Tuesday, April 29, 2014

T is for Troll

                The troll lived in the sandy pits just beyond the southern-most tip of the estuary, amongst the rocks that bracketed that edge of sea and cradled its turn toward the river.  Trina chose her steps carefully, bracing hip against rock and picking her footing amongst the sturdiest sections of salt-wet sand.  Nonetheless, the sand seemed to pull at her bare feet and the rocks seemed more obstacle than support, the once refreshing breezes plucking at her hair with gnarled fingers.  

                By the time she reached the shallow shelter of the troll’s cave, she was breathing heavily, her lungs a hollow inside of her, voiceless as any of the sea sprites that nightly wandered here.

                She tried to call out but her chest ached and her legs shook beneath her and she found herself flopping artlessly against one of the larger rocks, pressing her own chilled hands against her cheeks and the numb tingle that had once been her nose.

                She was weeping when her sister found her, shaking breaths that rattled through her, an aching moisture on her cheeks, clogging her throat.

                “Trina,” the troll said, lumbering with disjointed grace over rather than around the rocks.  It pulled a line of fish from its back and let it fall to the sand at its feet.  “You shouldn’t have come.”

                “It’s my turn,” Trina gasped, swiping harshly at her cheeks, her eyes fixed resolutely on her sister’s face, its reddened lump of nose, the boil on her chin.  “We agreed.”

                The troll smiled, yellowed teeth protruding between its lips in jagged stumps. 
“Your turn?” it asked, the question rumbling from its stomach in burbles of gas and fog.  It shook its head.  “Go home, child.”

                Trina stood, planting her feet in the sand and crossing her arms in front of her.  “I won’t!”

                They stared at each other, a silent assessment.  Trina could feel the creature’s eyes tracking up and down her body, over the willowed silhouette her mother had laced her into, the curls so carefully crafted with clips and now brought to ruin by the wind, the red-root stain on her lips.  

                And then the troll laughed.  “Go home, little girl.  This curse is mine and the salt air and the sea that comes with it.”  It lumbered over to stand in front of Trina.  “You want I should wear your skin?  Let our mother bathe me, perfume me, barter me for an extra litter of pigs or a pair of goats?”

                Trina gasped, feeling her legs soften beneath her, her guts once again clench inside her.  “Please, Tory!  I can’t!  I can’t marry him!”

                The troll shook its head, gathered up its line of fish from the sand where it had fallen.  The smile faded from its face as its eyes shifted over the sanded rock of its front step.  “There are many things I thought I couldn’t do.”  It shrugged, rounded shoulders brushing up against its drooping ears.  “I was always wrong.”

                Trina watched the troll go, each lumbering stride moving it nearer the cave and then inside.  And soon Trina was alone with the sand and the rocks and the realization she would have to go home.

Author's Note:  Another bit of flash fiction and another foray into the fantastical world of imagination.  Still behind and, no matter how impossible it seems, still somehow thinking I might catch up?  How crazy is that?  Yay for the A to Z challenge.


  1. Right from the start, your words had me on edge, Anna, forcing me to read on. I needed to get up and do something, but I was mid-way your story - and could not leave. Thank you. xoA

  2. I was pulled into this story, I felt what she felt. I want to know more about her world. Thank you!