Stagman turned and made his way towards the trees. A loud rustling stopped him in his tracks. His sharp eyes searched the surrounding forest, but he saw nothing untoward. Nevertheless, he couldn’t shake a sense of unease. The hair rose along his back as he sniffed the air…in a second his nostrils detected the pungent smell of goblin.
For a moment fear overwhelmed him. With an angry snort he shook his head, displaying the power of his antlers…as much to awaken his own courage as to defy his enemy. Breaking into a trot he made for the nearest trees…as he reached them a goblin crept out and blocked his path.
Rising on gnarled legs, the goblin snarled and raked the air with jagged claws. Spittle dripped from its mouth as a long black tongue caressed sharp pointed teeth.
Stagman lowered his head; his eyes blazed. “Get out of my way—or die.” His massive sharp pointed antlers were enough to intimidate and frightened any attacker.
However, the goblin made no attempt to move. The creature stood its ground… face twisted in an evil leer.
Stagman’s eyes widened in panic, this was not normal. Goblins were not known for their bravery. Stagman threatened the goblin with angry snorts and foot stomping…still the creature stood its ground. Why won’t it move? Stagman’s eyes blazed with frustration. I’ll make it! As he lowered his head to charge; the reason for the creatures bravery became terrifyingly apparent.
Witch like laughter heralded the approach of more goblins. They crawled out of the forest, too many to number. In their midst crazed ersatz jabbered manically…snapping and snarling as they surrounded him.
The first goblin sidled closer to him, its red eyes blazed with hatred. “You’re the one about to die,” it snarled. “There’ll be no escape this time.”
Stagman’s heart pounded. His nostrils flared…his breath came in short painful gasps. Terrified, he swung first one way, then the other, in a futile attempt to face his enemy; but he was outnumbered. This time they had the advantage…fighting would be futile. Flight was his only option, he could easily out run them.
However, if he tried to escape in the forest, he knew the trees would work against him. It would be too easy for his antlers to get caught in the branches—if that happened he was doomed. To outrun them he needed open ground. But as far as he could see, the forest formed an impenetrable barrier—he was trapped.