"I either want less corruption, or more chance to participate in
THE GOBLIN LAMP
by Bart van Geldrop
There was no moon out tonight. Remy had seen that immediately or
actually, he had known it some way or another before he opened
his eyes. The shadows the moon usually painted on the floor
weren't there now which turned his room into that of a stranger.
Remy hid deeper under his Superheroes quilt, curled his toes into
the mattress and stared at the ceiling. The ceiling looked back
at him from the dark. It had been hot yesterday and the warmth
seemed to have climbed to the ceiling. There it had gone off, now
covering the ceiling with a thick layer of blackness. From behind
its dark mask the ceiling gazed at the little boy underneath,
dressed in a pair of Turtles pyjamas. Another thing covered with
the black garment of the night was the goblin lamp, hanging on
the ceiling from a big iron ring in the middle of the room. Remy
had gotten the lamp from his grandparents for his fourth birthday
and he had just loved it until one year ago. Tonight the lamp
scared him more than ever...
It was a nice lamp, no doubt about it; an old-fashioned, oak
cart-wheel with the bulb in its middle, hanging down horizontally
from an iron chain. On its rim there were four plastic goblins
one each in the guise of a cook, a gardener, a farmer and a
miller greeting him in a goblin manner. Their chubby cheeks with
red blushes glimmered and their thin lips had been curled into a
smile for over five years now.
In the daytime Remy laughed at the stories his mum told him
about himself and the lamp, about the time he had told his
parents the way Gorbalt, Somagol, Farimir and Gammeling had
played with him while everybody was asleep. They had even told
him their names! He pretended he wasn't afraid of them anymore.He
was a big boy now.
The window was open wide and the breath of the trees outside
made the atmosphere inside his little room almost refreshing. His
big, brown teddybear Fred he had gotten for his birthday last
year, was sitting agaist the wall behind him. Remy put his head
into the bear's lap and made himself believe he would fall
asleep faster that way. He tried hard to slip into wonderland.
With a creak,the lamp started to move. First slowly, but then
faster and faster the wheel started to turn like it was part of
some ghost-couch, anxious to get out of the room at any cost. The
chaincracked,the rim creaked and the spokes moaned.
The wheel spun around buzzing, now working like some sort of
primitive fan; papers, pens, writing-cases all whirled like a
cyclone of fallen leaves. Remy knew there was something going on
behind his back but he was too frightened to turn around to find
out exactly what it was. He was scared of what he might see. Fear
screamed inside his throat. The wind behind his back started to
push the furniture around.
Remy's lips were trembling and he bit his thumb as his eyes
filled with tears. He screwed up his eyelids and they watered;
moistening his lashes as if they wanted to be glued shut forever.
"Mum", he wheezed with a tiny voice that was drenched with fear.
"Mu-um", he cried a little louder now. He couldn't scream;
something was stuck in his throat threatening to snatch his
"MUM" (His thumb strangled the cry)
"MUUUUUUM!!!!!!!", he suddenly roared.
Remy would have sworn that he had actually heard soft panting
and the sound of receding footsteps, almost inaudible, but it's
remarkable what fear can do to one's senses. For a moment the
door was blown open. For a second the hallway glanced into the
room, lit up Remy's face that glistened with tears and then
closed its eye again with a quick slap.
"...There, there,you're not afraid of the dark anymore,are you?
You're a big boy now, you should learn to sleep even without a
His mother tried hard to comfort him but he held on to her and
wouldn't allow her to go away, to leave him with the lamp that
was still moving a little, naggering him.
(We moved, yes,really scared the living shit out of you didn't
we, you little motherfucker. Do you remember the time you threw
us out of the window when you were just six years old?)
He hid his face, pressing it against her shoulder. He didn't
want to see even the slightest motion of the goblins' lips, a
gentle gesture of their hands, a short nod with their heads.
"Why don't you go downstairs for a sec and have a nice glass of
warm milk. Then you can spend the night in our room, but just for
one night, OK?"
Remy had a hard time swallowing the lump in his throat away.
Slowly it shoved down and would soon be dissolved in his, still
bubbling, gastric acid.
He felt the urge to throw up after his mother had left the room;
the temperature was rising and there was the horrible stench of
something old and dead rotting somewhere outside. His eyes almost
fell out of their sockets as he stared at the lamp, paralysed.
