Looks Like a Chainsaw Kind of Adventure
By Alan Mittag
It was an old stadium. The sign read, “Paternal Pathogens”, but the name was crossed out with a big slash of red paint. Dangling beneath the original sign was a new one, a welcoming depiction of a blood bowl player with his head cut off and a smaller green form holding a chainsaw. Of course, the headless work of art had an overwhelming spray of blood pouring from his neck, as if the sign was drawn in 2nd grade art class. Below the picture the sign read, “Chainsaws R Us.”
I pushed through the rusty old gates.
Thirty goblins ran across the field. They were chasing another that held a blood bowl ball in his hands as he bounced across the pitch on a pogo stick. One of them saw me, and they all stopped.
“A human!” It pointed right at me.
“Hey, it’s a human.”
“What’s it doing here?”
Everything happened so fast. I was surrounded. Every goblin had a name tag on its tattered clothing, but instead of a name, only a number. Everything between 27 and 65. Long, spindly green fingers grasped and poked at me from all directions. I tried to calm them down, tried to escape in any and every direction.
Suddenly, I felt something sharp on my leg. One of them bit me! I screamed.
“What did it taste like?” said one of the goblins.
“Like blood and bile,” came the answer.
“Careful careful! Their blood can be toxic.”
“No dummy, that’s dwarves!”
“You’re both dumb, that’s elves!”
“No, it’s dwarves!”
One goblin threw a punch at another, and before I could keep track of it, they were all in a pile of gnashing teeth and pounding fists, leaving me free of their poking, grasping fingers. I backed up and away.
And bumped into something behind me.
Another goblin stood there, dressed in a full three piece suit, black over white. He reached a hand up to me and I shook it. “You must be Alan,” he said. “Coach Sestonn has been waiting for you. Please, follow me.”
As he led me across the sidelines I had a chance to get a closer look at the stadium and field. The grass needed water, and a good reseeding. The stadium seats were rotting wood, and smashed on the right side. Flattened entirely. The office building was crumbling from age and lack of maintenance, several windows boarded up rather than replaced. “The place looks… nice,” I said.
“You think so?” The suit goblin said. “I think it still needs a lot of work.” He pointed to the flattened seats. “And even more now.”
“I did notice the smashed seats. What happened?”
“This morning Goblin 42 climbed up to the top of the bleachers, dropped his pants, pointed his bottom up to the sky, and mooned Mork. My guess is, Mork didn’t like that. His giant green fist came down from the clouds and smashed 42 right into the ground.” He pointed at the ruined seats. “His body is still in there if you want to see. No one liked him enough to clean him up.”
I stumbled over my own feet. “What? Did you say your God reached down and smashed him?”
“Yup,” he said as a complete matter of fact. “When goblins get together, especially when they are excited, the Waagh! Magic gets stronger. Gork and Mork get excited too. Shamans use that energy to shape their magic. But sometimes, Mork just thinks it will be funny to squish someone.” He cracked a smile across his serious face. “And it was kind of funny.”
“What am I getting myself into,” I muttered under my breath.
“You’re sure you don’t want to see him?” He’s all squished up like this. The Suit Goblin twisted his body and head to portray the mangled mess, complete with the portrayal of 42’s look of shock and awe.
“It’s ok,” I said. “I’ll pass.”
“You’re missing out.” Suit Goblin said as he opened the door to the office hallway. He held the door for me as I entered and led me down the hall.
The first thing I noticed was the vacant apothecary’s office. The cupboards were open and laid bare, as if someone had come looking for things to pawn for a couple of extra bucks. Only an old hospital bed remained, propped up on bricks due to its missing wheels. “You guys don’t have a doctor hired yet?”
Suit Goblin laughed at me. “A Doctor? What for?”
“To keep the players healthy,” I said.
“That would be dumb, doctors cost more than goblins.” His elbow jabbed me in the gut. “You would never make it as a coach, Alan. Too bad at math.”
“But what about your team members? They’re going to get hurt. Some of them are going to die.”
Suit Goblin stopped in his tracks and looked up at me, eye to eye. “There are hundreds of goblins that want to play blood bowl. No, thousands. They want the excitement. They want to feel the crowd. They want to carry a chainsaw out on the field and shove it right up some elf’s butt. …If we kept all of our goblins alive do you know how many goblins would be able to live that dream?”
My mouth was stuck, dumbfounded.
“I know you’re bad at math, Alan. Eleven. Eleven goblins will get to play. And that’s if we don’t want to bring trolls! Do you want to be the one to go out there and tell those goblins that we don’t need them? That they can’t fulfill their dream?”
“I…” That’s all I got to stutter out.
“Here we are,” Suit Goblin said as he we approached an office with hinges in the frame, but no door. “This is Coach’s office.”
Other than the lack of a door, Sestonn’s office was pretty nice. The mahogany desk he used with Dignity was positioned in the back of the room, decorated and organized as always, a few pictures and a minotaur bobble head. The season 2 MML Championship trophy sat in its case in the corner of the room, surrounded by other plaques and awards won over Coach Sestonn’s time in the MML. And hanging right above his desk was a golden chainsaw, polished and gleaming. Just above it was a simple sign with the team’s logo and name, “What Chainsaw?”
Coach Sestonn was inside, but so were three others, more goblins in suits. One of them accepted a coin purse from the coach and tucked it in an inside pocket. “You’re doing a great job here, Coach. I don’t see any chainsaws.” Said the goblin with the purse. He looked at his two companions. “Do you guys see any chainsaws?”
“Not me.” One said.
“I looked all over, Sir. There are no chainsaws anywhere.”
The lead Suit Goblin nodded and looked back at Sestonn. He tapped his right breast where he had stashed the purse, causing a jingle jangle, and said “keep up the great work, Coach. We have a lot of faith in you.”
Coach Sestonn shook hands with the three of them, and then saw them out.
“Ah, Alan.” He said after they had left. “What Chainsaw? Is looking to hire a team chronicler, an archivist. Someone to share their story. Your name was the first one I thought of. Are you ready for a new adventure?”
A thousand ways to say no came to mind as I shook his hand, “You can count on me.”