Selling Your Sister to the Goblins

A challenge was issued and of course I couldn’t resist. Anna Meade ran a contest to promote the book The Fairy Ring by Mary Losure. The goal was to write a 300 word flash fiction about an encounter with a fairy folk. I chose to make it completely fictional, with a very young protagonist. I incidentally do not have any siblings. At least not anymore.

Selling Your Sister to the Goblins

My teeth cut into the slimy bar of Irish Spring. All I did was call her a dirty liar. Totally true.

Lizzie saunters by the bathroom door, her mouth curled in a smirk. What’s she so glad about? She’ll never find her book. Not where I hid it. She leans against the railing, staring at me.

“Wha…” My tongue strikes the soap and a bitter taste fills my mouth.

She giggles. I kick shut the door. I’d give anything to make her disappear.

Fwah-thunk. The water gurgles in the toilet bowl. Then the room fills with the odor of rotted cheese. A hairy hand grips the side. I jump, the soap clunking to the floor. A man the size of a cat scrambles out of the water. Matted black hair speckles his body.

He bows. “Og-Alog the goblin.”

I scoot against the towel rack. “What do you want?”

“I make people disappear.”

This has got to be some sort of hallucination. Soap poisoning.

“You can take kids away?”

“I can and I will. A changeling steps in. No one will know.” He grins. A thin layer of moss coats his teeth.

This is no joke. Lizzie could really be gone. I glance at the soap and smile.

“Do it. Bring that change thing.”

The goblin scurries up, blackened fingernails gripping my pants. “I have your permission?” He smells like sour milk.


Cracks spread along the wall in the shape of a door. Wood squeals as it rotates inward. A small figure about my sister’s size crouches inside.

I can’t do this. Not even to Lizzie.

“I changed my mind. Take it back.”

“She did not hesitate,” the goblin says, lips spread wide over mossy teeth.

The figure looks up. It’s my face.

The changeling is me.


22 comments on “Selling Your Sister to the Goblins

  1. You, sir, exceeded my expectations! This elevates sibling rivalry to a whole new level. Absolutely brilliant! I’m going to avoid the mirror and my sis for several days, thanks to you!! Kudos! 🙂

  2. Victoria Boulton says:

    Heya, this was really cool. I LOVE the goblin climbing out of the toilet, and I enjoyed the twist at the end. This story strikes a little too true for me- I often fought with my siblings, but I hope none of us would sell each other to the goblins!

    Very well done. 🙂

  3. What a lovely twist at the end! I love it!

  4. Trish Loye Elliott says:

    Great piece! Totally didn’t see that ending coming. Nice work!

  5. Naomi says:

    Love this! Great use of first-person present tense. Awesome!!

  6. Thanks for all the comments. I’m glad I captured the sibling rivalry. I’m an only child, but I’ve had ample opportunity to see the rivalry in action with students in my class. I had wanted to try a narrator with a distinct point of view (omniscient) with only 300 words, I went with what worked, and that was first person POV.

  7. Jaime says:

    This is a fun story – loved the twist at the end! Thanks for sharing! 😀

  8. How fun! Thank you for entering, Tim. This is fairy lit with a twist!

  9. Haha – great stuff! Serves him right, really 😉

  10. Rebecca Fyfe says:

    lol! Too funny! Great story! I am one of four kids in my family and I am also a mother to seven so I can relate to the sibling rivalry in this!

    I also noticed that you are working on a middle grade novel. It may not be exactly the same thing, but I’d like to let you know about a chapter book challenge going on (write a chapter book in the month of March). (You can look it up on Facebook groups.)

  11. Soap poisoning! Haha… nice. Great twist at the end. Nicely done.

  12. Sibling rivalry made visceral… we’ve all had that goblin inside us at some point, I’m sure!

  13. Oh, dear. More swatting is in order, Mr. Kane. Goblins, my dear, are NOT fey folk. Other than that, this was amusing. Baa!

  14. Eerie. You hooked me from the Irish Spring taste. Good use of the present tense!

  15. Great ending. Very well done.

  16. wxmouse says:

    Wicked twist! Well played!

  17. […] is a piece of flash fiction titled “Selling Your Sister to the Goblins.” I like that Wordle put “teeth” next to […]

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