I Fell in Love with a Goblin

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I Fell in Love with a Goblin
by Eve Healy

Aidan is a simple man. Having grown up in a small, rural village as the son of a shepherd, his future is set in stone. He will take over the flock for his father and raise the next generation of shepherds someday. Unfortunately, he isn’t popular with the ladies but very popular with the men, much to his dismay. He inherited his mother’s good looks and frail disposition, which puts him in an awkward social position in the village. His love life and social standing are the least of his worries, though, while the village is threatened by goblin invasion.

Every fall, the goblins come together to invade the village and take women for breeding. Thankfully, the goblins are stubby and not all that smart, so it doesn’t take much to defend the village. It’s Aidan’s group’s turn to protect the village when, while using the restroom, he’s ambushed by something that has all of the same attributes as a goblin but is massive. When he awakens, he’s in the goblin cave, mistaken for a woman. The other goblins chastise and assault the giant for the mistake, demanding Aidan’s immediate death.

When left alone with the giant, Aidan discovers that this creature isn’t only different in size from other goblins but also in emotional intelligence. While the goblin is nice, Aidan must put his survival first, and if that means promising his heart to the goblin and pretending to help him achieve the mantle of the goblin king, he’ll do just that. In the meantime, he’ll bide his time until he can find an opportunity to escape, even if it means breaking the poor creature’s heart.

The Mourning Dove and His Snow Sparrow

Callum has lived almost his entire life in the secluded forests of the North, where his only company was his sickly mother and the animals in the area. As he grew up, rather than his mother tending to him, he was tending to her. One snowy evening, upon returning to their cabin after gathering firewood, Callum found his mother had passed. Callum is now completely alone.

After his mother’s death, he simply goes through the motions, doing just enough, so he doesn’t freeze to death in the harsh winters and keep himself fed. Otherwise, though, Callum doesn’t see much point in life. However, his world is turned completely on its head when he finds an injured fox sparrow on his way back from gathering firewood. Desperate to save the creature, he takes it back to his cabin but, upon doing so, finds that the little bird can turn into a winged man named Aurear. Though this stranger is odd, to say the least, Callum is desperately drawn to him.

Having spent so long alone and in the cold, Callum can’t help but be drawn to Aurear’s warmth. But Aurear’s existence is an anomaly, and with this new creature flying around, it’s not long before bloody-thirsty eyes are turned toward Callum’s quiet home in the forest. Though he couldn’t save his mother, Callum is willing to risk everything to protect the warmth Aurear has given him.

Marble, Warm Under My Fingertips

“Something about him made me want to touch him.”

Matthew Evans works the overnight shift at his university’s nearby museum. He’s never been great with people, so he finds solace in the company of the sculptures and statues present there. They don’t speak, they don’t react, but Matthew has never wanted any of that. He was happy enough just to be able to touch them as he pleased. His nightly ritual with his beloved sculptures goes wholly unnoticed by everyone until the night Gabriel appears.

Now faced with a living, breathing person who knows about his secret, Matthew is no longer sure where he stands in society. However, Gabriel makes it clear he has no intention of divulging Matthew’s secrets, and in reality, he would like to make a few more with him in exchange for a night out of the cold. Matthew soon learns there is a big difference between a sculpture of a person and the real thing, warm under his fingertips.

For the first time in his life, Matthew wants nothing more than the company of another person. He wants Gabriel.