I waited in a room cluttered with old shoes and tattered coats. There were buckets and several mops and brooms piled or leaning against the wall and a shelf with a few jars. I was in a mudroom. I wrung my hair out and fluffed my skirts, trying to make them dryer. I don’t know if I succeeded in any discernable way. My body was unable to feel the cold any more and I felt almost warm. I turned towards the door and then back towards the interior. I had been left here so I gathered I was supposed to dry myself off. The Elves didn’t often notice human suffering but I had inconvenienced them already by dripping all over their stone floors.
I leaned forward and took a step towards a thick curtain, crumpled up against a corner. My foot slipped and I fell. Several things cracked loudly as I landed upon the mixed detritus of the floor. A knee had landed against the stone again. I grabbed the curtain and wrapped it about myself and then collapsed by the door, heedless of the jars and poles now freed and rolling around and used the curtain to squeeze water from my skirts. Now I was merely wet instead of soaked and the feeling was returning to my hands. I knew because they began to sting and twitch.
The door opened and I turned and bowed my head. I could tell it was the goblin again from his shoes. “You’ve dried off. Good. Now take that cloth off and come on.” I let the curtain fall and stepped around the detritus on the floor. In the hall I followed directly behind the uniformed goblin to a large door, which opened once, we were in front of it. On the other side was a cavern big enough to be used as a banquet hall. Leaning against a stone table was a young man with short blond hair, dressed in green velvet. Beside him was a goblin woman, her hair in braids, pinned against her skull.
“Finally,” said the woman. She yanked on a rope, which I noticed was connected to the man’s wrist and he stood with a sulky hop.