He was absolutely sure that he hadn't moved the goblins even an
inch the night before. He hated to admit this even to himself
but, in fact, he was afraid to touch them. They looked so real;
they were such perfect reproductions of mini-people. The teeth
were painted white and the eyes led their own lives. They
flickered, watered, lured, submitted and mocked. Their glances
followed him wherever he went; they drilled through the walls,
gazed at him in the mirror, staring at him, chuckling softly like
a group of teenage girls. At night they whispered and sniggered.
He wouldn't touch the goblins for any price. The lamp hung high
above the floor and he was scared to death that the miller, the
cook, the gardener and the farmer would hurl themselves at him,
dragging him down to the floor. They had disappeared to God knows
Gone up in smoke.
Remy got out of bed and walked to the door. Posters of the
Turtles, He-man and Superman were all over the place, but where
were those so-called superheroes once you really needed them?
("...Hey, Superman, where are you now...", Phil Collins
complained inside his head)
Warily he snuck down the stairs to thekitchen.The hall,the house
surrounding it and the world were all dipped in the night. The
kitchen was the only place lit at the moment. From under the door
a yellow blaze had spread on the white tiled floor like a huge
oil stain. Remy's temples were throbbing, his toes waded through
the greasy stream and he felt like he might slip any moment.
He put his little fist around the door-handle and breathed
deeply (...let's play hide and seek,you little bastard the door-
knob whispered and then turned into an object again...)
Inside silence awaited him, holding its breath. A soft buzzing
vibrated inside Remy's brain...He swallowed, licked his lips and
dried them again with the ball of his right thumb. Remy closed
his eyes and tried hard to think of something else, but
ironically the only image that flooded his mind was that of a
garden-gnome with its plastic flesh peeled back to reveal a
slithering mass of grubs. Its nose had been broken off and the
faded eyes stared at the wall behind him vacantly.
Things had to happen fast, just kick in the door, make a lot of
noise, leap inside, drop in...
Things had to...
(Oh yeah,one more thing,don't forget to scream)
As quick as lightning he pressed down the latch and ran inside
yelling(...Get outof here...Freeze, this is Miami Vice...
shit...fuck) to pierce the silence. In the meanwhile, his feet
were covered with the yellow grease wich gave his stumbling raid
a rather comical accent.
There wasn't anybody in the kitchen except for himself. The
sound was the swelling, warning buzz of the door of the fridge
standing ajar. Remy sighed, grabbed a carton of milk from the
fridge and closed the door. As he climbed one of the wooden
kitchen-chairs in order to get a glass from the cupboard next to
the sink the chair started to tremble. At first it just hopped,
but soon it was cutting capers so fiercely as if it wanted to
throw him off. He couldn't actually see the kitchen floor, but he
just knew the goblins were down there. He could hear them
shouting and cheering as they danced around the bouncing chair
with their pointed, leather shoes. Remy jumped onto the counter,
banging his left knee cap on its edge.
All of a sudden the bouncing stopped,the door of the fridge
opened and closed, leaving the kitchen a darkened dungeon.
He was alone again.
Remy slid down the counter clumsily, his knee burning. He
accidentally dropped his glass and it split up on the floor in a
million glimmering motes. A splinter grazed his right wrist and
his own blood mingled with the shards of glass on the floor.
His hand was on fire. What he needed now was the disinfectant
and that bottle was next to the milk...inside the fridge.
He tiptoed towards the refrigerator and put his glowing ear
against the cold door. Inside there wasn't anything to be heard
but the content purring of the cooler. Remy swallowed and tried
to pull himself together. He decided to count to three...
One...two...threeeeeee...and with a cry he opened the door.
Nothing but cartons of milk, yoghurt, eggs, bottles of Coke and
vegetables was staring at him questioningly. Remy squatted in
front of the fridge and let the cooler blow its soft, cold
whisper into his face. He closed his eyes and enjoyed the sudden
The lettuce stirred softly...
One bottle of Coke was opened with a soft fizz...
A carton of eggs was pushed open almost imperceptibly...
A tray filled with meat came alive...
Once he opened his eyes it was too late.The cooler blew hot air
into his face and he found four pairs of eyes staring at him:
Gorbalt, Somagol, Farimir and Gammeling were grinning at him.
Behind their backs they held carving-knives, lighters, prickers,
"Come in and play with us", Gorbalt grated hoarsely, "we're
Remy was dragged into the fridge which soon broke down because
warm blood of over thirty-six degrees required too much of its
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.