My Undertale fan fiction, The Six Human Souls. This is chapter four of part two. Let’s all go to Grillby’s. Let’s hope he doesn’t kill us in the process. Grillbz, you’re an all right guy.
Chapter 4 – Chillin’ at Grillby’s
Grifford made his way along the snowy path through the forest, shivering a bit from the cold and wrapping his arms around himself. If only Toriel had warned him about the cold. Maybe he could have dressed warmer for the occasion. But all he had was his normal old clothes, his tough gloves, and his manly bandana.
He reached a crossroads and found a box sitting there with a sign next to it which read, ‘Are you too chill? Take these to warm up.’ Grifford looked in the box and found a scarf and wool gloves in the box. While it wasn’t great, it was still something. He pulled out the scarf and wrapped it around his neck and face, then pulled out one of the gloves, removing one of his tough gloves and replacing it with the wool one.
“I don’t need two, so at least I can keep one of my hands warm.” He dropped the tough leather glove into the box, keeping the right one just in case, then he headed off again, feeling just a little warmer.
Grifford continued on down the path to the east as Toriel had told him to do. He had to walk somewhat slowly, as there were patches of ice everywhere he went, and several times he started to slip and nearly fell over. So far, he hadn’t run into any sentries. He had seen a couple sentry stations, but they seemed to be unoccupied. He must have just been lucky.
Off in the distance, he kept hearing dogs barking and howling, but he never saw any signs of them, other than the empty sentry stations. If those sentry stations did belong to dogs, he wondered where they had all gone off to and what they were doing. Then again, he thought, at least they were out of his way so he could move on. Unless they were up ahead waiting to ambush him. That wouldn’t be so good.
Every once in a while, he did see paw prints in the snow that looked relatively fresh, and he heard sounds like a dog panting somewhere close by, and yet he still never encountered any. It was starting to get on his nerves. Finally, when he could hear nothing but panting coming from all around him he stopped and just screamed.
“Would you just attack me already or something! This is getting ridiculous!”
That’s when a huge white dog in a suit of armor came bounding out from behind a huge snow drift. Grifford stared at it with wide eyes, then he looked at the huge spear it held.
“Uh, I didn’t mean it. You can go back to hiding or.. or whatever, okay?”
The dog stepped closer, its armor clanking with each step. Its eyes were locked on Grifford and he could tell that the dog had only one thing on its mind: pet me.
Grifford backed away from the dog, his eyes wide. It was holding a rather large spear, and even though it looked friendly enough, he had no idea what it was going to do or what it was capable of. He shuddered a bit at the thought of what it might do to him.
“G-go away,” he said, making a shooing motion with his hands. “Go home, puppy!”
The dog tipped its head and inched closer to him. Grifford continued to shoo it, and the dog continued to move closer and closer until it was right up in his face, its eyes large and sparkling with a pleading look. Grifford let out a small screech and fell over onto his back. The dog then flopped on top of him and began wagging its tail fiercely.
“Help, help, I’m being crushed by a dog!” he screamed, flailing his arms and legs and struggling desperately to get out from under the dog. The dog did not budge and started licking his face. Grifford screeched again and went limp under the dog, thinking maybe he should just play dead and it would leave him alone.
When he didn’t move, the dog started pressing its nose all over his face, and Grifford had a hard time not moving or making any noise. The dog’s nose was so wet and cold he couldn’t stand it. Finally the dog got up, but before Grifford had a chance to escape, it grasped the collar of his shirt in its jaws and started dragging him off.
“This is the worst thing ever! Let go of me you dumb dog!” Grifford started flailing and struggling again, but it didn’t seem to do him any good. The dog dragged him all the way over a bridge and into the town of Snowdin. A few other monsters who were out and about in the town stopped and stared when they saw the dog dragging the human, kicking and screaming, through the town, but otherwise they didn’t seem too worried about it.
The dog ended up dragging Grifford into a huge bar, where it sat down at a table and dropped Grifford at its feet. Grifford stayed still for a moment, gasping for breath and shivering from being dragged through the snow, then he slowly stood up from underneath the table and glanced around. No one seemed to be paying any attention to him – including the dog who had drug him there. He frowned and slunk away from the table and went closer toward the bar.
