For a prompt on comment_fic
.The Spinners in the Stars
There are goblins out there. Out amidst the void, in the eddies of the angel-tides between stars, their gnarled limbs curled in the dark hollows of the universe. Crooked things, faceless in the darkness, giggling soundlessly at their own malevolence. In the long watches of eternity, in those hollow spaces where the light is thin and sound is vanished and mortals huddle in their curved shells of metal and mineral against the emptiness, there
are there goblins.
And the goblins are evil things. They are the spinners in the stars, the spiders in the web of ages, the pluckers and pullers of threads that shape all worlds between them. They will take from you. They might pluck from you a moment, a year, a lifetime. They might steal across stellar tides and take from you a tithe, all unbidden. While you drift, shipwrecked and strained between their whirlpools, they might reach across the emptiness and wrap long, spindled fingers about your craft, peel it gently open as a mortal might peel an egg and peer curiously and gleefully into its confines while you bleed air and force and life out into the void. They are the takers of things, and the stealers of things, and they hold all the blank and willful malice of ancient children.
But they are the makers of things, too. Ever evil, always evil, but they are not without purpose, no. They are the spinners in the stars. They are the weavers, the music-makers, the harpists who play sweet and terrible songs across the warp and weft of universes. They are the singers in the darkness and the warpers of mortal fate. They are the gods, and the demons, and the remorseless forces of empty universes, and they are useful
. These goblins, these faceless things. Oh, but oh, they are useful.
They might take from you a tithe. But if asked, if pled with, if their whim allows it, they might create for you a gift, either. Great are the gifts of gods, and greater the gifts of goblins, this has ever been true. They might grant madness, or inspiration. They might steal hope, or fear. They might tear open, or rebuild, bone by bone, flesh by flesh, shell by shell, until none may stand in the path of what they create. They might break you, or they might spare you, or they might make
you, as never you were made before. They might, by whim or by chance or by pity, for one frail moment, be moved to offer you a gift.
Watch for them. Watch for goblins in the spaces between stars. Watch for the gnarled limbs, and the emptiness where ought to be a face. Watch for the cloak of void that moves, suddenly, in the eddies of vast tides, and grants to you a glimpse of the spindled thing beneath it. Watch for long fingers weaving warp and weft of emptiness, the flash of woven void that is not, no matter how it seems, a natural thing at all. In the hollows and the silence, in the darkness and void, be watchful, be ever watchful, for that abyss that will be looked into, and look back
The universe is dark and deep, moved by the tides of stars and angels, drifting along the skein of infinity. The universe is sweet, and terrible, and full of soundless singing. And in it, in the hollows of it, watching you as you sail past in huddled shells, there are the goblins.
Watching you, ever and always, are the spinners in the stars.