Where Angels Fear
6 min readJan 13, 2023


Marketing 101

What might you find at a goblin market?

Don't be deceived by the name ... they aren't all havens of quaintly rustic stalls, Bedouin tents and Romany caravans circling a fairy ring deep in the enchanted forest (although some are, of course); many are held in condemned warehouses and factory buildings down by the old docks, others in shopping malls when the ordinary outlets have closed for the day, yet others on the roofs of office buildings after business hours, in a lay-by off the motorway, or in a carpark deserted for the night — 'goblin' is simply a traditional rubric indicating their nature; they might equally as well be called ‘faerie’ markets ¹ … or 'magickal' markets, if you’re into tree hugging hippie crap.

'Goblin' markets are neutral ground and there are rules that must be respected by those who wish to frequent them: markets aren't in the business of earning a poor reputation, so, you can expect poor behaviour to result in repercussions, if the powers that be deem it likely to have a detrimental impact upon theirs. At pretty much all markets, therefore, outright violence/physical coercion is banned. Other than that, it depends on what you can get away with — a gang of skinhead angels (who don't need to be nice, just good) intimidating a couple of pretty, young succubi (demons need attractive arguments to win hearts and minds) will be left to their own devices, as long as they don't manhandle the merchandise, as it were. That all said, however, if one or other of the participants can find a way to avoid paying their due after a deal is struck, that's between them and the various interested parties; nobody is going to involve themselves in another's business without good reason — it's frowned upon, to say the least, if you don't keep to the terms of the deal ... and you may have trouble with other vendors, and at other markets, if your reputation precedes you ... but there are no laws that can be invoked and enforced, so subterfuge, trickery and deception aren't unheard of, or even necessarily uncommon (caveat emptor).

As to what you can find there ... what do you seek?

Everything from the mundane to the mystical and (occasionally) marvelous can be found, if you know what it looks like and where to look for it … and pay the price.

Patchouli aroma incense, 'essential' oils, 'genuine aboriginal' dreamcatchers, (allegedly) lucky heather, a (reputedly) magical lamp from which a supernatural entity will issue forth and perform miracles for anyone not squeamish about rubbing its spout ... chickens, goats and other participants in involuntary self-sacrifice, and a deep-fat fryer in which to consecrate the flesh (waste not want not) .... the 'sacred' blade necessary for your ritual (not iron though, naturally) ... rice to scatter on the floor and protect your home from the left-handed ... a besom with which to soar the skies at the full of the moon (or maybe just sweep the floor, if you neglected to secure a full tank of magick during the deal)... souls trapped in amber, lightning in bottles ... seers, spiritualists, mediums, witches, wisewomen, warlocks, wizards, the eighth daughter of an eighth daughter (a good saleswoman will be whatever you want for fifteen minutes) ... voodoo/hoodoo loa (if you ask respectfully and can afford the tribute) ... angels, demons, saints, sinners, a man with a flair for interior design who can make your decidedly humble abode a viral sensation on the Amazing Homes channel, a woman who knows a thing or two about plumbing and can unblock your drains ... some costing a handful of magic beans, others the memory of your beloved husband’s dying words, some the soul of your (readily contrived to be) stillborn child (“Just sign on the dotted line and we’ll see to it your wife’s pregnancy proceeds accordingly ² …”)

.... whom are you looking for, what item or service do you desire or require? How desperate is your want/need?

In the 'mad' city, you stay awake come what may, because nightmares come for those who don't — quite literally, in some cases, as they take physical form.

But dreams (can) take physical form too.

Some (of a recurring nature) take obvious ones: pictures, paintings and photographs that may be stepped into ... recordings transferred to a phone or laptop — whatever media may capture time or soul and trap them within their confines.

The more ephemeral, however, not infrequently take living form: anything and everything from sweetly singing songbirds to enormous beasts that are ridden, just as voodoo loa ride those who invoke their presence ... the rodeo lasting as long as the rider cares, or is capable of prolonging it — a master or mistress of the equestrian arts might cavort astride their dream all day or night before riding it literally to death.

But, it's not all enchantment and wonder: don't be shocked to find sentient, sapient dreams chained up in holding pens and sold for whatever the market will bear, like they were livestock or other chattel — that's exactly what they are ... and less.

They too are ridden … the males lasting until their climax, the females until their 'petite mort'. Although those who master the tantric arts might prolong the experience until they are simply drained, selling their sullied flesh on afterwards for more prosaic purposes — a faded dream can still perform manual labour after all ... a broken one can still spread her legs for a pimp's punters ... and there are those who take a debauched delight in degrading others' dreams, then parading them around for all to see what wretchedness they have wrought, and are keen to promenade their conquests in the right circles (so, some dreams might last regrettably longer).

And, yes, there are those who dream of youth and desire young children and infants as a consequence — males using them just as they would adult entertainment, females drawing them up inside themselves in the throes of ecstasy, in a perverse inverse birth.

Not everyone rides dreams, of course.

Some patrons have yet other purposes for them: an 'escort' or 'companion,' an element of a magick ritual or artefact ... or others beyond understanding.

Some consume them ... and many markets may be permeated by the arresting aroma of fancies plucked from cages, gutted, filleted and fricasseed or spitroasted — their piteous pleas, howls of terror and screams of agony penetrating, briefly, the cacophony of commerce, as they are taken to their slaughter and butchered with neither qualm nor remorse.

What can I do for you, good Sir or Madam?

If I may make so bold as to venture a recommendation … the memory of a dead infant's laugh is exceptionally fresh today - barely an hour old.

Whatever form they take though ... and whatever their end ... most dreams' existence is (mercifully) fleeting.

But not all those you meet there are spiritual beings ... there's a fair smattering of profane individuals that haunt the markets as well, some with something unique to sell (a skill, talent or body), others who'd sell you their own scruples, if they had any, and will supply anything you set your heart on ... and there are, thus, simple delights to sample too: just as not all fae have gossamer wings and sneeze stardust from their cute, little noses, so not every being wandering a market has an appetite for the ineffable; whilst most demons probably won't turn their nose up at 'fried cherub wings' or 'seraph drumsticks,' if they’re on the menu, there are just as many unseelie fae (trolls, ogres and the like) ... and others ... who have a hankering for sustenance that isn't made of sunshine and sparkles; supernal sorbets might titillate epicurean tastebuds, but they're hungry, dammit, and want something to fill their belly and a bone to suck the narrow from — some of those in the child catchers' cages are just that ... children.

The question isn’t one of what you might purchase at such a market.

The real question is "Is there anything you won't?"

¹ Although no self-respecting sidhe lord or lady would demean themself by stooping so low as to attend a market ... so they aren't.

² A bolt of lightning to take out the local power transformer and plunge the neighbourhood into darkness, a simultaneous clap of thunder when she’s at the top of the stairs, the cat darting between her legs — a terrible tragedy … no-one will suspect the grieving widower of a thing.



Where Angels Fear

There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live and too rare to die.