11. Chased

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"Won't they smell me?" I wheezed, out of breath.

I was running after Orri who seemed to have springs on his feet. He bounced from the ground in a way that brought to my mind an astronaut bouncing on the surface of the moon. Or a rabbit running on slow motion. My human feet had trouble trying to catch up.

"Oh no he won't," Orri almost chuckled over his shoulder, "Not with that stuff all over your jeans."

That stuff meaning the black medicine that had splattered all over my legs when I dropped the bottle.

"If they ever smell that they will just think it comes from a carcass that is unfit for consumption."

Great. So now, I smelled like a carcass long past its best before date. If there ever was such a thing for a carcass...

"Where are we going?" I panted.

"Somewhere safe. It is not a place where many people have visited and not a safe place for them either."

This was beginning to sound even better...

"So why would it be... safe for me...? Do we need to keep running?"

Orri slowed down.

"I suppose we can stop for a while. If not for other reason than the fact that the vampires' sense of hearing is just as acute as their sense of smell. You make such a noise when you run and pant that they won't need their noses to hunt you down..."

We sat down on some boulders, all covered with moss and I tried to catch my breath. It took me about five minutes and then I nodded to Orri and rose to continue our journey, turning my back on him.

Orri's hand grabbed the back of my shirt and slowly pulled me backwards. I turned my head to look at him and without a word he pointed downwards, looking the other way. I lowered myself to my knees, intuitively pressing myself against the boulder, hiding behind it. Orri placed my bag next to me.

The he turned, walked around the boulder, to the direction he had been looking at. I heard him humming a song I did not recognize.

"Greetings, master goblin" a deep voice greeted from a distance.

"And a good day to you too, your highness," Orri answered politely.

"Rather a foul smelling day, I should say," the booming voice declared.

"Indeed there seems to be something unseemly in the air," Orri agreed, "Probably something that drowned in the bog. A moose, I should think. It happens every now and again."

"Indeed. Such an unpleasant occurrence. Might I ask for your help, my good goblin?"

"But of course – if there is anything I can help you with, I am more than happy to be of assistance."

"How very kind," the male voice said, "You see - I am in search of someone."

"Is that good news for the one you are searching for? You do know our opinion about chasing humans."

"Indeed we do. But you should not worry. I am searching for my betrothed. We had a bit of a fall-out and she decided to leave me to consider my actions and ran away. I am to reconcile with her, but to do so I need to find her."

"Ah, lovers' quarrels..." Orri sighed, "What does she look like, this bride of yours?"

"She has quite beautiful green eyes and short dark hair. Medium height. And of course she carries my ruby ring on her left hand as a sign of our engagement."

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