A sudden throbbing pain jolted Grimurl from his dream of his father’s old pipe playing. He was greeted with another burst of pain, a thump from a villager’s booted foot that rolled Grimurl onto his back. Groaning, he took a moment to scan his surroundings: a few decaying horse stalls, mounds of rotten hay stinking of some yellow fungus, a scythe racked on the wall, and a trio of gruff men.
“Please—I’m sorry—It was an accident. I just wanted to ask about her roses,” moaned Grimurl, trying to sit up from the hard earthen floor. He glanced at the villager standing over him, a barrel-chested man with shaggy blonde hair, garbed in a filthy white tunic. Grimurl smiled lightly, looking deeply into the villager’s dark chestnut eyes, hoping he would feel some sympathy for the satyr. A scoff from a rotund, greasy looking man behind him foiled that idea.
“Liar!” screamed the blonde-haired man, kicking Grimurl’s side again. “Why us? What have we done to you, beast?” he demanded, shoving Grimurl back on to the ground and placing his foot on the satyr’s chest.
“Why you what?” asked Grimurl, confused. Though wracked with agony, groggy, and a bit hungry for some fern leaves, he couldn’t help noticing a peculiar musk in the stable. He hadn’t noticed it before, perhaps because he was unconscious, but now Grimurl smelled it—like wet fur.
“He’s lying, Bertrand,” interjected the other villager, a lanky redheaded man, sitting nearby on a pile of the rotten hay.
The blonde man, Bertrand, growled and turned back to Grimurl, “The sheep, the goats, the cattle! You’ve been sneaking around here at night killing and slaughtering all our livestock.”
“Ha! You look at him shake,” sneered the lanky villager, with an outstretched finger.
“Shut it, Corwyn! I want to know why us? What’ll it take for you to leave us alone?” growled Bertrand, removing his foot, bending down, and grabbing Grimurl by the horns. He hauled the Satyr up to his feet, ignoring the fae creature’s bleating cries.
“Sirs, you’re wrong. I’m sorry, but you’re just wrong,” Grimurl moaned, stamping his hooves on the ground to show the villagers.
All three men glanced down at the satyr’s goat-legs, and burst out laughing. Bertrand let go of Grimurl’s horns, and pushed him away. “Now that’s funny!” he exclaimed.
“I don’t think so,” grumbled Grimurl, rubbing his sore horns, and then brushing the dirt from his furry legs. “But since we got off on the wrong leg so to speak,” smiled the satyr to another gale of laughter from the villagers, “Maybe I can help you with whatever’s killing your livestock. I can find any animal in the woods, you’ll see!”
Bertrand and Corwyn fell silent, exchanging glances. “How you know it’s an animal, beast?” questioned Bertrand suspiciously, both villagers looked to the third, who as of yet said nothing. He was bulkier than his companions, wearing padded armor, furrowing his thick monobrow.
“Oh—” said Grimurl uneasily, “Well, I just assumed since you saw me,” he looked at his goat legs. “And figured it was an animal, not to mention you used the word ‘slaughter’…that’s how,” he smiled cheerfully.
“Aye, it be an animal. The worst kind there is,” said the bulky, armored villager. “I kept quiet till now—thought with the full moon passing two night’s ago, it wouldn’t matter. But, last night…there was no full moon…we have ourselves a werewolf, boys,” he said ominously.