal lay back, his eyes closing. He took his son’s hand, so small, almost lost in his own.
“If you will not sing to me,” he said, “I will sing to you.”
Emri closed his eyes, listening to his father’s quiet, low voice.
“What wind leaps o’er the dancing waves
What warmth in summer sunlight plays,
But thou and I in caverns dark,
Shall rest and dream at Earthland’s heart.
O thou my dear one, goblin child,
Who skip the world in mischief wild,
Yet rest with me, and close thine eyes,
And I shall wake thee at moonrise.”
Written in response to the Daily Prompt’s Daily Post, “Fact,” and Putting My Feet in the Dirt’s prompt for March 7, “Silly Assumptions.” Check ’em out!