The two goblin brothers tumbled down the dark dank halls away from the dwarf miner. They ran with all the energy they could muster stumbling and tripping over rocks and gravel along the way like rats fleeing guiltily into the night.
After many minutes the brothers gasped for breath and at last slowed their pace only to realize they were not pursued in the least. Finally stopping they slumped to the floor and sucked in as much air as their tiny goblin lungs could hold. The world spun a little as their wits returned to them and they at last felt safe once more in the darkness that dominated their world.
The larger and quicker of the brothers gripped his fist and felt the leather pouch it held. He sniffed and grinned knowing that there was dried meats and bread inside; delicacies that were virtually unknown to the goblin whelps. The smaller brother caught a whiff as well though he didn’t know his brother managed to snatch the tasty treat.
Goblin nature warned each of them that a conflict was imminent. It was normal and acceptable for goblins to hoard and steal and pilfer and cheat. Sharing was not in their nature. Even as pups their mother reluctantly nursed them, often because they clawed at her and latched on in spite her efforts to prevent them. Indeed there were five of them at birth and now just Nix and Zyx remained. The others were lost to malnourishment or neglect; never mourned and hardly even remembered. It was the goblin way. With such a foundation the brothers eyed one another.
Nix gripped the bag tightly. He was confident that he could out match his brother, though the smaller whelp showed some promise with natural magic already able to sense things beyond the obvious with a spiritual wisdom only a few were blessed with. Nix knew that in the struggle to survive, his agility was superior to Zyx’s spiritual strength. So he budged not.
Zyx looked to his brother and did not offer any aggression. He knew he could not best Nix most days and yet he wanted to share in the meal they swiped from the dwarf. Instead of brandishing a weapon or taking an aggressive posture he closed his eyes and concentrated.
Zyx focused on his hunger. He felt his empty belly as though from the inside. As his stomach grumbled it was magnified through his spirit and projected outward. Nix somehow felt it. He didn’t know how but he felt how hungry his brother was. It reminded him of his own hunger but rather than reinforce his own selfish nature it nudged at a suppressed empathy for his brother. Nix looked to his fist and the food pouch. He wondered what it would be like to share the food with his brother. In fact he couldn’t even think of it properly as goblins have no word for sharing. It didn’t make sense to him but he felt his brother’s hunger and he wanted to help. He wanted the ache to stop and he knew that in his hand was the answer. He held the bag up and studied it; considered it.
Zyx continued to focus his thoughts on his stomach and the grumbling was nearly as loud as the growl of a bear echoing nowhere but in his brother’s soul. He projected that feeling connecting his own spirit to Nix’s and he knew Nix felt it. Zyx read his brother’s feelings and knew they were connected. Their hunger was one and their need was one. Nix held out the pouch.
Zyx opened his eyes and stared deeply into Nix’s. In them he found love though again it did not make sense to the goblin whelps because the word did not possess the same meaning it did to other creatures. Goblins love to eat, they love to kill and maim and torture and make others suffer. They do not love other creatures, but as Zyx looked at his brother, they felt it for each other though they couldn’t explain it. In that moment their souls were bound as one. What one felt the other did as well.
Nix looked down to the pouch of food wrapped carefully in his hand. Slowly he untied the leather string and opened the pouch to reveal the delicious contents inside. Zyx opened his eyes at the prompting of his nostrils. Together they studied the food then Nix reached his hand out to his brother. Zyx took some of the food, a bit of meat and bread, and began to nibble at the dried meat. Nix munched some bread as the pair sat down across one another and enjoyed the meal together as any civilized human or elf might, though one not dare tell the elves that goblins behaved anything like them.