“Um, excuse me?” Grifford said meekly. The man at the bar turned and gazed at him through a pair of glasses. The man seemed to be a living flame dressed in a bartender outfit. It took Grifford by surprise, but he tried not to react to it. “Could I, uh, get something to eat?”
The flame just stared at him for a long moment, then some sort of duck man who was sitting at the bar said, “Grillbz said he’s got burgs and fries, but you don’t look like you’ve got the coin.”
Grifford frowned and pulled his pockets inside out. He didn’t have any money and sighed, then he glanced toward the dog and said, “I’m, uh, I’m with him.”
Grillby just stared at him for a long moment, then nodded, or at least that’s what it looked like to Grifford. Grifford let out a sigh and relaxed in his seat at the bar.
“Uh, just get me an order of fries, I guess.”
Grillby turned and walked out from behind the bar and into the back room. Grifford rested his head on his arms and closed his eyes, waiting for his food to arrive. This is ridiculous, he thought tiredly. I got beat by a dog. I’m never going to beat the king of all monsters. I don’t know what I should do.
A moment later, Grillby returned with a plate of fries in his hand. Grifford sat up as the flame man set the food down in front of him, and he gave a slight nod of thanks. He reached over to a ketchup bottle and squeezed some out over the fries then began eating them up. They tasted really, really good.
“‘Ey,” the duck man said, poking at Grifford’s shoulder with his wing tip. Grifford glanced at him quizzically. “Yer a human, right?”
“Um…” Grifford glanced all around the bar and coughed a bit. “If I say yes, are people going to attack me or try to kill me.”
“Nah, not unless you try to attack us. Besides, the big guy brought you in with ’em, right? I’m sure he’ll keep you in line.”
Grifford glanced back at the dog, who seemed blissfully unaware of what was going on around him. “Uh, right, sure. He, uh, sort of attacked me outside of town.”
“Well, I guess that makes you his prisoner, right? Heh heh.”
“Yeah, right, whatever.” Grifford finished his fries and let out a sigh. “So I take it if I try to leave here, he’s just gonna come and bring me right back in.”
“Probably. It’s his break so he probably just brought you here until he was ready to take you to the Capitol.”
Grifford narrowed his eyes then shook his head, mumbling something about how foolish that was. He stayed at the bar for a little while longer even after he had finished his food, just waiting for an opportunity where he could slip out unnoticed, if not by everyone at least by the dog.
That opportunity presented itself to him soon enough. He had been sitting there for quite some time, and Grillby had taken his empty plate away. None of the other many patrons were looking his way, nor were they looking anywhere toward the door. Grifford casually slid out of his seat and made his way to the door. He glanced up at it to make sure it didn’t have some sort of bell that rang whenever it was open, and luckily for him there wasn’t. He slipped out the door without anyone seeming to notice and made his way back into the town.
Grifford walked through the town as quickly as he could, looking for a way out. He kept on heading east, though he realized he had no idea where he was supposed to go. Toriel had only told him to get directions from someone here in Snowdin, but he had forgotten to ask back at the bar, and he definitely wasn’t gonna go back in there. No, he’d just keep walking east. That seemed like the right path to go.
He reached the edge of town and kept on walking, but as he went he seemed to be walking into a snow storm; either that or just a thick cloud of fog. He could barely see anything, but as he went along he made out a glowing figure standing ahead of him.
Grifford blinked a few times then realized the barman, Grillby, was standing in front of him. His flames flickering in the wind, and his glasses glimmered rather ominously. Grifford swallowed at the sight of the flame monster and wondered what he could want.
“Are you here to bring me back?” Grifford asked, squinting through the frozen fog. Grillby didn’t make a sound or move a muscle. He just stood there like an ominous sentry, blocking the way. Grifford started to wonder if this guy would fight him the way Toriel did, by shooting fireballs and walls of flame out at him if he tried to get past.
“Look, I don’t want to fight you!” Grifford said. “I’m trying to get to the capitol so I can, uh… meet with the king. That dog that captured me was probably going to take me to him anyway, right? So I don’t see what the big deal is-”
“You can’t defeat him, you know.”
