What Lies Within Chapter 1

The crowd at the taping of the return episode of ‘Revelations With Ebb’ was harsh; the packed audience filled the studio with booing the second he walked out on stage.

“You’re a fraud!”

“I divorced because of you!”

“Go back to your degenerate kind!”

“Tell us the truth!”

Ebb was chastened by the response, because he deserved it. For years, being the only goblin shaman in town, he could get away with being a self-help guru, selling insights especially formulated for mass consumption. This boiled down to absolving people of personal responsibility for their problems and telling his guests that everything would be alright. This, of course, was not what a shaman’s insights actually did. It usually scared people into changing, otherwise, everything wouldn’t be alright.

He never once used his divination powers. He never once asked Ulax, the All-Seeing, for true insight. Only his downtrodden goblin breathren got true insight, because keeping the status quo was not a good thing for the poorest, most abused and suffering hominid race.

Ebb could get away with this as long as the general population didn’t know better. Then Eluna showed up and showed the world a shaman’s true power. The power to change history. In this case, it was helping the Avian Syndicate bring New Delta to its knees.

Now the city knew that a shaman could see beyond themselves, to anything in the present, concrete or abstract, except other shamen, and those covered with a special enchanted cream.

Ebb stood in front of the comforting, pastel-toned set taking his licks for a moment before raising his hand. The audience quieted down, slightly.

“The liar wants to speak!”

“Let’s hear the filth!”

“Ye say me lie, me conceal shaman true power. This is true, me lie, me not tell ye reality. So me tell ye truth. Ye sir,” he pointed to a middle aged human in the second row. “What ye here for?”

“If you say you’re a shaman prove it, you tell me.”

Ebb shut his eyes. He saw the man’s problem and its true cause. “Ye here because ye have problem in bedroom with mate. Ye want me to say it her fault. That she no try. It ye fault, ye lazy. Ye no try new thing.” The man squirmed in his seat. “Ye,” He pointed to a human woman in the front row, ”tell me.”

“I can’t find a boyfriend.”

“Stop being clingy so much.”Ebb pointed to a Deltan elf male in the fourth row. “Nobody like ye because ye asshole!”

He pointed to human woman in the fifth. “Ye spend too much money on useless stuff.” He pointed to the man next to her. “Ye son can’t no be gay, grow up!” One by one, Ebb went through audience member after member, cutting them down, until the audience was silent, each lost in their own shame. “Now ye want the raw, uncensored truth?”

The audience said nothing, until a young goblin female in the front row raised her hand. “What about me? What me problem?”

“Ye problem be that ye only one in audience that problem no ye own doing.” He took her hand and walked her up on stage. “This girl be special. This girl like me.” A man in the audience was about to stand and heckle, but Ebb lifted up Eluna’s shirt, revealing a nasty scar running through her grey skin from her groin to lower abdomen. “This be Eluna problem. This be symptom of city who no care about reality.”

“But it was your people who threw her out!”

“Yeah, we had nothing to do with her!”

“That be true, that be very true. But why did goblin-kind banish her? Me tell you. Average goblin male age expectancy is thirty. Female, forty. Females will have at least three mates in lifetime, because the other two die. Average goblin male land in Penitentiary at least twice. Unemployment rate for average goblin male thirty-three percent. One in seventy goblin mothers die in childbirth.  Goblins die so fast, all females can do is pump out babies all time and hope no die before she do.”

“So what? That’s not our problem!”

“Yes it be your problem!” Ebb screamed. The hecklers slammed down in their seats. “Ye all sit in ye nice apartments, eat ye nice food, sleep in nice warm bed. Yet ye ignore the starving in shadows, the sick in gutters, the dead just beyond ye doors! Ye pretend everything be great, when reality comes, ye blame the downtrodden for their action. Avians killers but avian rage legitimate. Eluna justifiable accomplice, but her pain real. Me wrong for lying? Yes. Me wrong for believing ye spoiled brats who no deserve truth? No. If ye can’t handle truth, but hate for me telling ye what ye want, then ye get nothing from me! Me quit!”

Ebb grabbed Eluna’s hand and stormed out of the studio.

“How ye help suffering now?”

“There be a way. There always be a way.”

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