Grifford blinked. The voice was quiet and carried out onto the wind. He assumed it must have been Grillby who said it, but the sound of it sent a shiver up his spine. “What are you talking about?”
“You cannot defeat King Asgore Dreemurr. He will kill you, and he will take your soul. If you know what’s good for you, human, you’ll turn back now.”
Grifford grit his teeth and clenched his fists. “Are you saying I should just give up all hope? What would you have me do? Where would I go? I have nothing down here. I have no other choice but to try and go back home. Don’t you get it?”
Grillby stood there silently, staring through Grifford with a knowing gaze. “Would you go even if you knew you were marching into your death?”
“I…” Grifford hesitated for a moment and looked down at his hands, at the two mismatching gloves he wore. He clenched them into fists and glanced back up. “I would. Because whether or not I do die, I’m going to keep trying until the very end. I’m never going to get anywhere if I just sit around and do nothing.”
“Very well. If this is the path you choose, so be it.”
Grifford’s eyes grew wide and he realized just in time what was happening. The frozen fog around him was dissipating just as a huge ball of fire came hurtling toward him. Grifford screeched and jumped to the side, his shoulder getting singed but otherwise he came out unscathed.
“What the heck, man! Are you trying to kill me?”
In response, another huge blast of fire came toward him. Grifford only just dodged away from it in time, and now he was breaking out into a sweat despite the cold around them. He started panting and pulled himself up to his feet, gazing at the flame man in front of him. Grillby seemed to be waiting on Grifford to make the next move, though Grifford was completely at a loss for what to do.
“Hey, can’t we talk this out peacefully?” Grifford called out to him.
Grillby pressed a finger to his glasses, as if to push them up the bridge of his nose further, except he didn’t have a nose as far as Grifford could see. “There is only one way out of this place,” Grillby said. “Only a powerful soul can pass through the barrier. But we monsters have been down here for longer than we can remember. Why should we sacrifice everything just to let a single human leave?”
Grifford didn’t have an answer for that, and suddenly he felt a horrible weight pressing down on his chest. No. He was right. What right did he have to leave when they weren’t able to?
“Human,” Grillby said. “Show me what you’re made of. Prove to me that you are worthy of facing our king.”
Another wall of flames came toward Grifford. He swallowed, glancing all around but seeing no way to dodge out of its way. Then he got an idea. He clenched his fists and ran forward as fast as he could, screaming as he rushed straight through the flames. He was going so fast that they merely danced over him, but they did not stick to his clothes or body and he made it to the other side in one piece.
Grillby took a small step back as Grifford came running toward him, his fists raised high. “I’m not going to give in like this!” he screamed. He jumped into the air, making a punch at Grillby. “I am strong!”
Evidently, Grifford has miscalculated his trajectory, because he landed on his face several inches away from Grillby. Grillby stared down at Grifford, looking rather unimpressed. After a few moments, Grifford pushed himself back to his feet and stumbled back a step, wobbling until he regained his balance.
The two stared at each other for a long, tense moment. Finally, Grillby reached out his hand as if to shake. Grifford blinked then slowly reached out to take it. As they shook hands, Grifford gazed into the fire man’s flickering form, slightly entranced by it.
“You are brave, I’ll give you that,” Grillby said. “But bravery alone won’t let you win. Neither will strength. Not the kind you’re thinking of, anyway.”
Grifford frowned a little. “What are you telling me to do, then?”
Grillby tilted his head back as if pondering the question, then he shrugged his shoulders. “Maybe that’s something you should figure out on your own.”
“That’s… really unhelpful.”
“Well, I’m just a bartender. What do I know?” With that, Grillby walked past Grifford and headed back into town. Grifford watched as he went, then he thought of something and called out to him.
“Hey, thanks for the fries! They were really good!”
Grillby raised his hand and waved it slightly to Grifford as he went. Grifford then sighed and turned back down the road. That was a strange encounter, but now, perhaps, he wouldn’t have to worry about anything else-
And then the dog came bounding toward him at a brisk trot. Grifford yelped and started running away from it as fast as he could. “I hate dogs!”